In 2012 American journalist Michael Scott Moore (who wrote a great history of surfing, Sweetness and Blood) was kidnapped by Somali pirates and held for $20 million ransom. As soon as I started reading his enthralling account of the 977-day ordeal, my heart began to race.
One night in late February, a month after my capture, the guards hauled me in a Land Rover, alone, to a remote part of the bush to meet the pirate kingpin. I had heard of Garfanji but never seen a picture. He was a powerful criminal, with a reputation for cruelty as well as kindness to his own men.
The person I met in the bush that night seemed groggy and dull-witted; he sat cross-legged in the dust and spoke in a high, almost childish voice. He dialled a private American negotiator on his softly glowing smartphone.
The negotiator said, “The man who just handed you the phone is Mohammed Garfanji,” and my blood felt just like ice water. “They aren’t beating you or anything like that, are they?” he asked.
“No,” I said, although one boss, Ali Duulaay, had beaten me several times. “Not systematically,” is what I meant.
"My 977 days held hostage by Somali pirates" [theguardian.com] Read the rest
I am a huge fan of this Gerber survival series fire starter. It is cheap, rugged and easy to use.
After nearly 30 years of camping use, a block of magnesium I used as a fire starter wore away to nothing. They still sell the same tiny blocks of alloy, but I wanted to try something new. Maybe I felt in a rut. This Gerber Bear Grylls tool is a welcome replacement. Well sized to fit both my hands, the striker is easy to scrape down the rod and throw off some good sized, hot and long burning sparks. Snapping the two together results in an o-ring sealed tube with space for tinder. Gerber recommends jamming some cotton balls in there, I can fit 5 or 6 but also carry a few sticks of fat wood with me on every camping trip. Fat wood always works.
This is a simple, well thought out tool that easily fits in my backpack or sidebags on the bike. I'm looking forwards to decades of easy use.
Gerber 31-000699 Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter vis Amazon Read the rest
Have you ever wanted to be alone in the woods, drinking your own urine to survive? Probably not, that'd be weird. But you've wondered if you could do it, right? An exclusive essay by the author of the new science fiction novel, The Martian, out in paperback today
Bryan M of Digg writes: "John All fell 70 feet down a crevasse, which left him seriously injured and unable to use his right arm."
He recorded four videos about his ordeal as it was happening!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykxQ8vfoKag Read the rest
The Wolfram Cabinet contains 170 items critical to human survival. Survival will cost $14,500 and require about 40 cubic feet. The inventory. The brochure. The relatively inexpensive briefcase edition. [via Uncrate] Read the rest
In 2011, the Pagami Creek Fire burned through 92,000 acres of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area. At Outside magazine, Frank Bures tells the story of two kayakers caught in the inferno
. Includes some amazing photos taken by one of the kayakers. Read the rest
Nokia's latest ultra-cheap candybar phone looks like a good replacement for my trusty e-ink Moto F3. A month's battery life on standby, an FM radio and an LED flashlight add up to a perfect "backup" phone for long-term blackouts, natural disasters and zombie holocausts. [Engadget]
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The latest from Joey Roth, designer of minimalist teapots and speakers, is more down to earth: a compass pendant. Made with Shwood in Portland, the frame is laser-cut from maple and rosewood; the compass itself is a Francis Barker model. Read the rest
Meanwhile, it's still flooding in Thailand. And, after three months of this, the Thai people have been forced to get creative.
Thai Flood Hacks is a Tumblr that feels like a pean to human ingenuity. Here, you will find boats made out of old water bottles. Homemade jet skis. Raised walkways built from shopping carts. Guys just out walking around on stilts. It's amazing. Thai Happy Mutants have pulled off some awe-inspiring instant solutions that allow them to get on with their lives in the middle of an infrastructure-crippling natural disaster.
Via Neatorama Read the rest