Friday, January 09, 2009

Doctors Drop Their Pants on Everest

Irresistible title, huh? It sucked me in, too.

I have a day off today, and I have a to-do list that would take a week to do. So I'm just sitting here Web surfing and watching the snow come down. Yeah. I'm a slacker. I'm OK with it.

So the title comes from the Discover Magazine website, and it's about a group of doctors doing a study on how much oxygen deprivation a body can take before going down for a dirt nap. The dropping trou part comes in when they draw blood from their groin areas and hand the samples to the Sherpas to schlep down the mountain for testing. If you ask me, the big round of applause should always go to the Sherpas.

There is also a story there about how horny mosquitoes buzz in harmony to produce a perfect fifth with an overtone. This is much more interesting than I ever thought mosquitoes could be, but I still hate them.

And then you have your transgenic goats producing pharmaceutical milk ... self reassembling robots (Terminators, anyone?) ... and last but so not least, zombie animals and their mind-controlling parasites.

And it isn't even noon yet. I'm gonna need more cocoa.


Hildegarde said...

Irresistable indeed, I totally understand how many interesting items can cross your path when there is actually a to-do list waiting, haha !!

sallyacious said...

What a great way to spend a morning. Good for you.

nepalwriter said...

To learn more about the Sherpas of the Mt. Everest region, read Beyond the Summit by Linda LeBlanc. Sherpas are the true heroes of Everest. Without their assistance, very few would reach the summit. Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter’s point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest.

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc’s vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there.

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended.”
– John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialog. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

Such vividly depicted images of the Everest region and the Sherpa people are the perfect scenario for the romance and adventure feats narrated. It’s a page-turner, so engrossing you end up wanting to visit Nepal! Not just novel, but perfect for those seeking to get acquainted with the culture of this country.
By Claudia Fournier (América, Bs. As., Argentina)

Available through Barnes and Noble, Borders,,, and the web site

MyMaracas said...

Hildegarde and Sally, thanks for your support! It's nice to have pals who understand these things.

And nepalwriter, thanks for stopping by with that information. I was serious about the Sherpas deserving the credit. They climb the mountain all the time--while carrying all the tourists' stuff. But do they get any of the glory? Nnnnnoooooooo. It's a travesty of justice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's where the term 'blue balls' really originated...whoops..