Saturday, July 31, 2010
I have just found out that recycling in Norway is not only good for Nature but also for your pockets. If you write your name and phone number on a milk carton, you have the chance to win a monetary prize if your milk carton is selected from the pile of cartons in the local recycling plant. Absolutely awesome!
Here in Portugal there is no incentives whatsoever, but let's face it, avoiding extra damage to mother nature is incentive enought.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I saw the amazing story of Ewa in the National Geographic channel last night and i decided to share it with you.
Ewa, wherever you are, you are one tough lady! Your story is true inspiration for us all..
"A champion paraglider described yesterday how she was caught in a massive thunderstorm over Australia, hurled to a height greater than Mount Everest and encased in ice before managing to descend safely to earth.
Ewa Wisnerska, 35, was sucked 32,000 ft into the air — so high that she lost consciousness from lack of oxygen and ice formed over her body. Hospital staff say the paraglider suffered severe frostbite from which she almost lost her ears.
The adventurer said it was a miracle that she survived: "You can't imagine the power. You feel like nothing, like a leaf from a tree going up," she said. "I can't do anything. It's raining and hailing and I'm still climbing — I'm lost."
"I was climbing and climbing and the air was starting to freeze my sunglasses and then it was dark."
Miss Wisnerska, from Germany, was preparing for the 10th World Paragliding Championships above the town of Manilla in New South Wales when the storm struck on Wednesday.
After launching as usual from a hill, she appears to have flown under a black storm cloud and then, with terrifying speed, the wind whisked her upwards. She climbed from 2,500ft to an estimated 32,000ft in about 15 minutes. A 42-year-old Chinese para-glider, He Zhongpin, was sucked into the same storm and died, apparently from lack of oxygen and cold. His body was found nearly 50 miles from where he took off.
Miss Wisnerska said she encountered hailstones the size of oranges as the temperature dropped to minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit. "I was shaking all the time. The last thing I remember is that it was dark. I could hear lightning all around me," she said.
She regained consciousness mid-air about one hour later. "I wanted to fly around the clouds but I got sucked up 20 metres (67ft) per second into it and spiralled," she told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"After 40 minutes or an hour, I woke up and I was at 6,900 metres (23,000ft). I was still flying but I realised I didn't have the brakes in my hand. I saw my hands and the gloves were frozen, I didn't have the brakes, and the glider was still flying on its own.
"I was thinking 'I can't do anything so I only have to wait and hope that the clouds are bringing me out somewhere'. Then I woke up and was thinking that I was maybe unconscious for about one minute. I didn't know I was unconscious for so long."
Her ordeal was recorded by a global positioning beacon and a radio attached to her equipment. The swirling clouds released Miss Wisnerska from their grasp and she landed safely 40 miles from her launch, suffering frostbite to her face and with ice inside her lightweight flying suit — but otherwise unharmed.
Godfrey Wenness, the president of the Manilla Sky Sailors club and organiser of the Paragliding World Championship, said Miss Wisnerska's tale was unprecedented.
"It's like winning the Lotto 10 times in a row," he said, adding that the previous altitude survival record for a paraglider pilot was 24,000ft.
Mr Wenness, one of Australia's most experienced paraglider pilots, said the chances of surviving such an experience were negligible.
"There's no oxygen. She could have suffered brain damage. But she came to at a height of 6,900 metres with ice all over her body and slowly descended herself."
The German said she felt like an astronaut returning from the Moon as the ground loomed beneath her. "I could see the Earth coming — wow, like Apollo 13," she said.
Miss Wisnerska spent one hour in the local district hospital for observation and she hopes to compete in the biennial paragliding championships which begin on Feb 24."