Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pro-tip: Your vacation activity choices should not include rhinos...

'Stand closer to the rhino' results in grave wound

This headline from an AP story pretty much says it all.  As I have reported here before, South Africa seems to be a hot bed of places where you can go to get your picture taken with large dangerous animals.  Note my intentional use of the word "dangerous" here.  These animals are so-called because they are, in point of fact, capable of hurting, even killing you.  Hence they are labelled, "dangerous."

Let's review what we know about the rhino:  Large pointy horn on it's nose, bad eyesight, evil temper, small brain, weighs in at 2 tons...that's 4000 pounds, about what my Dodge 1500 pickup weighs.  What about this says, "cuddly, wild, and, oh-I-so-want-to-have-my-picture-taken-with-this-thing creature"?  Wait...let me answer that for you:  Nothing.

Again, people...enjoy your vacation, but try to avoid dying.

I am indebted to Mike Elgan on Google+ for bringing this story to my attention.  I hope he forgives me for totally stealing the above picture.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our continuing saga of bad vacation choices...

I frequently use this space to report on various bad vacation choices people make.  Mostly, I have focused on poor choices of location; pleasure boating in pirate infested waters, camping on islands where hungry polar bears out-number humans, that sort of thing.  However, I feel compelled to also report on poor activity choices people make while on vacation.  For example, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a sight-seeing trip to the Farallon Islands, but when you throw scuba-diving into that mix...well, you've made a poor choice.

In that light, I present, for your edification, zorbing.  What, you may ask, is zorbing?  Zorbing is a "sport", recently become popular in Russia.  Basically, it consists of allowing yourself to be strapped into a large plastic ball and then said ball is rolled pell-mell down a ski slope.  Yes...I know.  You just said, "What the fuck??", right?  So did I.  Nonetheless, it is a thing in Russia these days and, apparently, a very popular thing, indeed.

For those still unclear on this concept, the Los Angeles Times has helpfully posted a video that demonstrates the whole zorbing concept and, at the same time, shows why it is an egregiously bad idea:  Don't try this at home and it's probably not a good idea to try it on vacation either.

Let's note:  One man killed, another critically injured.  Let's also note that the manufacturer of zorbs is quoted as saying, "It's all or nothing.  They either survive or they don't."

You've been warned...