The Big Think

June 13, 2010

Surfing the Arctic

Filed under: Movies,Travel — jasony @ 10:19 pm

A 9 minute mini documentary about crazy surfers to who ply their hobby in the arctic circle in sub-freezing temps.

While I was watching this, listening to these yo-dudes bemoan getting splashed in the face with wave spray while they burn calories and get a cardio workout on their boards, I kept thinking cry me a river, pretty boy. How about your freaking camera man who is FLOATING IN THE ARCTIC WATER just to get a shot of your bad self flying by on your sponsored board? How about a little love for them?

Spend some time behind the scenes as a crew person to learn about real hardship, you world-traveling, camera mugging, Taj Burrow wanna-be pansy.

Okay, now that I’m finished watching it I’m even more annoyed (I know, I know…). Listen up, surferdude: we know you’ve been sponsored to sell us products. We know the company names that got airplay in the doc ponied up the bucks to put you on a jet to the arctic and outfit you with lots of hi-definition gear-and the talent to run it in harsh conditions, as well as do a great job in post putting together a beautiful piece. We know you’re using exposure from this film to further your lucrative career. It’s okay to do that, but don’t try to convince us that you’re in tune with the rhythm of the lava-lamp Cosmos because you can balance a board in the water. It’s a neat trick, but forming a life philosophy around that kind of skill seems pretty… ahem…. shallow.

The whole more-introspective-than-the-Dali-Lama surfer ethos is so completely played out that it’s become a giggle-worthy parody. The stereotype image of the surfer as wise and in touch with nature got instantly uncool when Keanu grabbed a board in 1991. Where ya been?

And get off my lawn.

The Long View

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 9:42 pm

An interesting post on long-term retirement plans (boring sounding, but an interesting post- really!). For instance, what happens in a world where 50% of the children born this year are expected to live to be 104 years oldor more? When 65 becomes the new 40? When Erin’s grandmother was born in 1916 her life expectancy was 55.2 years old.

She lived into her 90’s.

What happens in the next few years when we start to see what was previously extreme life spans become the norm? What about a world where you can expect 125 years? Aubrey de Gray has said that the first person to live to be 1000 years old is probably alive today (given current and expected medical advancements). What happens to retirement savings when you don’t calculate it based on starting to save at 25 and retiring at 65? What if you start at 25 and retire at 90, to live another 30 years? Can the world handle the kind of generational wealth differential that implies? What about the socioeconomic differences that come from a massive population of wealthy and ultra wealthy centenarians in a world that also has indebted college grads? There are some interesting times ahead, indeed.

Deepest to Highest

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Science — jasony @ 8:19 pm

Cool and impressive infographic about the highest to deepest points on Earth. Seriously freaky stuff here (Deepest scuba dive? 1000 feet! No, thank you). h/t to Matt.

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