spudit on January 05, 2011, 02:35:33 pm
Yep, J. Thomas, Yep.

I used to hike in the Colorado Rockies solo for a week at a time.

One learns to keep Shackleton in mind as opposed to people who expect to be rescued.  Some 20 years ago the locals were still laughing about "The Guys from Winnipeg" who decided to hike the wet west coast of Vancouver Island with one (1) book of matches in someone's pocket. This was 10 years after they got a free helicopter ride to a Victoria hospital. Here I am still laughing at them.

If you are not willing to drag yourself out, don't go up the mountain, in the cave, underwater or off the planet. At least be ready to try. Calling The Service is no replacement for a jack and a spare.

Does On Star creep out anyone else?
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J Thomas on January 05, 2011, 03:26:50 pm

If you are not willing to drag yourself out, don't go up the mountain, in the cave, underwater or off the planet. At least be ready to try. Calling The Service is no replacement for a jack and a spare.

But then, if you die under water or on a mountain, the ecology will probably take care of you without much of a burp. Cavers believe that cave ecosystems are delicate, and a hundred pounds of rotting meat might disturb one greatly.

And it's often much easier to assist a conscious person than to carry a corpse. So if somebody has a serious accident, they should do what they can to get out but also wait when appropriate. In theory people were supposed to travel in groups of four, so that if one person got a broken leg or whatever, one other could stay with him while two left to get the word out for a rescue. They could also help a lot in finding the victim later. When you don't know where he is you can spend a whole lot of effort looking.

It's scandalous to get lost and be unable to find your way out. It's bad to slip and break your leg, and if you push your limits and take risks that's more likely, but if you don't push yourself at all how far will you get? There are things that are easy with two legs and hardly possible with one. But also there are crawls that it's very hard to pull somebody on a body board through, or even much of a splint. I remember a story (I wasn't there) where the guy staying with the victim with the broken leg got the legs splinted together and said "Let's just move a little bit and make it easier for them." So they crawled a little way out with a broken leg, and all the way to the entrance to the horrendous crawl, and then in short stages all the way through the long difficult crawl, and by the time the cavers rescuing him got there he had already done the hardest part.

I never needed to be rescued but I came close once. We'd taken a group of newbies on an easy trip, and at the exit there was an easy climb. First I braced for the newbies. They could step on my knee, and hip, and shoulder, and head, and then they were out. I was the last one, and it was something I'd done a dozen times before easily. But I had sprained my big toe, and it just didn't work. I just couldn't do it. I found another way to climb it that didn't need that toe, but there wasn't any guarantee that the other way would show up, until it did. Probably it would be enough for somebody to come back and throw me a loop, but I was glad it didn't come to that.

KBCraig on January 06, 2011, 01:23:51 am
Does On Star creep out anyone else?

Their ads are a close second behind Brinks Home Security and the other burglar alarmists.

Every time I see one of those commercials where a BG smashes in the door, a siren wails, and a terrified woman rushes to grab the ringing phone only to be assured that "help is on the way", I can't help but think how annoying that alarm and ringing phone would be as I tried to secure my family and myself. And why the hell isn't she lunging for a shotgun instead of the telephone?


Cavers were forbidden to leave anything behind in caves, or take anything out of caves except other cavers' trash.

Curiously enough, "other cavers' trash" is some of the most interesting and valuable stuff to take out, so long as several decades/centuries/millenia have passed.  ;)

Apollo-Soyuz on January 06, 2011, 07:00:29 am
Now the story can be told. I have told the artists, "More Guns, Less Gravity!" Let's see if it takes.  :)

http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=609

uh-oh, I expect you'll be hearing about retention holsters in low G in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2..   (j/k)

J Thomas on January 06, 2011, 07:07:49 am

Cavers were forbidden to leave anything behind in caves, or take anything out of caves except other cavers' trash.

Curiously enough, "other cavers' trash" is some of the most interesting and valuable stuff to take out, so long as several decades/centuries/millenia have passed.  ;)

Yes. Once a year we staged a trip to clean up a cave that was known to enough local people that they'd trash it. We'd carry out trash, and if there was lots of graffiti on the walls scrub that off with wire brushes and water. Things written in soot came off easily, spray paint less so. Spray paint on walls that were already covered with millions of tiny pits, even worse. The cleanup leader had a spray bottle of stuff that helped with those; he was evasive about what was in it. He was an anthropologist, and he told us to leave anything with a date earlier than 1950. There was often something with a civil war date that didn't look like the others. Those were probably real because the rebels looked hard for good gunpowder caves, but they might have been forged.

I knew a couple of guys who wanted to leave behind something to show what they'd done. They'd go as far as they could in a difficult cave and then hide a poker chip with their names and NSS numbers scratched on it. They figured it was inert and would not hurt anything, and if anybody didn't like them leaving it there then that someone could take it out. Somebody who didn't know them did find one and raised a giant stink about it. They said it was vandalism and heaped scorn on them in the NSS News.

There's a lot of ancient cave vandalism in the south of france. The limestone weathers to a buff yellow, but if you cut into it it's gray underneath. So people could make pictures by scratching, and within 80 years or so the lines would fade and somebody else could make a new picture. They had examples where there were 5 or 6 layers. The old graffiti was heavy on pictures of big cats and female symbols. I guess. The french researchers tended to interpret anything that had a triangle or a circle or a Y shape as a female symbol. They had a technique of loading a reed with colored powder and blowing it onto the wall, perhaps to outline a hand. Or they'd dip a hand in pigment and slap it against the wall. Lots of the hand outlines had fingers missing. The french had complex explanations about it all as shamanistic fertility symbols and hunting rituals etc. My explanation was simpler: They were teenage boys, exploring caves with their markers and spraypaint. They didn't have swastikas and upside down crosses because those hadn't been invented yet.

Sorry to be so longwinded. I guess my central point is that we had complex rules of behavior that evolved out of shared values. Anybody who'd been in a virgin cave hated to see caves get trashed. And that led to social norms that might seem peculiar or extreme to people who hadn't been there. There was no enforcement possible except social disapproval -- I suppose somebody could have been secretly  killed and the body hidden somewhere outside a cave, but i certainly never heard of anything like that. The most people did was to tell other people they should be thrown out of the group, or leave the group. When the guy who dropped rocks on people complained about getting disapproved of, everybody got embarrassed and finally they appointed a committee to look into it and nothing happened. He left. When the guys left poker chips in caves we had an embarrassed meeting and appointed a committee to write a letter, which was not done. When they ran out of patches that could be sewn onto jackets etc and voted that the new patch would be based on a rebel flag, half a dozen members objected strongly enough to leave the group for a few years.

People minded each others' business and the group's business a whole lot, and it never seemed to amount to anything.

Plane on January 06, 2011, 10:58:47 am
Now the story can be told. I have told the artists, "More Guns, Less Gravity!" Let's see if it takes.  :)

http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=609

uh-oh, I expect you'll be hearing about retention holsters in low G in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2..   (j/k)

Wouold a small magnet imbedded in the holster work?

Xavin on January 06, 2011, 11:12:22 am
http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=609

uh-oh, I expect you'll be hearing about retention holsters in low G in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2..   (j/k)

Wouold a small magnet imbedded in the holster work?

Depends on the ferromagnetic content of the gun (and the strength of the magnet, and the mass of the weapon).

I've no idea what that would typically be (I'm British. Apparently we can't be trusted with guns).

In theory, however, I don't see why not - presumably an appropriate attachment could be added to the gun if it is insufficiently ferromagnetic itself, and the rest would seem to be a matter of picking a magnet of suitable strength.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 11:33:52 am by Xavin »


Apollo-Soyuz on January 06, 2011, 04:48:34 pm

Wouold a small magnet imbedded in the holster work?

BTW, a "retention holster". (for those of you outside the gun culture). is a holster for open carry that is specifically designed to keep what Ed did to Carlos from happening.

Very common with the police, and where "open carry" is used here in the states to avoid getting a permission slip from the state to be allowed to carry discreetly.

That it would prevent a sidearm from floating away during low-G acrobats is a bonus ;-)

GeoModder on January 06, 2011, 05:04:41 pm
Ernie on strip 235.

http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=235

Should our hero Ed in today's strip be worried about an arbitration call from Carlos if nothing more worse happens from this point onwards?
Sure, he steps in before an obvious trigger-happy fellow starts a shoot out.

mellyrn on January 06, 2011, 06:17:10 pm
Carlos and Ed in arbitration?  What's Carlos going to say for himself?  There's an entire barful of witnesses watching him be an ass -- and who heard Rhonda tell the three "threatening" guys to stand down.


And I am on tenterhooks as to what she meant by "he [Ed] won't work"!

quadibloc on January 07, 2011, 12:12:07 am
Well, I'm really puzzled by today's strip. The woman and her four friends may have behaved in a manner different from the norms of Ceres, but it certainly did not appear to me that they were trying to "provoke some sort of incident". It seemed to me that Carlos the Kid did all the provoking; first, the woman responded in an understandable manner, and then the men responded in a reasonable manner to a perceived threat.

Of course, I may be ignoring some obvious fact, like "don't walk into a bar if you don't like meeting people who have had a few too many".

EDIT: Of course, that stuff about "Plan B" did mean they were up to something. It's just that provoking an incident didn't seem to be any part of it. Seducing and then hiring someone like Ed, maybe.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 01:12:13 pm by quadibloc »

J Thomas on January 07, 2011, 04:45:21 am
Well, I'm really puzzled by today's strip. The woman and her four friends may have behaved in a manner different from the norms of Ceres, but it certainly did not appear to me that they were trying to "provoke some sort of incident". It seemed to me that Carlos the Kid did all the provoking; first, the woman responded in an understandable manner, and then the men responded in a reasonable manner to a perceived threat.

Not enough information.

The four had a plan. If it's a paramilitary plan for some political purpose, it would be hard to guess. So let's imagine they are looking for money.

How  much do they know about the Belt? Let's suppose they have superb fighting skills. Maybe the woman picks up a man in the bar, and takes him somewhere that the four of them can mug him? Maybe she does pick a fight, and her friends intervene, and they expect they can get a drunk to back down and pay them, or they can persuade a court to award them damages?

But they don't carry visible weapons. Maybe they have concealed weapons? Maybe they're recently from UW where civilians aren't allowed weapons, and they're civilians now?

Presumably they don't know what to expect in the Belt and they're trying to play a game without knowing the house rules. Since we don't know which things they don't know, it's hard to be sure what their plan is.

Similarly Carlos is recently from UW and he's hazy on the culture too. Presumably he's practiced shooting his gun and he's itching for somebody to shoot at, and he thinks her friends have given him his chance. If it wasn't them, at some point he'd find some random person in a bar who did something that offended him....

I expect we will see that it isn't a society where people have gunfights in bars, except for recent immigrants. They could if they wanted to, but they don't want to. If you get into a situation in front of a bunch of witnesses, why not take it to arbitration? Everybody who cares to can say what they saw and who they thought was wrong. The time to shoot somebody is when you think the other guy is about to shoot you, and what excuse does he have to do that in front of a room full of witnesses? Whoever makes the first threat looks bad.

But some immigrants will expect it to be like the old Wild West on TV.

GeoModder on January 07, 2011, 09:18:33 am
Carlos and Ed in arbitration?  What's Carlos going to say for himself?  There's an entire barful of witnesses watching him be an ass -- and who heard Rhonda tell the three "threatening" guys to stand down.

That he's a free man who's gun was taken away? It's not between Carlos and the 'canaries', it's between Ed and Carlos.
Admittedly, he behaved like an ass. And likely if an arbitration was called and held he'd lose. But it might not stop Carlos from calling one.

terry_freeman on January 07, 2011, 10:00:55 am
Carlos' gun was taken away under circumstances where a roomful of witnesses probably came to the conclusion that he was about to shoot somebody, with insufficient grounds for the use of deadly force.

Maybe Carlos says "I'll take you to court!"

What happens? The bartender says something like "Don't be a fool, Carlos. Here are 20 witnesses. You made threats and reached for your holster, Ed got there first and prevented you from a world of trouble. The smart thing to do is to pull yourself together and let bygones be bygones. Ed did you a favor."

If Carlos continues to bluster, several witnesses step up. That's how social norms work. If the bartender can't handle stuff like this, he needs to look for another line of business.

 

anything