The Real Castaway
(2001; 48:13) is a tense and awkward but sometimes beautiful documentary about a teenage boy
moving to the Ulithi Atoll
and seeking companionship to fulfill a romantic fantasy
The Art of Shen Ku
is a rambling, eccentric website displaying pages of an illustrated instructional book of the same name. The site is roughly divided into four topics: Traveller, Physician, Sailor, and Martial Artist. It features heavily notated illustrations that demonstrate everything from using healthy breathing techniques and using aloe vera to learning martial art hand strikes, avoiding shark attacks, making survival shelters, and navigating. The author, Zeek, seems to be a sailor who spent much time in Asia. [more inside]
Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.
Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”
It turns out that when it comes to the fate of humankind, this question is very important. Depending on where The Great Filter occurs, we’re left with three possible realities: We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.
A Speck in the Sea [NYTimes.com]:
John Aldridge fell overboard in the middle of the night, 40 miles from shore, and the Coast Guard was looking in the wrong place.
"The divers had already pulled up four bodies. So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse." Harrison Odjegba Okene survived three days of darkness and isolation when he was trapped in a sunken tugboat, breathing from an air bubble and listening to the sounds of his shipmates being eaten by fish. His amazing rescue hit the news this spring. (Previously
.) The actual video of his rescue has now been widely distributed. Short version. Long version
, with an appropriate but inappropriate piece of jaunty music at the end.
Tips For Surviving, Monsters!
A puppet based guide for monsters who are tired of being hunted. [slyt | via]
- Can you look them in the eye?
, Vice does a 35 minute video
chronicling a rare visit to the sole surviving member of the Lykov family
. [more inside]
Franco believes that governments must increase efforts to preserve indigenous cultures. “The Indians represent a special culture, and resistance to the world,” argues the historian, who has spent three decades researching isolated tribes in Colombia. Martínez says that the Indians have a unique view of the cosmos, stressing “the unity of human beings with nature, the interconnectedness of all things.” It is a philosophy that makes them natural environmentalists, since damage to the forest or to members of one tribe, the Indians believe, can reverberate across society and history with lasting consequences. “They are protecting the jungle by chasing off gold miners and whoever else goes in there,” Franco says. He adds: “We must respect their decision not to be our friends—even to hate us.”
The zombie apocalypse
. Doomsday Preppers
. Post-apocalyptic pop-culture fiction of doom. What's it about? A Stanford scholar explains
Major Doctor Les Hiddins
was survivaling in the wilderness long before Bear Grylls
. He did it with compassion, intelligence, and good humour. (No, he isn't dead.) [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel
or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer
. It's Doomsday Preppers
, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
If you've ever been to Hawaii, chances are that you've passed through the John Rodgers Terminal
at Honolulu International Airport without giving it a second thought. The great-grandson of distinguished American Commodores John Rodgers and Matthew Perry; John Rodgers
was the second American naval officer to fly for the United States Navy and a submarine commander in WW1; but what earned him the honour of having the airport named for him was the amazing and inspiring
first open-ocean flight to Hawaii. [more inside]
One dealt with her near-death experience by forcing herself to stare at a screensaver of the shark that ravaged her body. Another let the bear finish the job 22 years afterwards. People respond to life-threatening traumas in different ways, as documented by The Guardian in Life after near-death: why surviving is only the beginning.
"Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions—such as vaccines—may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking." Two papers
demonstrate empirical evidence for related models predicting the origin of virulence: [more inside]
The Swiss Army Tampon
- a life-saving wilderness survival tool
The Castaway's Guide To Making A Home:
What do people do when they're shipwrecked on a deserted isle?
IKEA is already widening their domain
, but for some of us, it's still a challenge to deal with the staid institution of the IKEA store. Never fear! [more inside]
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living
. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye
So you wake up tomorrow morning to find almost everyone on Earth missing. The Internet will continue to work for a few hours
: what information could you download to ensure your survival and rebuild civilization? A few suggestions: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
. Third Word Development
(18 GB of information on agriculture, livestock, food processing, construction, water, sanitation, health and much more). The Global Village Construction Set (previously)
. Copies of Gray's Anatomy
, Where There Is No Doctor
, and The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide
A few more that might be handy even in ordinary times: all of Wikipedia
, or perhaps just a portion
. (Ideally, of course, you’d already have a bound, printed copy
), Offline Google Mail (Chrome)
to save correspondence; SiteSucker
to download sites you’d like to keep around while offline.
GQ: The Man Who Sailed His House. On the third day after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Nine miles out at sea, a man had been found alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. [more inside]
A Holocaust survivor raised a fist to death.
'Leon Weinstein survived the Warsaw Ghetto. But it is the story of the little girl that he wants to tell.' 'He lay Natalie on their front step. Tears ran down his cheeks. You will make it, he thought. She had blond locks and blue eyes. They will think you are a Gentile, not one of us. Walking away, he could hear her whimper, but forced himself not to look back until he crossed the street. Then he turned and saw a man step out of the apartment. The man read Weinstein's note. He puzzled over the baby. Cradling Natalie in his arms, the man walked half a block to a police station and disappeared inside.' [more inside]
Here Be Monsters.
"Three friends, on a drunken dare, set out in a dinghy for a nearby island. But when the gas ran out and they drifted into barren waters, their biggest threat wasn't the water or the ocean—it was each other." [more inside]
Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside
(Vimeo link; possibly triggering) is a 2011 short film by Alejandro Zuluaga and Harsha Walia, based on a concept by the Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group (TRT 32:00). [more inside]
In preparedness circles, EDC means Everyday Carry
, being items one keep on or near one's person at all times, to help with both planned and unforeseen events during the day. A lot of opinions about what should be in an EDC kit exist, but the minimum usually recommended seems to be a cell phone, light source and small folding knife. The EDC blog
shows pictures and lists of submitters' EDC kit. [more inside]
According to new data released by the CDC yesterday,
more Americans are surviving cancer
thanks to advances in increased early detection and treatment
. CDC analysis shows an unprecedented 20% increase in survival rates between 2001 and 2007, which is nearly a quadruple increase since 1971
. [more inside]
On July 25th 1997, Davor Jordas and a group friends turned up at Raspadalica
to take part in the first ever Croation powered paragliding
competition. The day was fine, with warm sunshine and scattered puffy clouds. The only sign of what was to come was a dark cloud
over the beautiful mountains of Ucka
. But it was twenty miles away, and downwind, so the paragliders took to the air. To put it mildly, that turned out to be a mistake. [more inside]
Louie recoiled in horror, jerking his legs to the side, away from the shark's mouth. The shark kept coming, directly at Louie's head. Louie rammed his palm into the tip of the shark's nose. The shark flinched, circled away, then swam back at him again. Louie waited until the shark was inches from him, then struck it on the nose again. Again, the shark peeled away. Above, the bullets stopped coming. As quickly as he could, Louie pulled himself along the cord until he reached the raft. He grabbed its wall and lifted himself clear of the shark.
This quote is from an article about Louis Zamperini
, whose planed crashed into the Pacific in 1941. He and two other men, Francis McNamara and Russell Phillips, made it into liferafts. They would drift in the ocean for weeks. The article is by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit
. For more about Zamperini and his amazing story you can go to his website
This past March, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that tariff policies his administration championed in the mid-1990's helped destroy Haiti's rice production
and contributed to the impoverished nation's inability to feed itself. But while most of the world has stopped paying attention to Haiti's woes, Mr. Clinton has become the de facto leader of the effort to rebuild it after the catastrophic earthquake this past January
. Will his influence be enough? Reports
from the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti
indicate that the reconstruction progress has been slow
. [more inside]
Jani, a hindu man
in western India, claims not to have taken in any food or water for 70 years. He has been under 24 hour surveillance since April 22 by a hospital team. This video
goes into a little more detail.
Pitchfork TV presents I Need That Record!
(one week only), Brendan Toller
's documentary feature
examining the plight of independent record stores in the U.S. Featuring Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Ian Mackaye (Fugazi/Minor Threat), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) Chris Franz (Talking Heads), Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), Pat Carney (The Black Keys), Bryan Poole (Of Montreal), and many more figures of the indie record making/selling scene. Plus the wild animations of Matthew Newman-Long
! (previously mentioned
You and your loved ones are invited to survive the next earth devastating catastrophe, terrorist or nuclear attack at the Vivos underground shelter network
. The 132 spaces in Barstow CA
are going like hotcakes, but there are 19 other facilities planned. Check out the facilities
and even the menu
. [more inside]
"In 1980, when Jimmy Carter created the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
, only six families of white settlers were allowed to keep cabins there. Heimo Korth and his wife, Edna, are the only ones left.
" [more inside]
Ahh, Winter! I'm sure we're all looking forward to Christmas presents, heated car seats, and New Year's resolutions that last as long as our hangovers. But it can't be all fun and games - thus, we enter Cold Water Boot Camp
, instructed by none other than Professor Popsicle
(U of Manitoba's Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht
), who was back in the news last week after he drove a Mercury Sable into Winnipeg's Red River.