tl;dr they did something; so can you
“Forced marches” or “humps” are a regular part of military training, brisk walking over tough terrain while carrying gear that could help a soldier survive if stranded alone. These soldiers, participating in “Tough Ruck 2013,” were doing the 26 miles of the Boston Marathon to honor comrades killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, or lost to suicide and PTSD-related accidents after coming home.
When the explosion went off, Fiola and his group immediately went into tactical mode. “I did a count and told the younger soldiers to stay put,” Fiola says. “Myself and two other soldiers, my top two guys in my normal unit, crossed the street about 100 yards to the metal scaffoldings holding up the row of flags. We just absolutely annihilated the fence and pulled it back so we could see the victims underneath. The doctors and nurses from the medical tent were on the scene in under a minute. We were pulling burning debris off of people so that the medical personnel could get to them and begin triage.”
Once the victims were transported away for further medical care, Fiola and the others stood guard around the blast area. “We switched to keeping the scene safe, quarantining the area and preventing people from entering. There was a guy behind me covered, just covered, in his own blood, and I started to smell some smoke. I turn around to look and he’s actually on fire, from a piece of whatever caused the explosion. I saw the smoke coming from his pocket so I reached in and pulled it out. It was his handkerchief, on fire.”
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The resistance will be tanned.
Business travel can push a person out of his or her “comfort zone” and temporarily trash a carefully established, healthy routine—which, for many of us, includes exercise workouts. Hitting the road for a paycheck, however, does not mean your painstakingly achieved fitness has to decline significantly—and, maybe not at all. I speak from experience.
In November 2012 I returned home from what would be my ultimate business trip: a two-month, maritime-security job on the Indian Ocean. I came back in perhaps slightly better shape than when I left, too. I had swapped my normal, twice- or thrice-weekly workout routine—kettle bells, calisthenics, and Nordic Track at home; dumbbells and weight machines at a local gym—for an improvised, shipboard routine. I used minimal personal gear and a variety of metal fixtures on the lifeboat deck and navigation deck of the Asian-flagged cargo ship I helped guard against Somali pirates.
You do not need a gym to work out.
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Drone-Work at the Rallye Monte Carlo 2013 — MAKING OF– from FS Aviation on Vimeo.
Helicopters are spendy. Like, burns 30 gallons per hour of Jet A, a $4.25 a gallon spendy. Don’t forget the pilot, who doesn’t come cheap. Not to mention aircraft maintenance costs. When your aircraft flies based solely on a deal made with Beelzebub, you don’t skimp when it comes time to pay the bill. The Prince of Darkness isn’t a fan past due notes.
Motorsports has been undergoing a revolution in coverage with the development of remote control camera platforms. As broadcasters balked at the cost of renting traditional rotorcraft camera platforms, the RC operators stepped in and filled the gap. Providing not only a closer look at the action, but doing so cheaper, and safer than traditional options. We’re not quite to the point where an RC camera platform can track a car as well as a helicopter, but it is on the horizon.
But while all of that is cool, what really impresses me about this technology is that it is essentially grass roots. This has all been driven by enthusiasts building in there garages and basements on weekends. They have been solving really complex problems like multirotor harmonic balancing because one night while sitting in front of a TV they thought, “somebody should make a…” A few minutes, or hours, or days later they realized that they were somebody, and it was time to get to work. Hours later, after teaching themselves fabrication, materials sciences, and mechanical engineering, multicopters were born, and a new facet to the broadcast industry was discovered.
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Shinya Kimura sums up the feeling of both creating and pushing the limits of speed. The serenity of being totally present is the reward.
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Adam Savage has an interesting piece over at Wired explaining how he manages his projects. It made me happy to see that I use a pretty similar system.
Eventually I’ll create a folder called Adam’s Progress. As I chug along, I take photos with my phone and drop them into this folder for a quick reference of how far I’ve come. These images provide inspiration and momentum. A list of what I’ve already done makes the list of what’s left to do a bit more manageable. And when I’m finished, this folder will be my diary of the entire project. It’s something I’ll keep forever.
Lists help me organize the entire project; from sequencing tasks within the project, to getting materials, to tracking progress. I recently I realized I need enact some media discipline; I can’t have notes in note books, on scrap paper, and in computer files. So I end up emailing myself notes pretty frequently, that way
Google owns my ideas they are always saved in my searchable email box.
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I bet this is what Gmail really looks like. (img by glacial23)
Wiki inventor Ward Cunningham cuts right to the heart of something that’s been bugging me for a while:
“If people don’t control their own infrastructure, they get needy,” he says. They’re at the mercy of service providers who can disappear, impose rules that constrain creativity and/or make it difficult to backup content that you’ve created. “It’s good to simplify things, but they shouldn’t be simplified in such a way as to make the user helpless.”
Can I take my data and run? Theoretically. But to where? Most of us, even those born before computers did everything seamlessly for us, don’t know. I’m a fairly smart guy, and I’ve done my share tinkering with computers, but I’m still helpless.
Cunningham’s come up with a solution to his particular problem (a centralized wiki): he’s gone on to launch the federated wiki, naturally hosted on github, a federated version control system that I still don’t quite understand. His solution requires that you have your own webserver. Which tweaked my “too complicated” default response until I thought about it for a second.
The “consumer/customer” mindset and habit is really hard to break. I don’t want to jailbreak/root my phone. I don’t want to have to run my own email server. That shit’s a lot of work. But more and more, I’m thinking it’s smart work.
Stay tuned. I’m going to have to change some habits, learn some stuff, translate documentation into human-readable forms, and keep you posted on how things go.
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