Sunday, May 28, 2006
a superhero for siberia
with that, a super-hero is born ... faster than a penguin ... with a heart colder than dick cheney... able to swim through ice-cubes in a single stroke ... it's a fish, it's a walrus, it's ... the ice bear!I was standing at the edge of history two weeks ago, ready to plunge into the frozen waters of a lake beneath Nigards Glacier in Norway in a bid to set a new world record for the longest swim in ice water. A long white tongue of ice stretched down a narrow valley and stopped abruptly in front of the half-frozen lake. It was without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on earth.
My team had spent two days cutting a 700-meter-long channel across the lake, just wide enough to get a support boat to a small, turquoise piece of water at the foot of the glacier. I was wearing only a Speedo, a swimming cap and goggles in accordance with English Channel Swimming Association rules.
[damn those british and all their pesky rules...]
And this time, there were no polar bears, leopard seals, crocodiles or great white sharks to worry about. Nevertheless, I was afraid.
[cue dramatic music here]
Hypothermia could just as easily have destroyed my chances of success. A cardiac surgeon and English Channel swimmer once warned me that it was impossible to swim for any length of time in water that is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. "A normal person will be disabled within seconds," he said, "and dead within two or three minutes."
But my view is that nothing is impossible.
[cue patriotic music here]
On my side was the fact that whenever I see cold water, my body instinctively raises its core temperature from 98 degrees to 101 degrees. That may sound insignificant, but in thermo-regulation terms, it is critical. Before I get into icy water, my body is a furnace. It has confounded scientists and earned me the nickname ...
...the Ice Bear...
a woman, or the feminine in men and women, seeks to share deep awareness of the world
in a sacralized communion. the presence of soft candle light, wild flowers, and the
rituals of dressing for the occasion are simply metaphors acknowledged and “lived out”
in honor of the moment. in honor of life. in honor of shared awareness of the infinite
in a moment.
In modern times, people have sought ways to cultivate, buy, wear, or just be around
flowers and blooming plants, partly because of their agreeable smell. Around the world,
people use flowers for a wide range of events and functions that, cumulatively, encompass
the most popular of a class of games called vying games, in which players with
fully or partially concealed cards make wagers into a central pot, which is awarded
to the player or players with the best combination of cards or to the player who makes
an uncalled bet. Poker can also refer to video poker, a single-player game seen in
casinos much like a slot machine, or to other games that use poker hand rankings.
The period during which a developing fetus is carried within the uterus. In humans, pregnancy
averages 266 days (38 weeks) from conception to childbirth. Traditionally, pregnancy duration
is counted from the woman's last menstrual period, which adds roughly 2 weeks to gestational
age. This is how physicians arrive at a pregnancy length of 40 weeks (280 days).