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June 04, 2013

There are massive queues at the top of Mount Everest

Maybe people need to find something else to do to prove that they're rad? Everest Maxed Out
An hour above high camp on the Southeast Ridge of Everest, Panuru Sherpa and I passed the first body. The dead climber was on his side, as if napping in the snow, his head half covered by the hood of his parka, goose down blowing from holes torn in his insulated pants. Ten minutes later we stepped around another body, her torso shrouded in a Canadian flag, an abandoned oxygen bottle holding down the flapping fabric. Trudging nose to butt up the ropes that had been fixed to the steep slope, Panuru and I were wedged between strangers above us and below us. The day before, at Camp III, our team had been part of a small group. But when we woke up this morning, we were stunned to see an endless line of climbers passing near our tents. Now, bumper to bumper at 27,000 feet, we were forced to move at exactly the same speed as everyone else, regardless of strength or ability. In the swirling darkness before midnight, I gazed up at the string of lights, climbers’ headlamps, rising into the black sky. Above me were more than a hundred slow-moving climbers. In one rocky section at least 20 people were attached to a single ratty rope anchored by a single badly bent picket pounded into the ice. If the picket popped, the rope or carabiner would instantly snap from the weight of two dozen falling climbers, and they would all cartwheel down the face to their death.

If You Learn About Only One Bat-shit Crazy Thing Today, Make It Jeremy Bentham's "Auto Icon"

(cross-posted from my Snip, Burn, Solder Blog, 'cause it dawned...

May 31, 2013

#FACT: Galileo's Remains Reside in a Wine Glass, Eternally Flicking Off God

And in a science museum, no less! Galileo's fingers, tooth...

May 25, 2013

"Women have always fought"

“‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative” by Kameron Hurley — A Dribble of Ink
When I sat down with one of my senior professors in Durban, South Africa to talk about my Master’s thesis, he asked me why I wanted to write about women resistance fighters. “Because women made up twenty percent of the ANC’s militant wing!” I gushed. “Twenty percent! When I found that out I couldn’t believe it. And you know – women have never been part of fighting forces –” He interrupted me. “Women have always fought,” he said. “What?” I said. “Women have always fought,” he said. “Shaka Zulu had an all-female force of fighters. Women have been part of every resistance movement. Women dressed as men and went to war, went to sea, and participated actively in combat for as long as there have been people.” I had no idea what to say to this. I had been nurtured in the U.S. school system on a steady diet of the Great Men theory of history. History was full of Great Men. I had to take separate Women’s History courses just to learn about what women were doing while all the men were killing each other. It turned out many of them were governing countries and figuring out rather effective methods of birth control that had sweeping ramifications on the makeup of particular states, especially Greece and Rome. Half the world is full of women, but it’s rare to hear a narrative that doesn’t speak of women as the people who have things done to them instead of the people who do things. More often, women are talked about as a man’s daughter. A man’s wife. . . .