Indian Ocean

Photo Of The Day

Rick Smolan’s photo of Robyn Davidson was featured on the cover of the May 1978 issue of National Geographic.

Rick Smolan’s photo of Robyn Davidson was featured on the cover of the May 1978 issue of National Geographic.

One Woman, Four Camels and a Dog

Amazing Vintage images from 1970s of woman who walked 1,700 miles across Australia

Photographer Rick Smolan was travelling in Australia on assignment for Time magazine when he encountered an angry woman in the small town of Alice Springs.

“I was sent to do a story on Aborigines,” Smolan says. “I walked out of my hotel, and I looked up and saw Robyn washing the windows. I took some pictures and she got really pissed off and started yelling at me: ‘Put your damn cameras down!’ I went to explain what I was doing, and she said, ‘Oh, you’re American…What are you, some kind of journalistic parasite here photographing the Aborigines?’”

The woman was Robyn Davidson—the so-called “camel-lady” who undertook a 1,700-mile trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean on foot with four camels and a dog as her companions.

When Davidson embarked on her ambitious walk across the Australian Outback she didn’t think it was that big of a deal. She didn’t tell anybody why she was going, and she mostly wanted to be left alone. But she also needed money, so Smolan helped introduce her to editors at National Geographic who offered funding in exchange for her story. In turn, 28-year-old Smolan was assigned to photograph her trip for the magazine. Davidson just wished he would go away.

“She told me ‘I only want you to come out once,’ and I said ‘No, I have to come a number of times,’” says Smolan. The problem was, although Davidson had been training her camels and preparing for the trip for years, Smolan had no experience in the outback.

“I went to Alice Springs and bought way too much stuff. I was such a rube. I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t even a boy scout,” Smolan cheerfully recounted. “My friends in New York thought it was really funny that I was assigned to the outback. I was so completely clueless.”

Over Davidson’s nine-month trek, Smolan visited her five times. While she initially resisted his presence, eventually they became friends, then started a brief romance. Smolan didn’t tell his editors about the affair—the relationship would have been frowned upon. But as he continued to document Davidson’s journey he became an inextricable part of her story.

“I had to decide whether my allegiances were with her or the Geographic,” says Smolan. “Even with her fierceness there was something about her that was very vulnerable. I felt very protective of her, even though she didn’t want to be protected. Every time I left her, I wondered if it was the last time I would ever see her again. She could have died out there.”

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Photo Of The Day

A migrant worker scavenges for materials in a landfill in the Maldives. Thilafushi is an artificial island created by filling one of the Maldives' shallow lagoons with garbage. More than 330 tons of rubbish was brought to Thilafushi each day.

A migrant worker scavenges for materials in a landfill in the Maldives. Thilafushi is an artificial island created by filling one of the Maldives’ shallow lagoons with garbage. More than 330 tons of rubbish was brought to Thilafushi each day.

Thilafushi – The “Rubbish Island”

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Flight MH370 and the Whaleoil connection

You wouldn’t think there was one, but look what the Internet spat up yesterday

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Apparently it is because of Climate Change that the search for MH370 took so long

No I’m not kidding, the same folks who contributed to the Ship of Fools debacle are now spinning that the slow recovery operations in the southern Indian Ocean is because of climate change and searches in coming years for planes that set down in the ocean down there (so far only the one) will be harder to find because of climate change.

James Delingpole explains at Breitbart London.

The answer to that one is a big “no” by the way, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the usual green suspects trying to shoehorn the Malaysian tragedy into their grand universal theory of everything.

Here’s how an enterprising environmental reporter has managed it at Mother Jones:

Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

Possibly there’s a bait and switch operation going on here. None of the three scientists quoted in the article makes mention of plane debris: they just talk about the changing nature of recent patterns in the Southern Oceans which, almost inevitably, they ascribe to man-made climate change and which they insist is a cause for great concern.  Read more »

Len should bid for this

Sydney Morning Herald

Len Brown should bid against the Aussies for the base for a US Carrier Group. the economic benefits would far outweigh a silly taxi race around Pukekohe:

A report for the US military contains a recommendation to expand America’s defence presence in Australia by massively expanding a base in Perth for a US aircraft carrier and supporting fleet.

The report’s authors will give testimony before Congress’s Armed Services Committee on Wednesday in the US.

The CSIS was directed to consider how the US military could undertake the “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region announced by President Barack Obama last year in response to China’s increasing influence.

The third option in the report – formally titled US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment – details moving a US carrier strike group to the HMAS Stirling base in Perth.

The strike group would include a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, a carrier air wing of up to nine squadrons, one or two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, one or two nuclear powered submarines and a supply ship.

“Australia’s geography, political stability, and existing defence capabilities and infrastructure offer strategic depth and other significant military advantages to the United States in light of the growing range of Chinese weapons systems, US efforts to achieve a more distributed force posture, and the increasing strategic importance of south-east Asia and the Indian Ocean,” says the report.