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Driving from Alaska to Siberia

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the would-make-a-good-junkyard-war dept.

News 183

Pelerin writes "The team from the Ice Challenger project are driving from Alaska to Provodanya, in Siberia; across the 56-mile field of ice floes that each winter "joins" America and Russia. At the last minute the Russian authorities have denied the entry permit but the crew says they're on track to reach the Big Diomedes islands, which lie across the date line, thereby proving it's possible to do this. This feat is not as easy as it sounds due to the harsh Artic winter conditions, and the fact that the ice floes themselves are drifting at a pretty good clip. It takes a specially built vehicle to tackle this adventure. Geek quotient: pretty high :)" If you just want to drive to Alaska, you might go with Philip Greenspun. And if these guys don't make the trip to Russia this year, they might not get a chance. Update: 04/08 12:21 GMT by T : DrShrink adds to the story: "The two made it to Siberia, however were turned back due to not gaining permission to enter Russian territory."

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183 comments

Ouch (3, Funny)

BrianGa (536442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301043)

I hope your car's heater is working...

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301052)

and melt the ice and fall into the ocean?!?

Re:Ouch (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301202)

Ummm, or maybe some insulation between the cabin and the lower portion of the craft. Besides, if they are moving along through the ice they won't sit in any one place for long. Surely the ice won't melt in that amount of time.

Re:Ouch (1)

parliboy (233658) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301249)

Not the most brilliant decision:

Hey Cletus, all this Arctic Ocean ice is makin' me cold. Let's turn up the heat a lit--

-=SPLASH=-

Re:Ouch (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301402)

Your car heater should be the least of your worries. Did you know enemies are all around you? Muslims ride to work on the same highways with you. They come home on the same highways from to plan more terror murders. They shop at your stores. You might see them in a restaraunt endulging in pork before they blow themselves up. Yet we do nothing. We let them live their lives.

I call upon all good hearted americans to slaughter this scum of the earth! We must rid from our shores these disgusting vermin and burn their bodies. the bodies of thier wives and children must be added to the fire pile. Only then will we send the filthy muslim world a message; a message that they are not welcome on this planet anymore.

Death to Islam!

Dog Sex (-1, Offtopic)

Reikk (534266) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301053)

I like to have sex with dogs.

Things To Do Today (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301076)

1. Suck it

2. Lick it

Things for you to do today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301370)

1. Stick your head in an oven.
2. Turn it on.

My childhood dream (2)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301064)

I love roadtrips. Damn, I love roadtrips. I have always thought it would be really cool to drive from Tierra del Fuego to South Africa. (Stopping throughout Asia, Russia, Europe, etc.) However, other then the sheer amount of time it would take, this crossing area was another big obstical. Quite frankly, I think a bridge that was passable over the pacific would just be damn cool. DAMN cool!

Re:My childhood dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301304)

"However, other then the sheer amount of time it would take..."

Huh? What language are you speaking?

Oh ... wait. Did you mean, "However, other THAN the sheer amount of time it would take...."

No, that can't be right. You couldn't possibly be that
NO CARRIER

Re:My childhood dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301408)

Quite frankly, I think a bridge that was passable over the pacific would just be damn cool. DAMN cool!

How about a tunnel [slashdot.org] , would that be ok?

not as easy as it sounds? (2)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301071)

This feat is not as easy as it sounds


This doesn't sound very easy at all to me. I don't usually think of Alaska and Siberia being connected, and I'd imagine crossing the ice between them would be quite hazardous.

International Date Line (3, Funny)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301078)

...they're on track to reach the Big Diomedes islands, which lie across the date line, thereby proving it's possible to do this. This feat is not as easy as it sounds...

I think they are overanalyzing this. To cross the International Date Line regardless of weather, one would only need a time machine...

Oops (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301083)

The words "time machine" were supposed to link to here. [slashdot.org] Sue me for not clicking Preview :)

Re:International Date Line (2)

"Zow" (6449) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301182)

Or just wait at most 24 hours.

Re:International Date Line (4, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301414)

International Date Line... that looks suspciciously like all those $200.00 phone calls that mysteriously find their way onto my bill every month...

I know it's offtopic, but I couldn't resist it.

Internet Gambling is sinful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301082)

Despite all of the witty rhetoric and insightful commentary on this site, many of the readers have lost touch with one important fact. What is it, you ask? Well...

Frankly, LINUX SUCKS. It is the buggiest, most unstable operating system ever created for IBM PC (c). It is not hard to see why.

Most linux developers lost their saving throw versus pathetic nerddom a long time ago. You'll find them huddled in their parent's basements, living on candy bars and Captain runch. You wouldn't let these feebleminded boys ow your lawn, so why should you allow them to design your operating system?

Look at the calender, people. The year is 2002, not 1979. Nerdly losers are, well, losers. There will be no golden pocket protectors for this decade's foul crop. Distributing your source code for free is just an indication that you realize how much it sucks, have accepted the aforementioned suckage, and are moving on to your next job at Denny's.

However, misery loves company (unless it's the company le miserable in question used to work for.) Hence, the open source "headmen" spread fear and hate through their communistic followers. They are merely trying to get revenge on their smarter, cleaner, colleagues, who are weathering the economic downturn. Make no mistake. When $lashdot calls for the downfall of Blizzard or Microsoft, it is not because these companies are "unfree," it's because their very existence mocks the stale dreams of the would be "'leetists." It's nerd against nerd. What a sad, sad spectacle.

But there is something you can do about it. Visit your local computer store today and buy a licensed copy of Windows XP, the most innovative operating system ever created. It's hard to get help when your operating system is created by a bunch of teenagers who can't even match their socks or get a date. But when you're using Windows XP, customer service will gladly help you with any problem you may encounter. Not only that, but you'll be in the company of scientists, engineers, administrators, and everyone else who just doesn't give a fuck about configuring his /etc/fstab. Remember, linux is only "free" if your time is of no value. Also, linux is only secure if your computer is not connected to the internet. Give up your futile, sexually repellent nerdisms and return to the company that started it all.

Further I like to keep recycling this troll.
I didn't write it, but I hope it pisses some
people off. Truly linux does suck, but not as
bad as winXP. VMS forever!!

Libby Hoeller: a Hoax! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301087)

I just found out the Libby Hoeller videos were a hoax! The girl in the vids was a paid porn actress all along! You dumb fuckers were wanking to ordinary pr0n! Please kill yourselves. Thx.

Re:Libby Hoeller: a Hoax! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301170)

Prove it.



Important Stuff:

Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Take the Slashdot Pledge! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301089)

The Official Slashdot Code of Conduct
  1. I will be brave but never careless.
  2. I will obey my parents. They DO know best.
  3. I will be neat and clean at all times.
  4. I will be polite and courteous.
  5. I will protect the weak and help them.
  6. I will study hard.
  7. I will be kind to animals.
  8. I will respect my flag and country.
  9. I will attend my place of worship regularly.

Re:Take the Slashdot Pledge! (0)

sinserve (455889) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301169)

Cute, but what does it have to do with the story? Here is an on-topic version:


1) I will not club seals in our way to Serbia.
2) I will not fart in the van, again.
3) I will not call the iniut tribes "ice niggers".
4) I will not tent a boner, during my sleep.
5) I will tell no more southpark jokes.
6) I will not try to anchor the arctic, and stop it from drifting away from Canada.
7) Wayne Gretzky does not live in the arctic, I will stop yelling his name.
8) Tux is best left in his habitat, I will not try to touch him.
9) No, that Dolphin sex FAQ does not apply to whales.
10) Dude, where is my car?


--

Re:Take the Slashdot Pledge! (1)

rehannan (98364) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301222)

8) Tux is best left in his habitat, I will not try to touch him.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but
Tux [dictionary.com] lives in the antarctic.

commuting (5, Funny)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301092)

Who knows, this may set a new trend for rectruiting firms in Alaska. Work in Alaska by day, live in cheap Siberia by night! On paper, a 56 mile commute doesn't seem so bad... they'd only tell you that it's over a field of ice floes after you sign the deal. Of course, this section of Alaska probably has less than a burdgeoning tech industry.

What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301165)

After three years of virtual ignorage, suddenly Taco is posting. The new wife must not be working out as well as he thought it would.

Re:What the hell? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301198)

It's just some dipshit who created an account to look like CmdrTaco, look at his user id. CmdrTaco (editor).

what was I thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301213)

Of course Taco wouldn't post to his own site. And if he did, it would be in all caps, bold and auto-5'd. And misspelled. And irrelevant.

Similarly Across Antarctica (2, Interesting)

jacobb (93907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301094)

I saw a TLC program a month or so ago, where they used some specialized trucks to drive accross antarctica... They had some problems with huge ravines and blown tyres, frozen motor oil, etc. etc. but they made it.
Note: it _could_ have been the arctic, i forget now... but it's awesome all the same.

Better than dogsledding... (1)

higuy48 (568572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301096)

At least it's shorter than the Iditarod. In the Tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and more), there was a mock contest running on the local sports radio station that had tickets to sit on one of the sleds at the Iditarod for the entire race. Of course, they also promised that they would do all of the winners' work and homework and the like, so it was pretty easy to spot (I happen to be very gullible).

this story is shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301097)

and linux is for fagiTz. i want news for NERdZ n0W u GaY fuX!! fuCK u mAlD4

Just think of the new commercials this will bring! (1, Funny)

webprogrammer (518832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301103)

Truck on snowy mountainpeak.
Truck in middle of desert on 5,000 ft verticle igneous intrusion.
Truck standing valiently atop glacial ice peak.
Truck conquering lunar crater.
...
Truck dodging Russian customs officials after traversing Bering Strait.

Re:Just think of the new commercials this will bri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301334)

God I hate those ads. Why don't they tell us about the car's features, instead of photoshopped images of a car on top of Mt. Shuksun.

Access Denied (5, Funny)

beowulf_26 (512332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301104)

They fail to mention the reason that the Russians denied access was because their sattelite intelligence showed that the "specially built vehicle" was going to deposit four Tanyas and an Engineer.

Re:Access Denied (1, Offtopic)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301129)

I am truely sorry I am banned from moderating and I wish I had some mod points

This made me giggle like a girl

Re:Access Denied (3, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301246)

"They fail to mention the reason that the Russians denied access was because their sattelite intelligence showed that the "specially built vehicle" was going to deposit four Tanyas and an Engineer. "

Well they do have a legit concern. Thanks to Edison, they could no longer legally build Tesla Coils.

A crazy new invention (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301109)

Two brothers in North Carolina [first-to-fly.com] have apparently developed a new transportation device, which allows you to move through the air. They're calling this vehicle an aeroplane, or plane for short. Initial tests look very promising, and some of the designs [first-to-fly.com] look good.

I think something like this would be incredibly useful for getting from Alaska to Sibera both easily and quickly. Ice is very slippery! Perhaps one day you could even fly from major US cities such as New York to major Russian cities like Moscow. Give it a century, and these aeroplanes will be everywhere!

Re:A crazy new invention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301418)

Oh god, so funny.

Re:A crazy new invention (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301419)

Yeah, but when they pull up to the Siberian equivalent of 7-11 for a hot cup of coffee, there will be no place to park. Actually come to think of it, what with globalization and all, the Siberian equivalent of 7-11 is probably... 7-11.

Who is that in picture 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301111)

Look at the front of the visible cork screw in picture 7. Looks like a face... two eyes, eyebrows and a nose. The mouth is hidden beneath the clump of snow.

http://www.joannavestey.com/assets/images/comice im g07.jpg

"Driving"? (3, Insightful)

Wheel Of Fish (305792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301115)

If they're floating on water some of the time, are they really "driving" from Alaska to Siberia? If that thing were to navigate across a lake, I wouldn't say it's done the impossible by "driving" across the lake. If it did the whole thing while touching solid ice, it'd make more sense.

I'm not saying that this isn't an amazing feat; on the contrary, I think the term makes it seem like what they're doing is easy, and we may all be able to do it soon enough. I'm still waiting for word on when that giant bridge is gonna go up.

Re:"Driving"? (1)

rlwhite (219604) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301267)

I wish the article had been more detailed on this point. Are they 100% planning to "drive" over water to make the trip, or is that ability just a safety precaution?

Re:"Driving"? (1)

dufke (82386) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301306)

Well, that thing doesn't look all that seaworthy, even though it floats, so I hope there's plenty of ice for them...

Re:"Driving"? (1)

Lord of the Files (10941) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301396)

I think the idea is that if the ice breaks up beneath them they can climb back onto solid ice. Otherwise this would all be kind of silly. We've had boats that can navigate icey water for years.

Re:"Driving"? (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301319)

You'd think a hovercraft would be a better vehicle, too.

Amphibious vehicle? (3, Interesting)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301122)

While it looks like quite an amazing feat regardless, there are some pictures of that special vehicle floating in water; if it is amphibious, it kind of streteches the definition of "driving" across. If at times you're floating, it is sort of like taking a boat when necessary.

Yes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301123)

Iknow there has been a lot of soiled geek pants today. But i just gotta [goatse.cx]

I can see it now ... (2, Funny)

long_john_stewart_mi (549153) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301125)

... They're halfway across the 'bridge': Bill: "This bridge is pretty shaky, who was the engineer of this thing?" Ted (looks at travel guide): "God." Bill: "Oh, he's good. Well then it must be safe..." *Ice shifting in background* Good luck!

Heh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301127)

Where are the enviro types with their global warming now???

Oh come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301135)

And if these guys don't make the trip to Russia this year, they might not get a chance.

As recent slashdot reply posts have pointed out, that whole global warming thing is natural. The L.A. Times article you link to at the end of the post makes it seem all unusual that artic life has changed significantly in the past 20 years. We all know there's nothing wrong with owning and driving cars, living in single family homes as opposed to multifamily buildings (condos, apartments) or having as many kids as we feel like. Stop linking to articles that imply people might possibly be doing something harmful to the environment and reducing our chances for long term human habitation by living as selfishly as we are. Geez.

Oh my... (5, Funny)

OgdEnigmaX (535667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301137)

For the love of God, or Webster, or both Funk and Wagnalls, it's Arctic, not Artic.

A little review...

Artic [artic.edu]

Arctic [uconn.edu]

Artic [angelfire.com]

Arctic [noaa.gov]

Sheesh.

Re:Oh my... (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301433)

Oh for the love of God, or King James, or Shakespeare, it's "thou" not "you". A hundred years from now people may read "Arctic" in some old book and the teacher will inform her students that "this is the archaic spelling of Artic".

Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1, Interesting)

woodix (167920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301140)

I consider myself a political fence rider--let me just get that out there now. The latimes article at the end of the article just sucked the life out of me. It directly describes the weird discomfort of a way of life ending(?)--certainly changing. 'Figure those people have been there 2500 years. They've adapted to the worst imaginable environment on earth and suddenly within a decade, it's all different! That's just beyond my comprehension.


I think that was the first time I ever read something and thought "Crap, it could all be CO and Methane by the time my unborn kids are old enough to drive." That's some scary shit to think at 22.


These are the kind of environmental articles that get my attention. It's not some steven seagal-like attempt to blame it all on big business nor an impassioned plea to adopt neo-luddite policies. It offers no solution (at least it hadn't when I got to the point I could no longer read it). It just throws out the facts and leaves and unspoken challenge to do something about it.


Who the fuck knows what's going on with our planet, but until we can figure out a way to break free of this solar system, maybe we should be taking better care of the place. Maybe that's just me though and I should be modded down for being a flamebait-throwing, karma seeking troll.


I just wanted to go on record there.....

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301224)

I live in OR, on the coast. Whale watching is a major tourist trap down here. Everyone down here has noted (including scientists) that the population of grey whales has rebounded significantly this year, and their health is MUCH better.

Despite the rather fatalist view of the article, there is a LOT of fluctuation in nature, and really, we're only beginning to notice it now, methinks, because we're far enough along in our record keeping...

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1, Insightful)

lie as cliche (266319) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301258)

I wanted to write in with the same sentiment, that it's ironic that the most significant story on /. today is a link added almost as an afterthought. Look at some of the other stories up today... A new JPG standard? A PC made out of a toolbox? The frigging ice on the planet is melting and we're going to end up washed up, for pete's sake! I know the tech-friendly demographic of people on /. who seldom see the big blue room are inclined to downplay the environmental impact tech has, but the mindset demonstrated here is simply staggering.



That having been said, what we do about this `unspoken challenge' seems to be the nub of the matter. Personally, I'm all for tech. I just think it could be approached differently. It's much easier for media and environmentalist groups to trace the symptom of ecological devastation to tech and industry, but that's just another symptom.

The real killer here is that there is so much tech and industry. There has to be, to fulfill society's collective demand. There wouldn't be so much demand if there weren't so much society. There's too many people, people! How much more simple could it be? People write it off as an insoluble problem so easily, and then turn around and do work like this on human cloning [slashdot.org] , conveniently forgetting and contributing the problem they'd written off as supposedly insoluble.

Fact is, it isn't insoluble. It'll be solved, if nothing else, when we grow to the planet's limit, pushing out every species `useless' to us in the process, and face starvation in the midst of an ecological backlash. So the problem will be solved sooner or later; the only thing we get to choose is how.

Stop breeding! Would it really be so bad, a few generations where two people get together and produce a total of one offspring? Every time a suburban couple gets together and says to one another, "How many children do you want, dear? Six? Seven?" what they're really saying is, "It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things how many children we produce. It's a decision we can base purely on our individual preference. It'll just mean bulldozing a few more acres of rainforest somewhere, that's all. And we can do as we like with them, they do belong to mankind after all." More specious Manifest Destiny reasoning. These are the people who believe that life survives by going to the supermarket. Just because we've taken to living in large boxes and don't have to look at it doesn't mean we aren't part of the food chain. Not that there's much of one left, as we're destroying biodiversity at an alarming pace, meaning that when the climate does shift as it's doing there won't be enough species able to cope or adapt to continue a viable natural food chain. So many millions of years of natural selection, gone in just a few thousand years. But that's okay, because in the meantime we can breed without a second thought, carry our toolbox PC's to LAN parties, and hovercraft across the Northwest Passage area when it melts in a few years. I'm sorry, but if you want my participation in such massive devastation I'd need a much better bribe than that. Honestly, most of the people in our society aren't even happy with the lives they have from such destruction. Hardly seems worth it, does it?



For an extremely insightful look at our society's mindset, and an examination of how it impacts the world, I highly recommend Ishmael [amazon.com] by Daniel Quinn. Life-changing stuff.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (2)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301343)

Industrialized nations are already down to simple replacement breeding (I believe the US runs a little high due to our continued agriculture, something like 2.4 kids/couple, but it's counterbalanced by countries like Sweden and Japan that run as low as 1.8. 2.1 is considered replacement). Population is continuing to grow because live expectancy continues rising, but we are definately headed towards a steady state within the next 20 years.


The problem is MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. The MENA countries are in some ways bigger problems, because they are by and large uppper-middle class countries (though they've slipped in recent years), so they have low infant mortality rates, but they have not experienced the drop in fertility that Asia did during its rise to industrialization. Sub-Saharan Africa is a different problem; they're still poor, so they have an abysmally low life expectancy, but they make up for it by having an absurdly high number of children (Nigeria has a fertility rate of over 8! Can you even imagine that, if the AVERAGE woman in America had 8 children, to say nothing of the statistical outliers).


So, all you folks who want us to breed less, you're preaching to the choir. Women in industrialized countries are just too busy to want to take care of a half dozen children. As the costs for having children rises (both real money spent for things like education, and the potential income sacrificed by women staying home to look after the kids), families will choose to have fewer kids. You can see it happening in the world today, and as incomes rise, it will just keep happening.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1)

NoData (9132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301377)

Stop breeding! Would it really be so bad, a few generations where two people get together and produce a total of one offspring?

While I agree with your sentiments, the problem ain't the average Slashdot reader. Check out the Population Reference Bureau" [prb.org] . Especially useful is their DataFinder feature. Compare stats for "developed" vs. "less-developed" world regions. The developed world has a birth rate of 11 (per 1000 people) vs. a death rate of 10. That's just about replacement breeding, with a project 4% increase by 2050. Less-developed regions, on the other hand, have a birth rate of 25 vs. a death rate of 8...giving you a 58% projected population increase by 2050! That's staggering. There's similar differences by economic class within developed regions (poorer people breeding much more than wealthier people).

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (2)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301409)

Of course all of that fails to explain why more and more houses / condos / apartment complexs keep on being built. . . . (not to mention quickly occupied)

If there are no more 'new' people then why the hell are houses being torn down and apartment complexs then put up and filled to the brim so damn quickly?

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (2)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301487)


The other posters were just talking about people breeding. In the USA, I've read that most population increase is from people immigrating from other countries.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1)

lie as cliche (266319) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301447)

Interesting thought. It may sound harsh, but maybe if we stopped sending food to the multitudes in the "less-developed" regions they'd stop breeding so much. It wouldn't seem they're managing it themselves.



Thanks for the data, definately worth checking out. Kind of ironic given your /. nick.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (4, Insightful)

Snafoo (38566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301341)

Really. I had the opposite reaction; I found that article to be precisely the sort of maudlin self-contradictory guck that makes me question my staunch (medium-far) leftist politics.

The article runs: Scientists are chatting up the elders of this ancient people to better understand how warm weather is destroying 2500 years of tradition; but, wait, at least on the Siberian side of things, the Soviets got there first, and all the elders that actually knew anything about hunting are all dead; the current batch has only been going at this hunting thing since the death of the Soviet Union; oh, and a few centuries back the Artic was waaay warmer than it was until recently, and the climate swing killed a bunch of guys then, too; but it's all really sad and stuff that more scientists aren't willing to forsake their precious 'facts and figures' to really *talk* to these wonderful, hardy, precious little men and women.

*Bleech*. Yet another make-work puff-piece assignment for a journalist who apparently knows that any contradiction can make sense if you tart it up in the right sort of narrative.

I could go on. However, I'll close with one final question: Why in God's name do Americans still refer to the Inuit as 'Eskimos'? It shows all the social sensitivity of 'negro' or 'indian'.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (3, Informative)

renehollan (138013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301399)

Why in God's name do Americans still refer to the Inuit as 'Eskimos'? It shows all the social sensitivity of 'negro' or 'indian'.

As a Canadian living (legally) in the U.S.A., I've asked a few people that when they used the term "Eskimo". I explained, that it essentially means "eater of raw meat", and while true to an extent, is regarded as an insult (heck, I like steak tartare too). Canadians have used the more politically correct term "Inuit" for quite some time now. The response I get is usually one of shock and ignorance: "Really? I didn't know that!" suggesting that any offence is unintentional. I usually explain the difference and let people chose what terms to use in the future. (I'm not about to be the political correctness police).

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (1)

lie as cliche (266319) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301429)

and the climate swing killed a bunch of guys then, too;



Could be. They disappeared. Could've been like the Vikings during the cold snap, who moved south into Europe on their neighbors, who moved in on their neghbors, who... yeah. Or like several other cultures in warmer regions, such as the Maya and, if memory serves, the Inca, who had great stone structures that are the only things that stand as a testament to the fact that they were there. Neighboring peoples refer to (I think it's the Maya) as "those who left". Not entirely discouraging to imagine of a civilization that had its problems, but was still socially cohesive enough to pick up and head somewhere else for a new kind of life when their ways didn't work.



I do see what you mean about a puff-piece though. And like most articles it sells itself on being sensationalistic, even if this one is slyly so. I don't think the mercantilism behind the article necessarily negates the ecological situation though.



Why in God's name do Americans still refer to the Inuit as 'Eskimos'? It shows all the social sensitivity of 'negro' or 'indian'.



My guess? For the same reason journalists refer to someone by name, add a comma, and tell the reader who the heck this person is. Considering how often Inuit are referred to by the media, and the average level of education, `Eskimo' is something the people of this culture recognize (if as nothing but where all those Eskimo Pies come from).

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (2)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301467)

Um, my guess is that it isn't the Mayans that disappeared. At least, they didn't disappear completely, because there are still Mayans. I've met quite a few. And some of them didn't move very far: If my recollection serves, a few thousand full blood Mayans still live in the Yucatan peninsula.

They're getting pretty well integrated, so I'm sure Mayan genes have spread around quite a bit. You might have met Mayan descendants in the US.

Re:Downplayed link at the bottom of the article (2)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301432)

Hrm. I think I see what you mean about the article, but I didn't feel like it was that bad. It seemed like the journalist presented all the different facts without blaming anybody at all. And without making the contradiction that you describe.

And the journalist was trying to explain why the locals sometimes distrust the scientists. Well explained. Facts were presented, not a position. It seems like a trite, sad story because what is actually happening is a sad story. The descriptions of previous climate swings killing other people is there precisely to suggest that there might not be a good solution.

Iduno. Maybe I'm just used to college-grade maudlin guck, so professional-grade maudlin guck fools me completely. I liked the article a lot.

It's been done; and road trips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301153)

disclaimer: I live in Alaska

I don't live close to while they're traveling, but there's plenty of informal knowledge around about many Alaska Natives who would travel between Big and Little Diomede Island (not "Big Diomede Islands" - Big is theirs; little is ours) to visit family even during the height of the cold war.

Preferred method of transport was snowmobile or boat. It was frowned upon, but nobody is exactly around to enforce it.

But if you want a road trip, here you go:

http://www.millenniumadventure.com - drove to 130+ countries in a bright yellow Mercedes!

http://www.markandmichelle.com/russia.htm - Another Siberian trip

There's two more that I'm aware of - a drive from London to New York, sponsored by Opel, first to drive across Siberia in Winter, and another one where they drove across Siberia in a funky old English sports car. Links anyone?

-Matt

oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301241)

One the last road trips mentioned was sponsored by Ford's European operations; not Opel. oops!

-Matt

Re:It's been done; and road trips (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301314)

About the first one, they never crossed the Beiring Strait, and judging by their route and the car they took, they put the thing on boat or plane to cross the Pacific Ocean (didn't read that part, but look at the route..) Certainly nothing to be scoffed at, I couldn't stand to go that far in a car (though this is basically a rich guy taking a 3 year road trip, at least it isn't *too* pampered.... except the fact he can afford to go off for three years and do this...)

Why the FUCK would anyone want to do this ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301159)

Jesus Christ, I can see why the potato-starved godless Commies might want to go to all that trouble to visit the Land of the Free, but these guys seem to be American.


Why cannot people realise that America is the greatest country in the world ? Why are they so happy to try and go to Communist countries ?


What will they try next ? A canoe to Cuba ?

Taking the Tunnel. (5, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301162)

They could always wait and take the Bering Straight Tunnel [arctic.net] when it is completed.

After the completion of the English Channel Tunnel, this is now seen to be at least in the realm of possibility.

Heck, there has been some discussion on this [kuro5hin.org] already.

Re:Taking the Tunnel. (2)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301367)

It looks like the group linked to wants the Bering Straights tunnel to be rail-only, so no driving after all. In fact, it looks like it's intended for commercial traffic, not for the general public at all. Good thing too, because being rail-only, you'd have to get Amtrak running trains up there, which put bluntly, ain't gonna happen. They're actually seeking congressional approval to shut down juat about all their lines except the Northeast corridor from Boston to Philadelphia.

Re:Taking the Tunnel. (1)

danielrose (460523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301422)

Why only Amtrak? Are you discounting Russian trains and transport?

They had better get a move on .... (1)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301207)

... before global warming melts all of the ice.

Just think, they could set a world record for driving from New York to Paris that would last
for a thousand years or so.

Re:They had better get a move on .... (1)

BigBadVoodooDaddy (444631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301391)

... before global warming melts all of the ice.

that should be Global Coincidence [satirewire.com]

frankly, it's not just a coincidence... it's an incredible coincidence

Famous Negroes of the Screen (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301211)

Biography for Willie Best [imdb.com]

Nickname:

Sleep 'n' Eat
Mini biography:
Negro actor whose 30's and 40's roles as shuffling, illiterate,

superstitious porter, stable boy, chauffeur, and the like,
served to exemplify the prototypical sub-human Negro male.
Personal quotes:
"Yassuh!"

Who can tell me... (-1)

LighthouseJ (453757) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301219)

what the hell this has to do with Slashdot and it's intended target medium?

The jerks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301227)

Why does every country have to be a jerk about this srot of thing? A frigging guy wants to fly his baloon over the country and they deny him. A guy wants to see if he can get from alaska to russia and they deny him. I mean christ! What is their problem? If the US wants to spy on them they have better ways of doing so than by sending some freaking millionaire in his baloon or some team of researchers who just want to arrive at the coast, turn around and come back.

Re:The jerks... (2, Informative)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301366)

Sometimes these countries have legitimate concerns.

For example, the media played up the "Balloon Spy" thing, but the Chinese had other concerns. Specifically, their air traffic control system is extremely limited. Large areas of China are not covered by radar. To prevent accidents, they carefully schedule flights. The Chinese were concerned that allowing an uncontrolled balloon to fly through their air routes was too dangerous.

For the Russians, I could guess that they don't want to have the responsiblity for rescuing these guys if something goes wrong. Sure its easy to say it's the driver's neck, and that they could sign some release. But who wants the bad PR. I can see it now, weeping relatives on CNN begging the Russians for assistance. The Russians holding up a signed release. Guess who wins.

From a beaurcrat's point of view, these decisions are easy -- piss off a handful of people or risk world condemnation.

Re:The jerks... (1)

yuri_kiryanov (556046) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301444)

Did they ask for visa? Sometimes Americans or British do not understand they need a visa in Russia

Rather intriguing article, but flawed (-1)

Mao Zedong (467890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301236)

Mary Jane's Last Dance

by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers {Greatest Hits}

she grew up in an Indiana town
had a good lookin' momma, never was around
but she grew up tall, and she grew up right
with them Indiana boys on an Indiana night

when she moved down here at the age of 18
she blew the boys away, was more than they'd seen
I was introduced, and we both started groovin'
she said "I dig you, baby, but I gotta keep movin'"
on
keep movin' on

last dance with Mary Jane
one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin' in,
and I'm tired of this town again

I don't know, but I been told
you never slow down, you'll never grow old
tired of screwing up, tired of going down
tired of myself, tired of this town

oh, my my
oh, Hell yes
honey, put on that party dress
buy me a drink
sing me a song
take me as I come, cause I can't stay long

last dance with Mary Jane
one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin' in,
and I'm tired of this town again

there's pigeons now, on Market Square
she's standing in her underwear
looking down from a hotel room
nightfall will be coming soon

oh, my my
oh, Hell yes
you gotta put on that party dress
it was too cold to cry when I woke up alone
I hit the last number, I walked to the road

last dance with Mary Jane
one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin' in,
and I'm tired of this town again

The Great Race (3, Funny)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301242)

Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis already did this, as I recall. Well, they floated [imdb.com] across. :-)

There's more thann just Old and New in the world (2)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301251)

I couldn't copy the text because it is done in Flash, but I was disappointed to see this narrow view of our planet postulated in "Old World" = Europe, and "New World"= The Americas. What has happened to Africa and Australia? Would they be old or new or really really old (as in Australia, which is probably the oldest continent).
Also, they want to establish an Overland Race around the world from New York to London, wouldn't it be more challenging to go New York to, say Johannesburg?

...Am I sleeping?? (0, Offtopic)

dmouritsendk (321667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301252)

I now this is completely redundant to this story and everything. But i just had to post a comment, somewhere....

I JUST SAW A M$ BANNER ON /.

Pinch me somebody.. please..

Driving from America to Asia (3, Insightful)

Peale (9155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301254)

I must say, I think that's totally cool. I can't believe they denied the entry permit, however.

It's a shame they couldn't make a permanant roadway (I know, I know, it's 56 miles, but it'd still be cool.

Re:Driving from America to Asia (2, Interesting)

WetCat (558132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301404)

Actually, making a permanent roadway will benefit only US and Chukotka, because
Chukotka itself has no reliable connections (no hard-surface roads, no railroads) with Russia
mainland.

You Can't Believe?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301489)

I think MORE western tourists and other folks need to be denied permit to enter Russia, so that they maybe look at how THEIR countries deal with us. I am a Russian studiing in Canada. I can SEE the U.S. from my Residence's window. Yet, I can't go there. Guess why. No, I don't want to settle there. I just want to hike around the Finger Lakes in NY. You guys are so used to the fact that you can go anywhere while not letting all those "inferior" people into your countries! This has to come to an end. The more publicity such refusals receive, the better.

Canadian Winters (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301262)

In Canada the winters have been changing pretty drastically in the past decade.

I'm 18 years old. I've lived above and below the Arctic Circle, mostly in the Maritimes.

All of the winters in Canada have been following strange patterns. A really harsh, cold, brutal winter, with a cool summer, followed by a warm winter with lots of freezing rain, followed by a boiling summer, then back to the brutal winter.

This didn't happen before. I've also noticed much more drastic weather changes then before; especially out East. Normally the Atlantic ocean is a stabilizer, keeping temperatures normal. When I was in St. John's a couple of years ago we had a day in the summer where it was -10(C, for all you Americans) in the morning, and +25 in the afternoon. This was Newfoundland, right on the ocean. Truly terrifying.

I don't think that the issue here any more is who/ what caused this crazy weather; it might just be the way the world works, it might be man-made global warming. What we have to do now is plan for it; the ice melting creates a lot more problems then the guys in Ottawa or Washington suspect.

It changes the weather, so the farmers, it causes animals to change their migratory patterns (anyone else in Canada notice the geese leaving at wierd times now?), which causes the hunting and fishing industries to change, which cause the food industries and all of their subsidaries to compensate, etc. etc.

In a couple of years things will never be the same.

Re:Canadian Winters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301411)

"I've also noticed much more drastic weather changes then before..."

Canadian education must be worse than I thought. You apparently don't know the difference between "then" and "than". Here's a quick lesson:

THEN : used to assert an order or chronology. Example:

1) "Mary ate a donut, and THEN ate Roger's ferret."

THAN : used to form a comparison or denote an exception. Examples:

1) "Igor elected to kill his neighbor with a pipe wrench, rather THAN a chainsaw."

2) "Other THAN an addiction to cheesy-poofs, the nun had no bad habits."

Not obvious enough? The single case for the use of the word "then" should make correct usage obvious, even to a moose with a head injury.

Repeat after me, "if it has nothing to do with time or sequence, the required word is 'THAN'".

You're welcome.

Just a rumor (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301275)

but I hear that everyone who works at slashdot likes to shove cheesewedges up their ass. Can anyone confirm this?

vehicle not that special (1)

yzquxnet (133355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301277)

A snocat that floats, big whoop. Here the snowland there are zillions of them running around grooming trails for skiers and snowmobiliers. Other than some add ons it seems pretty OEM to me.

Negro IQ, the Monkey Connection (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301280)


Dr. White writes that in the recent report from Science Weekly, Dr. Brooks found some chimps to be smarter than Negroes.The full report will be published in December. Also a genetic link between Negro genes and idleness.

Then I remembered a show which I had seen on television. Last summer watched a PBS program about Koko the gorilla using sign language and so on, and among other things, they said this ape had an IQ of 85. The first thing that came to mind was the average American black IQ as mentioned in Charles Murray's The Bell Curve. Surely I couldn't have been the only one to take note, but I figured that if anyone complained, the newsmedia wouldn't respond because it would be just too damned embarrassing to publicize if the nignogs demanded that this segment be edited out.

Gentlemen, greetings to all (-1)

Mao Zedong (467890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301285)

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh_,-%/%|
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhh_,-' \//%\
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh_,-' \%/|%
hhhhhhhhhhhhhh/ / ) __,-- /%\
hhhhhhhhhhhhhh\__/_,-'%(% ; %)%
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh%\%, %\
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh'--%'

Well come on
All you people
The time has come to get together
You gotta have a little rock 'n' roll music
To get you through the stormy weather
And do whatever you feel
When you let go
Nothin's gonna help you more than rock 'n' roll

So come on, put you hands together
You know it's now or never
Take a chance on rock 'n' roll

Ooo are you feelin' satisfied
Come on let us give your mind a ride
Ooo are you ready tonight
Come on let us give your mind a ride You can do what you like
Come on let us give your mind a ride

Oh that funky feelin'
Is what you need to get you through
You oughta know
I'll tell you somethin'
Don't let your troubles get to you
'Cause win or lose it's alright
Well take control
And nothin's gonna help you more than rock 'n' roll

So come on
Put you hands together
You know it's now or never
Take a chance on rock 'n' roll

Ooo are you feelin' satisfied
Come on let us give your mind a ride
Ooo are you ready tonight
Come on let us give your mind a ride You can do what you like
Come on let us give your mind a ride

Except Greenspun spammed my ass! (0, Offtopic)

sudog (101964) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301298)

There was a message I sent to him with a tailored from: address--I do this regularly in order to track down where my emails are being harvested from. And lo! The email address I used to send perfectly legitimate, polite inquiries to the guy is suddenly spammed with a load of email? What, is he whoring out his private address box/inbox now? Or is this guy--a self-described computer-savvy individual, going to claim he's been hacked? Give me a break.

Why would I want to travel anywhere with someone like that? Lame!

Re:Except Greenspun spammed my ass! (1)

nucal (561664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301401)

I'd rather hook up with Eve Andersson in Guatemala [eveander.com] .

its still not as cool as any of the new macs (1)

Dokushoka (570664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301299)

But it does look kind of fun =)

I'm a Slashdot kind of guy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301300)

My penis is long and stout
If you're a man, you can try it out.

I don't like girls.
Not their tits,
Nor their curls.

I'm a Slashdot kind of guy.

Come close and lick it.
Bend over and I'll stick it.
Where the sun don't shine.

I'm a Slashdot kind of guy.

Call me a fairy.
My balls they are hairy.
Sniff them with your snout.

My penis is long and stout.

I'm a Slashdot kind of guy.

Michael, Let me take you home tonight (-1)

Mao Zedong (467890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301325)

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh /\hhhhhhhhhh/\
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh( \\hhhhh // )
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \ \\hhhhh // /
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \_\\||||//_/
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \/ _ _ \
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \/|(O)(O)|
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \/ |hhhhh |
hhhhh ___________________\/ \hhhhh /
hhhhh//hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh //hhhhh|____|
//hhhhhhh hhhhhhh ||hhhhh/hhhhh \
//|hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh \|hhhhh\ 0 0 /
// \hhhhh )hhhhh V / \____/
// \hhhhh/hhhhh (hhhhh/
""hhhhh\ /_________| |_/
hhhhh / /\ /hhhhh| ||
hhhhh / / / /hhhhh \ ||
hhhhh | | | |hhhhh | ||
hhhhh | | | |hhhhh | ||
hhhhh |_| |_|hhhhh |_||
hhhhh \_\ \_\hhhhh \_\\

Now I'm not like this, I'm really kind of shy
But I get this feeling whenever you walk by
I don't wanna down you, I wanna make you high
If you you could see your way to me, come on and let me try.
Let me take you home tonight
Mamma now it's alright
Let me take you home tonight
I'll show you sweet delight.
You must understand this, I've watched you for so long
that I feel I've known you, I know it can't be wrong
If we just get together, I want to make you see
I'm dreaming of your sweet love tonight, so mamma let it be
Let me take you home tonight
Mamma now it's alright
Let me take you home tonight
I'll show you sweet delight.
I don't wanna make excuses, I don't wanna lie
I just got to get loose
With you tonight
Let me take you home tonight
Mamma now it's alright
Let me take you home tonight
I'll show you sweet delight.
I don't wanna make excuses, I don't wanna lie
I just got to get loose
With you tonight
I don't wanna down you, I wanna make you high
And I get this feeling whenever you walk by
If we just get together, I wanna make you see
I'm dreamin' of your sweet love tonight, so mamma let it be.
Let me take you home tonight
Mamma now it's alright
Let me take you home tonight
I'll show you sweet delight
I wanna show you sweet delight, show ya sweet delight
Pretty mamma wanna show ya sweet delight
Let me take you home tonight
You know I wanna take you home
Let me take you home tonight
I don't wanna be alone
Let me take you home tonight
Let me take you home tonight
Let me take you home tonight

Faggots on bikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301352)

There they go, a pack of faggots in stretch pants whooshing down the walkway. The sign says "no bikes" but the gay parade ignores the signs, running down walkers right and left. Where are they going? What's the hurry? Are they going to a Nambla meeting or a Circle jerk? Why are they dressed in black and yellow spandex? Perhaps it's a code, like the petite little ear rings they wear. When you see the "pack" swarm into a public restroom, don't you worry for your childeren? Something must be done. We must cure these "gay" bicylists of their perversions BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE. Won't you do your part? This weekend, vow to "take down" the fag bicylists in your community. Enlist your neighbor, and YOUR KIDS WILL THANK YOU.

Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301425)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Challengers!

Michael Sims (-1, Offtopic)

flikx (191915) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301428)

Junkyard Wars next project? (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3301434)

The machine looks like a thing from Junkyard Wars... Just alot prettier.

It better be for 200,000 pounds.

Myth of the "Ice Bridge" and Migration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3301468)

"...the 56-mile field of ice floes that each winter "joins" America and Russia."

Gee, if it happens now, then it must've happened every winter, for years, going back.

That means anyone could've walked to North America anytime in the past 1,000,000 years without having to wait for an ice age.

Which is why several of the earliest signs of man in North and South America pre-date the ice age by several millenia....

Have Canoe, Will Continent Hop
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