In his Voyages dans les Alpes , the pioneering 18th-century geologist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure wrote briefly about the chamois hunters of the Alps, men who pursued a notoriously perilous profession. The hunters were menaced by crevasses on the glaciers over which they chased their quarry, they faced death by falling from the steep slopes the chamois preferred, and death by exposure from the Alpine storms which could gather so quickly. And yet, de Saussure had written:
"It is these very dangers, this alternation of hope and fear, the continual agitation kept alive by these sensations in his heart, which excite the huntsman, just as they animate the gambler, the warrior, the sailor and, even to a certain point, the naturalist among the Alps whose life resembles closely, in some respects, that of the chamois hunter."
When I read this passage, it made absolute sense to me, despite the intervening centuries. As de Saussure said, risk-taking brings with it its own reward: it keeps a “continual agitation alive” in the heart. Hope, fear. Hope, fear - this is the fundamental rhythm of mountaineering. Life, it frequently seems in the mountains, is more intensely lived the closer one gets to its extinction: we never feel so alive as when we have nearly died.
- Robert Macfarlane
lets move out to the mountains? I have 7 years to answer that X Question. ;) If it gets bad, might take up mountaineering lol
Something I should have done recently but didn’t quite do. I feel unprivileged, in a strange way. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that some of the people there do matter thus I was appreciating them, or is it because it had more to do with what M had asked: “Where is my guts?”
Don McPherson, on rape culture and educating boys to not rape
An extract from George Osborne’s statement in the House of Commons on the 2010 Spending Review:
Good kidney function is an essential part of the workings of a modern, civilised society, and the Coalition is determined to ensure that Britain has kidney function second to none in order that we may punch above our weight in the global economy going forward.
Nonetheless, we can no longer tolerate a situation where the long-term unemployed have exactly the same number of kidneys as members of hard-working families who pay their taxes. This penalises virtue and goes against the principles of fairness which guide this government’s actions.
… After a careful look at the options, I have decided that by cutting out waste and duplication in kidney function … and in line with best medical advice that only one kidney is necessary for healthy life, I propose reducing by 50 per cent the number of kidneys currently held by those on benefits. The organs thus freed up will be sold by tender.
And I thought Marzuki Alie has a problem. Apparently all parliamentarians are a waste of bloody time.