by slatenewschannel 13,172 views
In the new Liam Neeson movie The Grey, a group of oil rig workers without conventional weapons must defend themselves from a pack of vicious wolves after their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. Is there a good way to fend off aggressive wolves?
Yes. Intimidate them. Yelling, throwing sticks or stones, waving your arms, and generally making yourself look as big and scary as possible can deter predatory wolves, which tend to become submissive when other animals demonstrate dominance. In general, short or immobilized people and children are more vulnerable to wolf attacks.
If you can't scare a wolf away and you don't have a viable weapon, you might try to wrestle it into submission. A Canadian man dissuaded an attacking wolf by putting it in a headlock; another reportedly choked a snarling wolf with his hands. Some biologists recommend making a fist with your hand and shoving it down the wolf's throat to prevent it from biting; if a wolf can't breathe, it will probably decide that attacking you isn't worth the effort. Climbing a tree could also compel a wolf to leave you alone.
But never run away. As any playful dog owner can guess, doing so could trigger a wolf's predatory instinct to chase you.
Unfortunately, few of these rules apply to rabid wolves, which tend to attack ferociously and without provocation. Obvious symptoms of rabies in wolves include foaming at the mouth and a total lack of fear. If you're being attacked by a rabid wolf, your best bet is a shotgun and good aim.
Of course, wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare outside of Hollywood. A government report in 2002 found only 49 well-documented cases of wolf aggression against humans in Canada and Alaska during the previous 70 years. Most deadly attacks between wolves and humans are started by two-legged beasts.
by slatenewschannel 1,320 views
Newt Gingrich's least favorite bit of history is probably the account offered by his second wife, who says he tried to convince her to have an "open marriage." It obviously didn't work out for him—Gingrich went on to divorce Marianne and marry Callista in the year 2000. But do open marriages ever really work?
It's hard to say. There has never been a scientific study of the success rate of open marriages, because different couples work out their arrangements in different ways. A marriage can be polyamorous from the beginning, or a couple might experiment only after tiring of monogamy. Some spouses have purely sexual relationships outside the marriage, while others have lasting emotional commitments to third parties.
There's strong anecdotal evidence that open marriages and even polygamy can last for decades, but not usually those that are born of an ultimatum or shrouded in secrecy. Anyone who has seen the 1997 drama "The Ice Storm" knows that even in the days when open relationships were all the rage back in the 1970s, the practice of polyamory could get messy.
But there are some apparent real-life examples of success. Actress Mo'nique has spoken publicly of having a "comfortable" open relationship with her husband of 25 years. Tilda Swinton and partner John Byrne both reportedly have lovers outside their long-term relationship.
According to one forthcoming study, gay men are more likely than any other group to practice polyamory. The study asked 120 cohabiting couples in the Salt Lake City area whether they had explicitly agreed to have sex outside of their relationships. Nearly a quarter of gay male couples said they had a polyamorous arrangement, followed by 7 percent of heterosexual and 3 percent lesbian couples interviewed. The polyamorous couples reported the same level of relationship satisfaction as those who were monogamous. Since the sample size is so small, the study is hardly definitive. Of course, if you want to see the rewards and perils of human polyamory, you can check out HBO's Big Love. Given his own marital history, Newt Gingrich probably won't be playing the polygamy outrage card against his Mormon opponent Mitt Romney.
by slatenewschannel 3,030 views
When the luxury 4,300-passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off of
Italy, the vast majority of passengers survived, but not without either swimming
to safety or scrambling onto lifeboats as the giant vessel tipped over into the
Mediterranean. What are the rules for abandoning ship? Are they really "Women
and children first?"
No. While the International Maritime Organization issues extensive rules about
location, size and number of lifeboats as well as the crew's estimated evacuation
time, there are no regulations that order rescue by age or gender. When the alarm
sounds, passengers are supposed to proceed to the loading area where they are
organized according to their cabin number. While there is no hard and fast rule, men
sometimes step aside to allow women or children to go first. But it's not maritime
law, or even a worldwide tradition.
Where did the "women and children first" saying come from? In the second half of
the 18th century, reports in the British and American media about several famous
shipwrecks criticized men who put themselves first and praised others who put kids
and ladies first. Some historians list it as a new focus on the family from the period
of enlightenment; others to changing ideas about seagoing chivalry.
There was apparently little chivalry when it came to the Costa Concordia's captain,
Francesco Schettino, who left the ship early and was ordered back onto the boat
by the Italian Coast Guard to help evacuate. He refused. Isn't the captain supposed
to "go down with the ship"? No, but he or she is supposed to oversee safety of the
crew and passengers, which often means staying until most are off the boat.
Whatever the case, if you're on a cruise ship, make sure you know evacuation
routes, locations of life jackets and lifeboats. And it sure helps if you know how to
by slatenewschannel 2,556 views
In the race for the Republican nomination, delegate counts differ depending on who is counting. Why are delegates tallied differently by different news organizations, and how are they chosen in the 2012 primaries? For starters, states have vastly different rules on how candidates are apportioned delegates. And those rules don't always correlate with how a candidate does in the popular vote.
In Iowa, the popular vote has nothing to do with delegate selection. Caucus participants choose who they would like to see be president, and then afterwards some volunteer to be a delegate in the county caucuses in March. Even after they're made official at the state caucus in June, Iowa delegates will be "unbound," or allowed to vote for any candidate at the Republican National Convention. That's why tallies are different right now—nobody knows the real number yet. New Hampshire has a proportional-delegate primary. The state's 12 delegates are divvied up among Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and John Huntsman—all of whom received over 10-percent of the popular vote count. South Carolina's primary on January 21st is a "winner takes most" contest for 25 delegates. Whichever candidate wins the statewide vote gets 11 "at large" delegates. The remaining 14 congressional district delegates are winner take-all in the Palmetto state's 7 districts—meaning some of them may go to runners-up. Florida is a winner-take-all state, with its 50 delegates allocated to the primary winner on January 31st. If Mitt Romney sweeps the January contests, he'll only have about 5 percent of the 1144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. But with momentum and money, the former Massachusetts governor would become the presumptive nominee long before delegates head to Tampa for the GOP convention in August.
by slatenewschannel 11,087 views
If you've ever sat on the tarmac for an extended time on a delayed flight, you've probably heard a pilot claim they will "make up lost time in the air". But can they really just make the plane go faster? And if so, why not do it all the time? Slate explains!