Swedish zoo worker killed in wolf attack

2058338197 66821ebad7 o Swedish zoo worker killed in wolf attack

Han on, I still hal so zookeepr stu in my toof… (img by SiSter PhotograPher)

@Google/AFP:

A woman zookeeper died after she was savaged in a wolf enclosure, Swedish public radio said Sunday.

The 30-year-old woman was alone with eight wolves at Kolmarden Zoo, one of the largest in northern Europe, when the incident happened but it was unclear what led up to the deadly mauling, the radio network said.

The wolf enclosure is well known because the zoo allows visitors into the area to pet the animals.

“Such an event is very rare, but it can happen. Animals living in zoos aren’t afraid of humans and accidents can happen,” wolf expert Olof Lidberg, told Swedish press agency TT.

Really? Really?

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Texting and walking hazardous to your wallet

3786316231 d3ff557b61 450x337 Texting and walking hazardous to your wallet

No, this is totally safe. (img by David Sugden)

We’ve been over the texting thing. Texting and walkingoff a pier, texting and flying… it’s all bad because you can’t divide your attention very well.

“Sure I can,” you say. The news says you, and pretty much everyone else, can’t.

Ft. Lee, NJ agrees. And is fining “dangerous walkers” with jaywalking tickets. I think it’s a great idea, but the most ridiculous thing is how many tickets they’ve given out: 117 so far after a 1 month grace period in which they handed out pamphlets instead.

Get your head out of your phone and look around… not just because you won’t get fined or get creamed by a bread truck, but because you’re missing out on things that happen in the real world – simple things like beautiful people walking by or animals doing cute things or scenery or interaction with the humans who are actually around you.

Belgium agrees:

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Watching a snake-handler die

Pastor Randy Wolford 450x340 Watching a snake handler die

Donald Dover, left, of North Carolina and Jamie Lloyd of Sidney, Ohio, right, support Pastor Randy "Mack" Wolford after he was bitten by a venomous snake. He later died. (img by Lauren Pond)

You may have heard that the somewhat-renown Pentecostal pastor Mack Wolford recently died, having succumbed to a rattlesnake bite. And while my first instinct is to chuckle, ’cause come on, this guy, for all his beliefs, is going to be remembered as a Darwin Awards candidate.

Not that he shouldn’t be remembered for that, but after reading this editorial by the photojournalist who sat by his side and documented his death, expands on what it means to die, slowly, for something you believe in, and what it means to watch it happen…

Mack’s family has accepted his death as something that he knew was coming and something that was ultimately God’s will. The pastor believed every word of the Bible and laid down his life for his conviction, they said. For them, his death is an affirmation of the Signs Following tradition: “His faith is what took him home,” said his sister Robin Vanover, 38.

Some of the people who attended last Sunday’s service have struggled with Mack’s death, as I have. “Sometimes, I feel like we’re all guilty of negligent homicide,” one man wrote to me in a Facebook message following Mack’s death. “I went down there a ‘believer.’ That faith has seriously been called into question. I was face-to-face with him and watched him die a gruesome death. . . . Is this really what God wants?”

That’s a good question.

I know many photojournalists have been in situations similar to mine. Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Carter photographed an emaciated Sudanese child struggling to reach a food center during a famine — as a vulture waited nearby. He was roundly criticized for not helping the child, which, along with the disturbing memories of the events he had covered and other factors, may have contributed to his suicide. As photojournalists, we have a unique responsibility to record history and share stories in as unbiased and unobtrusive a way as possible. But when someone is hurt and suffering, we have to balance our instincts as professionals with basic human decency and care.

I can’t say I know what I would do in a similar situation. Read the whole thing here. Also die less by not handling snakes. Durr.

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Today is the 68th anniversary of D-Day

worldflames 059 v93 450x363 Today is the 68th anniversary of D Day

"Landing on the coast of France under heavy Nazi machine gun fire are these American soldiers, shown just as they left the ramp of a Coast Guard landing boat." (img by CphoM. Robert F. Sargent, June 6, 1944, c/o the Nat'l Archives)

It is about 5:30 in the afternoon in Normandy now. 68 years ago Dwight Eisenhower and the Allied Commanders were letting out a long exhale as they became more convinced that Operation Overlord, better known as the D-Day Landings, would not be thrown back into the sea by the Wehrmacht forces occupying Fortress Europe.

History.com has a nice collection of D-Day and WWII photos.

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Jump a rally car for my homies

I first saw rally footage in 1995 and I was immediately entranced by one driver in a Subaru Impreza sliding through turns, bashing off snow banks, and airing out his car down forest tracks, daring it to let him down.

Since that day I’ve been a fan of Colin McRae. He was a competitor of the first order, and despite what looks like pure recklessness (even by rally standards) a master of car control. He didn’t push to the raggedy edge, he lived there, for entire rally stages. When he was on, it was a thing of beauty. He would approach a turn all blood and feathers, car 3/4 sideways, looking through the window in the passenger door, foot buried in the accelerator, grass hanging from the bumpers, soil sample in the radiator scoop, and more often than not some rock rash on each corner of the car. When he was off? Well, those team mechanics need to earn their keep sometimes.

Colin died when he crashed his helicopter in September 2007, but here is a stage from the 2001 Rally Great Britain in his Ford Focus WRC car. Set it to full screen, turn up the volume, and put a pad under your jaw so you don’t hurt yourself when it drops.

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SpaceX program finally launches James Doohan’s–Scotty’s–ashes into orbit

James Scotty Doohan 450x560 SpaceX program finally launches James Doohans–Scottys–ashes into orbit

"All right, you lovelies. Hold together." (img by sandrino)

The SpaceX program has demonstrated the abilities of the private sector, combined with some eccentric wealth, can succeed at literally the highest plane of exploration and scientific achievement since the dawn of man. Its Dragon spacecraft has gone into orbit where it will continue to test its maneuvering thrusters until it meets and berths with the International Space Station.

Just under 10 minutes after launch SpaceX announced Dragon successfully reached orbit. A few minutes later, loud cheers washed over SpaceX’s factory floor as Dragon successfully deployed its solar panels.

The Dragon receives power from batteries and the pair of solar arrays. The next big event will be the opening of the Guidance, Navigation and Control Bay door in two hours and 27 minutes after launch. When the door opens, it is the first step toward the rendezvous with the ISS, according to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

“This is a key new feature for this mission, which basically exposes the Proximity Operations Sensors to space so we can see the ISS as we are approaching and allow us to get close enough to berth,” Shotwell explained in a press conference on May 19. “Our star trackers also get a view of space at this time, so this is a very critical operation”

While modern and impressive as this is, the whole ordeal is overshadowed by the completion of James Doohan’s final will and testament, which read that his ashes were to be launched into space. This SpaceX launch will be the third and finally successful attempt at sending Scotty’s remains into orbit. (more…)

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