Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Darwin Award nominee

I've been to Baja California, and met some of the campesinos as well as checking out one of those fancy resorts as well as a less fancy surfer bum resort. It was fascinating and I should probably write about my sociological observations some day. Baja is of course high desert and outside of the tourist towns the social classes -- or rather castes -- are defined by water rights as much as anything else. The town I visited, San Quintin, was dying of thirst. However, there were skeletons of cattle half buried in the dunes and incongruous objects up in the hills. The folks told me there had been a storm a few years back. These occasional storms are the only way the aquifers get charged, otherwise there is only occasional morning fog off the ocean and at most a bit of drizzle to moisten the soil.

Anyway, here comes another storm, and it's monstrous. My old friends appear to be a bit north and west of where the worst of it will be, but there are plenty of moronic Yanquis down in Cabo San Lucas:

Although city officials shut down the port, lifeguard Roman Dominguez with the Cabo San Lucas Fire Department said there's no feasible way to close a beach. "We struggle a lot with surfers," he said. "They're looking for waves." Lifeguards perched in a tower looked on Monday as two women, one with her boogie board, another on a surf board, paddled into pounding surf under cloudy skies.

Clay Hurst, 52, a fencing contractor from Malibu, California, and Ben Saltzman, 28, an emergency medical technician from Pacific Palisades, California, emerged from a swim in the 10-to-12-foot waves and pounding surf. "We are waiting anxiously, wanting to be right in the middle of it," said Hurst, who said he has never seen a hurricane as powerful as Jimena. "We were advised to leave, but we want to be here," he said. "I've always wanted to be in one ... a real bad one."

Saltzman echoed his friend's enthusiasm: "It's an adrenaline rush," he said.

Winds are currently at 155 mph. That'll be a rush alright. At least it won't matter if they have health insurance.


C. Corax said...

I hope the rescue squads in the area are under no obligation to try to rescue these idiots. When someone willfully does something so supremely stupid, no one should risk his or her life to save him.

roger said...

death might be an adrenalin rush too. that can be arranged without a hurricane. let's hope the surfers haven't yet reproduced.