In testimony before Congress Thursday, Dr. Frieden was not much more straightforward. His answers often sound like filibusters: long, rolling paragraphs of benign assertion, advertising slogans—“We know how to stop Ebola,” “Our focus is protecting people”—occasionally extraneous data, and testimony to the excellence of our health-care professionals.
It is my impression that everyone who speaks for the government on this issue has been instructed to imagine his audience as anxious children. It feels like how the pediatrician talks to the child, not the parents. It’s as if they’ve been told: “Talk, talk, talk, but don’t say anything. Clarity is the enemy….
You gather they see us as poor, panic-stricken people who want a travel ban because we’re beside ourselves with fear and loathing. Instead of practical, realistic people who are way ahead of our government.”
“Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature was a frigid minus 71.2 C (minus 96.16 F) back in 1924. According to The Independent, wearing glasses outdoors can cause them to stick to the wearer’s face. This is just one of the more menial problems of the extremely cold weather.
Other adaptations locals have to make in their daily lives are more extreme than a short time of nearsightedness or farsightedness when stepping outside. The frozen ground makes it difficult for working indoor plumbing, so most toilets are outhouses. The bitter cold also makes it difficult to dig graves. The ground has to be warmed with a bonfire before a funeral. Locals use heated garages for their cars. Cars left outside need to be kept running, otherwise they will not restart. Planes cannot fly into the area in the winter. And of course the risk of frostbite is great after only a few minutes in the cold.
‘I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into minus 47 C,’ Chapple said. ‘I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.'”
Wow. Some amazing pics at the link. I’d actually love to experience -96 degrees. Once. Outhouse in that weather? Not so much. You think the kid in Christmas Story had problems…
“There’s always a little letdown when walking through the airport, even after a perfect trip. All those gates, with their names displayed, leading to adventures all over the globe waiting to be had, taunting me.”
Yesterday Erin, Katie, and I went on a 90 minute flight to the glaciers north of Anchorage with a family friend. At one point John (the pilot) took us into a long swooping dive toward a mountain (it’s okay, mom and dad, he’s a professional pilot for Fedex). We dropped down into a trench next to the glacier and proceeded to reenact the Death Star trench run from Star Wars at 160mph. We were probably 100 feet off the ground and a hundred or so from the walls of the glacier. Stunning (as you can see from Erin’s face here). I’ll post more pics and videos later, but I had to share this one.
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?
She did it! 16 year old Jessica Watson completes her around the world solo unsupported sailing voyage. Erin and I were able to catch the live webcast from Sydney at midnight our time last night. It was thrilling to see the hundreds of boats escort her into Sydney harbor, and to watch her take her first wobbly steps off the boat she’s spent the last seven months aboard. Way to go!
16 Year old Aussie Jessica Watson completes her 7 month solo around-the-world sailing voyage tonight at 10 pm when she sails into Sidney Harbor. Read more about it here. I’ve been following her daily blog updates for a few months now (it’s great to live in the future, no?) and it’s an inspiring story. There aren’t many firsts left in the world (or even seconds or thirds), so it’s wonderful to get to see someone make the news for a first that’s uplifting and hopeful. Her trip time isn’t very long on the face of it, but she’s sure changed more than just 7 months in the time she’s been gone.
Around the world solo in a sailboat at 16. Incredible.