Big Wave Surfer Greg Long on His Near Death Experience

Greg Long is one of the best big wave surfers in the world, but two years ago, he suffered a “non-fatal drowning” while surfing the infamous Cortes Bank. The archival footage of Long’s rescue team bringing him back to life is harrowing enough on its own, but beating death wasn’t Long’s last battle. With two years of recovery and personal struggles behind him, Long reflects on his near-death experience and getting back in the ocean to mount an inspiring comeback.

Tana Toraja Villagers Take Tomb Sweeping to a Morbid Extreme

The Tana Toraja regency on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has an unusual death ritual: Every few years, families reunite to exhume the bodies of their deceased relatives, clean up the inside of their coffins, and sometimes give their ancestors a fresh change of clothes.

Watch: The Return of the Black Death
We went to Madagascar in the fall of 2013 because the village of Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world.

Watch: The Return of the Black Death

We went to Madagascar in the fall of 2013 because the village of Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world.

Getting Drunk Off a Humidifier Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be 


Recently, I was watching a Simpsons marathon when I came across the season 22 episode “Homer the Father.” In the episode, Homer fills a humidifier with vodka and falls asleep in a cloud of alcoholic vapor, while Bart steals nuclear secrets for the Chinese. “Hey,” I said to myself, “That seems pretty nice. Could it actually work?” (The humidifier part, not the stealing nuclear weapons part.)
Last year, a couple of my friends at VICE tried to smoke alcohol, with funny, albeit overly complicated and unsatisfying results. My theory was that a humidifier would do all the necessary grunt work instead of making a couple of comedians with a bicycle pump soberly exhaust themselves. It wouldn’t be as funny, but I might be able to chillax and kick back, while bathed in soft, wet vodka fog. So I turned to the internet, a.k.a. the most comprehensive collection of quality drug advice. I found that I was certainly not the first to ask the question, “Can you get drunk by putting alcohol in a humidifier?” In fact, a decade ago, the first “alcohol vaporizing/nebulizing” machines were introduced into the United States by way of English inventor Dominic Simler and his Alcohol WithOut Liquid machine (AWOL). Ostensibly, it worked by running oxygen bubbles through alcohol to create an alcoholic mist to be imbibed, although one enraged YouTube user said he’d been scammed, claiming the device was just a repackaged nebulizer for pulmonary disease.

In a promotional video for the device found on the official AWOL website, one of the users/actors states: “In ten years’ time, I can see everybody doing this.” Unfortunately for Dominic and his alcho-vapor, the machine was banned in 17 states within two years, although imitation products still pop up occasionally. Today, the inventor works in “broking dax options,” whatever the fuck that is, and has been at it since 2007, so I assume that the whole “inhaling alcohol” venture didn’t pan out. Maybe because he was charging between $299 and $2,500 for the devices. I mean, look at how ridiculous that machine is. Until he turned it on, I honestly thought it was the boombox playing that weird early-2000s club-jamz soundtrack going on in the background. 
Continue

Getting Drunk Off a Humidifier Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be 

Recently, I was watching a Simpsons marathon when I came across the season 22 episode “Homer the Father.” In the episode, Homer fills a humidifier with vodka and falls asleep in a cloud of alcoholic vapor, while Bart steals nuclear secrets for the Chinese. “Hey,” I said to myself, “That seems pretty nice. Could it actually work?” (The humidifier part, not the stealing nuclear weapons part.)

Last year, a couple of my friends at VICE tried to smoke alcohol, with funny, albeit overly complicated and unsatisfying results. My theory was that a humidifier would do all the necessary grunt work instead of making a couple of comedians with a bicycle pump soberly exhaust themselves. It wouldn’t be as funny, but I might be able to chillax and kick back, while bathed in soft, wet vodka fog. So I turned to the internet, a.k.a. the most comprehensive collection of quality drug advice. I found that I was certainly not the first to ask the question, “Can you get drunk by putting alcohol in a humidifier?” In fact, a decade ago, the first “alcohol vaporizing/nebulizing” machines were introduced into the United States by way of English inventor Dominic Simler and his Alcohol WithOut Liquid machine (AWOL). Ostensibly, it worked by running oxygen bubbles through alcohol to create an alcoholic mist to be imbibed, although one enraged YouTube user said he’d been scammed, claiming the device was just a repackaged nebulizer for pulmonary disease.

In a promotional video for the device found on the official AWOL website, one of the users/actors states: “In ten years’ time, I can see everybody doing this.” Unfortunately for Dominic and his alcho-vapor, the machine was banned in 17 states within two years, although imitation products still pop up occasionally. Today, the inventor works in “broking dax options,” whatever the fuck that is, and has been at it since 2007, so I assume that the whole “inhaling alcohol” venture didn’t pan out. Maybe because he was charging between $299 and $2,500 for the devices. I mean, look at how ridiculous that machine is. Until he turned it on, I honestly thought it was the boombox playing that weird early-2000s club-jamz soundtrack going on in the background. 

Continue

Above: Malagasy plague specialists perform an autopsy on a potential plague rat.
We went to Madagascar in the fall of 2013 because the village of Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world.
Read: The Hot Zone – Black Death Returns to Madagascar

Above: Malagasy plague specialists perform an autopsy on a potential plague rat.

We went to Madagascar in the fall of 2013 because the village of Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world.

Read: The Hot Zone – Black Death Returns to Madagascar

The Hot Zone: Black Death Returns to Madagascar
sat in a helicopter as it banked around and down toward a clearing in the center of Beranimbo, a village of 80 or so palm-thatched huts tucked away in the emerald mountains of Madagascar’s Northern Highlands. My pilot, a blocky German expat named Gerd, had already made one attempt to touch down the shaky single-engine copter, but he’d aborted the landing after the rotor blades kicked up enough dust to cause a brownout.
A few hours earlier, when we’d set out for Beranimbo—a three-hour journey from the Malagasy capital of Antananarivo—Gerd had seemed excited. He doesn’t normally get jobs like this, typically making his money flying film crews around the countryside to shoot B-roll for ecotourism documentaries, usually about lemurs. “You want me to do a pass?” he asked, and before I could find out what he meant, we were swooping low through the hills. My stomach lurched upward; from this altitude we could see the spiny forest vegetation, tall ravenala trees, and great gaping wounds in the countryside, scars of systematic deforestation.
We were there because, in the fall of 2013, Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world. Depending on which century you’re talking about, it’s perhaps best known as the plague—a scourge generally associated with the Middle Ages, when rats, fleas, and poor hygiene resulted in the deaths of between 75 and 200 million people. The disease remains an enduring threat in third-world nations; public-health watchdogs report up to 2,000 cases a year.
In the 1930s, the rise of antibiotics dampened and then nearly extinguished the clinical threat of the disease, at least in the developed world, and it lost its status as a global killer. But for years, epidemiologists have warned that Madagascar is particularly vulnerable to widespread rural and urban contagion. I wanted to find out just how dangerous this medieval disease is in the 21st century, and why it persists in this corner of the world. That search led me to Beranimbo.
When we arrived, Gerd’s nervousness was apparent. “This may be too dangerous,” he muttered into his headset intercom as he tried to land the helicopter. Gerd’s concern wasn’t for his own safety, but rather the security of 200 people gathered around the makeshift landing pad below. Any one of them could have easily lost an eyeball to a pebble or twig whipped upward into the air. Helicopters are rare in Beranimbo and always attract attention, as they usually carry aid workers from the Red Cross. When we finally found a suitable spot to land, villagers ran from the dusty complex of huts to greet us.
On the ground, I was introduced to the village elder, a thin old man in a light jacket and safari hat. To celebrate our arrival, he had organized the slaughter of a zebu, a type of domestic cattle with a large, camel-like hump, for a celebratory lunch. “The sacrifice of the zebu marks our friendship,” he told me. “I can’t express enough our happiness. Enjoy it with all our gratitude.” The animal’s neck was cut, and I was taken to meet Rasoa Marozafy, a 59-year-old father of seven who’s spent his life in the village. Rasoa is a plague survivor, and part of the reason I’d come to this place.
Continue

The Hot Zone: Black Death Returns to Madagascar

sat in a helicopter as it banked around and down toward a clearing in the center of Beranimbo, a village of 80 or so palm-thatched huts tucked away in the emerald mountains of Madagascar’s Northern Highlands. My pilot, a blocky German expat named Gerd, had already made one attempt to touch down the shaky single-engine copter, but he’d aborted the landing after the rotor blades kicked up enough dust to cause a brownout.

A few hours earlier, when we’d set out for Beranimbo—a three-hour journey from the Malagasy capital of Antananarivo—Gerd had seemed excited. He doesn’t normally get jobs like this, typically making his money flying film crews around the countryside to shoot B-roll for ecotourism documentaries, usually about lemurs. “You want me to do a pass?” he asked, and before I could find out what he meant, we were swooping low through the hills. My stomach lurched upward; from this altitude we could see the spiny forest vegetation, tall ravenala trees, and great gaping wounds in the countryside, scars of systematic deforestation.

We were there because, in the fall of 2013, Beranimbo had been an epicenter of a black plague outbreak that resulted in nearly 600 cases and more than 90 deaths across the country. Madagascar reports the most instances of the disease in the world. Depending on which century you’re talking about, it’s perhaps best known as the plague—a scourge generally associated with the Middle Ages, when rats, fleas, and poor hygiene resulted in the deaths of between 75 and 200 million people. The disease remains an enduring threat in third-world nations; public-health watchdogs report up to 2,000 cases a year.

In the 1930s, the rise of antibiotics dampened and then nearly extinguished the clinical threat of the disease, at least in the developed world, and it lost its status as a global killer. But for years, epidemiologists have warned that Madagascar is particularly vulnerable to widespread rural and urban contagion. I wanted to find out just how dangerous this medieval disease is in the 21st century, and why it persists in this corner of the world. That search led me to Beranimbo.

When we arrived, Gerd’s nervousness was apparent. “This may be too dangerous,” he muttered into his headset intercom as he tried to land the helicopter. Gerd’s concern wasn’t for his own safety, but rather the security of 200 people gathered around the makeshift landing pad below. Any one of them could have easily lost an eyeball to a pebble or twig whipped upward into the air. Helicopters are rare in Beranimbo and always attract attention, as they usually carry aid workers from the Red Cross. When we finally found a suitable spot to land, villagers ran from the dusty complex of huts to greet us.

On the ground, I was introduced to the village elder, a thin old man in a light jacket and safari hat. To celebrate our arrival, he had organized the slaughter of a zebu, a type of domestic cattle with a large, camel-like hump, for a celebratory lunch. “The sacrifice of the zebu marks our friendship,” he told me. “I can’t express enough our happiness. Enjoy it with all our gratitude.” The animal’s neck was cut, and I was taken to meet Rasoa Marozafy, a 59-year-old father of seven who’s spent his life in the village. Rasoa is a plague survivor, and part of the reason I’d come to this place.

Continue

The Sad Demise of Nancy Lee, One of Britain’s Young Ketamine Casualties
Ketamine is that crazy wobbly-leg drug. The wacky-student drug, the post-club chill-out aid, the new-gen LSD that gives users the power to become—according to 1970s K-hole explorer and dolphin whisperer John C. Lilly—“peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.” But its reputation as a popular recreational drug, since filtering into the mainstream via the gay-clubbing and free-party scenes in the 2000s, does not tell the whole story of what’s going on in modern British K-land.
Apart from a brief paragraph in the Brighton Argus’s obituary column, Nancy Lee’s drug death went unreported. There was no shock factor: She hadn’t collapsed in public from a toxic reaction to a pill or a line of powder in a club. Instead, at the age of 23, Nancy had died slowly over seven years, her body trashed by a steady diet of ketamine.
Nancy started using ketamine at age 16 when she made new friends. Most teenagers getting high in the local Brighton park were necking cider and smoking skunk, but Nancy and her group of indie-kid outsiders used the open spaces to take ketamine. It was cheap, at 12 grams for about $150, and, important for Nancy, it transported her away from real life.
“She was sensitive and very caring, but Nancy was a misfit,” her father Jim, a college lecturer, told me. “She was bullied at school because of a bad squint and for being a tomboy. She had a victim mentality, a feeling that the world was against her.” It’s just that Nancy ended up finding solace in ketamine. “If someone were to design the perfect drug for a teenager who is depressed and doesn’t have much money, this would be it,” Jim said.
Continue

The Sad Demise of Nancy Lee, One of Britain’s Young Ketamine Casualties

Ketamine is that crazy wobbly-leg drug. The wacky-student drug, the post-club chill-out aid, the new-gen LSD that gives users the power to become—according to 1970s K-hole explorer and dolphin whisperer John C. Lilly—“peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.” But its reputation as a popular recreational drug, since filtering into the mainstream via the gay-clubbing and free-party scenes in the 2000s, does not tell the whole story of what’s going on in modern British K-land.

Apart from a brief paragraph in the Brighton Argus’s obituary column, Nancy Lee’s drug death went unreported. There was no shock factor: She hadn’t collapsed in public from a toxic reaction to a pill or a line of powder in a club. Instead, at the age of 23, Nancy had died slowly over seven years, her body trashed by a steady diet of ketamine.

Nancy started using ketamine at age 16 when she made new friends. Most teenagers getting high in the local Brighton park were necking cider and smoking skunk, but Nancy and her group of indie-kid outsiders used the open spaces to take ketamine. It was cheap, at 12 grams for about $150, and, important for Nancy, it transported her away from real life.

“She was sensitive and very caring, but Nancy was a misfit,” her father Jim, a college lecturer, told me. “She was bullied at school because of a bad squint and for being a tomboy. She had a victim mentality, a feeling that the world was against her.” It’s just that Nancy ended up finding solace in ketamine. “If someone were to design the perfect drug for a teenager who is depressed and doesn’t have much money, this would be it,” Jim said.

Continue

Hey, Young Person—in Case You Plan on Dying, Here’s How to Write a Will
Being in the 15–24 year old demographic is pretty freakin’ sweet. Nobody expects you to be responsible or employed, and you’re still living at home, playing Angry Birds: Star Warson the phone your parents bought you. This frees up a lot of time for unbridled drug use, alcohol poisoning, reckless driving, climbing structures that would best be left unclimbed, moshing, punching people in the head, and other stupid shit that is liable to get you killed. As a generation we’ve got the highest number of accidental deaths, by far. Mostly thanks to car accidents. Thanks.
The fact is, you’re going to die. Probably sooner rather than later. And when that happens, who do you think will get all of your wacky, vintage junk? That’s right, your lame parents. And what are they going to do with it the moment they’re done grieving? That’s right, it’s going straight in the fucking trash where it belongs, now that you’re dead. 
For your pre-mortal benefit, we called up Florida estate attorney Grady H. Williams Jr., LLM, of FloridaElder.com (whose hold music was Bobby Fuller’s “I Fought the Law”) for some info about getting a will and testament set up so you’ll have one less thing to worry about while texting Aaron the story of you getting sucked while off going 90 in the Civic.
via Wikipedia
VICE: Mr. Williams, what happens to my stuff if I don’t have a will and I drive into the ocean on my scooter because I’m distracted by a Google Glass update?Grady H. Williams Jr.: Here’s the deal: If you don’t have a will that is legally enforceable upon your death, then your state or jurisdiction has a default will for you called an intestate succession. That’s legal talk for how the state legislature thinks your property, your stuff, your legal rights should be passed upon your death, based on your marital status. If you’ve got someone like my son, for example—who as far as I know is single with no kids—if he deceases tomorrow, then his mother and I are his heirs. Whereas if he had a one-year-old child we didn’t know about, that child would become his heir.
So it’s probably important to set up a will if you don’t want your mama, baby mama, or baby baby to inherit your collection of female-bodybuilder VHS porn, or whatever.Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish versus what your default position is, yes, it may be very important to you. On the other hand, if you don’t have anything, or if you’re perfectly happy with your parents or children or wife getting everything, that may be OK.
Continue

Hey, Young Person—in Case You Plan on Dying, Here’s How to Write a Will

Being in the 15–24 year old demographic is pretty freakin’ sweet. Nobody expects you to be responsible or employed, and you’re still living at home, playing Angry Birds: Star Warson the phone your parents bought you. This frees up a lot of time for unbridled drug use, alcohol poisoning, reckless driving, climbing structures that would best be left unclimbed, moshing, punching people in the head, and other stupid shit that is liable to get you killed. As a generation we’ve got the highest number of accidental deaths, by far. Mostly thanks to car accidents. Thanks.

The fact is, you’re going to die. Probably sooner rather than later. And when that happens, who do you think will get all of your wacky, vintage junk? That’s right, your lame parents. And what are they going to do with it the moment they’re done grieving? That’s right, it’s going straight in the fucking trash where it belongs, now that you’re dead. 

For your pre-mortal benefit, we called up Florida estate attorney Grady H. Williams Jr., LLM, of FloridaElder.com (whose hold music was Bobby Fuller’s “I Fought the Law”) for some info about getting a will and testament set up so you’ll have one less thing to worry about while texting Aaron the story of you getting sucked while off going 90 in the Civic.


via Wikipedia

VICE: Mr. Williams, what happens to my stuff if I don’t have a will and I drive into the ocean on my scooter because I’m distracted by a Google Glass update?
Grady H. Williams Jr.: Here’s the deal: If you don’t have a will that is legally enforceable upon your death, then your state or jurisdiction has a default will for you called an intestate succession. That’s legal talk for how the state legislature thinks your property, your stuff, your legal rights should be passed upon your death, based on your marital status. If you’ve got someone like my son, for example—who as far as I know is single with no kids—if he deceases tomorrow, then his mother and I are his heirs. Whereas if he had a one-year-old child we didn’t know about, that child would become his heir.

So it’s probably important to set up a will if you don’t want your mama, baby mama, or baby baby to inherit your collection of female-bodybuilder VHS porn, or whatever.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish versus what your default position is, yes, it may be very important to you. On the other hand, if you don’t have anything, or if you’re perfectly happy with your parents or children or wife getting everything, that may be OK.

Continue

Death in a Can: Australia’s Euthanasia Loophole
Max Dog Brewing sells canisters of nitrogen for carbonating beer, or killing yourself, depending on who you ask.
 

We asked the man behind the company and euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke, who in 1996 became the world’s first physician to administer a legal, lethal injection in Northern Australia. The Australian government later quashed the North’s euthanasia law, so Philip set up an organization called Exit International to help advise over-fifties on taking matters into their own hands. Since then he’s pioneered several suicide devices, written three books, and formed a political party, all in the pursuit of legalized euthanasia.

Watch the video

Death in a Can: Australia’s Euthanasia Loophole

Max Dog Brewing sells canisters of nitrogen for carbonating beer, or killing yourself, depending on who you ask.
 
We asked the man behind the company and euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke, who in 1996 became the world’s first physician to administer a legal, lethal injection in Northern Australia. The Australian government later quashed the North’s euthanasia law, so Philip set up an organization called Exit International to help advise over-fifties on taking matters into their own hands. Since then he’s pioneered several suicide devices, written three books, and formed a political party, all in the pursuit of legalized euthanasia.
Watch the video

Kids Telling Dirty Jokes
Logan stops by in this episode of Kids Telling Dirty Jokes. This cutie came ready for the camera with some badass Spiderman kicks and jokes made to offend. He spit out vulgarities left and right. One day he’ll be famous for it, I’m sure.
 

Kids Telling Dirty Jokes

Logan stops by in this episode of Kids Telling Dirty Jokes. This cutie came ready for the camera with some badass Spiderman kicks and jokes made to offend. He spit out vulgarities left and right. One day he’ll be famous for it, I’m sure.

 

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