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And so in 1632 seven men were left in Smeerenburg to wait out the winter

We tend to think now of scurvy as mainly a punch line, if anything—“scurvy-ridden rats” is the kind of popular pirate epithet that appears in even the most G-rated family fare. Partly this is because now, fully understanding its mechanism, it seems a particularly ridiculous problem. But ask anyone who's suffered from it: it is a singularly horrid and terrible way to die.
- The Spoil of Mariners, Colin Dickey, Lapham's Quarterly.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Sep 29, 2013 - 28 comments

I Told You Not To Kill That Albatross!

Disaster at Sea!! A collection of dozens & dozens of photographs of misfortune striking those GIGANTIC shipping vessels, the kind that bring goods from China to Wal Mart. Every kind of affliction imaginable, from shipboard fire to heavy weather to grounding amidst crushing waves to capsizing from ill balanced loads to random explosive cargo to terrorist attack to so much more. Descriptions of the vessels and what brought them down are included in the first link.
posted by jonson on Jul 15, 2007 - 57 comments

Rafts built from scrap that can cross the Atlantic

The Floating Neutrinos have managed to cross the Atlantic in a raft made from recycled materials recovered from dumpsters and docks in New York city. Their next project is an Orphanage Raft, "for street orphans from third world countries such as Brazil, African countries, and India. The children will be those who are living in and surviving on the streets, with literally no one looking out for them or taking responsibility for them. We will get to know them and their situation thoroughly before they ever come to the raft. We are not looking to pick up runaways or anyone who has responsible adults in their picture...Once onboard, if they choose to stay, they will be given a floating, travelling home, and an education."
posted by john on Apr 4, 2004 - 11 comments

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