Archive | December 3, 2013

Pure Nightmare Fuel: Man Spends Two Days in Tiny Air Bubble In Sunken Ship

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After two days trapped in freezing cold water and breathing from an air bubble in an upturned tugboat under the ocean, Harrison Okene was sure he was going to die. Then a torch light pierced the darkness.

Ship’s cook Okene, 29, was on board the Jascon-4 tugboat when it capsized on May 26 due to heavy Atlantic ocean swells around 30 km (20 miles) off the coast of Nigeria, while stabilising an oil tanker filling up at a Chevron platform.

Of the 12 people on board, divers recovered 10 dead bodies while a remaining crew member has not been found.

SEE ALSO: Miracle At Sea – Sailor Survives After Spending 2 Days Inside Sunken Ship

Somehow Okene survived, breathing inside a four foot high bubble of air as it shrunk in the waters slowly rising from the ceiling of the tiny toilet and adjoining bedroom where he sought refuge, until two South African divers eventually rescued him.

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The Last Flight of the Crispy Priest

800px-Cessna172-CatalinaTakeOffThe Crispy Priest
Juan G. Escobar

I remember marveling at an old black and white photo of my father, taken in a little airport in Medellin, when he was probably in his late teens or early twenties.  That would mean, if my math is correct, that the image had been captured around 1949.  In the picture, he is shirtless, and had just been doused with old motor oil.  This was apparently a kind of local rite of passage among pilots and would-be pilots in that region. Novice pilots were baptized in old motor oil to commemorate their first solo flight.

My father had always been an aviation enthusiast.  Sometime around the mid-seventies he finally decided that he would resume flying small planes like he had when he was a much younger man in Colombia.

I have no idea how it was that he met him, perhaps through some other Colombian expat living in southern California at the time, or maybe purely by chance.… Read the rest

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Is The Black Book The World’s Quantifiably Best Literary Purchase?

black_book

For sale via Lulu, if you are concerned about getting your money’s worth this holiday season, author/artist Jean Keller’s the Black Book is the only gift you should consider for the book lover in your family:

Ink used for digital printing is one of the most precious substances in the world. A single gallon of ink costs over four thousand dollars.

However, the price of a book is not calculated according to the amount of ink used in production. A Lulu book of blank pages costs an artist as much to produce as a book filled with text or photographs. Furthermore, as the number of pages increases, the price of each page decreases.

A book containing the maximum number of pages printed entirely in black ink therefore results in the lowest cost and maximum value for the artist. Combining these features, buyers of The Black Book are guaranteed that they are getting the best possible value for their money.

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FBI Spied On Sartre And Camus In Effort To Unravel Subversive Conspiracy Behind Existentialism

sartre_jpThe New York Times reports that beginning in 1945, the FBI began spying on the French philosophers, fearing that their ideas on being and nothingness were part of a plot against the United States:

[Sartre and Camus]’s lectures at Columbia University were well attended by students and faculty members — and by agents from J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I.

Yet Sartre, on his visit, was actually invited to the Pentagon; Camus, in contrast, “was stopped at immigration…Hoover sent out a ‘stop letter’ to all U.S. customs agents saying this man should be detained,” Mr. Martin said. Eventually, Camus was allowed to proceed to New York, where his novel “L’Étranger” (“The Stranger”) had just been published in English.

“Hoover thought there must be some kind of conspiracy between communists, blacks, poets and French philosophers. He was hoping for some kind of evidence of conspiracy,” he said.

The F.B.I. was baffled by Sartre. “These agents were trying to work out what the hell existentialism was all about,” said Mr.

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