Monday, February 13, 2006

Go CA!

Watching the Canadian produced program, Survivorman, on the Science Channel. The premise is that the host, cameraman, Les Stroud, is dropped into a remote location with only minimal gear, like a multitool and a wrecked machine, like a boat, snowmobile, light plane, etc. and he has to survive for seven days, preferrably to find his way back to civilization. Each episode is a different type of wilderness from Central American coast to Arctic Canada. He's an expert in survival, and gives a lot of good information, but not so much it would get me out of a fix. Mostly his expertise is starting fires with flint and steel a wood drill, and in setting snares and dead fall traps for small creatures most of us wouldn't consider food, such as lizards, mices, snails, etc. He always explains how it pains him to kill any living thing as he prepares a device to bash a little critter with a rock or log or hang it with a wire. I wonder if we'll ever get to see him cut off his arm after it gets pinned by a boulder.

Frankly, being chronically ill and past my prime, I'd be more likely to just try to start a fire and if that didn't work, die.

I guess I like this show because he's a geek, like me, and nothing ever goes perfectly. He tells us what he should be doing and why he isn't, too tired, too cold, fear of getting sweaty and chilling himself, etc. There's something so uncool about Canadians that attracts me to them. I've always been a fan of musicians like Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Leonard Cohen, Loreena McKennit, etc. They have a lot of terrific musicians. I used to watch a program called Acorn, the Nature Nut, with a host named John Acorn who's a naturalist from Edmond, Alberta and a specialist in tiger beetles. There's a purity in his enthusiasm, as well as Les Stroud's, that makes them more interesting to me that the more showbiz popularizers of science who don't seem to look beyond the surface.

Interestingly, both Acorn and Stroud are also musicians. Acorn makes his own guitars and Stroud plays a great blues harmonica. Maybe you learn to do that during the long cold winters.

Lastly, Stroud's website has this:

Survivorman Season 1 DVD Set now available! Special offer!
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005

You all have been asking and we were listening. Survivorman Season 1- Featuring Les Stroud is ready for ordering today! Special offer! The first 250 orders will be personally autographed by Les himself! Order now to get your autographed DVD set.
As far as I can tell, the "season" is four episodes. Sorry, Les. I like the show, but not that much.


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