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

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  • Ukraine coal mine blast 'kills 30'
  • A suspected methane gas blast at a coal mine in a rebel-held region of eastern Ukraine kills at least 30 people, officials say.
  • NFL pair to donate brains for research
  • New York Giants' Steve Weatherford and former NFL player Sidney Rice want their brains to help research into injuries.
  • Australian pair moved for execution
  • Two Australian drug-smugglers are transferred from Bali to another Indonesian island where they are due to be executed by firing squad.
  • Colombia holds Chinese arms ship
  • The Colombian authorities arrest the captain of a China-flagged ship on its way to Cuba with military material on board and no legal papers.
  • Politicians targeted over Petrobras
  • Brazil's chief prosecutor seeks to investigate 54 people, including politicians, for alleged involvement in a kickback scheme at state oil firm Petrobras.