Abandoned Russian naval base

constrrusfleet001 11 450x747 Abandoned Russian naval base

constrrusfleet001 12 450x614 Abandoned Russian naval base

constrrusfleet001 10 450x337 Abandoned Russian naval base

This is a somewhat familiar sight to me, the abandoned military complex. We’ve talked about this type of urban exploration before and have even put together this guide for people who decide to poke their heads underground for a quick look-see.

I gotta remind you, though, everything down there is falling apart, including much of what you’ll be standing on. And the surface of everything is going to be rusting and growing weirdo no-light-needed life that’s guaranteed to be bad for you, and anything you’ll be standing in won’t be water, but some really damp heavy metals and other shit that is toxic in ways medical science has yet to fully understand.

And that’s assuming you don’t fall; falling being one of the greatest killers of mankind.

That being said, there’s only one way to get these pictures and go on this type of adventure, so get your fookin’ rope and goggle up, ’cause these places won’t be there forever. More pictures after the jump.  (more…)

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How to get hit and run

Hit and runz 6485 450x630 How to get hit and run

I did the getaway driver part. (img by Drimagez)

  1. Get the plate number
  2. Make and model of the other vehicle
  3. Description of the driver (and anyone else)
  4. Note the time

I was involved in a hit-and-run the other day. The hit part, not the run part. All said and done, it was the best possible hit-and-run conceivable, except the runner got away (for now).

This can and does happen to people every day, and the results can vary between petty inconvenience and life-altering event.

There are many things you can’t control in a hit-and run, but if you can, those four things are more important than anything else.

That being said, there should probably be:

0.  Don’t panic. Open your eyes and look around. Is anyone bleeding? Crying? Take care of that shit first.

Assuming nobody is bleeding, nobody is crying, get the plate number and the other details if possible. Those are going to be what the police need to follow through on your report.

And yes, you need to report the crime.

Despite the fact that the running vehicle was totally nicer than my car, looking at the damage, for a minute I thought, Shit, I don’t need to get anyone else involved with this. What about my insurance? It’s not really a big deal.

The problem with that line of thought is that you don’t know if it is a big deal or not, and you can’t, because the other party left. Maybe that car is stolen, maybe it’s fleeing the scene of some other crime, maybe it’s just some kid out joyriding—but you can’t assume that it isn’t a big deal. You gotta call the cops.

Because in a movie, that’s the scene where the plucky kid, fresh from being ‘napped, kicks the steering wheel to cause an accident and draw attention to his situation.

Of course, this was in real life, so the driver was all over the road daytime drinking and didn’t want to lose his license, and hit a stopped car with not one but two people who got the plate and the time, which was next another car that got the plate, the make and the model, while in front of the fire chief. Who also got the plate.

Best possible hit-and-run.

Driver description? Looked like a tinted fucking window.

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Lessons learned infiltrating an abandoned rubber factory

1548571886 df4aebfa60 450x299 Lessons learned infiltrating an abandoned rubber factory

I love the smell of industrial solvents in the morning. (img by Eric Jusino)

Before I knew urban exploration was a thing and before my friends and I toured an underground nuclear missile silo, a photographer friend of mine (we’ll call him Steve) and I “broke” into an abandoned rubber factory to take pictures.

If you’ve been in Denver, you’ve probably seen Gates Rubber Factory, a Gotham-looking building complex right off Broadway:

1298344207 f650b02f98 450x150 Lessons learned infiltrating an abandoned rubber factory

When the sun goes down, Batman comes out and plays here. (img by Beth Jusino)

It’s a superfund site full of hideous chemicals known for slowly killing Denver residents (don’t drink the Platte), making and breaking the fortunes of real estate developers, and killing urban explorers.

At the time (a few months before the urbexp guy bit it and security went through the roof), it was stupidly easy to get into. Here are the lessons I learned getting in and checking the place out: (more…)

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Why you should control your own digital infrastructure

46693067 d17cfa768f 450x337 Why you should control your own digital infrastructure

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.”

I use Google for everything. My browser is Chrome, my many email accounts are Gmail, my docs live in GDrive. What can I do if something goes wrong? Say Google changes their privacy policy to something that feels a little more evil. Or Facebook pushes through some change to their interface that I don’t like. Or my mobile phone carrier starts using my whereabouts to market at me?

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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“The moment it feels extreme, you fucked up.”

5794561710 64a81486a6 b The moment it feels extreme, you fucked up.

Cropped out: 91 centimeter drop to hard, hard concrete. (img by Beth Jusino)

The (arguable) epitome of climbing is free soloing: climbing without any safety equipment, harness, etc. Just you, your chalk bag, and the rock. On the one hand, you’re free. On the other, a slip means you probably fucking die.

I’ve seen dozens of amazing free solo climb videos… including Alex Honnold’s ~2,000ft Half Dome ascent, but, like parkour videos, it’s tough to get a sense of how much preparation goes into a free solo climb.

I finally found a video that at least tries to tell you how much preparation a free solo climb takes.

You can skip to about 4:00, but don’t skip further than that. Peter Croft has some very important things to say about the huge amount of preparation (5+ years) that went into a 2 minute climb that he makes look dead easy.

A lot of the contemporary soloing media… will show a lot of jaw-dropping images without any sort of backstory to it, without any sort of caveats… The big thing about this route is there’s a whole bunch that went into it. And that the moment it feels extreme, you fucked up, basically, right? So it’s like it should feel really easy,and that’s the reason it did take me… I mean, I could have soloed it five years ago, but it would have felt weird.

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Go the fuck outside and play

417586634 72442be20c 450x337 Go the fuck outside and play

Key elements: outside and… actually, nothing else. (img by Erich Ferdinand)

Kids who do play outside are less likely to get sick, to be stressed or become aggressive, and are more adaptable to life’s unpredictable turns, [dude] said. Since his book came out, things have gotten worse.

Dude coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder. You won’t find this one in the DSM, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it real. I see kids almost daily who have no idea how to play outside. Put them in a park with highly climbable trees and they’ll reach for their Nintendo DS or iPod Touch or Kindle and play games or read books about dudes who climb trees. It usually takes some effort to teach them that they, too, can climb trees.

So help me out. If you’re a parent, send your kid outside to play. For several hours at a time. Analog play devices allowed, but nothing digital.

If you aren’t a parent: go outside and play yourself. Wander around the park. Jump on things. Climb something. Draw something with an actual pen and paper.

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