Way to go, kid. May 15, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Late last year, Jessica Watson began her attempt to circumnavigate the world. We discussed this on the Blue back in March.

Today, she made it.
posted by valkyryn to MetaFilter-Related at 8:55 AM (89 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I remain: furious at her parents yet amazed.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:04 AM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently her route wasn't the required distance for a record. That seems like quite an oversight.
posted by 6550 at 9:06 AM on May 15, 2010


“Watson's feat, however, will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its "youngest" category.

And though she sailed nearly 23,000 nautical miles, some sailing enthusiasts have also argued that Watson didn't travel far enough north of the equator for her journey to count as a true round-the-world sail… …Watson's managers have dismissed those claims and argued she doesn't need to adhere to the council's rules anyway, since they won't be recognizing her voyage.”


Forget the record — it's an amazing feat for anyone, let alone a teenager. Good for her.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 9:15 AM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Re: World Speed Sailing Record Council.

Yeah, uh, fuck those guys.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:40 AM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


I didn't realize they weren't giving out records for youngest anymore. But I can understand the motivation to not do so for potentially dangerous activities. Eventually, some kid that is just too young would get killed.
posted by 6550 at 9:54 AM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


This definitely trumps my getting to third base with Rhonda Clark in 11th grade.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Very cool.
posted by atrazine at 11:21 AM on May 15, 2010


Good for her, and I'm glad they've discontinued the "youngest" category. That's an invitation to disaster.
posted by languagehat at 11:38 AM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good for her, and too bad they've discontinued the "youngest" category.
posted by fixedgear at 11:57 AM on May 15, 2010


Good for her.
posted by kbanas at 11:58 AM on May 15, 2010


Good for her, and I like patterns.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:03 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


I wish this was going to get as much press coverage as Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, or Miley Cyrus dressing too skimpily in a magazine.
posted by so_gracefully at 12:11 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


I wish this was going to get as much press coverage as Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, or Miley Cyrus dressing too skimpily in a magazine.
posted by so_gracefully at 3:11 PM on May 15 [+] [!]



AMEN!!!!!!
posted by pearlybob at 12:24 PM on May 15, 2010


I wish this was going to get as much press coverage as Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, or Miley Cyrus dressing too skimpily in a magazine.

It does, it did. About every corporation there is lined up to fall all over themselves to sponsor this irresponsible trip.

I tried to ignore the whole thing, but I found out when her automatic pilot died, when she crashed on day one, etc. If I know that sort of stuff and I tied to avoid the story I think you can pretty much put it in the supersaturated column.

I don't sail, so I don't get the achievement. I'm not denying her accomplishment, I am saying I don't think the media neglected to cover this event.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:36 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


why is this in meta?
posted by empath at 12:49 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hear they're renaming Watsons Bay in her honour.
posted by tellurian at 12:57 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It will be henceforth known as Watsons Bay.
posted by tellurian at 1:00 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Her parents are complete idiots.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:04 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


As long as we're updating closed threads, here's an update to the thread about Baltasar Garzón.
posted by homunculus at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2010


why is this in meta?

I don't understand or like this trend of updating in MetaTalk either. Why not just make a new post about it on the main page? If it's worth an update, it's worth a post in my view (certainly the iPad fans seem to think so). Something like 2% of the visitors ever get to metatalk anyway. It's not like this is the most effective way to do an update.

Just post the thing to the front page.

Updates to AskMe posts are different, but that's why those threads stay open longer. What might be useful for Ask is the ability to "necro" an old thread (move it to the front of the AskMe page, like a posting on a BB) if a significant reply is posted after a lengthy period of time, like a new best answer or a special follow-up from the poster. But that's an edge case.
posted by bonehead at 2:14 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Her parents are complete idiots

…who believed in their daughter's ability and gave her a chance to prove them right. Good for her and for them.
posted by nicwolff at 3:28 PM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


why this thread is in MeTa
posted by mendel at 3:34 PM on May 15, 2010


option 1 does not apply here.
posted by gman at 3:45 PM on May 15, 2010


I wish this was going to get as much press coverage as Lindsay Lohan going to rehab, or Miley Cyrus dressing too skimpily in a magazine.

Since I avoid "news" outlets that would be running the latter, I've only heard of this story.

Vote with your eyeballs.
posted by DU at 3:58 PM on May 15, 2010


Congratulations.
Phew.

Now let's stop with this children sailing billboards nonsense.
posted by vapidave at 4:00 PM on May 15, 2010


Good for her, but that she succeeded without injury doesn't mean that what she did wasn't reckless or that her parents weren't irresponsible for allowing it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:26 PM on May 15, 2010


Now more than ever, children and seamen do not mix.

Yeah, I stole it off the Simpsons and it doesn't really work written down. WHAT OF IT?
posted by Jofus at 4:28 PM on May 15, 2010



Her parents are complete idiots

…who believed in their daughter's ability and gave her a chance to prove them right. Good for her and for them.


Who shamelessly encouraged their daughter to undertake an activity with manifold, lethal, expensive risks she did not have the maturity to understand - risks the speed sailing council recognise and have thus banned - and have then proceeded to secure her an agent, a manager and turn the whole thing into a ghoulish commercial and media circle jerk while she sailed about Sydney Heads for a week to ensure she arrived on a Saturday for maximum exposure, spending and gaining millions of dollars in the process - money that could have been used to save thousands of 16 year olds' lives across the world. Course, buying a few protein bars or shots doesn't make you a bloody hero, you have to play russian roulette with the weather and mechanical equipment to be that.

Not saying her trip wasn't hard, isn't an achievement etc. But the whole activity was frankly arrogant, selfish, and gratuitous. The subsequent orgy of bidding from current affairs shows and endorsers does little to dispel this notion. I would be a lot more impressive if she had spent the better part of the year volunteering to help someone.
posted by smoke at 4:36 PM on May 15, 2010 [16 favorites]


Jessica then compared the debate surrounding her record attempt to global warming.

"I mean there's millions, properly (sic) billions of people who still don't believe in global warming, so I'm more than happy to settle for a few people going against the tide and declaring that mine hasn't been an official circumnavigation," she wrote.


Those "few people going against the tide" just happen to be the organisations that set the rules for what does or doesn't constitute a round-the-world voyage.

For her next feat, Jessica plans to be the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, ignoring those pathetic naysayers who insist that a marathon has to be 42 kilometres long, not 35.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on May 15, 2010


Yeah, seriously...this shouldn't be in meta.

Not only is this shit annoying to a lot of members, but this will result in a lot more annoying stuff done by people who are annoyed.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:56 PM on May 15, 2010


Just because she made it back in one piece doesn't mean this wasn't an incredibly stupid idea.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's good for her that she made it unscathed.

It's not good for others, because sure as shit another set of irresponsible parents will try the same sort of stunt with their kid, and it'll end in tragedy.

Rather like it has for a child pilot or two.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on May 15, 2010


Chill out people. Sure it was a risk, but it wasn't like they let an unexperienced sailor out on her own. As often as I hear adults complaining about teenagers these days, it's nice to see one doing something adults wouldn't have the guts to do.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:15 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


(Or that most adults would have more sense than to do)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:24 PM on May 15, 2010


Will valkyryn be able to pilot this plate of beans safely across the gray without it being devoured by flag sharks or attacked on the high seas by the dread pirate overthinker?
posted by cashman at 7:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked following her blog -- she's not a terrible writer; at 16, I was expecting a lot of emoticons and LOLs (although, I guess if she has all those sponsors that y'all say she does, she could have had an editor). It's an achievement of her ability as a sailor, but also as a person in that she could tolerate being alone for that long. She had the internet, I guess, but there's no way I could go more than a week without human contact, and she did it for months. For some reason, I thought these circumnavigations involved stopping at ports.

I find it interesting that we consider 16 too young for lots of things. A long time ago, when life spans were shorter, 16 was when girls got married, and when boys went to work, many times at fairly dangerous jobs.

Anyway, I probably wouldn't want any of my loved ones (or even just liked ones) going on such a perilous journey, regardless of age. But I respect the hell out of those that attempt it. I wish I had half their nerve.
posted by bluefly at 7:53 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


She was in a very stable fully equipped and provisioned sailing vessel with a large 24/7 support group available online or phone. She was much safer at any time during her voyage that vast numbers of teens off in cars late at night. Just because you are unfamiliar with an environment does not make it dangerous. I've been observing a somewhat younger 'wharf rat' - a young man that is more at home on the water than land. And safer. I'll be fussing about walking out on a pier (during a winter storm) and this kid will come puttering by, the outboard dies and he opens it up, pokes, and goes on his business.

I do thing ending the youngest category is generally a good thing.
posted by sammyo at 9:13 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


if starlings could speak, they'd diss arctic terns for flying so damn far
posted by pyramid termite at 9:44 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who shamelessly encouraged their daughter to undertake an activity with manifold, lethal, expensive risks she did not have the maturity to understand

Please, she was 15 when she left, not 5.
posted by atrazine at 10:24 PM on May 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Good for her, and I'm glad they've discontinued the "youngest" category. That's an invitation to disaster.

Fame is it's own reward, apparently.
posted by Ritchie at 12:08 AM on May 16, 2010


I find it interesting that we consider 16 too young for lots of things. A long time ago, when life spans were shorter, 16 was when girls got married, and when boys went to work, many times at fairly dangerous jobs.

This. Except "a long time ago" should really read "75 years ago". Lots of my friends' grandparents were married well under the age of 18.

We live in an obnoxious, overprotective nanny state (all of us in the developed world). This idea that childhood lasts until 18 is absolutely ludicrous. Yes, that's when Americans are granted citizen's rights. But if you're arguing from that basis for the definition of adulthood, why not go with 25, when you're eligible to hold a House seat--or 35, when you can become president?

If you're a precocious youngster, what the fuck are you supposed to do with your teenage years except have adventures? More remedial algebra in a school designed primarily to keep you out of the workforce for as long as possible? Or should you just pack up and go to college, get started with that whole produce/consume capitalist cycle? Oh, I know, you should work at Burger King and smoke weed for a couple years.

Fuck that shit. One of my regrets is that I didn't get my GED at 15 and hobo around the country like I wanted to. If I had the opportunity to sail the world tomorrow, I'd do that shit in an instant.

I do think the sponsorships are a little crass. But, boats are fucking expensive. And open-water cruising boats capable of weathering mid-Pacific storms are even more expensive. Add in the necessary provisions and equipment to make the journey single-handed, and you're looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions).

This girl figured out a way to make her adventure reality, and to profit by it. You should envy her, not whine about how irresponsible it was. She's lived more in the last year than most of you have in your whole fucking lives.
posted by Netzapper at 12:21 AM on May 16, 2010 [31 favorites]


Can't wait until there's a record for the youngest teenager to solo the moon!
posted by at the crossroads at 12:33 AM on May 16, 2010


She's lived more in the last year than most of you have in your whole fucking lives.

Of course it's not a competition, but I prefer actually visiting countries, meeting the people there, learning something of the languages & cultures & would take even one week of that over sitting alone in a boat & sailing past them for a year, no matter how many times you offered or how much you paid me.

What she's done in the last year just sounds like a huge steaming pile of boredom to me, so whatever floats your boat, I suppose.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:11 AM on May 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


She was much safer at any time during her voyage that vast numbers of teens off in cars late at night.

Yet somehow I failed to monetize my cheering Scott Kreger as he drove 132 MPH downhill on Route 2 in the uphill passing lane. His dad had an ex-cop car with a 462 ci motor that went fine uphill and especially well downhill. This was in the fog. Dumb on me for taking a risk without sponsorship. Nowadays I'd get at least a shoe or a shirt or a cross-linked perfume-herbal creme (I would name it "Aspira" after a fictitious dead Aunt or so.) that would celebrate my adolescent recklessness and my parents solemn ritual of the depositing of the check.
Lets buy. Children are numerous and adults need money.
You can sell anything as long frame it correctly I guess.
posted by vapidave at 1:16 AM on May 16, 2010


I sometimes wonder if we wouldn't be better off (as a society) sending our youth (even my children - OMG) off on such adventures to test their mettle and bring them into adulthood, instead of helicopter-parenting them and allowing them to remain dependent children well past their age of majority. Sure, we'd lose a few, but some of those would be the risk takers that take others out with them later, on the roads or even in the courts. In terms of a maturation process, can anything else really compare with 210 days alone at sea? I certainly don't have the skills to handle a boat, and I'm not really sure I have the mental skills to do it either.
posted by b33j at 2:22 AM on May 16, 2010


Let's send them to the moon.
posted by at the crossroads at 2:28 AM on May 16, 2010


When I say the moon, I mean Russia.
posted by at the crossroads at 2:33 AM on May 16, 2010


"OMG SHE'LL DIE"
"She made it."
"OMG SHE COULD HAVE DIED"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:50 AM on May 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Not saying her trip wasn't hard, isn't an achievement etc. But the whole activity was frankly arrogant, selfish, and gratuitous. The subsequent orgy of bidding from current affairs shows and endorsers does little to dispel this notion. I would be a lot more impressive if she had spent the better part of the year volunteering to help someone.

How do you even live like this? I shudder to think what it must be like to be such an unbelievable prig.
posted by atrazine at 4:02 AM on May 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


One of her sponsors has called her "selfish" and the commercialism of the journey "disgusting."

If you live in Sydney, this story was 100% saturated in the past few weeks. I got very tired of the constant TV ads with stirring music urging us to come welcome "our hero" home. It just got a bit much.
posted by web-goddess at 4:20 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Atrazine et al, perhaps you would be less sanguine if you lived in Australia and you had seen how many dickheads we have bailed out, not to mention the ones that don't make it.

This is not scudding about the bay. These are some of the more dangerous waters globally. If gratuitous loss of life wasn't enough, the combined cost of rescuing Bullimore, Dubois and Dinelli, for example, was roughly $15 million dollars.

But hey, I'm just an uptight prig, clearly.

Lets go back to those Halcyon days when virtually no one could afford this, kids had to be content with blowing their hands off with fireworks (man, it taught us some independence!!) instead of risking life on million dollar boats, and the navy spent its time with rum, sodomy and the lash, rather than rescues of rich dillettantes that we all have to subsidise.
posted by smoke at 4:25 AM on May 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


web-goddess: I can't see how she can possibly be "our hero" anyway, considering that she's a Queenslander, and we're only a week away from State of Origin.

By rights, she should have sailed into the Gold Coast where she came from, except of course that it's a shithole & no good for photo opportunities.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:34 AM on May 16, 2010


"OMG SHE COULD HAVE DIED"

Yes, this may be a quite reasonable response to someone acting recklessly.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:06 AM on May 16, 2010


"BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN".
posted by paduasoy at 7:00 AM on May 16, 2010


Mendel: why this thread is in MeTa

I disagree.

1. If this was interesting enough for an update, then just do a post on the front page with a previously link.

2. If it's insubstantial enough that it's not worth a post on the main page and the previous thread is closed, then maybe it's not worth a post in the first place. Posting is like making babies, either you do or you don't. Metatalk is not, should not be a second-class parking zone for partially-pregnant posts.

3. Where do we bean-plate such threads? metametalk.metatalk.metafilter?

I have no problem with this post, and think, in fact that it would have been fine on the front page. There's decent discussion here and people seem interested in it. I just don't think that crossing the streams like this is a good thing.
posted by bonehead at 7:28 AM on May 16, 2010


For what it's worth, yes, I think this is an example of something that probably could have been fine, and probably would have been best, as a new post on the blue with some good links about the completion and the records dispute stuff. Today was sort of a busy-having-a-real-world-weekend sort of day for the mod team I think, so this wasn't really so much on our radar, but there's my take on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:53 AM on May 16, 2010


Not saying her trip wasn't hard, isn't an achievement etc. But the whole activity was frankly arrogant, selfish, and gratuitous. The subsequent orgy of bidding from current affairs shows and endorsers does little to dispel this notion. I would be a lot more impressive if she had spent the better part of the year volunteering to help someone.

How do you even live like this? I shudder to think what it must be like to be such an unbelievable prig.


In Oz, she is fast being mythologized as an epic hero for our times, an inspiration for all Australians, a paragon of courage and human virtue. The NSW Premier said she must be "the most important person in Australia", because she kept the PM and all the nation's most important dignitaries waiting for her (orchestrated) arrival.

I think I've got the right to question whether some privileged, middle-class white girl whose entire raison d'etre is the quintessential selfish American dream of being a "winner"/gaining fame and fortune deserves all this epic bullshit. There are plenty of Aboriginal girls I know in Sydney that face far bigger fucking hurdles in their short lives than she ever did, and are doing infinitely more inspiring things for their community. But they get shit all. That makes me angry. If that makes me a prig I can live with it.
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:07 PM on May 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


the most important person in Australia

Right, now she's annoyed me.
Or not her, per se, but the whole exercise.
So I guess I'm on Team Prig.
posted by angrycat at 1:42 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


WRT the whole "hero" thing:

"I'm actually going to disagree with the Prime Minister," she said, as the crowd laughed. "I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream."

Marketing, perhaps, but I think it sends a positive message to young women -- "ordinary girls" can do extraordinary things not related to displaying their bodies for public consumption.
posted by stinker at 2:31 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Still figuring out what goes on the Blue and what goes on the Gray. Made a judgment call, and it seems the consensus is I made the wrong one.

Oh well. That's how we learn.
posted by valkyryn at 2:39 PM on May 16, 2010


No worries, valkyrn. This is a fuzzy policy that's somewhat in flux besides, so there's not a lot of blame to throw around in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:57 PM on May 16, 2010


How do you even live like this? I shudder to think what it must be like to be such an unbelievable prig.

I hear you, but look at what she did, or didn't do. She didn't explore anything. She didn't discover anything. She didn't open new routes to anywhere. She didn't do anything of any use to anyone, at least not apart from marketing.

What she did is basically take a very long, fantastically expensive, and rather dangerous vacation. I don't see particularly why I should care any more than I care about some random person who was led up Everest, or who hiked the AT, or took a round the world cruise.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


*kaibutsu brings out the fantastically large bucket of blame that has been steadily gathering mass under his desk for the last eight years.*

Anybody want to throw some of this shit around? It's a lot of fun, so long as it doesn't get stuck to anything. I have ping pong paddles, too, if anyone wants one.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:41 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


As often as I hear adults complaining about teenagers these days, it's nice to see one doing something adults wouldn't have the guts to do.

Buy me a boat, and pay my mortgage while I'm gone, and I'm there.
posted by pompomtom at 4:30 PM on May 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I hear you, but look at what she did, or didn't do. She didn't explore anything.

Lazy teenager.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:44 PM on May 16, 2010


In Oz, she is fast being mythologized as an epic hero for our times, an inspiration for all Australians, a paragon of courage and human virtue.

Well, it's refreshing to be able to add another hero to the pantheon: a robber who wore a metal bucket on his head, a guy who avoided the trenches by carrying fallen soldiers on his donkey, a simpleton who was stabbed through the heart by a stingray for trying to shove his thumb up its arse, and a bloke who won speed skating gold because all the other competitors fell over.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:59 PM on May 16, 2010 [8 favorites]

Well, it's refreshing to be able to add another hero to the pantheon
Don't forget Anthony Johns, UbuRoivas: the man who singlehandedly proved that you can be an athlete at the pinnacle of your sport and also hide a furious habit for pills and booze over the course of a decade.

Though I'll be fair. He had the help of his club and his league.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:08 PM on May 16, 2010


Graaaawwwwwrrr.

That's the whiny version of GRAR.
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 PM on May 16, 2010


Also, to add: when I was 17 I achieved what I thought then was my lifelong dream at considerable personal risk and danger, without the support of sponsors. It was something even most adults wouldn't consider and even now gives me the shakes of fear. I showed that with the proper motivation, even ordinary young men can achieve genuinely extraordinary things.

In 1997, I drank a full four litre cask of cheap red wine, followed it with a bottle of Kahlua, then washed it down with a six pack of VB on the bus on the way to school. And I didn't even throw up until my parents were called to pick me up.

Where was the Premier of NSW to shake my hand?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:43 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair, if she's out at see there's a lot she can't do. For just a rough envestment of about $750,000 by her parents she won't be doing any of the following: She can't crash their car. She won't be dating. She can't throw an underage drinking party at their home, trashing the place. Its also hard to have unprotected sex while on a solo record breaking (even if there is no official record, she definitely knows what she did) sailing trip. I'm betting that her texting for 5 of those 7 months was nill. She's not smoking,
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:52 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


six pack of VB...
Premier of NSW


Were it Tooheys, you might've been in with a chance.

It's all about the sponsorship.
posted by pompomtom at 9:04 PM on May 16, 2010


Where was the Premier of NSW to shake my hand?

I imagine your hands were already shaking enough, of their own accord.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:21 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's all about the sponsorship

You're right. My alcohol poisoning experience was purely altruistic; poor sucker me.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:25 PM on May 16, 2010


Fiasco, you needed to wait for a Saturday so you could grant exclusive prime time interviews.
posted by smoke at 11:02 PM on May 16, 2010


Yes, well, the Australian youth of today have certainly schooled my generation of slackers.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:27 PM on May 16, 2010


True. Fred Hollows cured the blind; the youth of today just get blind on liqueur.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:36 PM on May 16, 2010


Yes, this may be a quite reasonable response to someone acting recklessly.

Your 'reckless' is my 'courage', and Aristotle agrees with me about which side virtue errs on.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:33 AM on May 17, 2010


So far I've seen three different shows advertising some kind of "exclusive" "Jessica Watson interview. "Exclusive" obviously doesn't mean what I think it means.
posted by andraste at 2:35 AM on May 17, 2010

Your 'reckless' is my 'courage', and Aristotle agrees with me about which side virtue errs on
Oh do we get to do favourite Western bloke philosophers now?

Von Clausewitz identified two different forms of courage; courage before physical danger, and courage before responsibility, picking the latter as the greater and more important. I can't and won't question Watson on the first, I think everybody questions her and her parents on the second.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:05 AM on May 17, 2010


Your 'reckless' is my 'courage', and Aristotle agrees with me about which side virtue errs on.

You take your moral guidance from someone who condoned slavery? Look, I've studied philosophy, so I know how wrong philosophers can get things; I'm not impressed by cites to philosophers.

Anyway, if we're citing great philosophers for some reason, Bertrand Russell agrees with me:
"What should we say of the man who runs mad risks in aeroplanes or on mountain tops, because life has become irksome to him? If his risks serve any public object, we may admire him, but if not, we shall have to place him only slightly above the gambler and drunkard." -- The Conquest of Happiness
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:48 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


What should we say of the man who runs mad risks in aeroplanes or on mountain tops

Well, that all depends... is he a telegenic teenage girl?
posted by pompomtom at 5:57 AM on May 17, 2010


Still figuring out what goes on the Blue and what goes on the Gray. Made a judgment call, and it seems the consensus is I made the wrong one.

Not necessarily. Some MeFites will criticize anything that shows up on MetaTalk that isn't a meetup thread because they think it forces them to update their grarbooks in triplicate. Seems fine to me.
posted by kittyprecious at 12:24 PM on May 17, 2010


Various other things that Aristotle said:

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.

The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger.

The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.

Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

posted by UbuRoivas at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2010


Other things Aristotle said:

Do you think this milk is off? I smelled it but I'm not sure

God this hessian is scratchy

Chick peas settle my humours, but make me gassy

The second bedroom, if you don't mind
posted by smoke at 4:56 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, did you also study under Professor Bruce at the University of Woolloomooloo?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:22 PM on May 17, 2010


Apparently her route wasn't the required distance for a record. That seems like quite an oversight.

Indeed. I saw an interview with her manager a couple of days before she got here and it was sickening.

It went from "why weren't we told earlier?" to "she sailed the world, end of story" to "Jessica planned the route" [yep - he blamed her!] to "people are attacking me and my company" [boo farking hoo].

And the interviewer, Karl Stefanovic, was just lobbing him Dorothy Dixers. I dunno what was going on there, but it reeked of a "go easy on me, OK?" deal. He didn't even ask the manager to elaborate when he talked of Jessica not fulfilling a "technicality." I had to discover her mistake elsewhere.

A fine achievement will always be tarnished by this footnote thanks to the incompetence of Andrew Fraser.

Another 'round the world sailor suggested she sail half way to NZ and back to get the required distance. I wonder why that didn't happen? Politicians and TV networks' schedules too tight?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2010


According to the WSSRC, for around the world sailing records, there is a rule saying that the length must be at least 21,600 nm calculated along the shortest possible track from the starting port and back that does not cross land and does not go below 63°S. It is allowed to have one single waypoint to lengthen the calculated track.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:49 PM on May 17, 2010


A QANTAS plane will join in the search today for a 16-year-old girl whose emergency beacons started signalling in her attempt to be the youngest person to sail around the world solo.

American sailor Abby Sunderland was battling waves measuring 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.6m) in the southern Indian Ocean when she was last in touch, her mother, MaryAnne Sunderland, said.

Two emergency beacons that signal trouble had been activated on the yacht, signaling distress, said Jeff Casher, an engineer on Miss Sunderland’s support team. Her yacht suffered two knockdowns during the rough weather. One of those incidents ripped the radar off, Mr Casher said.

The nearest boat to Miss Sunderland was 400 miles (644km) away.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:04 PM on June 10, 2010


Abby Sutherland is okay.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:23 AM on June 11, 2010


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