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How to Survive Airline Crashes and Other Extreme Scenarios
Laurence Gonzales won the 2001 and 2002 National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors for National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Since 1970, his essays have appeared in such periodicals as Harper's, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Smithsonian Air and Space, Chicago Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and many others.
He has published a dozen books, including two award–winning collections of essays, three novels, and the book–length essay, One Zero Charlie published by Simon & Schuster. His latest book, Everyday Survival, published by W.W. Norton & Company, is available at book sellers now. His previous book, Deep Survival, is now out in paperback.
Question: What should you do if you’re stranded in the wilderness?
Laurence Gonzales: The first thing that you should do when you find yourself lost in the wilderness is to sit down and calm yourself. Usually finding out that you’re lost and it comes as a revelation is very shocking and it can cause panic. The worst thing to do is to run around trying to find your way again. The best thing to do is sit down. If you have some food or water, have some food and water, and then examine everything you have, look at your resources and start thinking about making a plan. That is the single most helpful thing you can do.
Oftentimes people realized they are lost and they start running around trying to find their way and they hurt themselves. Pretty soon they’re incapacitated and they wind up dying.
Question: How can we increase our chances of surviving airline crashes?
Laurence Gonzales: Many airline crashes are survivable and there are a number of things you can do to help make sure that you are one of the people who does survive. First of all, you should wear closed shoes. You shouldn’t wear open-toed shoes on airliner because you may be stepping on sharp stuff when you’re trying to get out of there. The plane maybe on fire too, so you shouldn’t wear synthetic clothing, which will melt in exposure to heat.
Whenever I get on an airliner, I count the number of rows between me and the window exits, and I notice where the other exits are too because the first thing you’re going to do is make your way to those exits. And the other thing is simply to bring yourself to a state of calm where you can do simple things, like open your seatbelt to get out of the seat. It sounds like anyone would do that but in fact, accident investigators have told me that they found people dead in their seats with their seat belts on after a survivable accident that the plane had filled with smoke and they hadn’t even unbuckled their seatbelts they had been so frozen with fright.
So you need to kind of go through these things in your mind and be prepared to act if something happens.
Question: How should we prepare for and survive a terrorist bombing?
Laurence Gonzales: If you want to prepare for something like a terrorist bombing, there are certain things that you can do; there are certain things that you can’t do. If you’re in the vicinity of a bomb that goes off, chances are, you’re not going to survive it. But if you’re not and it simply does damage to your building, or sets it on fire, then it’s a very good idea to know exactly where you are going and to plan this before and perhaps even rehearsed it.
Whenever I travel and I’m in a hotel, I go down the stairs on purpose, avoid the elevator and go down the stairs to see where the stairs are and what it’s like to go down there. Because if you can imagine waking up, you know, with the building in flames at 3:00 in the morning and you’re groggy and you’re frightened and you think you know where you are, but you really don’t. It’s a good idea to let your body know where that exit is and once you practice is once or even twice, you will know.
Survival expert Laurence Gonzales explains how to increase your chances of surviving some of the most common deadly scenarios.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.