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

  • Australia in 'beheading plot' raids
  • Police carry out anti-terror raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence that Islamic extremists were planning random killings in Australia.
  • Syria infant deaths 'due to mix-up'
  • Medics in rebel-held Syria accidentally gave a muscle relaxant to up to 75 children instead of a measles vaccine, killing 15, the opposition says.
  • NFL rocked by new violence arrest
  • Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, police say, the latest such incident to rock the NFL.
  • Ukraine president in key US visit
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is beginning a key visit to the US to seek further support to tackle what he describes as Russian aggression.
  • Taiwan in tougher food penalties
  • Taiwan's government says it will impose harsher penalties for food safety violations after a "gutter oil" scandal.
  • India and China sign landmark deals
  • India and China sign 12 agreements, one of which will see China investing $20bn in India's infrastructure over five years.