Largest Wave Ever Surfed – 100 Feet Tall


“Garrett McNamara of Hawaii rode a giant wave in Nazaré, Portugal yesterday. It was claimed to be 100 feet high, although the Guiness Book of World Records has not yet confirmed the measurement. Nazaré has unusual conditions for making huge waves … an undersea trench narrows right before the shore, shooting the sea up to the sky at the last minute.


After McNamara set his prior world record at Nazaré in 2011, he explained: “There is an underwater canyon 1,000ft deep that runs from the ocean right up to the cliffs. It’s like a funnel. At its ocean end it’s three miles wide but narrows as it gets closer to the shore and when there is a big swell it acts like an amplifier.”


Big wave surfing requires special equipment and a different approach to riding ordinary waves. On 1 November McNamara was equipped with a buoyancy aid and knee braces to protect his joints from the battering a surfer’s legs suffer bouncing down the huge wave faces. “It looks smooth but it’s not. It’s like bouncing down moguls [on a ski slope]. You hit every ripple in the water.” It is for precisely this reason that in the huge sets, the second wave is often preferable. “The first wave grooms the sea bottom and can make the second smoother,” McNamara explains.


On 1 November McNamara was not equipped with an emergency air supply to improve his chances of survival if he were to be held down by the surging water after coming off his board. His 6ft board is equipped with feet straps, like a snowboard, to prevent him being thrown off, and loaded with 10lbs (5kg) of extra weight to increase momentum at the beginning of the ride. Even catching big waves is different to ordinary surfing. The speed of big waves makes it difficult to paddle fast enough ahead of the wave to catch them, so jetskis are used to tow the surfer at speed on to the breaking crest and to recover the surfer at the end of his ride – a dangerous business in its own right.”

– http://www.washingtonsblog.com/

My source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly

Summit of the Americas agree war on drugs a failure


This weekend’s Summit of the Americas did not produce a joint communiqué charting the future of the hemisphere, but the 31 leaders agreed on one thing: The U.S.-led war on drugs has been a dismal failure.

The summit pledged to create a panel of experts through the Organization of American States to consider drug policy reforms, and new approaches to stem the violence and power of the drug cartels.

Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has created mandatory-minimum prison terms at home for minor drug offences, seems to have moved beyond the rhetoric of a Reagan-era counter-narcotics crusade: “Everyone believes… that the current approach [to the war on drugs] is not working, but it is not clear what we should do.”

The onus is on the hemisphere’s leaders, including Mr. Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, to consider innovative, evidence-based policies. The decriminalization of marijuana – which comprises between 25 and 40 per cent of the drug cartels’ revenues – is one option. In the Netherlands, where licensed coffee shops can sell small amounts of marijuana, the rate of cannabis use is just 5 per cent, versus 14 per cent in the U.S. The policy of tolerance helps the government regulate cannabis sellers, and also distinguishes between soft drugs and cocaine and heroin.

In Portugal, where all drugs were decriminalized in 2001, there has been a decrease in serious drug use and drug-related deaths, and a savings to the criminal-justice system. “The aim shouldn’t be to totally decriminalize the whole enterprise, but to set some reasonable standards so that people don’t become criminals for minor drug use and clandestine organizations don’t make obscene amounts of money,” said Allert Brown-Gort, a Latin American expert at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

The problem with the current war-on-drugs policy is that it is unwinnable – and leads to weakened states, staggering levels of violence and continued drug consumption in Canada and the U.S. The U.S. spent $8-billion to help Colombia eradicate coca fields, only to have coca production shift to Peru and Ecuador and cartels set up new smuggling routes in weaker states. Guatemala and El Salvador now have the highest homicide rates in the world, while 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006.

In the words of Guatemalan President Otto Perez, a champion of drug liberalization, it is time to “stop being dumb witnesses to a global deceit” and consider treatment, harm reduction and decriminalization as viable alternatives.

Source: The Globe and Mail


Oh, they’ve just figured that out…

It has been evident for 20 years to everybody else!

As usual, the USA doesn’t agree, idiots!


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