General discussion



By jardinier ·
I can't think of anything meaningful to say about this topic, but perhaps there are others who have thoughts, feelings or personal experiences which they would like to share.

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I think I've said this before

by neilb@uk In reply to Ha..

but try and get the original BBC radio broadcast! It is the best of all media for something that relies on imagination. The BBC TV series is available at Amazon (US) but get the radio version if you can find it!


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I'll do that.

by maecuff In reply to I think I've said this be ...

My son is only six and I think a good portion of the humor flies over his head, but for the most part, he's been very entertained. I think he'd enjoy the radio version. Thanks!

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Douglas Adams stories

by JamesRL In reply to That's funny, but

My wife once worked for a law firm. She was asked to serve someone at a local hotel. She knocked on the door and the person asked her to wait in the lobby.

She went to the lobby and while waiting pulled out a copy of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. She was asked by someone else sitting in the lobby how she liked the book. "Not bad, not as good as the Hitchhiker's series" she replied." Douglas Adams smiled and offered to sign the book anyway.

I also remember Douglas as an occasional contributor to MacWorld magazine. One article in particular struck me as hilarious - it was about the foibles of troubleshooting SCSI issues on Macs.


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by maecuff In reply to Douglas Adams stories

Too bad he died at such a young age. I'd have to say though, I enjoyed the two Dirk Gently books as much as the hitchhiker series.

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My error

by jardinier In reply to Another thought

What I actually meant was "destroy all life on earth."

This is something which could not be achieved by any natural disaster, hence humans have a potentially greater destructive capability.

I will assert the very obvious fact that pollution caused by humans, destruction of forests (upon which, of course, we rely for a steady supply of oxygen and absortion of carbon dioxide), extinction of countless species of flora and fauna, overall add up to a greater degree of destruction to the planet than has been achieved by any natural disaster, or indeed more than likely all recorded natural disasters.

Well that is of course except for the alleged meteor which allegedly struck the earth and allegedly blocked out the sun's rays with the resulting dust cloud, hence rendering dinosaurs extinct.

But then of course there is probably no point in trying to address these ideas to a person who has repeatedly denied the extent of environmental destruction caused by our species.

By the way -- have you tried rafting the full length of the Colorado River recently?

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The Colorado River

by maxwell edison In reply to My error

No, I've never rafted the Colorado. My last rafting trip was in May 2003, when a group of us rafted the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge. The water was higher than it had been in years, due to an unusually high snowfall the previous winter, and we rode level 4 and 5 rapids for a half a day. A couple of us ended up in the water, one of whom was me, and I had the rare pleasure of negotiating about 100 yards (90 meters) of rapids -- without the benefit of a raft -- before my rafting partners could pull me back in. An interesting and unforgettable experience, to say the least. But the Colorado, no I've never rafted that river.

I assume you asked me that question, however, not to hear about my various exploits, but to suggest it's not possible, for a variety of reasons, to raft the entire length. And you're right, it's not possible.

Some interesting facts about the Colorado River:

- The streams of the Rocky Mountains feed the Colorado River, originating from the likes of Longs Peak at an elevation of over 14,000 feet (4,300 meters).

- The Colorado River is 1,450 miles long, and flows across 1,360 miles of the USA and 90 miles of Mexico.

- About 85% of the river's water is used for agricultural irrigation. (I wonder how many people are fed as a result?)

- The awesome Hoover Dam (in Arizona) is on the Colorado River. The dam provides electrical power for a good portion of the American Southwest. (Did you know that the last man to die building that dam was the son of the first man to die on the project? And it happened on the very same date, but in a later year.)

- Lake Mead is the result of Hoover Dam; and it provides a recreational getaway for millions of people each and every year.

- There are a total of about dozen dams built on the Colorado River. (I'd hate to raft through all those turbines - ouch.)

- The Colorado River provides drinking water to many of the residents of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California.

- The Colorado River was the force that carved the spectacular Grand Canyon. (Rafting, hiking and/or camping that particular canyon, by the way, is on my list of things to do.)

- The Colorado River is fed by melting snows in the spring and early summer. Therefore, the river has ALWAYS had a cycle of either too much or too little. Early settlers found themselves either flooded out or high-and-dry.

You should visit the area sometimes, Julian. It's well worth the effort to put on anyone's "to do" list.

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I gotta agree with you there Max

by Oz_Media In reply to The Colorado River

I have been to the Hoover Dam and it definitely is a sight! The Colorado River looks like one FUN ride that's for sure! But 1400+ miles in a rubber boat sounds a little much.

I was rafting last April on the Fraser and a full day (with a lunch stop) was more than enough for me!

The facts that you provided are interesting (thanks for that) is it REALLY true about the first and last man killed? I kow it makes for great legend but it seems a wee bit too ironic, even if the same people, the SAME DATE?? Wow!

I think I would have been taking that day off each year, chalk it up as a mourning day or something.

All in all it is much similar to the Fraser River here,

-It is the largest river in B.C., at over 1378 km (not miles) in length. Its headwaters are at Mt. Robson in Jasper (Alberta)

-The drainage of the Fraser River watershed is nearly one quarter of a million square kilometres (where much of California's power supply origininates)- which is larger than the area of Great Britain! PHEW!

-It is the largest salmon producing river in the world

-Approximately 800 million juvenile salmon migrate along the river every year.

-There can be up to 20 million salmon on any given day in the estuary.

It is also known for BUILDING BC, as this is where all the early settlers and miners set up towns during the gold rush and is still a place where you can pan quote successfully (if you avoid all the claim stakes and sluice boxes), most towns still exist and really haven't grown too much since then,original buildings stand and make for many tourist stops along the way.

And yes, I've taken more than one dunk into it, planned or not!

It seems that almost anywhere you camp on the mainland, the river you are camped at is either the Fraser or a piece of it.

These big and mighty rivers we have are just one of the many reasons I am so addicted to living here, until you have spent time near or on them , one can't understand just how much power and life they really contain.

As an addemdum, I will say that Iwas shocked to see the number of slamon that you can just walk up and scoop out like a bear due to the lower and lower water levels each year. It is not abnormal to see hundrds of 15 lb salmon beached as they fight upstream to spawn and die, but the numbers of dead increase every year and it seems they don't make it as far, as the snow melt is less and the river less active.

Just a few months ago I went to Chilliwack with friends(area is owned by BC motorcross) and you were riding over dead salmon everywhere you went, pretty gross really.

It is these sites that make me more aware and active when it comes to preserving our incredible environment.

Phew, sorry, another long one!

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J.G. Tierney and Patrick Tierney - and my "dunk"

by maxwell edison In reply to I gotta agree with you th ...

The first man to die on the Boulder Dam project (later renamed the Hoover Dam) was a surveyor by the name of J.G. Tierney, who drowned on February 6, 1922 while trying to locate the optimum site for the dam. On February 6, 1935, thirteen years later -- to the very day -- the last life was lost as a man named Patrick Tierney fell from an intake tower and drowned. Patrick was J.G. Tierney's son. Not only were they father and son, and not only did they die on the same calendar day, but they both died the same way -- by drowning.

Yes, it's true. And yes, it's very strange. (But the "legends" of people being buried in the cement are just that -- legends.)

No, my "dunk" into the Arkansas River was not planned, but it makes for a great story.

We were riding what were probably level 4 rapids, with a total of six people in the raft, one of whom was my teenage son, three on the left and three on the right, and I was in the back of the raft on the right side. We had been at it for over an hour and were really starting to work well together negotiating the rapids and the rocks, when all of the sudden we ran atop an unseen rock that was mere centimeters below the surface of the water. The raft stopped dead in its tracks, took a sharp and swift 90 degree turn to the right, and in less than a blink-of-an-eye, I found myself in the water, being swept down-stream, getting farther and farther away from the now stationary raft. The remaining five paddlers were working vigorously to free the raft from its resting place, while I was headed wherever the flow was determined to take me.

It wasn't my first time rafting, I had done it a few times before, but never on rapids this severe. So I wasn't a novice, but I wasn't an expert either.

My life vest kept my head above the water, but I was going down-stream backwards, watching as the river put more and more distance between me and the raft. The first thoughts that came to mind were the earlier instructions the "professionals" shared with us before we left. If you find yourself in the water, we were told, keep your head up, and go down-stream legs first. And whatever you do, be sure to keep your feet together, as you don't want to find yourself "romancing the rock". Somehow, but I'm not exactly sure how, I quickly turned myself around and made sure my feet stayed together. In the meantime, the others in the raft were able to free it from the rock, and they were aggressively rowing trying to catch-up with me. But the nature of the flow of the river would make it difficult for them to catch me, as we were pretty much advancing at the same pace. Should I try to negotiate myself towards the shore and perhaps try to grab onto a low hanging branch? Should I try to get out of the river?

All of the sudden my feet, which were still together and angled slightly down into the river, bumped into a large boulder. I was able to stop myself from travelling further down-stream just long enough for the raft to catch-up with me. And just as the rush of the water dislodged my feet from the boulder, I was able to reach the end of the oar which was being held out -- stretched out as far as possible -- and barely grab onto what was probably my last life-line. Two of my rafting partners were then able to pull me back into the raft.

While I was in the water, there was absolutely no fear whatsoever, but only thoughts of what I should be doing. Once safely inside the raft, I raised my fists into the air an let out a scream of exhilarating excitement. That was literally the best "rush" I've ever experienced in my entire life. It was only afterwards that I realized how close I came to experiencing my last mortal days on Earth. I suppose my life's mission had not yet been achieved, as I was spared the same fate that befell J.G. and Patrick Tierney.

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You're right is was a good story

by Oz_Media In reply to I gotta agree with you th ...

I was enthralled to say the least, did he LIVE? Well, maybe not quite THAT enthralled I don't think your posts are posthumous but hey, you never know.

As for the Tierney's, now that you mention it I do remember an A&E special or somthing like that on the dam and remember the surveyor falling in and drowning, I didn't know his son did too. That is some pretty harsh irony though, almost humorous.

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Thank you for the statistics

by jardinier In reply to The Colorado River

Perhaps my question was a little too cryptic.

I was referring to the loss of flow towards the end of its journey, and the effect this might have on the environment. Also I was querying the amount of water that actually reaches Mexico.

Obviously the water that is siphoned off on the journey is put to good use.

So perhaps you can reassure me that the land towards the end of its flow is not seriously affected, and that Mexico is not seriously disadvantaged by the amount of water taken from this river on its long journey.

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