Bodies Of Dead Climbers On Everest Serve As Guideposts


Prakash Mathema

❝ Mount Everest holds the impressive title of ‘tallest mountain in the world,’ but many people don’t know about its other, more gruesome title — the world’s largest open-air graveyard

❝ The top portion of the mountain, roughly everything above 26,000 feet, is known as the “death zone.”
There, the oxygen levels are only at a third of what they are at sea level, and the barometric pressure causes weight to feel ten times heavier. The combination of the two makes climbers feel sluggish, disoriented and fatigued and can cause extreme distress on organs. For this reason, climbers don’t usually last more than 48 hours in this area.

The climbers that do are usually left with lingering effects. The ones that aren’t so lucky are left where they fall.

❝ Standard protocol is just to leave the dead where they died, and so these corpses remain, to spend eternity on the mountaintop, serving as a warning to climbers, as well as gruesome mile markers.

Truly interesting article. At least to me. I’ve spent a fair piece of outdoors life with serious climbers in the US, Switzerland and France, Scotland and elsewhere. Known a number of successful athletes at this pursuit. A few who died along the way.

RTFA for questions unique to the life and death of high altitude climbing.

Hertha Berlin Players, Officials Kneel in Solidarity with American Athletes


Click to enlargeAP Photo/Michael Sohn

❝ Players and coaches from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin kneeled prior to Saturday’s game against Schalke in a stand “for diversity and against violence.”

“Berlin is colourful,” the public address announcer at Olympiastadion Berlin said, according to ESPN FC’s Stephan Uersfeld. “Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason, we are joining forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, both now and forevermore.”

❝ …Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou told reporters Hertha Berlin got the idea to kneel from NFL players who have protested social injustice and racial inequality during the American national anthem.

“As Hertha we always fight against racism,” he said, per Uersfeld. “For us, kneeling down is a way of fighting against this kind of behaviour. It should not exist in any kind of sport. Not in NFL, and not in football or soccer, like they call it in the U.S.—it shouldn’t exist in any sport, period. For us, it’s a good example to show.”

Meanwhile, individual gutless owners of American sports teams, NFL officials and candyass politicians kissed Trump butt. They have taken a constitutional symbol of protest and tried to turn it into an act worthy of the sort of pseudo-patriotic witch-hunt we haven’t witnessed since the inglorious days of McCarthyism.

I’ll take constitutional guarantees over quasi-religious breast-beating any day

N.F.L. Protests Across the United States, Across the Atlantic

❝ N.F.L. players across the country demonstrated during the national anthem on Sunday in a show of solidarity against President Trump, who scolded the league and players on Twitter this weekend. With the support of team owners, some of whom joined their teams on the field, dozens of players knelt in silent protests, while Tom Brady and others opted to stand and lock arms.

❝ The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans both stayed in their respective locker rooms prior to their matchup in Nashville.

The young woman who sang the national anthem for their match – also took a knee in solidaruity.

In Trump’s Amerika, we need a calendar to track potential protest carnage

❝ People are freaking out about a potential clash between a ‘gang’ of ‘outsiders, misfits, and weirdos’ called the Juggalos and far-right Trump supporters…

Juggalos — fans of the Insane Clown Posse — and a far-right, pro-Trump coalition are both staging marches in Washington, DC on the same day.

And, with both groups promising enormous crowds, a clash between the two groups on September 16 seems likely…

❝ Organizers announced the pro-Trump “Mother of All Rallies” on Sunday, describing the event as the “Woodstock of American Rallies” to defend what organizers call traditional American values and culture. While the march is explicitly nonviolent and inclusive, organizers such as the Alt Knights have stated missions of street activism and “confrontation,” and were involved in organizing the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.

A “Woodstock” of super-patriots, the chickenshit flavor of bigots who crank out lies in the tradition of Establishment politicians, differ from Charloteesville Nazis and Klan members only in levels of hypocrisy. The intent, direction and funding for much of this crap is interchangeable with any other cell of Right Wing losers.

❝ Meanwhile, Juggalos are marching for a very different issue — to protest being classified as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” by the FBI.

While the Insane Clown Posse draws thousands of fans to festivals, many people are in the dark on what Juggalos actually are. According Juggalos, they’re one of the most misunderstood groups of people in the US…

Freaks in the Frank Zappa sense can be useful, even productive, against bigotry, conformity to reactionary culture, social and political backwardness in general. You can also end up with nothing but intellectual laziness, the Lumpen ethos that has characterized déclassé revolt probably since the first Children’s Crusade.

I haven’t confidence in either side of this confrontation having the political savvy, discipline or direction to produce anything other than confrontation theatre. On the 16th, I’m more likely to be watching Liverpool at West Brom on television than a DC clash between uptight, sterile, rightwing stiffs and a herd of pretend clowns convinced they’re relevant to civil liberties.

Chronic Brain Disease found in ~90% of brains donated by deceased football players

Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease that can cause a range of symptoms including memory loss.

The report doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players; it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players’ repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before they died…

The strongest scientific evidence says CTE can only be diagnosed by examining brains after death, although some researchers are experimenting with tests performed on the living. Many scientists believe repeated blows to the head increase risks for developing CTE, leading to progressive loss of normal brain matter and an abnormal buildup of a protein called tau. Combat veterans and athletes in rough contact sports like football and boxing are among those thought to be most at risk.

RTFA. There have been a couple times in my life when friends or family with sound experience in medicine suggested I turn down a work opportunity. Early on – folks made tempting offers to me if I would consider football as a serious path to education and lots of money further on. Even though my closest friend had initially gotten to college on a football scholarship he advised me against it. Just too many chances for a lifetime injury.

Glad I took his advice.

Ancient Sport of Horseback Archery


Click to enlargeBrice Portolano photos

❝ It’s almost hard to believe Brice Portolano’s photographs that look straight out of a medieval era only came about because of social media.

Portolano, a photographer from Paris, first discovered horseback archery when he saw pictures on Facebook that his friend Anna Minkkinen had posted of Iranian world champion Ali Ghoorchian.

❝ Minkkinen, a Finnish student who had been practicing martial arts, sent Ghoorchian a message asking if she could come to Iran and learn more about horseback archery. Ghoorchian said yes, and Portolano tagged along on assignment for a Finnish magazine.

Portolano stayed for 12 days to photograph Minkkinen and Ghoorchian and the intricacies of the ancient sport, which is on UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Fascinating article. History, art-form, martial arts and sport – all come together in this National Geographic article.

Dundee Trounced In Pre-Season Match – Opposition Fielded a Team Of 100 Local School Kids


Click for video

Dundee got their pre-season preparations off to a bad start, slumping to a comprehensive 5-2 defeat in their first friendly of the schedule.

There were, however, mitigating circumstances as the Dees’ opponents brazenly flaunted the rules to field a vastly overpopulated team…Indeed, Dundee were swarmed by 100 local schoolchildren, who ganged up on the senior team as part of the launch event for Dundee’s new away kit…

Speaking to The Courier after the game, Dundee boss Neil McCann (who took charge of the kids’ teams) was impressed by the application he saw out there on the Dens Park pitch:

“I’m just delighted for my young team. I set them out to attack as a 99.

I went for a 33-33-33 formation, and I think it worked a treat!”

Gotta love football played with a sense of humor.

Crooked stock market investor pretended to be Islamic “terror” bomber

❝ A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the soccer team’s bus in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism in a scheme to net millions…

The suspect, identified only as Sergej W. in line with German privacy laws, was arrested by a police tactical team early Friday near the southwestern city of Tuebingen…

❝ …Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Frauke Koehler told a news conference Friday…the man came to the attention of investigators because he had made “suspicious options purchases” for shares in Borussia Dortmund, the only top-league German club listed on the stock exchange, on the same day as the April 11 attack.

❝ W. had taken out a loan of “several tens of thousands of euros” days before the attack and bought a large number of so-called put options, betting on a drop in Dortmund’s share price, she said.

“A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack,” according to prosecutors…

❝ Investigators found notes at the scene claiming responsibility on behalf of Islamic extremists, which Germany’s top security official, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, said was a “particularly perfidious way to toy with people’s fears…”

“The fact that someone wanted to enrich himself by killing people to influence the stock market is particularly reprehensible,” he said.

Adds new meaning to “making a killing in the stock market”.