Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Trophy Hunter

167 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Sacha, I meant governance by the board.

    But like everyone else I've had a gutsful of this.

    How about that Waterview tunnel then ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    But the danger we were warned about most often wasn't river-crossings: it was hypothermia. We were repeatedly told about the symptoms of exposure, and how people might act under its influence.

    In the early eighties an American researcher on hypothermia toured New Zealand talking to outdoor groups with his findings. He was part of a research group that used themselves as guinea pigs to test out the results of lowering their own temperatures.

    It was pretty brutal. They had a track that they walked up and down while being buffeted by wind machines and hoses, pausing to do skill tests to measure their mental deterioration. They floated about in water with chunks of ice in it with rectal thermometers inserted to measure core temperatures.

    It wasn’t just the thrill of objective science that drove them. The Nazis in World War II had done a lot of this research already, testing their subjects to destruction, in pursuit of knowledge that would assist downed pilots and troops on the Eastern Front. The researchers had been given special permission by Holocaust survivor groups to use this information. I remember the shock of seeing this data up on the screen as facsimiles of the original notebooks.

    What the research was showing was that when the core temperature was threatened peripheral circulation shut down quite quickly. As well as the hands and feet this included the brain. The researchers showed that lowering core temperature was actually pretty hard: so for example people lasted hours rather than minutes in freezing water and it is was more likely the gasp reflex that meant they inhaled water that led to their drowning. In the bush it was the slowing down of blood supply to the brain that led people to make poor decisions, often quite some time before the actual disaster overtook them.

    I can’t remember what created the drama about hypothermia that led to the likes of “Such a Stupid way to die”. It may just have been a period when there was a focus on it as the science was being discovered. Certainly the recognition of hypothermia helped explain some tramping disasters which otherwise seemed odd. I remember a tragedy involving a number of kindergarten teachers (I think) who died one by one on the Tasman glacier pre-war and that had been put down as being struck by lightning at the time but was obviously (by the early eighties) hypothermia.

    And as for Lucinda: She’s only coming as far south as Wellington. Too expensive for me to travel to see her unfortunately. You lucky buggers.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    __Anyway ... how good is it that Lucinda Williams is coming in April? Got our tickets this morning.__

    Bloody good -- not the biggest fan of the whole "alt-country" deal, but she does do it well. Makes me regret that she's hardly prolific -- eight or nine albums in thirty years, isn't it?

    Is it as many as that?

    Only got two...

    The only time, from memory, I've ever phoned a radio station and asked 'who was that you were just playing?' was back in 1989 when I heard her on BfM.

    This is from a bit later...

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Re: tramping etc...

    I once confused an American woman visiting friends when I talked about tramping. Rather got the wrong idea...

    I remember seeing that film - its done up at Nelson Lakes, from memory. I think we got shown it at Scouts.

    The thing about hypothermia is even mild doses can make people make silly decisions. I've seen it utterly bugger someone's sense of direction.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Must be time to head for the same pub as Steve..

    I did wonder if going all politicky on a Friday was a mistake ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The thing about hypothermia is even mild doses can make people make silly decisions. I've seen it utterly bugger someone's sense of direction.

    I've now recalled that there was another school tramping trip (not one I was on) where one of the teachers got all irrational with early-stage hypothermia. It did seem like a clear and present danger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    early-stage hypothermia. It did seem like a clear and present danger.

    With some of my teachers the problem was late-stage alcoholism I think.

    I'm off for a haircut, 'evening all

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Have one for me! Oh, hang on...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I've apparently had early stage hypothermia, thanks to the Milford Track, the Sutherland Falls, and a bit of a fitness issue that led me to think that leaving my raincoat hood off was a sensible way to cool down after a painful ascent up Mackinnon Pass (I was not aware that the sweat-soaked cotton tshirt under my bush-shirt was already doing this very well).

    The reason I say apparently is because as far as I was concerned, I didn't feel cold and was happily daydreaming about how nice a hot spa would be. The group leader noticed I'd slowed down a lot, fed me some calorie-packed scout bars, escorted me across the one person bridge, and picked up the pace until we got to the shelter and stopped for a cuppa soup.

    I guess being in denial that you've got hypothermia is a classic symptom of having hypothermia. But of all the ways to go there must be plenty worse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    With some of my teachers the problem was late-stage alcoholism I think

    As one chemistry teacher put it, "'Sssnot a problem. 'Ssss... a sholution ".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The thing about hypothermia is even mild doses can make people make silly decisions.

    It's a pretty hard thing to be objective about, though.

    As a 8 year old I was on a tramp with my Dad, brother and 2 other guys, walking off-trail across Mt Ruapehu. At one point they decided to cross a small river by jumping between 2 banks that were about 10 feet high. I was last, and I slipped before jumping, pitched headlong in the opposing rock wall, bounced off and fell into the shallow rocky stream.

    Of course everyone freaked out. It looked terrible, but the truth was that I had actually absorbed the impact into the wall with my forearms, so my head only brushed the wall, and my pack protected my back from any rocks I may have fallen on. So I was mostly just a tiny bit bruised, a lot shaken, and very wet. After it was established that I was not only conscious, but capable of walking on, we continued on, with a number of the jokes being made at my expense by basically everyone.

    However, my father became convinced that I was both concussed and had hypothermia. The slightest straying from the non-existent path we were following was seen as loss of direction. My peevishness was put down to possible hypothermia. And I was also bloody tired, after a 5 hour hike, faced with a further hour in wet clothes carrying a full pack. My memory was pretty clear on everything that happened, the continuous checks, the jokes of the other kids about my clumsiness and how I was now bonkers, the fact that Dad and his mate were basically guessing blindly where we were going, as evening approached on an exposed ridge, and how pissed off I was about it all. I'm pretty sure that I was neither concussed nor hypothermic, just tired, uncomfortable and angry, and disliking the company I was in. The symptoms are most likely identical. I wonder how often this happens in the wilds. Certainly insisting to someone who does not have hypothermia that they do is likely to piss them off. Denying that they are making rational decisions will add to that, the way it does whenever men say that sort of thing to women.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I did wonder if going all politicky on a Friday was a mistake ...

    I know a fair number of health professionals where it's always a bad idea to get them started on their managerial and political lords and masters -- at least if you want to keep you digestive system in good order. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm making some semblance of muttar paneer (paneer cheese is $14.99kg at Mahadeo).

    I reach up to get the motar and pestle (because that's just how I'm rolling) and as I grasp the bowl, the granite pestle rolls around, falls -- and hits me. In the forehead.

    Should I Twitter this?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm making some semblance of muttar paneer (paneer cheese is $14.99kg at Mahadeo).

    A cousin - lovely and most upstanding young woman - brought some homemade paneer yesterday. It was fabulous.

    Should I Twitter this?

    Take it away, Harvest Bird.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I reach up to get the motar and pestle (because that's just how I'm rolling) and as I grasp the bowl, the granite pestle rolls around, falls -- and hits me. In the forehead.

    Should I Twitter this?

    Sacrifice a chicken first - just to be on the safe side.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    __Anyway ... how good is it that Lucinda Williams is coming in April? Got our tickets this morning.__

    Bloody good -- not the biggest fan of the whole "alt-country" deal, but she does do it well. Makes me regret that she's hardly prolific -- eight or nine albums in thirty years, isn't it?

    Lucinda is a pretty good interpreter of other people’s songs too.

    She sings ‘Farther Along” with Ralph Stanley on his Clinch Mountain Sweethearts and is on several tribute albums: ‘Lately’ on Going Driftless a tribute to the bard of the Great Plains Greg Brown: ‘Angels Laid him Away’ a tribute to Mississippi John Hurt, and the best of them all a collaboration with David Crosby of ‘Return of the Grievous Angel’ by Gram Parsons.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Helga Arlington,

    Back to the debate about the rappers on US TV - especially that stuff between the two guys - how depressing was that? "Gitmo" - when Americans have names from all over Europe they can manage why not this word? It reminds me of the subhuman names they called the Vietcong.

    The rappers - it's hard to imagine just how wonderful it must feel to blacks in America that "our President is black". I can remember some feminist milestones that felt a little bit equivalent - like being able to get a mortgage without patronising insulting questions about future pregnancy and being called 'dear'. For 'the children of slaves' to have a black man in the White House. And an intelligent, well educated wife, too!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    And John Martyn is dead at 60 :-(

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    For 'the children of slaves' to have a black man in the White House. And an intelligent, well educated wife, too!

    To be honest, I couldn't get invested in this faux controversy. But why do I have the oddest feeling Barack and Michelle Obama might have been quite happy to have the support of hip-hop celebrities on the campaign trail, but don't let their daughters listen to most of their music? You know the stuff that pimps images of black men as pot-addled, bitch-slapping homophobic gangstas to an audience overwhlemingly made up of middle-class white suburban teenage boys?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And the most delicious irony of all is that Barack and Michelle Obama are from a different universe to both Jay-Z and Bill O'Reilly (whose born-again sensitivity to over-heated rhetoric you can find ever so ironic, while still finding casual bigotry in too much hip-hop repulsive)-- and they just don't get it.

    And wouldn't be nice if President Obama used that bully pulpit to condemn black men like Russell Simmons and Mr Beyonce who get rich off selling casual bigotry and romanticising drug abuse and crime, with a little of the same vehemence he used to attack Wall Street "fat cats"?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And wouldn't be nice if President Obama used that bully pulpit to condemn black men like Russell Simmons and Mr Beyonce who get rich off selling casual bigotry and romanticising drug abuse and crime, with a little of the same vehemence he used to attack Wall Street "fat cats"?

    Why? According to you he isn't even black. But I'd despair a bit of the Prez started giving unsolicited opinions about every other aspect of the culture. What is he, the Pope?

    Commenting on the bonuses of the CEOs of companies that are being bailed out by the taxpayer seems more within his natural range of topics.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I'm making some semblance of muttar paneer (paneer cheese is $14.99kg at Mahadeo).

    I reach up to get the motar and pestle (because that's just how I'm rolling) and as I grasp the bowl, the granite pestle rolls around, falls -- and hits me. In the forehead.

    Should I Twitter this?

    No, you write out the recipe! Yum! How do you make it?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Mr Beyonce who get rich off selling casual bigotry and romanticising drug abuse and crime

    No, I am afraid that is incorrect. Jay-Z got rich because he is *fucking awesome*. :)

    Also: Craig wants Obama to be Tipper Gore. Please, no more Dee Snider speeches in front of House Committees! I couldn't bear it.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also: Craig wants Obama to be Tipper Gore. Please, no more Dee Snider speeches in front of House Committees!

    I always hoped that somebody would play Tipper Gore's rants backwards. I might have to take up the task myself.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Also: Craig wants Obama to be Tipper Gore.

    Testicles, Danielle. But, hey, if you're A-OK with music where a woman's place is on her back with her legs open (though she's a gold-digging slut if she obliges) be my guest. Just pointing out the little irony that Obama asserts the dignity of all people (including the ladies and gayz) in a way that's disturbingly absent from way too much hip-hop.

    And we're just going to have to agree to disagree on the general or specific awesomeness of Mr. Sacha Fierce. :)

    Why? According to you he isn't even black.

    Giovanni: When you've lured the troll back to its bridge with a goat or three, I'll dignify a serious contribution with a serious response. You might, however, want to consider that misogynistic culture is no less our problem because we happen to have cocks between our legs rather than pussies.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.