Monthly Archives: September 2011

Easy Test

By Vladimir Brezina

In their article Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?, Iain Murray and David Bier of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (“Free Markets and Limited Government”) advocate abolishing the National Weather Service. They have an unanswerable argument:

The NWS claims that it supports industries like aviation and shipping, but if they provide a valuable contribution to business, it stands to reason business would willingly support their services. If that is the case, the Service is just corporate welfare. If they would not, it is just a waste.

And yet…  When in 640 A.D. the Arabs conquered Alexandria, the question arose what to do with the Great Library, the repository of the learning of the ancient world. Caliph Omar (allegedly) decided:

The contents of those books are in conformity with the Koran, or they are not. If they are, they are superfluous; if they are not, they are pernicious. Let them, therefore, be destroyed.

And so they were.

A Post-Hurricane Swim Into the Record Books

By Vladimir Brezina

NYC Swim‘s premier long-distance swim, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, has become an institution in the world of long-distance swimming.  But its younger sibling, the Ederle Swim between Manhattan and Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is still growing, full of surprising twists and turns.

In October 2010, the top two finishers in the Ederle Swim were Lance Ogren and Liz Fry. This year, each of them went on to swim their own exclusive version of the Ederle Swim. In June 2011, Liz completed an unprecedented 35-mile double Ederle Swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook and back. In an amazing swim, she set records not only for the overall course but for each of the two individual directions as well.

A few days ago, in August 2011, Lance set out to break the record—now Liz’s record—for the Manhattan to Sandy Hook direction.

I was one of the two kayakers accompanying Lance on his swim. Here are some photos and a brief account.

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