Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Outdoor Survival

"You know, I once read an interesting book which said that most people lost in the wilds die of shame. Yeah, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives—thinking."
—adapted from dialog from The Edge by David Mamet

So this class is about survival, which perhaps is about more than a set of learned skills. Undeniably, one’s chances of survival can be improved by a passing knowledge of some skills and a modicum of preparedness. Students in this class will practice building shelters, making fire, plant identification, and first aid. They will be taught the importance of material preparedness. But, without mental preparedness one is unlikely to apply the knowledge that one holds. Which implies a harder but arguably more important goal for the class—to slow these kids down long enough and to keep them quiet enough to see the world through calm eyes and open ears—to take in their surroundings, to begin to understand how the world functions and to find their places in it. In this way, the psychology of survival can apply as much to common daily life choices as it does to the much rarer event of needing to making it out of the wilderness alive in a critical situation. Oh, and the class is fun....

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BBC World News

  • Turks to let Kurds join Kobane fight
  • Turkey is to allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to cross the Syrian border to Kobane to fight Islamic State militants, its foreign minister says.
  • Exiled Nazis collected US benefits
  • The US has paid dozens of exiled Nazi war criminals millions of dollars in social benefits after forcing them to leave the country, a new report finds.
  • Sweden steps up 'mystery sub' hunt
  • Sweden steps up its search in waters off Stockholm and tells some civilian vessels to leave the area amid suspicions of a Russian submarine.
  • Nigeria declared free of Ebola
  • The World Health Organization declares Nigeria officially free of Ebola - hailing it a "spectacular success story" - after six weeks with no new cases.
  • Google changes 'to fight piracy'
  • Google will alter search results in an effort to fight online piracy, pointing users to legal download sites and demoting known pirates.
  • Amnesty deplores abuses in Ukraine
  • Amnesty International finds evidence of atrocities committed by both warring sides in eastern Ukraine, but not on the scale reported by Russia.