January 16, 2013

A view of the Ozarks where a man and his sons died of exposure.     Photo: Raymond Bucko/Flickr

Father and Sons Die of Exposure in the Ozarks

Took a wrong turn during a day hike

A father and his two sons died from exposure while hiking on the Ozark Trail in southern Missouri on Saturday.

David Decareaux, 36, his sons, Dominic, 10, and Grant, 8, and their yellow lab had started out around midday, when temperatures were in the low 60s. After a few hours, temperatures dropped into the 20s and rain fell heavily. Police said that at some point the group made a wrong turn and the sun's light began to fade.

The trio tried to make their way back to the lodge on their own, and even turned down a ride from someone who drove past, [Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Volner] said.

Decareaux had hiked the trail before, but made a wrong turn somewhere, authorities said. "They just missed their turn back to the lodge," Volner said, according to the Associated Press.

Decaureaux was found dead at the scene on Sunday afternoon. His sons were flown to a hospital, but could not be revived. The dog survived.

Family and friends were devastated by the death of the Air Force veteran and his sons, who were both cub scouts. A funeral service is planned for Friday.

Via The New York Daily News


    Photo: 14ers.com

Man Who Abandoned Dog on Mountain Sentenced

Probation and community service

A Colorado man who left his dog on top of a 14er last August was sentenced on Wednesday to a year of probation and 30 hours of community service. Anthony Ortolani pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty last October for leaving his German shepherd mix Missy near the summit of Mt. Bierdstadt for over a week after the weather turned during a hike.

The 112-pound dog was later found by hikers Scott and Amanda Washburn, who assembled an eight-person team to rescue the dog. When Ortolani tried to recover the animal, Clear Creek authorities filed charges against him. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to give up the dog, now named Lucky, to one of her rescuers. Had the case gone to trial, Ortolani could have faced up to 18 months in jail and $5,000 in fines.

For more on the story, read "A Dog Left to Die"


    Photo: Matthew Simantov/Flickr

Axe to Send 22 Men Into Space

You're a man, right?

Men, you are in luck. Women, you are not, because Axe is sending 22 menmen—from around the world into outer space. In a bizarre and slightly pitiful advert starring 82-year-old Apollo 11 runner-up Buzz Aldrin, Axe announced the opportunity to "leave a man ... and come back a hero."

According to Wired’s Tim Bailey:

From January 9 through February 3, guys in the U.S. can enter to win a “bonus” ticket to space as a celebration of Axe’s decision to spend millions on a SuperBowl ad. (I would make fun of this, but it is promoting SPACE so I won’t.) For everyone else in the world: make a profile explaining why you should get to go to space—and then get everyone to vote on you. If you make it into the top tier, you do a country-specific “challenge” to determine a national champ.

Winners from 20 countries move on to the ‘Space Camp’ round in Florida where high speed jets will flip you around, parabolic flights will get you weightless, and a centrifuge will crush you with either centripetal or centrifugal force. All of this is to determine who won’t freak out on a suborbital space jaunt on a (still untested, still in development) Lynx spacecraft. If the spaceship doesn’t fly by the end of 2020, the winner gets a check for $86k. Not space, but not too bad after seven years of waiting.

If the idea of being strapped inside a space capsule filled with “fresh sage, crisp mandarin, and smooth sandalwood” spray does not appeal, then just look Buzz Aldrin in the eye. DO IT NOW. And think about how you’re letting down your country, Planet Earth, and, most importantly, men. If that’s still not enough, Mr. Aldrin would like to punch you in the face.


    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

GPS Leads Driver 900 Miles in Wrong Direction

Destination was only 90 miles

Long have we been warned of the dangers of implicitly trusting technology. Classic films such as Terminator, War Games, and 2001: A Space Odyssey made the point as far back as the '60s. But one 67-year-old Belgian woman chose to disregard these cautionary tales when she followed her GPS 900 miles past her destination, across Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, before finally realizing her mistake in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

Sabine Moreau originally intended to pick up a friend in the Belgian city of Brussels, a mere 90 miles from her home. The journey took two days, during which she repeatedly filled up her gas tank, and took long naps in her car. Moreau’s son reported her missing to local police, who were able to track her down by following her bank statements. “I was distracted, so I kept going,” Moreau told reporters.

Let this be a lesson to not allow technology to take us where we have no desire to go.