Connect with us

Living

Chinese ultramarathon survivor rescued by herdsman, sheltered in cave

Published

on

Chinese ultramarathon survivor rescued by herdsman, sheltered in cave

Long-distance runner Zhang Xiaotao was in the leading pack of the ultramarathon race in China in which 21 people died from hypothermia after being drenched by freezing rain and buffeted by gale-force winds on a mountain trail.

Of the half dozen frontrunners, Zhang was the only one to survive Saturday’s disaster in the highlands above the Yellow River in northwest China. Recovering from his ordeal, 29-year-old Zhang recounted how he was found unconscious by a herdsman who carried him to safety.

“I pressed SOS on my GPS tracker and then I passed out,” Zhang wrote in a post on a day later on Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog popular in China.

“I was unconscious on the mountain for about 2-1/2 hours until a herder passed by and carried me to a cave.”

“He set up a fire and wrapped me in a quilt. And after another hour or so I woke up.”

“I’m most grateful to the big uncle who saved me, because without him, I’d still be lying there. I’ll never forget the new life that he has given me!”

Of the 172 participants that set out in the 62-mile race on Saturday morning, 151 survived.

Zhang said that despite his exhaustion he was unable to sleep on Saturday night as he awaited news of his fellow runners.

The last of the 21 victims was found dead on Sunday morning.

Mounting anger on social media was amplified by news that two elite marathon athletes were among the dead. read more

“No one knows that I haven’t had any sleep in the past two days and no one knows how much I’ve wept in the past two days,” Zhang said.

At a news conference on Sunday, officials in Baiyin, a depressed mining city in Gansu province, bowed and apologised, saying they were to be blamed.

Sporting events, particularly extreme sports, have proliferated in western China in the last five years, encouraged by local officials looking to turn depleted mining towns into adventure and sports hubs, a strategy endorsed by Beijing.

Organisers of the Jingtai ultramarathon had halted the race at 2:00 p.m., two hours after runners sought help in mobile messaging groups, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing several participants who said they had received no notice of the suspension before they lost consciousness or suffered injury.

“The organiser should have had people stand by in the tough section of the trail, or deployed more rescuers. They should also have set mandatory rules on runners bringing outdoor jackets,” Zhang said.

Protective gear such as warm jackets was recommended, not mandatory, in a list provided by the organisers, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Most runners had set off in that ill-fated race wearing t-shirts and shorts. Some survivors described how their silver thermal blankets were ripped to shreds by the strong winds.

China’s top sporting body convened an emergency meeting on Sunday night in response to the tragedy.

“Local authorities should formulate targeted safety and emergency response plans and establish ‘circuit-breaker mechanisms’ (to quickly suspend events),” the General Administration of Sport said after its meeting.

“The Baiyin ultramarathon is a public safety accident due to sudden changes in local weather. The lesson was a very painful one.”

A day before the race, Zhang wrote on his WeChat page: “One hopes that one reaches his destination each and every time.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Living

Interstellar object was aliens’ spy ship

Published

on

By

Interstellar object was aliens' spy ship

Earthlings may not be the only beings gathering intel on other planets.

Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb suggested that recent intelligence reports of unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP) maybe provide evidence to alien ships sent to spy on our homeworld.

There is “fresh scientific evidence that we are not the only intelligent species in the cosmos,” theorized Loeb in his op-ed published in the journal Scientific American.

The astronomer, who is known for floating far-fetched theoretical hypotheses, posited that an extraterrestrial civilization had implanted the Earth with sensors collecting info on areas of our galaxy hospitable to life, Futurism reported. He deduced that “Oumuamua” — our solar system’s first-ever interstellar object discovered in 2017 — was a reconnaissance craft dispatched to decipher the data.

The evidence for this is allegedly supported by the recent NASA investigations into clips of supposed UAPs, the most startling of which depicted Navy aircraft encountering objects flying at speeds and in directions not possible for human-made flight.

Linking the so-called “UFO” sightings to a fragment from a far-off planet might seem like a conspiracy theory. However, the astronomer surmised that the state-sponsored UFO investigations wouldn’t be made public if the objects posed security threats like spyware dispatched by China or Russia. As such, the sightings are either natural phenomena or extraterrestrial spacecraft, per the study.

He thought that Oumuamua, in particular, sported spacecraft-evoking characteristics, most notably a large flat shape capable of picking up the signals transmitted by the scout sensors. Not to mention that the implied abundance of Oumuamua-like entities is unreasonably large for an object of alleged natural origin, per the report.

However, Loeb thinks astronomers need to gather more data before we can confidently say that aliens are spying on us.

This celestial research “can be done by deploying state-of-the-art cameras on wide-field telescopes that monitor the sky,” wrote the astronomer. “The sky is not classified; only government-owned sensors are.”

He added, “By searching for unusual phenomena in the same geographical locations from where the UAP reports came, scientists could clear up the mystery in a transparent analysis of open data.”

Continue Reading

Living

Cancer-like parasitic worm disease on the rise in Canada

Published

on

By

Cancer-like parasitic worm disease on the rise in Canada

Reports of a rare, but potentially fatal, parasite are on the rise in Canada.

The disease alveolar echinococcosis (AE) occurs regularly in certain areas of Europe and Asia, but had been virtually undocumented in North America before the 2010s, Gizmodo reported. 

Humans generally contract the rare disease by consuming microscopic tapeworm eggs which can then implant themselves into organs and become difficult to detect. However, if not treated, it can eventually turn into lethal tumor-like growths.

Now, however, University of Alberta scientists are sounding the alarm that the west Canada province has seen a disturbing amount of cases in recent years. Between 2013 and 2020, researchers report that they’ve seen 17 instances of AE, the symptoms of which are often similar to those of liver cancer, in Alberta, according to a case review this year.

In all 17 cases, antiparasitic drugs — a secondary approach when surgery does not sufficiently get rid of the growth — were used to treat the individual’s AE. One person died as a result of complications from surgery. 

Researchers aren’t sure what caused the recent rise in cases.

“Why it is most apparent in Alberta, by far, at the present time, is somewhat speculative,” Stan Houston, a University of Alberta infectious diseases expert and the lead author of the case review, told Gizmodo. “I think some mix of factors of where the parasite was first introduced and/or favorable wildlife ecology are most likely.”   

The researchers believe that the increase in the still very rare disease in Alberta may be correlated with a rise in dog ownership in the area.

“Of course it could, and in fact, what we know so far suggests that the parasite has been remarkably successful, achieving considerably higher prevalence in Alberta coyotes than in its natural reservoir, the red fox in Europe,” Houston said. “It is unequivocally new as a human disease in the Western Hemisphere. The explanation very clearly seems to be the introduction of the more virulent European strain of the parasite into our wildlife ecology.”

Washing your hands after touching dogs or other wildlife and other basic good hygiene routines can help lower your risk of contracting the disease.

Continue Reading

Living

Ohio to name 5th Vax-a-Million winners as vaccinations stall

Published

on

By

A woman walks into Ohio's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University in Cleveland. Ohio plans to announce its third pair of Ohio Vax-a-Million winners Wednesday evening, June 9, 2021, even as the initial bump from the incentive program fades and the vaccination numbers continue to drop.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state prepared to announce the fifth and final pair of Ohio Vax-a-Million winners Wednesday evening as Ohio tries to reach the 50% mark for vaccinations statewide.

More than 3.5 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million, up a little from the 3.4 million who had registered for last week’s drawing. About 155,000 children age 12-17 entered their names for the scholarship, an increase of about 4,700 from the previous week.

The state will name the winners at the end of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion TV show.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s May 12 announcement of the incentive program had the desired effect, leading to a 43% boost in state vaccination numbers over the previous week. But numbers of vaccinations have dropped since then.

About 5.5 million people in Ohio have received at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or about 47% of the population. About 5 million people, or 43% of the population, have completed the process.

Last week, DeWine held a news conference at Thomas Worthington High School in suburban Columbus along with students and coaches urging middle and high school children who play sports to get vaccinated.

In this still image, taken from video by the Office of the Ohio Governor, eighth grader Joseph Costello, center, of Englewood, Ohio, the winner of the Ohio Vax-a-Million, full college scholarship vaccination incentive prize, is interviewed during a news conference, Thursday, May 27, 2021.
In this still image, taken from video by the Office of the Ohio Governor, eighth grader Joseph Costello, center, of Englewood, Ohio, the winner of the Ohio Vax-a-Million, full college scholarship vaccination incentive prize, is interviewed during a news conference, Thursday, May 27, 2021.
AP

Continue Reading

Trending