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Costa Rica – Osa Peninsula November 30, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time Les Stroud stranded at a beach with just his clothes,  3 pens and his multitool. Building a shelter wasn’t important this time because also at night the temperatures were very high. He found lots of coconuts for food and he could use the coconut milk to satisfy his thirst although he had to find fresh water very soon. The humidity was extreme and the danger of dehydration was big.

He found a small water stream out of the jungle but he decided to boil the water before drinking because most of the time these streams are full of parasites. He made fire with a spindle like he practiced it in the Sonoran Desert before and he used a big shell to boil the water. Good idea.

On day 3 he decided to find a way out through the jungle. He tried to find a path or road The nights in the dense jungle were very hard. Everything comes alive at night and everything moves! In an area of 65×65 meters live on average 3.6 millions ants…

On day 6 he found a river and after following it a day he was back at the coastline. On day 7 he walked the coastline along until he reached some boats and civilization.

Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild was also in Costa Rica in episode 2.

Survivorman episodes November 26, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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Survivorman is an interesting reality docu where a man films himself while he tries to survive in different very demanding situations. In the first episode he was set out in the Boreal Forest in Canada and tries to find back to civilization. If no one hears from him after 7 days the crew will start a rescue mission.

He has no special tools with him except one match, two cameras for documentation, some dry-food and a swiss army knife. Making fire and heating up some stones so that they reflect the heat during the cold nights was very important to get some rest and to overcome the rain and light snow falls at night.

During these 7 days he didn’t find much food. He tried to hunt a squirrel but without success. He found some water plants which he cooked and two small snails, that was all. Unfortunatly it wasn’t the season for berries.

In the end he went east and after a few days hiking he reached a highway.

The second episode played in Arizona in the Sonoran Desert.  He got 1 snack bar and a few liters to drink. He eat most of the time some plants and berries but also a scorpion and lots of grasshoppers. He roasted them on the fire and they were very tasty, at least when you are that hungry.

In both episodes he made the fire by spinning a wood to produce sparks and it worked quite well after practicing a few times.

There is another series called Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel with a similar topic. But in Survivorman he films all on his own and there is no camera crew around which makes it more realistic I think.

Tom DeMarco’s "Der Termin" November 9, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Interesting Reads, Management.
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Vor kurzem hab ich zur Abwechslung wieder einmal ein deutsches Buch gelesen. Ich hatte Tom De Marcos’s “Der Termin” noch positiv in Erinnerung obwohl es doch schon einige Jahre zurück lag als ich es das letzte mal gelesen habe. Das Buch hat den Untertitel “Ein Roman über Projektmanagement”, das heisst es wird eigentlich versucht ein Sachbuch in Form eines Romans zu verpacken. Einen ähnlichen Schreibstil, der mir persönlich aber besser gefallen hat, verwendet E. M. Goldratt in seinem Buch “The Goal” – A Process of ongoing Improvement. Bei Tom DeMarco waren mir die Schlüsse oder besser Schlussfolgerungen etwas zu oberflächlich und die ganze Geschichte wirkte ziemlich konstruiert. Ich hatte das Gefühl, dass er zwanghaft versucht seine Thesen in Form einer Story zu präsentieren und daher das Ganze nicht mehr glaubwürdig rüber kommt. Goldratt geht bei seiner Erzählung viel mehr ins Detail und die Story ist teilweise wirklich spannend und man möchte selber automatisch mehr über den wissenschaftlichen/mathematischen Hintergrund der beschriebenen Phänomene in den Produktionshallen wissen. Am meisten schockiert hat mich allerdings das Ende des Buches, das einerseits sehr plötzlich bzw. unerwartet kommt und andererseits wirklich sehr trivial ist. Plötzlich deswegen weil 257 Seiten lang die Probleme beschrieben werden von denen dann auch noch die grössten durch “unsaubere” Mittel gelöst wurden (Problem mit Herr Belok) und auf den 10 letzten Seiten die Geschichte durch ein kitschiges Happy End beendet wird.