Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Into the Wild

Chris / Alex McCandless wrote well.

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is hit passion for adventure.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."

"You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience."

This is from the book "Into the Wild" and the above quotes are Alex's own.
The last quote he negates before death when he notes:

"And so it turned out that only a life similar to life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness... And this was most vexing of all. HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED."

Did he have to go through his ordeal to realise this? Could he have been one of the very few who actually realised this? I ask because most of us don't know the other possibility, of living without society and love.

The book is quite excellent. It's not as glorious as the movie but is sobering. Jon Krakauer is the author and he expressed his compassion for the kid in the introduction/ foreword. There are two chapters which I really liked. One in which Jon talks of other weirdos/ loners/ pursuers and the other when he describes his youth and his journey to Alaska to conquer Devil's Thumb. Fantastic stuff.
I enjoyed the part where when he came back to the town and recited his tale to the town folk, they didn't seem to care :)
I relished the part where he compared his ... well... this is the statement (He was 23 years old then):
"At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage."

This book and books like this make one realise how shallow a city-dweller's journey can be. Yes.

127 Hours

The movie rocks. There was two scenes that reminded me of me.
1. Aron Ralston (James Franco) as a kid with big specs and his father takes him to a part of the canyon to see the sunrise.
I have thought of this a few times; if I ever choose to or am fortunate enough to have a kid I would love to go trekking with him, away from the city to a secluded part of earth. It's something that I'm sure I would not enjoy with my girlfriend or wife.

2. When Aron just realises that he is trapped and says something for the first time.
While walking on the Sheltowee trail in the Red River Gorge; I had been walking for two hours or so and then I said, "I haven't heard my voice for quite a while." That is the first human sound I had heard in two hours or so.
The feeling was precious and I hold it very dear.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Antarctica - and we waste time chasing money and society :)

Yes - that was a long title. For a reason.


There is a glacier in Antarctica that seems to be weeping a river of blood. It’s one of the continent’s strangest features, and it’s located in one of the continent’s strangest places — the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a huge, ice-free zone and one of the world’s harshest deserts. So imagine you’re hiking through this –


– which has been kept ice-less since God was a child because of something called the katabatic winds, which sweep over the valleys at up to 200 mph and suck all the moisture out of them. Anyway, you’re hiking along, passing dessicated penguin carcasses and such, and you come to this.

blood falls

A bleeding glacier. Discovered in 1911 by a member of Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition team, its rusty color was at first theorized to be caused by some sort of algae growth. Later, however, it was proven to be due to iron oxidation. Every so often, the glacier spews forth a clear, iron-rich liquid that quickly oxidizes and turns a deep shade of red. According to Discover Magazine –

The source of that water is an intensely salty lake trapped beneath 1,300 feet of ice, and a new study has now found that microbes have carved out a niche for themselves in that inhospitable environment, living on sulfur and iron compounds. The bacteria colony has been isolated there for about 1.5 million years, researchers say, ever since the glacier rolled over the lake and created a cold, dark, oxygen-poor ecosystem.

Even weirder: scientists think that the bacteria responsible for Blood Falls might be an Earth-bound approximation of the kind of alien life that might exist elsewhere in the solar system, like beneath the polar ice caps of Mars and Europa.


Disclaimer: I did not write a single word from the above excerpt.

This article and the photos are brilliant. Not because they exist but because we choose to remain so withdrawn from the glorious natural creations. A barren, cold, ice-free desert in Antarctica makes sense once you read about it but I am sure when I make this assumption - one thinks of Antarctica as an ice, ice, ice land.

My point: There is so much world out there. It's a corny statement - but so true :(

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Stolen Essay

" Today, I thought of how much I detest what this city has become. And then I thought that the standard of living has improved and is still better than those in many other cities.

Sadly, humanity, civility and simplicity have been lost.
I want to fight for these things but find it simpler to overlook them and potentially leave this city and may be this country. "

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1000 Awesome Things

Take a step back - life can be simple. Believe it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


No. I'm not wishing the insane readers a happy new year.
A thought occurred to me the other day.

When did 'Hello' become a question?

Ref: Whenever someone picks up the phone.