Fearful Symmetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Arctic

A Teacup In A Storm by Mike Conefrey

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A Teacup In A Storm

A Teacup In A Storm

This was a Christmas present – the sort of book I would not normally buy for myself. It’s basically one of those things you are supposed to dip into but I ended up reading it cover to cover. This may give you some idea on how good I thought it was. It’s basically about exploration in all it’s aspects going into some detail for landmark journeys; covering mainly mountain climbing, in particular Everest; the Arctic and Antarctic, in particular the various races to the poles; plus various expeditions into Africa across Australia etc. Short, easy to read segments, are interspersed with lists, such as what various polar missions had for Christmas Dinner and extractions from publications. The latter includes some hilarious advice on how to avoid begin eaten by a big snake, apparently you let it eat half of you then stab it in the head. Don’t try that at home.

Whilst seemingly light and trivial, at it’s heart the book tries to answer a simple question: why do some explorations fail and some succeed? It seems to be mostly down to the character of the people, especially the leader. The way the he (and it’s almost always a he) picks his team, plans the mission and then manages the actual exploration is critical. A balance has to be struck between boldness and caution and simply knowing when to give up to save your men. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 6, 2009 at 9:38 am

2000AD Extreme: Shako and Project Overkill

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Shako!

Shako!

A friend of mine sent me this old-skool comic, recently re-issued. ‘Shako’ is an old story from the early days of 2000AD featuring a polar bear going about eating people. Oh and just to complicate matters it swallowed a capsule filled with poison that the CIA lost. Why? Don’t ask silly questions. Having a Cold War twist means that Shako can not only eat Yankies but Russkies as well. And if that’s not enough it also features the best character name in the whole history of comics – Buck Dollar.

We will never see the like nowadays, mores the pity. It’s utter rubbish but, by god, it’s entertaining (especially if you put your irony goggles on).

This got me wandering if given a depth of water that gave no advantage to either party who would win in a fight between Shako and Hookjaw. I suppose it will have to remain one of those great unanswered questions. If you’ve not heard of Hookjaw go and have a look at my Action article.

There’s also the story ‘Project Overkill’ in this compilation. But as this makes literately no sense whatsoever I’ll leave it at that.

Written by Fearful Symmetry

June 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm