Currently viewing the tag: "survival"

The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race, held in 1968–1969, and was the first round-the-world yacht race. The race was controversial due to the failure of most competitors to finish the race and because of the suicide of one entrant; however, it ultimately led to the founding of the BOC Challenge and Vendée Globe round-the-world races, both of which continue to be successful and popular.

The race was sponsored by the British Sunday Times newspaper and was designed to capitalise on a number of individual round-the-world voyages which were already being planned by various sailors; for this reason, there were no qualification requirements, and competitors were offered the opportunity to join and permitted to start at any time between 1 June and 31 October 1968. The Golden Globe trophy was offered to the first person to complete an unassisted, non-stop single-handed circumnavigation of the world via the great capes, and a separate £5,000 prize was offered for the fastest single-handed circumnavigation.

Nine sailors started the race; four retired before leaving the Atlantic Ocean. Of the five remaining, Chay Blyth, who had set off with absolutely no sailing experience, sailed past the Cape of Good Hope before retiring; Nigel Tetley sank with 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km) to go while leading; Donald Crowhurst, who, in desperation, attempted to fake a round-the-world voyage to avoid financial ruin, began to show signs of mental illness, and then committed suicide; and Bernard Moitessier, who rejected the philosophy behind a commercialised competition, abandoned the race while in a strong position to win and kept sailing non-stop until he reached Tahiti after circling the globe one and a half times. Robin Knox-Johnston was the only entrant to complete the race, becoming the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. He was awarded both prizes, and later donated the £5,000 to a fund supporting Crowhurst’s family. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a competition that must be completed singlehandedly and alone against great odds.

Journaling Prompt: What is the most challenging thing you’ve ever attempted alone? Write about the challenges you overcame.

Art Prompt: Yacht race

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a person who overcame isolation and the elements and emerged triumphant.

Photo Credit: GoldenGlobeRaceRoute on Wikimedia

Artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence after 2020, predicts Vernor Vinge, a world-renowned pioneer in AI, who has warned about the risks and opportunities that an electronic super-intelligence would offer to mankind. “It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future,” says scifi legend Vernor Vinge, “create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such an event — such a singularity — are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.” –Daily Galaxy

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in the future depicted above.

Journaling Prompt: Imagine how you would feel if suddenly, you were inferior. Write about how you would adjust to that.

Art Prompt: Artificial intelligence

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the state of artificial intelligence today.

Photo Credit: Maziani Sabudin on Flickr

The gondola dipped to the high-town landing and I climbed out. I carried no baggage, sent ahead to the pension, except memory. Childhood, youth, young manhood. The little war, the famous siege that nearly killed me. I was lucky, they said, the doctors, when I woke in the field hospital of the international forces. Lucky. –Two Dead Men by ALEX JEFFERS

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a lucky man who arrives back to the scene of his near death experience.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most interesting way you have ever travelled.

Art Prompt: Gondola ride

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about an escape from death.

Photo Credit: Kim Olson on Flickr

Imagine it’s 1942, and you’re a member of Britain’s Royal Air Force. In a skirmish above Germany, your plane was shot out of the sky, and since then you’ve been hunkered down in a Prisoner of War camp. Your officers have told you it’s your duty to escape as soon as you can, but you can’t quite figure out how—you’ve got no tools and no spare rations, and you don’t even know where you are.

One day, though, you’re playing Monopoly with your fellow prisoners when you notice a strange seam in the board. You pry it open—and find a secret compartment with a file inside. In other compartments, other surprises: a compass, a wire saw, and a map, printed on luxurious, easily foldable silk and showing you exactly where you are, and where safety is. You’ve received a package from Christopher Clayton Hutton—which means you’re set to go. –How Millions Of Secret Silk Maps Helped POWs Escape Their Captors in WWII by Cara Giaimo

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story about a POW who escapes.

Journaling Prompt: When you were going through a tough time, what do you wish someone would have given you?

Art Prompt: Silk maps

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about silk maps and POWs during WWII.

Photo Credit: Joe Saunders on Flickr

During World War I (and, to a lesser extent, World War II) the Dolomites saw extremely fierce fighting. The year 1915 had Austro-Hungarian forces taking up strategic positions in the Dolomites to protect themselves from the advancing Italian army, and over the next few years both sides created and relied upon via ferrata as a method of moving through the mountains…

Italians referred to the battles in the Dolomites as il fronte vertical. Soldiers were fighting not only the enemy, but the elements as well: 60,000 World War I soldiers are thought to have died in avalanches in this relatively small mountain range. Temperatures plunged to 40 degrees below freezing for days on end as troops huddled in the mountainside huts and tunnels. –Ladders Through Time: Hiking the Dolomites’ Via Ferratas by Charlie Boscoe

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which troops have to improvise  in order to survive.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the toughest hike or climb you ever did.

Art Prompt: Via Ferrata

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Via Ferrata and its role in WWI.

Photo Credit: Jan on Flickr

The girl screamed once, only the once. –Knots and Crosses: An Inspector Rebus Novel by Ian Rankin

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story starting with the line above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the last time you screamed.
Art Prompt: Scream!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about the last time you screamed.

Photo Credit: Gustav Astorga on Flickr

…the most comprehensive work being done at the moment is the somewhat off-centered initiative announced by NASA in 2013 called the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).

That plan is to develop and build an unmanned spacecraft that can rendezvous with a near-earth asteroid, carve away a chunk of it weighing a ton or so, and tow it back to a lunar orbit where astronauts arriving in an Orion Spacecraft can explore and study it and return samples to Earth for more detailed analysis. This program is planned (hoped) to be ready by the mid-2020s.

NASA’s website states that ARM is part of their larger plan “to advance the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s”. I’m a little fuzzy on how this mission leads us to Mars, but many of the technologies involved (asteroid rendezvous, asteroid carving and asteroid repositioning) would absolutely be relevant to learning how to deflect a killer asteroid. –Killer Asteroids: Can We Stop Them? by Jack Clemons

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the plot is driven by an asteroid on collision course with Earth.

Journaling Prompt: Are you worried about threats from space? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Killer Asteroid

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about ARM and why we need it.

A man can go along obeying all the rules and then it don’t matter a damn anymore. –What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver

Fiction Writing Prompt: Put your protagonist into a situation where the rules don’t apply anymore.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when the rules are suddenly changed?

Art Prompt: The rules

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time that you broke a rule.

Photo Credit: Dr. Zhivago on Flickr

Hi, I’m a hero, but I can’t tell you why. It’s classified. –Cetaganda by Louise MacMaster Bujold

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a hero who can’t talk about what he or she does.

Journaling Prompt: Who is your unknown everyday hero?

Art Prompt: Hero

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about a hero in your life.

Photo Credit: Martin Biskoping on Flickr

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Poisoning used to be a much more effective method of doing away with your enemies, thanks largely in part to the ineffectiveness of historical antidotes and medicine. One fabled poison cure was the bezoar, a hardened spherical deposit of indigestible material that forms in the gastrointestinal tract of hoofed animals.

For hundreds of years, bezoars were believed to be able to render any and all poison inert. And when you couldn’t get your hands on a naturally occurring bezoar, you could, for the right price, opt for an artificially created bezoar known as a Goa Stone.

Bezoars, which appear as stone-like lumps, can form from hair, seeds, fruit pits, rocks, calcium, or pretty much anything that has trouble passing naturally through an organic system. They are most often formed in the bodies of hoofed animals like goats or deer, although bezoars taken from Asian porcupines were also popular…

Possibly the most famous use of a bezoar was in an experiment by the 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré, who set out to prove that they were not actually the cure to all poison. A cook sentenced to be hanged agreed to be poisoned instead, just so long as he could be administered a bezoar immediately after, to be set free if he lived. The cook died just hours later, and Paré’s experiment had proved that the power of the bezoar was not quite what it seemed. –Atlas Obscura

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a protagonist who is constantly afraid of being poisoned.

Journaling Prompt: What lengths do you go to for self-protection?

Art Prompt: Poison

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about strange remedies from history, including bezoars.