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A Simple Fan
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 05:56 pm:   

This is a new thread. It won't have any pointless flaming and there won't be any posts hundreds and hundreds of words long indecipherable as to meaning and intent.

It's for simple folk who like a good yarn.

Read any good yarns lately? Anybody?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:12 pm:   

Yee Ha! A simple thread. Wellsir, I haven't had much time to read lately, but I did read a great article in the Atlantic Monthly today about this graveard for freighters in India. Pretty cool.

Last thing I read I really had a lot of fun with was Mitchell's Smith's prison thriller, STONE CITY, How 'bout you, ASF?
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   

Actually, I read an article in SI recently that creeped me out pretty bad -- about these extreme free divers and this couple who was setting records and how the wife died on a dive and stuff. Very freaky.

Fictionally speaking, I'm reading Katherine Dunn's Geek Love (which rocks) and the usual assortment of short genre fiction.

These freighters come from all over the world? Wonder if there are pictures on the web somewhere...
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ASF
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:21 pm:   

I mostly read discussion boards.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:25 pm:   

Hey, Deborar....that's interesting, while I was having coffee this morning, a lady from anotheer dimension free-dived....ooops, wait! That was day before yesterday. But this morning, I was watching the tube and they interviewed this beautiful blond who just set the free-diving record. She seemed sane.

The Geek, as Katherine calls it, does rock.

As to the frieghters, I'll check it out. You might want to google Shipbreakers or Alang, India.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:26 pm:   

ASF,

You must be wise beyond measure... :-)
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:31 pm:   

This thing I read was about this guy who is a total maniac about free diving...the woman who died had been a college student who was doing a thesis on freedivers and went to interview him...they fell in love and she started diving herself. On the dive that killed her a lot of safety corners had either been cut or mistakes were made...not murder, but probably negligence. This guy apparently is so obsessed with holding the record that he routinely dives more often than he should and shit like that.

Anyway, after I read it I was thinking about a world in which you have this kind of thing as "sport" alongside the lobster divers of Honduras...it just seemed perverse.

p.s. I think ASF is a Fed -- don't admit anything.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 06:38 pm:   

Yup. About the lobster divers et al. One man's meat...

Greenpeace has a shipbreaking site with video and some photos....btw.

I'll keep an eye on ASF.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 12:44 am:   

I'm reading "The Digging Leviathan" by James Blaylock. It reminds me of how much fun this genre can be.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 06:31 am:   

I just read the ms. of a book called Seekers, about these deep wreck divers who discovered a U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, at about 230 feet, back in 1991. Took them six years of increasingly daring and desperate dives -- including three deaths -- to identify the sub. Pretty harrowing.

What is "free diving"? Is it diving without any scuba equipment?
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R.Wilder
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 07:21 am:   

I was very entertained by "From the Corner of My Eye" by Alexander Glass, and "Benjamin the Unbeliever" both from the August "Asimov's," particularly the Glass story.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 07:22 am:   

Paul, I saw it on TV. It;'s for depth records. They ride a pole down--it's lowered mechanically--to these ludicrous depths and then they gradually surface. They have to hold their breath for...I can't recall the record, but it's amazing.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 09:54 am:   

I just read THE INVISIBLE BIRD by Patrick O'Leary and thought it was damn cool.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 09:55 am:   

Shit, that's THE IMPOSSIBLE BIRD by Patrick O'Leary. Sorry.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 11:50 am:   

On the free diving: the woman who died was attempting a dive of 558 feet. During training she had held her breath under water in a jacuzzi for 5 minutes and 50 seconds which was more than the forced apnea record for women...

The depths are such that both the descent and return have to be carefully timed, obviously. There are divers stationed along the apparatus with air tanks to grab the free diver in case something goes wrong.

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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 12:32 pm:   

Deborah, I think the woman I saw broke six minutes, first woman to do so. Some men, of course, have been known to stay under longer.

A lot of stuff I've read about the :"sport:" talks about the hallucinations being pretty amazing.
Part of the motivation?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 12:33 pm:   

Nathan,

Blaylock's a terrific writer. Glad you're digging the LEVIATHAN
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 01:17 pm:   

Lucius and Deborah:

I assume since you're not breathing oxygen during this time you don't need to worry about the bends?

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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 01:20 pm:   

Paul, I don't think so, because you're not taking oxygen on the way up and you have to come up slowly, which is where the breath-holding comes in. I think you have to worry a lot about the bends -- you're talking about a six minute ascent....
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 04:11 pm:   

Paul: No worries about Bends. I saw a program on TV too. While I was in Ireland in January. Apparently there used to be medical concerns that the pressure would destroy the organs and crush ribs and so forth, but apparently the lungs compress and essentially liquify, but as you move up they expand normally and there's no harm done. They were interviewing that record-setting lady. Also had video of her descent. Pretty impressive.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   

Wwell, what is the deal, then, Mastadge? Why is it dangerous to come up fast?
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:57 am:   

Honestly, I can't remember. Maybe it's not good for the lungs to decompress too fast? I could probably do a quick search and find the answer pretty quickly, but I'm far too lazy.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 07:39 am:   

When you move from a high pressue environment (deep underwater) to a low pressure environment (out of the water) too quickly, air bubles can form in your bloodstream. This is due to the fact that you are breathing pressured air while underwater, and the nitrogen you inhale is absorbed into your body instead of being exhaled as you do on dry land. So, this nitrogen that's sitting in your fatty tissues, reverts from liquid to gas when you hit the low pressue environment. The nitrogen typically gets stored mostly in your nervous system (about 60% fatty tissues) and in your joints. The phrase 'the bends' comes from not being able to bend your joints due to the nitrogen being released inside your body. This is a very dangerous condition that can only be resolved by returning the person to a pressurized environment.

JK

(yes, I looked it up)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:00 am:   

Yeah, JK, that's the bend, but from what I gather, Mastadge is saying that the bends is not the problem here with free divers, and that there's some other problem...though I it seems to me logical that the bends would be involved.....
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:47 am:   

That's what I get for not reading carefully. Here's a possible explanation:

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,12543,461110,00.html
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 09:43 am:   

Thanks, John....
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paulw
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 10:05 am:   

Taking six minutes to ascend from depths of hundreds of feet doesn't seem like a lot to me. Well, in terms of being able to hold your breath that long, it's amazing, but compared to the hours that scuba divers must spend in ascent, slowly decompressing at stages, it's not. So the bends aren't a problem, evidently.

The other problem that deep scuba divers encounter is narcosis (though using a special oygen mix, called Trimix or something, can eliminate this). Is that a problem for free divers?

Wish I'd seen one of those programs!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

I don't know dip about this stuff -- I've got a freind who's a profession deep sea diver ann scuba expert. When he gets back from Honduras, I'll ask him a buncha questions.

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Bob Kruger
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 06:01 pm:   

You only get the bends from tank dives. Nitrogen from the pressurized air builds up in your tissues, and then bubbles up if you come up too fast and don't give your lungs time to exchange it. If you're not breathing air under pressure, you can't get the bends. You've probably heard of helium-oxygen mixes for really deep dives -- the inert gas doesn't get into your system as easily. Nitrogen narcosis occurs during sports dives around three or four atmospheres, generally about a hundred feet or more. You get buzzed. After five atmospheres you begin to exceed 100% partial pressure of O2, and then you get oxygen poisoning too. Pressurized oxygen is toxic. Tank diving is a whole different set of hazards from free diving.

Bob

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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 06:51 pm:   

Thanks, Bob

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