A Scotsman is planning to become the first person to windsurf across the Atlantic – and then turn back and do it again.
Leven Brown, aka El Loco, would have to balance on the 20ft surfboard for around five months as he gets blown from the Canary Islands to Antigua, without any support vessel.
He would get only a few hours sleep a night, in a small hollowed-out depression in the board, and would eat dehydrated food, reports Metro.
The specially-made board will be fitted with an electronic anti-shark mechanism.
Once he’s crossed the Atlantic, Mr Brown plans to turn round and surf back the other way – taking a more dangerous route through rougher seas.
A candidate for this year’s Darwin Award, for sure. Hope he takes plenty of single malt, and a sheep for company….
Archive for January 10th, 2007
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a reposting of an older story which has been innundated with comment spam. For more on this, see below…
F.K. in Conway NH has an interesting question for Dr. Knowledge in today’s Boston Globe. He writes, “Humans can’t fall from much more than one body height without risk of serious injury. How come insects, on the other hand – ants, for example, or spiders or earwigs – can drop from the equivalent of skyscraper heights with impunity?”
Anyway, Dr. Knowlege goes on to explain that the seeming impunity of insects has more to do with the physics of falling objects than exo vs. interno skeletons. Something along the lines of if one creature is twice as big as another in all dimentions its weight (mass) would be 2 X 2 X 2 times as much, and since the force of impact is mass times velocity, basically the bigger you are the harder you fall.
The part of his answer that I can’t get out of my mind, however, had nothing to do with insects. Dr. Knowledge writes:
“In a long fall, as from a building, air resistence becomes a factor. The air resistence effect really helps cats a lot, and the chance that they survive a fall from a building increases to 95% between seven and nine stories, and then stays constant.”
Now, I would like to be introduced to the brilliant scientific brain that carried out THAT study! “Okay Isaac, now take them up to the 12th floor and drop the next ten. Nurse Betty, check that Calico over there for vital signs….”
Obviously they couldn’t rely on anecdotal evidence since it would come for such a wide variety of buiding types and landing surfaces, it would be statistically worthess to a major scientist like Dr. Knowlege. An eight-story fall in Oslo is certainly not certifiably the same as in Tegucigalpa. So obviously, in the name of science, some twisted grad students in Dr. Knowlege’s employ have been carrying out these dastardly experiments.
Cite your sources, Dr. Knowlege! I suspect that the ASPCA and PETA would be quite interested!
What is it with the comment spam? For the uninitiated, comment spam, and its cousin trackback spam, are fake comments or trackbacks generated by automated programs, which exist just to attract traffic to or boost rankings of the originating sites, which generally shill penny stocks, off-shore pharmacies and a variety of products to improve penis functioning.
It is very bothersome for a small-time blogger like the Dowbrigade. For one thing, it fills up the page we use to see how many hits each of our postings get with useless information about these fake messages. Normally, we can see the read totals for the past 30 postings or so, which for the Dowbrigade means a couple of weeks, at least. But since each comment occupies a line, just like a real posting, when we get dozens of these fake comments they drive our real postings off the page.
The only way to get rid of them that we know is to individually go through and delete each one, which involves at least 4 clicks and several page reloads, and there are thousands of these bastards. Life is too short.
Lately, the problem has gotten much worse. During the past week the comment and backtrack spam has gone from a steady stream to a flood. One posting in particular, an ancient chestnut from the primeval dawn of the Dowbrigade News, originally posted September 4, 2003, has in the last few days attracted 22 trackbacks and 100 comments – all spams.
So this posting is something of an experiment. We have deleted, not the comments, but the original posting, identified as "post 940" and are re-posting it here as "post 9195" (how far we have come). Will the spam simply migrate to another older posting? Will it somehow find this same message about the cats in its new location? Is there any way to get rid of this damn spam? Inquiring minds need to know……
UPDATE: Even though posting 940 has not existed for the past seven hours, it is STILL ATTRACTING COMMENT SPAM. Since we vaporized the posting it has been commented on 5 times – three times by “tulsa hair transplant center” and twice by “lite brite illuminart easel refill”. HOW CAN WE KILL THIS SPAM STREAM?