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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“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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LARPing for the sane

3682531348 f243066262 450x337 LARPing for the sane

Lesson 1: You don’t have to dress like this to LARP. (img by Bastian)

I’ve never LARPed, at least not in the sense of running around in the woods tossing beanbags at people and yelling “magic missile!”. But I’ve definitely played roles in the day to day. Chances are, you have, too. In real life, you’re a hard partying gamer, but when you go to a job interview, you’re a pressed and articulate person seeking the opportunity to leverage synergistic paradigms.

Or you happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the wrong (or right) time and hid behind your camera while interesting shit went down. And because you were hiding behind your camera and just happened to be wearing a vest full of pockets, people assumed you were press. Or you were wearing an unfortunately colored polo shirt at Best Buy and people started asking you for help.

Here’s a great perspective on LARPing in reality:

Of the best experiences I’ve had with live-action roleplaying, only two are from actual larps. The others are from larplike real-world situations in which I have found myself adopting a role, usually accidentally. Drawing on these experiences, I’m going to present here a concept I call real-world larping. To understand the concept of real-world larping, one has to accept for now that the essential point in live-action games is the experience, and not roleplaying as such. There’s a wonderful word in Finnish, eläytyminen, which roughly means immersion in a character, a situation or a work of art. For roleplaying experiences where I immerse myself in a character, eläydyn, I play tabletop. To experience living through nuclear holocaust, I play live action. In this latter case, the character is, for me, a mere provider of context for the overall experience. This means that live-action roleplaying may be likened to any situation where I adopt a role to provide context in an unfamiliar situation. At the core of such situations lie unfamiliar social contexts that force the assumption of such a role. If these situations are clearly defined departures from routine life, they may be highly larplike.

Next time you’re bored at home with nothing to do, don a persona (makeup not required!) and go pull a stunt.

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What it’s like being one of the first spec ops women

female SF soldier 450x376 What its like being one of the first spec ops women

Spec ops not-man (img by the US Army no doubt)

About a year ago, the US Army started a program to insert women into special forces missions. It was controversial, and still is, even if now, more than a year later, these women have proven to be a major asset.

These all-female spec ops units are called Cultural Support Teams, and their job is to interact with and gain intelligence from women and children in places where it is socially or culturally inappropriate for men to, like, you know, Afghanistan.

They are not just called in when the Army needs not-men. They travel and fight along side Rangers and other forward infantry  in combat missions, in addition to medical outreach programs, and other non-civil affairs. Make no mistake, they’re door kickers, and they have to wear all that extra headgear, Charlie Mike. You never know when you need a not-man.

SOFREP has an interview with one such grunt, and you should really, really read the whole thing. Here’s a part of it:

There will always be debate about women in direct combat roles, but let’s think about that one for a minute, what the hell do people think women have been doing since 9/11? Female MP’s, FET’s, CST’s, etc., they’ve been serving in that role. And even more importantly, let’s not forget our CST sister who lost her life on 22 October 2011 while serving in direct combat.

Most people tend to give knee-jerk reactions to this subject, which drives me crazy! I guess I can’t fault them for being ignorant on just what women like myself have been doing I mean if they haven’t had the opportunity to work with us, how would they know what our capabilities are, right?

I’ve read many opinions on the matter and the majority of them are extremely subjective as opposed to being objective but I guess that’s what an opinion is, it’s generally based on subjectivity.

What I tire of reading are the ridiculous comments about how men and women cannot fight side-by-side because of a man’s natural instinct to want to protect women. Well, if that’s the case then they have failed as a soldier because when we put that uniform on we’re all soldiers. (more…)

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Two Danish men need only underground lair for supervillan trifecta.

Rocket 2011 5501 450x675 Two Danish men need only underground lair for supervillan trifecta.

Roooooooookeeeeeeeeeeetship! (img by Bo Tornvig)

Although it was the first meeting between Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, the submarine‘s creator, the duo emerged with a daring plan: to launch themselves into suborbital space using custom-built contraptions. And with that, Copenhagen Suborbitals was born.

Co-founders von Bengtson, an aerospace scientist and former NASA contractor, and Madsen, an entrepreneur and aerospace engineer, have a lot to be proud of since they founded their non-profit space program four years ago. In June 2011, for example, Copenhagen Suborbital’s army of volunteers successfully built, launched and recovered a 31-foot-tall rocket — the largest “amateur” launcher ever built — with a crash-test dummy tucked inside.

I seriously hate guys like these two. I bet they come off like total jerks every Monday morning. “Hey Peter, hey Kristian, how was your weekend?”

“Great, we launched our rocket from a barge in the ocean. I used my homemade submarine to keep the launch platform stable. Kristian here got to push the big red button. What did you do?”

“Finished watching season three of True Bl… Wait, you have a submarine?”

Assholes. Both of ‘em.

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How to fly

High Ground Adventures and some headlines:

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