Everest… Earth’s highest mountain

Everest. So sprawling is the scale and macabre history of this fabled landmass, the name alone should be enough to give your brain momentary frostbite. Indeed, separating the myth from the mountain isn’t easy – but it is important.
Over 200 mountaineers have died climbing Everest in the past century. In 2015 alone, a record-high 22 climbers met their fate atop the massif (avalanches accounting for 29% of deaths, 23% for falls and 20% for exposure or acute mountain sickness, among other deadly factors).
Few know the dangers more than British explorer Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton. In May 2012, aged just 22, he became one of the youngest climbers in history to reach the summit. Here, he reveals the darkest parts of an Everest climb.

1. The ‘death zone’ makes you delirious

“The difference between Everest and most high-altitude climbs is that you need supplemental oxygen to reach the summit. An average journey takes five or six weeks, with much of the trek designed to help your body acclimatise. We had a good rotation, we didn’t get sick and we completed it on the first attempt within five weeks. But nothing prepares you for that thin air, it makes you delirious. They call the area where there’s not enough The Death Zone. Up there it’s all or nothing.”

2. There are a lot of crevices

“There are loads of crevices on Everest, many requiring you to traverse across them on ladders. Normally you start the journey with single ladders, gradually getting two ladders back-to-back and then eventually you get three ladders, like in this video I took [above]. I’d never climbed a horizontal ladder with crampons on before Everest, but feeling a little drunk on the lack of oxygen helped to ease any fears. On Everest, you encounter obstacles, tricks and techniques you’ve never had to solve before, and it all comes together on the same mountain.”

3. Sherpas can be crazy

“If I fell into a crevice nothing would probably happen as I’d still be attached by a rope. But the worst part is watching the Sherpas. They are paid by load/weight, so the more rotations they do the more they get paid, so they cut corners to go faster. They don’t clip in, they don’t wear helmets, they don’t do a lot of safety stuff. They’ll be walking across the ladders unclipped holding on with their hands. The day before we got to a big crevice past camp one we were told a Sherpa had fallen into it and died a day earlier. A rescue team had dragged his body up and he’d bled all the way up the icy face of this square crevice. There was no smell, it was just the sight of the blood. It was a lot darker than I expected it to look, and it made me feel physically sick. It put the climb into perspective.”

4. The mountain hides itself

"The sheer size of it is a huge problem to overcome mentally."
“The sheer size of it is a huge problem to overcome mentally.”
“You can’t quite take Everest in. Not fully. It’s so far away that when you can see all of it that it looks like a painting, and close-up it’s so big that it’s not possible to know what you’re even looking at. It’s almost as if the mountain hides itself: you can’t see camp three until you get to camp two. Then you only see camp four once you’re going up around the side of the mountain. Even on summit day it looks unrelenting. The size is a huge problem to overcome mentally.”

5. You will probably see dead bodies

“Everest is littered with dead bodies. When you leave camp four and you’re on your summit day, it’s so high up there you can barely take yourself. You can’t take a heavy rucksack, so if you die up there then there’s very little chance anyone will be able to get you down, and so you encounter bodies. Some families do pay for teams to pick up a body and lower it down. For the most part everyone stays very positive, you don’t talk about this stuff, but you can’t help but notice the bodies because their clothes are still bright. You might see some bare flesh but you won’t see a skull as the skin is almost embalmed as if it’s been frozen in time, almost like a waxwork. The clothes are flapping in the wind and ultra violet light, each person with their own story.”

6. Debris is a constant danger

Dieumegard-Thornton on his Everest climb
Dieumegard-Thornton on his Everest climb
“Everest isn’t your traditional up and down mountain – it’s not a technical climb; K2 is a more difficult mountain to climb in terms of technicality – but you still need to watch your step. Due to Everest getting drier as a result of global warming, and not enough snowfall, the mountain effectively sheds a layer of ice and rocks which tumble down the mountain. Basically, you have to negotiate terrain that is trying to throw a lot of stuff at you, and these can be boulders the size of a car.”

7. Failure is a big fear

“One of the biggest challenges with Everest is funding. It costs over £40,000 to plan a trip, you need good marketability, and it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. I contacted 2,000 companies, and in the end it was just luck – Yellow Pages were re-branding and wanted Everest as part of their messaging, so I was in the right place at the right time. You don’t want to let anyone down, and this added pressure of failing when people have invested so much in you can play on your mind.”

8. Reaching the summit feels like a horror movie

Dieumegard-Thornton shortly before reaching Everest's summit
Dieumegard-Thornton shortly before reaching Everest’s summit
“I went into the climb imagining dying at the top of Everest would be quite a tranquil end – should the worst happen – because the oxygen is so low that you’d just fade out. But no, the summit is so windy and hostile – it’s simply not a nice place to be. It is extreme. You feel a long way from help and nobody is going to rescue you. The wind adds so much suspense I can only liken it to the sound of a horror movie. By the point I reached the top I was so hypoxic, or rather, low on oxygen, that I completely forgot about taking photos for all my sponsors. I only cared about myself in that moment as I felt so punch drunk. But when you’re pitting yourself against nature in a very raw way, thinking about yourself is no bad thing.”
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Would a bottle of wine from the Titanic still be drinkable?

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In August of 1985, a US Navy-sponsored expedition lead by marine archeologist Robert Ballard was struggling to find the wreck of the Titanic. Ballard and his crew were given twelve days to sweep a potential resting place of more than 150 square miles using new technology that allowed for exploration below 10,000 feet. One week into the expedition, Ballard and his crew propitiously stumbled across the Titanic’s “debris field,” a large trail of debris left by the ship as it broke in half and sank to the ocean floor.

The debris field contained millions of objects: suitcases, clothes, bathtubs, jugs, bowls, hand mirrors and numerous other personal effects. One item that caught Ballard’s eye in particular were fully intact wine bottles, which appeared to still contain their corks.

The number of wine bottles scattered around the Titanic—an ocean liner whose main appeal was its luxury—isn’t a surprise. The ship’s first class passengers enjoyed extremely elaborate, 10-course dinners, with accompanying wine pairings for each dish. Corks retreived from the wreck indicate that Champagne from Moët and Heidsieck & Co. was popular on board.

A man holds a lunch menu recovered from the Titanic.

Champagne-style wines were favoured on the Titanic because they could be easily chilled after being brought onto the ship. Bordeaux wines were less favoured because the rumble from the enormous steam engines could dislodge sediment from inside the bottle. To slake the thirst of its first class passengers, the Titanic held more than 12,000 bottles of wine in its cellar.

This begs the question: if photographs indicate that the wreck of the Titanic holds thousands of sealed, unbroken bottles, could some of that wine still be drinkable?

It’s difficult to say, mainly because samples from the wreck are few and far between. Ballard himself refused to take bottles of wine from the wreck, claiming that doing so would be tantamount to grave robbing:

“Maritime collectors around the world would have paid thousands of dollars for a piece of the ship… How I would have loved a bottle of Titanic champagne for my own wine cellar. But from all our discussions it became clear that the Titanic has no true archaeological value… Recovering a chamber pot or a wine bottle or a copper cooking pan would really just be pure treasure-hunting.”

Bottles claiming to be from the wreck of the Titanic do occasionally appear at auctions, but the ship’s extensive wine collection remains mostly undisturbed on the ocean floor.

Experts taste wine from a 151-year-old US Civil War shipwreck at an event in Charleston, South Carolina. Attendees claimed the wine tasted like “crab water, gasoline, salt water, vinegar, with hints of citrus and alcohol.”

If other wrecks are any indication, however, there is some hope. A shipment of wines that lay buried in a wreck on the ocean floor for 138 years off the coast of Georgia was retrieved and tasted by divers in 1979, who described the wines as “incredibly good” (the collection contained 1839 red Bergundy of Cru quality, 1834 Port and 1830 Madeira).

In 2010, Finnish divers discovered several crates of champagne and beer from a sunken ship that had been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly 200 years. When changing pressures caused one of the champagne corks to pop out of its bottle, the divers tasted the wine and found that it was still drinkable.

“Bottles kept at the bottom of the sea are better kept than in the finest wine cellars,” Champagne expert Richard Juhlin explains. If experts like Juhlin are right, if there is anywhere wine could survive for 100 years, it’s the bottom of the ocean.

Perhaps the closest comparison we have to the Titanic is the RMS Republic, another massive White Star ocean liner which sunk in 1909 when it collided with the SS Florida. A key difference between the two wrecks is that the Republic experienced relatively little loss of life, making salvage efforts less prone to accusations of grave robbing.

Expeditions to the Republic have found a similarly large collection of wines: Moët & Chandon and Dom Ruinart champagnes; several Mosels, other white wines of uncertain origin, and some Bordeaux. When divers from a 1987 expedition opened a bottle of 1898 Moët & Chandon Champagne from the wreck, they found the wine to be “effervescent” and “wonderful.” When they sent some of the bottles to the New York office of Christie’s auction house, however, the wines were found to be malodorous and unpleasant.

“The bottles they brought us were debris,” Robert Maneker of Christie’s told The Wine Spectator in 1987. Experts at the auction house determined that the wine bottles were nothing more than a collection of “curiosities,” like “shrunken heads,” and said that newspaper reports estimating that the bottles could be worth up to $4,000 were “absolutely rubbish.”

If past shipwrecks are any indication then, the Titanic’s wine collection could have met a variety of fates. Fluctuations in temperature, bacteria and water pressure could have removed the seals of the bottles completely. Seepage might also have slowly replaced the original contents of the bottles with saltwater. Or perhaps some of the Titanic’s wine collection lies on the ocean floor still intact, after more than a century of deep sea cellaring, still waiting to be tasted. ♦

TOYOTA SUPRA 4×4 CONCEPT 2020

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The fifth-generation 2020 Supra — code-named A90 — has looks that will put even the bright-orange fourth-generation Fast and Furious movie car to shame.

Toyota made some big waves recently by announcing the rebirth of one of their most coveted sports cars, the Supra, which they’re bringing back after nearly two decades.  The sports car is one of Toyota’s most iconic models, thanks to a star-making turn in The Fast and the Furious. And while some folks were quite pleased with the announcement, others felt the unveiling fell a bit flat. We’re not sure exactly where Estonian digital designer Rain Prisk falls, but we do know he’s already taken the car to task and created this jaw-dropping 4×4 concept.

‘Insane’ might not be a powerful enough word to describe what Prisk has done here, completely overhauling the low-stance Japanese export into a lifted, all-terrain, off-road-ready panther of a car. And the redesign isn’t just a simple lift kit, as that wouldn’t really fit Prisk’s extremely detailed style. No, it’s also got a front-end winch, massive wheel arches to suit beefed-up tires, a step so you can climb in without jumping, a snorkel intake for fording deep water, and even a roof rack. It’s a shame that this beautiful monstrosity will likely never see the light of day, but we’re glad to have seen what could have been.

Tattooed Women of Yesteryear.

There was a time when seeing a girl with a tattoo was a shocking thing? It was a very rebellious thing to do but these bad ass tattooed women got inked as a way to “take control of their body”!

A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment, and it officially appeared in 18th century. At that time, the tattooed people were mostly men, until the late 19th to early 20th centuries it first started becoming popular with women.

Here, below are some of amazing vintage photos of tattooed ladies who were known as the most earliest tattooed women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See The First Victorian Tattoo Queen

 

The Lost Art of Cassette Design

Steve Vistaunet’s Pinterest is a treasure-trove of photos of exuberant cassette spine designs from the gilded age of the mix-tape, ranging from the hand-drawn to early desktop publishing experiments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mods v Rockers- The battle of the Tribes

via Mods v Rockers- The battle of the Tribes

Boom ! The supersonic plane that could bring back supersonic travel.

Supersonic travel could soon be back.

Boom Supersonic has revealed a £100m investment in Overture, a 55 seater supersonic passenger jet capable of flying at at more than twice the speed of sound, with a range of 5,180 miles.

It could take passengers from London to New York in just 3.5 hours – around half the time it currently takes.

New investors in the Colorado-based company include the Emerson Collective, headed by Laurene Powell Jobs – widow of Apple’s former chief executive, Steve Jobs.

Overture, a 55 seater supersonic passenger jet capable of flying at at more than twice the speed of sound, with a range of 5,180 miles. It could take passengers from London to New York in just 3.5 hours - around half the time it currently takes.

Overture, a 55 seater supersonic passenger jet capable of flying at at more than twice the speed of sound, with a range of 5,180 miles. It could take passengers from London to New York in just 3.5 hours – around half the time it currently takes.

OVERTURE SPECS

Top speed Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph, 2,335 km/h)

170 feet long, with a wingspan of 60 feet

2 pilots, up to 4 cabin crew

55 business class seats onboard

However, only two toilets

‘This new funding allows us to advance work on Overture, the world’s first economically viable supersonic airliner,’ said Blake Scholl, founder of Boom Supersonic.

‘Overture fares will be similar to today’s business class — widening horizons for tens of millions of travelers.

‘Ultimately, our goal is to make high-speed flight affordable to all.’

Boom says Overture will accommodate the use of next-generation alternative fuels and have a carbon footprint comparable to that of present-day business-class travel.

It hopes the new craft will make supersonic travel affordable.

‘With 55 seats and seat-mile costs similar to subsonic business class, supersonic flight is practical on hundreds of transoceanic routes—making it the new norm for anyone who flies business class,’ the firm said.

 Boom is currently assembling XB-1, a ⅓-scale manned prototype of its Mach-2.2 airliner. XB-1 will be piloted by Chief Test Pilot Bill ‘Doc’ Shoemaker and is set to fly later this year.

Future customers include the Virgin Group and Japan Airlines, which have pre-ordered a total of 30 jets between them.

The three-engine Boom aircraft have a sonic boom ‘at least 30 times quieter’ than Concorde.

At landing and takeoff, the company says: ‘Overture will be as quiet as the subsonic aircraft flying similar routes today.’

A fleet of 2,000 of the supersonic passenger planes could eventually link cities across the globe in the future.

The aircraft will have one business-class seat on either side of the aisle so each passenger gets both window and aisle access.

 

A fleet of 2,000 of the supersonic passenger planes could eventually link cities across the globe in the future

A fleet of 2,000 of the supersonic passenger planes could eventually link cities across the globe in the future

Boom Supersonic are currently working on a prototype for a passenger plane that would break the sound barrier and could take passengers from London to New York in just 3.5 hours – around half the time it currently takes.

If its full-size 55-seat plane is approved, the first passengers could be travelling at supersonic speeds around the world by 2023, with fares for a one-way ticket just under £2,000.

Scholl has previously said he believes that as many as 2,000 Boom Supersonic planes could be used on 500 routes that crisscross the world linking hundreds of cities.

Speaking at the Farnborough Airshow, Mr Scholl told the Independent: ‘We are focused on accelerating long transoceanic trips.

‘We want to get the economy of the plane down so that anybody who flies can fly fast.

Boom is currently assembling XB-1, a ⅓-scale manned prototype of its Mach-2.2 airliner. XB-1 will be piloted by Chief Test Pilot Bill ‘Doc’ Shoemaker and is set to fly later this year

‘This is not a private jet for the ultra-wealthy.’

Sir Richard Branson has already backed Boom Supersonic, which expects a prototype of its passenger plane to make its first test flight by the end of this year.

The aircraft will have one business-class seat on either side of the aisle so each passenger gets both window and aisle access.

Boom has confirmed that Virgin Galactic and Japan Airlines will operate the aircraft, with Japan Airlines investing £7 million ($10 million) in Boom Supersonic in December 2017.

Together, they have pre-ordered a combined 30 Overture airliners.

As part of the deal Japan’s number two carrier has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft and will provide its knowledge and experience as an airline to hone the aircraft design and help refine the passenger experience.

If its full-size 55-seat plane is approved, the first passengers could be travelling at supersonic speeds around the world by 2023, with fares for a one-way ticket just under £2,000.

Other U.S based start-ups incuding Aerion Supersonic, and Spike Aerospace are also aiming to re-start supersonic flights by the mid-2020s by modifying existing engines rather than spending billions of dollars to make new ones.

However, a study released last week claimed that reviving supersonic passenger flights will harm the environment, cause too much pollution and will be too noisy.

The US-based International Council on Clean Transportation said that modified engines will burn five to seven times more fuel per passenger than subsonic jets, exceeding global limits for new subsonic jets by 40 per cent for nitrogen oxide and 70 per cent for carbon dioxide.

Concorde, the last supersonic passenger jet, entered service in 1976 and continued flying for 27 years. It is one of only two supersonic transports to have been operated commercially.

It had a maximum speed of twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 km per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers.

Concorde was jointly developed and manufactured by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty.

Air France and British Airways each received seven aircraft.

Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the commercial aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the September 11 attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor to Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.