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  #1  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:20 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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I got trapped in quicksand!

Well, I'm not sure if "quicksand" actually exists. Whatever, it worked like the popular conception of quicksand. I sunk in several feet, and struggling just made me sink deeper. What ever happened to quicksand anyway? Back in the 80s, every third movie had a quicksand scene.

So anyway, I was planning to do a photography trip day. You get the best pictures at dawn, especially in the desert. Weather report said it'd be partly cloudly, but when I got up at 4am it'd been upgraded to "cloudy". Hmm, well, depending on what kind of clouds, it might not be so bad, and I already got up, so what the hell.

So I get out there, worst photography day ever. Vegas experiences like, 8 really overcast gloomy days a year, if that, and this was one of them. No golden morning sunlight, several layers of clouds just diffusing and sucking the life out of everything. Awful, a waste. Oh well, I'm already out there, so I guess I'll turn it into a scouting day, explore everything and come back on a better day.

So I end up exploring there and all around Lake Mead. I follow some random gravel path off Lake Mead Blvd. for like a mile or two and end up at some weird little peninsula vaguely beach-like protusion into the water. It's actually kind of nice - at least by "holy shit there's some water in the desert" standard, so I was hanging around.

Some ducks and seagulls flying around, so I was moving around a bit to take some pictures, walking along the shoreline. There's actually some real sand, along with some rocky parts. I take a step and my right foot sinks in about a foot. My momentum carries me forward and I fall and catch myself with my left leg, which sinks in a little above knee level. I try to pull myself out - won't budge, except that struggling actually seems to make it worse. My left ankle is twisted under there, which makes it even more of an anchor. I also had just spent the whole day climbing rocks and hiking through sand and I'm not at all in the shape to do that stuff, so I was already pretty heavily worn out and somewhat dehydrated by this time.

Welp, this sucks. No one is around - this is some weird gravel road in the middle of nowhere, just saw one RV down the road and they were probably cooking meth. Maybe they'd somehow stumble onto me, but they'd probably try to rape me. I'm a very tempting rape target. So there's no one around to help and I am quite thoroughly stuck.

There's some really weird pile of some sort of growing pit of white goo next to me, I should mention. I have no idea wtf it is execpt that it's definitely some sort of horrible. About 3 feet away from my left leg. It might try to eat me.

On the plus side, I stopped sinking when I stopped moving. I was able to turn around just enough to get my ass on a rock, and from there I could pull my right foot out. Left one wouldn't budge. I couldn't plan the right leg to try to help free the left one, cause there was no solid ground under it, it would just sink again.

The birds I was following to take pictures of are now circling above my head, waiting for my inevitable death to eat me.

The absurdity of my situation hit me, I was legitimately stuck. Cracked me up.

But since I was stable enough with my ass on a rock, I was able to start digging. Had to dig a pit to get free.

I had my camera in my hand when I sunk in, so it got gunked up a decent bit. I realized I should document the retarded predicament I was in, so that after I sank into the earth and perished, and was one day dug up by the mole men that will replace human kind, I would have documentation of my fate with me.

Had a long telephoto lens, though - not able to photograph the ground in front of me from where I was, too close. So I did what all ballers would do - wiped my caked up mud hand on my pants and executed a one handed lens change on my expensive camera with a muddy hand.

Kept digging, after about a half hour I was able to get my leg free. Lost my shoe, had to dig that out.

I missed an opportunity here. My K5 is coated in this thick, horrible muddy quicksand stuff. I'd also changed the lens with a muddy one handed awkward change, and then taken a bunch of pictures with it. So it was pretty thoroughly abused. So I went ahead and walked out on a rock by the lake and splashed it around in there to clean it off. But I forgot that I had a backup camera in my pocket. What's the point of having a backup camera if you don't remember to take pictures of your main camera totally coked in mud?

It would've made a cool demonstration video for youtube to show the shape it was in and then splashing it around in the lake. Damn. Oh well. When I got back to my car, it was still kind of ugly. I wasn't able to get all the mud off of it, just most of it, so after I rinsed my hands with a gallon of water I'd had in the car I went ahead and dumped it in the camera.

Couldn't do much about the rest of the mud. Tried to shake it off my legs and shoes but it was pervasive. Somehow while I'm driving home flakes of mud are flying out of my hair. No idea how that happened, I didn't dunk my head in it. My glasses are all muddied up too. It's too bad - I took the scenic route home and got tempted to stop for pictures, but I figured I should probably give the camera a more thorough cleaning before I keep using it.

So I got home, threw all my clothes in the washing machine, and then the camera and I took a shower together. It was very erotic. I forgot to shut it off during the shower too but it doesn't seem to care, it's working just fine.

My only concern remains wtf was that horrible white goo pit of doom? I had a fissure/small wound in one of my fingers that got caked in mud repeatedly, which kinda looked black and nasty after I washed it off, so now I'm concerned that some sort of alien bacteria is now growing inside my finger. So I may yet die from this. But at least those greedy birds won't be eating me.

The pictures are not terribly descriptive. I had limited range of motion and I couldn't actually see what I was taking pictures of, so the angles are odd.

Digging out

Jammed pretty good in there

Horrible disgusting goo pits

Shoe rescue

Where I was, in my supervillain submarine

Camera abuse

And another one

Keep in mind that was after I'd already gotten the bulk off of the camera by splashing it around in the lake, that was just the leftovers.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 03-20-2013 at 08:21 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:28 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Oh, somewhat related, earlier in the day I was climbing down from some big rocks. I was using my right arm to climb while my left arm was carrying my camera. But I lost my balance and my hand with the camera came crashing down to catch me. The camera hit a rock pretty hard. The rock exploded into a chalky substance. Camera was no worse for the wear, except for being covered in chalk.

That thing is a tank.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:42 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Well, I'm not sure if "quicksand" actually exists. Whatever, it worked like the popular conception of quicksand. I sunk in several feet, and struggling just made me sink deeper. What ever happened to quicksand anyway? Back in the 80s, every third movie had a quicksand scene.
Yes, it exists. It's not quite like the Hollywood version, but it exists.

I don't know why Hollywood lost interest in it though.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:50 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Sank.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:56 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Quicksand isn't an exciting enough form of death anymore. Even a rescue it is dull.

However, sinking into a pool of molten steel in a factory is da bomb!
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:08 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Remember that guy that was rockclimbing and when his arm got stuck, he cut it off? You could have done that with your foot. Wuss!
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:11 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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[Twirls mustache] CURSES!
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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Had two experiences with quicksand right here in boring old Indiana. It really exists!
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 PM
~Olive~ ~Olive~ is offline
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The sign for quicksand in Australia was ...

lol
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2013, 06:34 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
Remember that guy that was rockclimbing and when his arm got stuck, he cut it off? You could have done that with your foot. Wuss!
I was thinking the same thing. Aron Ralston.
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:21 AM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Cutting my foot off would've been slightly premature. I really might've been stuck though had the pit extended out another few feet and I didn't have a solid rock to balance on. Although it was solid enough that I could've probably dug myself out anyway, it would've been difficult.
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:27 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Cutting my foot off would've been slightly premature. I really might've been stuck though had the pit extended out another few feet and I didn't have a solid rock to balance on. Although it was solid enough that I could've probably dug myself out anyway, it would've been difficult.
Who cares? You could have been stuck in a crack in the pavement in a Wendys parking lot for 10 minutes, cut your foot off, and been an internet hero and had a movie made about you.

It's a very small price to pay.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:16 AM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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The camera shower is what I am interested in. That is a digital camera & it survived a shower? I need to reconsider one of those.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:29 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Cutting my foot off would've been slightly premature.
What about cutting your arm off?
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:39 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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The sign for quicksand in Australia was ...

lol
Heh....
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:38 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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What about cutting your arm off?
It might have made a more effective digging tool that way.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:48 PM
campp campp is offline
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It does exist. I had a buddy walking a few feet to my left, and he sunk immediatley up to his chest in muddy gunk.

We had a hard time pulling him out while laughing at him.
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:23 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
The camera shower is what I am interested in. That is a digital camera & it survived a shower? I need to reconsider one of those.
The shower was the easy part, I was worried about the caked-on mud or clay or sand or whatever it was getting into the controls and stuff, that's more insidious. Water is pretty easy.

But yeah it depends on the camera. Here's an example demonstration, that's the same cameras as I have. I wouldn't trust a canon or nikon to do that sort of thing until you get to their $6000-9000 flagship bodies though. And no sony/fuji/olympus.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:55 PM
asterion asterion is offline
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I had a few run-ins with quicksand while in the Paria Canyon hiking. It was never worse than maybe the middle of the shins or maybe the knee, but you still had to be careful in getting out. It was easy with one leg stuck, difficult with two. I did have a trailmate who managed to wrench a knee pretty badly in some as well.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:22 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Cute and well written story OP. Though I did catch the sneak bragging about being a "very tempting rape target".

IIRC true "quicksand" is a special thing. Its just not muck or mucky sand or soft sand that you sink into. Its sand that has some water flowing through it so that the grains are being separated slightly. Imagine a spring basin filled with sand and the spring flow being very low.

You can create quicksand in a bucket. Get a five gallon bucket or whatever large container you can find. Put in a hose that reaches to the bottom. Fill container with sand. Place something heavy like a brick on top of the sand. Very slowly turn the water on just a little. Keep at very low flow until the sand is all wet and water is flowing over the edge.

Now watch the surface of the sand carefully. Then, again slowly increase the flow. At some point you will see the sand surface lift up a bit. This is when the grains separate. At that point the brick will sink, well like a brick.

If you are easily amused like me you can spend and hour or two doing this over and over again going "cool!"

Last edited by billfish678; 03-22-2013 at 07:25 AM..
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:30 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
What ever happened to quicksand anyway? Back in the 80s, every third movie had a quicksand scene.
It went the same way as every snake being a rattlesnake, every spider being a striped tarantula, and every bird having the call of red-tailed hawk.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:05 AM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
Cute and well written story OP. Though I did catch the sneak bragging about being a "very tempting rape target".
Just thought it'd be funny, not a sneak brag. Definitely no one wanting to rape me. Plus I have very aggressive counter-rape attack plans.

Quote:
IIRC true "quicksand" is a special thing. Its just not muck or mucky sand or soft sand that you sink into. Its sand that has some water flowing through it so that the grains are being separated slightly. Imagine a spring basin filled with sand and the spring flow being very low.
Yeah, I guess it probably wasn't, it was too dry. Although it was wetter at the bottom, fairly dry on top, and it seemed sort of like a non-Newtonian fluid where the harder you pushed at it the more it resisted, but it was probably just like a 3-4 foot deep pit of wet sandy muddy claylike goop.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 03-22-2013 at 09:07 AM..
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:13 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Just thought it'd be funny, not a sneak brag. Definitely no one wanting to rape me. Plus I have very aggressive counter-rape attack plans..
bolding mine

Well there GOES my vacation plan to take you on a personal tour of quicksand spots of the Deep South....
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2013, 02:10 PM
control-z control-z is online now
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You're a funny guy SenorBeef.

Glad to see you stopped playing Planetside for a while and went outside.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2013, 03:19 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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bolding mine

Well there GOES my vacation plan to take you on a personal tour of quicksand spots of the Deep South....
I don't know. Quicksand in the deep south does sound really romantic.

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You're a funny guy SenorBeef.

Glad to see you stopped playing Planetside for a while and went outside.
Every once in a while I do way more exercise than I can handle, and then the crippling soreness and pulled muscles give me no choice but to spend the next 2 days playing planetside.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:25 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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And to think, you damn near lost a $400 hand cart...
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  #27  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:14 PM
Valgard Valgard is offline
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One of the grad students in the geotechnical department at UIUC built a large quicksand tank that we used for the annual "engineering open house". It was about 8 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide with a clear front. Fill it up with sand, pump water into the bottom at the right hydraulic gradient and presto - real live quicksand.

I took a turn as the "victim" - put on a wetsuit and hop into the tank (we used warm water).

You float like a cork - quicksand is basically a very dense fluid. It's quite comfortable, I spent several hours in there.

As a demonstration of the bouyant force we tried to push me under - I pushed against the sides of the tank and the (very large) grad student put his weight on my shoulders while standing on a ladder, we could barely get my chin into it.

We also had a small tank next to the big one with a set of rubber boots. A visitor would put on the boots and stand on the sand with the water turned off. We'd turn on the faucet and tell them to wiggle their toes, their feet would drop to the bottom of the sand. Turn off the water and the quicksand solidified immediately, they could lean pretty far backward and their feet would stay locked in place.
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  #28  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:29 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Great story! This is, more or less, what happens when nerds go outside their natural habitat.
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  #29  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:37 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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I'm not a nerd, and I don't think "stepping on an area that looks exactly like the sand I've been walking on for the last 50 feet" is some great mistake.
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  #30  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:08 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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So much for a joke? We talked on Steam. You didn't seem like such a wet blanket then. /shrug
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  #31  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:12 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Wet blankets are scary. I've been afraid of getting trapped in wet objects ever since I got stuck in quicksand this one time.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:30 PM
Carl Corey Carl Corey is offline
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You got out? Curses! Foiled ag--um, glad to see you got out. Yes. That's it. Happy. Ahem.









What?

Last edited by Carl Corey; 03-22-2013 at 08:32 PM.. Reason: Evil genius me apparently can't spell glad. Or carry out evil plans either. Sigh.
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  #33  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:49 PM
PurpleClogs PurpleClogs is offline
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What kind of bird were you after?

I've seen mud puddles slightly foam in rain before. My guess is the white stuff is just some sediment in the dirt that floats. But go straight to the ER if your finger glows in the dark now.
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  #34  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:51 PM
Carl Corey Carl Corey is offline
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Seriously though, glad to see you survived your Indiana Jones moment.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:56 PM
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With my luck, if that happened to me in Vegas I would've stayed in Vegas. For maybe 2,000 years when I'd be found like some beaker-trader bog man.

I'm amazed at the wash 'n' wear Pentax (and the Afghanistan video).

Were there no footprints of a gigantic hound?
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:19 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Wet blankets are scary. I've been afraid of getting trapped in wet objects ever since I got stuck in quicksand this one time.
:D
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:39 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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That looks more like mud than quicksand.
Not that getting stuck in mud is any fun...

I once helped get a neighbor's donkey out of the mud - even with 4 people, it wasn't easy, and the poor thing as exhausted when we finally succeeded.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:15 PM
Cinnamon Imp Cinnamon Imp is offline
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The things some people do just to have a good tale to tell the Dope!

(seriously though, glad you're okay dude)
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:02 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Were there no footprints of a gigantic hound?
Actually, I don't get your reference, but there were unusually large paw prints in the sand. I was wondering what it was - it didn't seem like someone walking their dog because there weren't shoeprints around, but it definitely looked canine and fairly large. I thought maybe where some coyotes came down to drink.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:43 AM
Kenm Kenm is offline
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The Hound of the Baskervilles (Wiki link), a Sherlock Holmes story involving a huge dog and quicksand.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:53 AM
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Actaully, if the wound on his finger started glowing

That would be pretty cool, and not at all unheard of.

http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-n...lowing-wounds/
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  #42  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:06 AM
ruh-roh ruh-roh is offline
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I once had an underwater camera. The instructions said that if ever became flooded to immediately rinse it out with the freshest water available and then to rinse it with alcohol and send it in for repair. Right in the instructions it said that if straight alcohol wasn't available to use Vodka or Gin.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:19 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Part of the plot of the show Bob's Burgers this past Sunday was about getting trapped in quicksand. I laughed when I saw it because this thread brings up how Hollywood has lost interest in quicksand. AND THERE IT WAS!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:39 AM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
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That would be pretty cool, and not at all unheard of.

http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-n...lowing-wounds/
Cool link and story! Thanks!
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  #45  
Old 03-28-2013, 08:57 AM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
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Actually, I don't get your reference, but there were unusually large paw prints in the sand. I was wondering what it was - it didn't seem like someone walking their dog because there weren't shoeprints around, but it definitely looked canine and fairly large. I thought maybe where some coyotes came down to drink.
Did you ever stop to think that perhaps those 'unusually large paw prints' might have been from a cougar/puma? Aren't those indigenous to that area?

Great story and pics, by the way! I can only hope that my Canon EOS T1i proves to be that robust!
If it ever craps out, I will most definitely be looking into purchasing a Pentax.
Definitely a 'tank' of a camera!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:03 AM
gigi gigi is offline
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Plus I have very aggressive counter-rape attack plans.
Beating them over the head with your severed arm?
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  #47  
Old 03-29-2013, 05:57 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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You float like a cork - quicksand is basically a very dense fluid. It's quite comfortable,
Unless your foot blocks the flow of water. When that happens, the upward flow stops, the sand settles out as a solid, with your foot underneath.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:48 AM
Ksnook Ksnook is offline
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SenorBeef: I do not know you; I don't know if you're a nerd, or a geek, or a gamer, or an old.

I do know that you are no stick-in-the-mud, AND have the pics to prove it. Brava/o!
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:38 AM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Did you ever stop to think that perhaps those 'unusually large paw prints' might have been from a cougar/puma? Aren't those indigenous to that area?
You know, I kind of thought this was silly at first - I mean, are there big predatory felines in the desert? But apparently the Mojave is within their range. I foolishly did try to google "cougars in las vegas" actually before I realized what a mistake that was. But it's hard to believe there are cougars out there.

And the print actually looked a lot like a Puma print
On the other hand Coyote prints look almost the same.

Quote:
Great story and pics, by the way! I can only hope that my Canon EOS T1i proves to be that robust!
I wouldn't try it. Canon cameras aren't designed with weather seals until the 7d range, and even then not quite as completely as a flagship body. Nikon doesn't begin until the $4000+ camera range.

But I was pretty confident in it. Pentax is a very niche brand these days and has kind of a cult following. People like to torture test them. I've read a few "what's the worst you've done to your camera" and people have done way worse than get it muddy and splash it around in a lake. Although I am still kind of worried some mud got into the control dials and stuff - no way to tell, and it doesn't feel gritty or anything, so I guess it probably doesn't matter.

Like I said, I didn't think to take pictures of the camera until after I'd splashed it off in the lake, so you can only see the remnants of what was on it. I wish I'd have taken it all gooped up.


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Beating them over the head with your severed arm?
Well, that's not my first line of defense. The key to rape defense is like in most forms of battle to retain the initiative. You must always be counter-attacking. If you even think someone might rape you, you should just immediately start raping them so that you dictate the place, pace, and ferocity of battle.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 03-29-2013 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:16 AM
Kenm Kenm is offline
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Straight Dope, 1996. Questions We Refuse to Answer.

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5. Why does quicksand work slowly?
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