There was an interesting conversation at the RTCUK Sleepover about DEET maybe degrading climbing ropes. It was scary enough to make you think twice about risking Lyme's or a nasty fall. After all, as a solvent DEET will melt plastic and denature your sunglasses, camera and so on.
I couldn't find anything definitive online, but everything you can find points to this quote from a report which now seems to be unavailable:
Personally, I'm taking this as permission to not worry. The most up-to-date forum discussion about this I could find was this one, and there seems to be no accounts online of rope failure after DEET contact. Your mileage may vary, but for me avoiding the relative certainty of again having to extract gangs of voracious parasites from my nethers beats the theoretical risk of equipment failure.
Reddit has summarised the European attempt to destroy the internet for everybody. Here it is in its entirety, though click through to the site for the comments.
We care deeply about protecting the free and open internet, and we know Redditors do too. Specifically, we’ve communicated a lot with you in the past year about the Net Neutrality fight in the United States, and ways you can help. One of the most frequent questions that comes up in these conversations is from our European users, asking what they can do to play their part in the fight. Well Europe, now’s your chance. Later this month, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will vote on changes to copyright law that would put untenable restrictions on how users share news and information with each other. The new Copyright Directive has two big problems:
- Article 11 would create a "link tax:” Links that share short snippets of news articles, even just the headline, could become subject to copyright licensing fees— pretty much ending the way users share and discuss news and information in a place like Reddit.
- Article 13 would force internet platforms to install automatic upload filters to scan (and potentially censor) every single piece of content for potential copyright-infringing material. This law does not anticipate the difficult practical questions of how companies can know what is an infringement of copyright. As a result of this big flaw, the law’s most likely result would be the effective shutdown of user-generated content platforms in Europe, since unless companies know what is infringing, we would need to review and remove all sorts of potentially legitimate content if we believe the company may have liability.
The unmistakable impact of both these measures would be an incredible chilling impact over free expression and the sharing of information online, particularly for users in Europe.
Luckily, there are people and organizations in the EU that are fighting against these scary efforts, and they have organized a day of action today, June 12, to raise the alarm.
Julia Reda, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who opposes the measure, joined us last week for an AMA on the subject. In it, she offers a number of practical ways that Europeans who care about this issue can get involved. Most importantly, call your MEP and let them know this is important to you!
As a part of their Save the Link campaign, our friends at Open Media have created an easy tool to help you identify and call your MEP.
Here are some things you’ll want to mention on the phone with your MEP’s office:
- Share your name, location and occupation.
- Tell them you oppose Article 11 (the proposal to charge a licensing fee for links) and Article 13 (the proposal to make websites build upload filters to censor content).
- Share why these issues impact you. Has your content ever been taken down because of erroneous copyright complaints? Have you learned something new because of a link that someone shared?
- Even if you reach an answering machine, leave a message—your concern will still be registered.
- Be polite and SAY THANKS! Remember the human.
Phone not your thing? Tweet at your MEP! Anything we can do to get the message across that internet users care about this is important. The vote is expected June 20 or 21, so there is still plenty of time to make our voices heard, but we need to raise them!
And be sure to let us know how it went! Share stories about what your MEP told you in the comments below.
PS If you’re an American and don’t want to miss out on the fun, there is still plenty to do on our side of the pond to save the free and open internet. On June 11, the net neutrality rollback officially went into effect, but the effort to reverse it in Congress is still going strong in the House of Representatives. Go here to learn more and contact your Representative.
Grace VanderWaal's Tiny Desk Concert is lovely.
I got stuck up a tree on Sunday. Kinda. I was with somebody who descended and resolved it, but it was a learning-point - particularly when I usually climb alone...
I had ascended with a doubled rope, and then hauled up the tail and dropped it elsewhere to get it out of the way of my climbing partner. The way I did that was to pull up the tail incrementally and allow the taken-up bight to descend down where I wanted it to go. What happens if you do that is you end up holding the free end with the weight of all the slack rope pulling it down. The natural inclination then is to drop it. On this occasion the weight of the rope pulled the end with enough force to cause it to wrap completely around a limb much lower down, leaving it as in the image.
All seemed well until I tried to descend DdRT, when the standing end of the rope would not come up, thus preventing me from descending at all - and preventing me, therefore, from untangling the tail. To compound the problem, the single wrap meant that gravity would pull any slack out of the standing end, essentially acting as a progress-capture device, allowing me only to ascend.
- This is why you should climb with a partner. Thanks Jos for descending and unwrapping my rope.
- Don't drop the bight. You are probably ok to allow it to descend until you have the tail-end (though take care! The alternative is to bag the rope as you pull it up...) but then feed the tail down where you want it until all the slack follows it down and is deployed. This takes the energy out of the system, reducing the possibility of wrapping.
- If you do get in this situation, anchor the working end to a limb near you and climb down SRT to unwrap the rope. If you have a throwline with you you can tie a retrievable anchor and not have to climb back up, but if not the extra climb serves you right!
- Climb with a backup system. I always have a hand-jammer and foot-ascender, but I've added a gri-gri to my always-on harness-kit. With the progress-capture effect of this wrap it would have been tricky to tie a munter or super-munter for descending, and that wouldn't have been great for stopping at the wrap anyway.
Stay in school kids!
Parkrun celebrated 70 years of the NHS last Saturday. Lots of people were in scrubs and so on. Nobody beats the person to Kelly's right in this Guardian picture though...!
Showed Jos the enormous pines up Sprydon Beacon today. An arduous climb with views and tranquility that more than make up for the sweat.
Mashups are not usually my thing, being the musical equivalent of puns without the benefit of being sometimes funny. However, this is great.
America fills me with utter terror. The absolute lack of interest the state takes in the well-being of its citizens, and the total private ownership of every service that would provide the foundation of a caring society wishing to invest in those citizens (cough... healthcare) leads to an undervaluing of human life and an over-emphasis on individual financial success. The actual ability for an individual to become successful (which in American English is synonymous with wealthy) is a dream bordering on delusion. The American Dream. As Cory Doctorow said in 2014:
This is chilling in its ten-word horrific truth.
This article in Eudaimonia expands nicely on the economic system that drives this paradoxical move towards poverty-despite-wealth.
Read it all here.
The Recreational Tree Climbing UK annual Sleepover is always good and, as usual, failed miserably to disappoint.
By no means everybody. Lots of shirts were in evidence. Kerry, Lawrence, and I had nice high hammocks...
This is the canopy above my bed...
The dawn chorus was amazing, but that early in the morning I was all zipped up and snuggled down. Later on (7:30 - very respectable) I recorded this:
This is how to get out of bed in the morning. It does rather mean the route to bed the night before is a right pain in the arse.
Looking forward to tonight's sleep beneath the stars. And above the ground...
Right now you absolutely cannot get me out of the man cave.
I am so impressed at the sheer graft our kids are putting into their revision.
Another brilliant climb in the wonderful weather. A huge (and very familiar) London Plane in King George V Playing Fields in Exeter. Just great!