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So you know, I'm still alive, and still interested in doing the UE News. But I'm currently homeless in the Mojave Desert, so updates (and a move to a proper site) will have to wait until I'm situated again.

Best of luck to everyone in the new year.
american gothic

Stalking Julia Solis

A couple of points on Ars Subterranea, explorer extraordinaire Julia Solis' group, one of which I'm a bit late on:

First, there was an "industrial séance" produced by University at Buffalo robotic artist Don Paul Swain at Buffalo Central Terminal on May 5, 11, and 12, which is interesting on its own. But also, "Ars Subterranea, an international urban exploration society, will install a Victorian-themed miniature golf course within the space." I haven't yet contacted them to ask how it went, will do.

Second, and more useful for scheduling purposes because it's happening in the future, Julia Solis will be speaking Friday, June 1 at 1:30pm at Postopolis!, a shindig in New York.

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/return-to-postopolis.html
http://www.storefrontnews.org/exhib_dete.php?exID=5
http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/postopolis-update.html
http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/postopolis.html

...etc. Worth attending, if you're in the area, there are a lot of other interesting speakers as well.
american gothic

North American UE con, Buffalo

It looks like there's going to be another OPEX. OPEX, short for Office Products Expo, is the North American UE convention (not international, as the announcement says). The first one, "Office Products Expo 94" was 3-6 June, 2004, organized by Ninjalicious. That this one is in the US finally proves that it actually is a north American thing and not just a Canadian thing; the last three have been in .ca (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver).

It doesn't have the history of the Clannies, the GTAs, or even Mouser Week, but it does have good attendance and Buffalo should provide some interesting things to do.

OPEX will be happening in Buffalo, NY this year.

For those who are unaware OPEX is the international convention of Urban Exploration. People travel from as far away as Australia to attend this international event. OPEX is about having FUN and meeting other explorers who share your interests. There will be several events at OPEX which will cater to the desires of almost every aspect of Urban Exploration. This is the 4th Official OPEX event.

The dates are from July 25th, to August 1st, 2007.

We will be posting some details on www.uesexy.com (in the forum) in the coming weeks. However if you are interested in coming please message us, or email us (my email is roadwolf@roadwolf.ca). Please RSVP if you are thinking of coming! Specific Locations will not be made public. Please contact us for more details.

Locations: 68
Diversity: Covers all aspects of Urban Exploration, From Draining to High risk active Infiltrations.

Events:
- Scavenger Hunt
- Hide and Seek
- Spy Games (in memory of ninj)
- Driving Tour
- Walking Tour
- Sleeping Overnight in a Location
- Camping / outdoor BBQ
- Big Party (final night)
- UEcaching (like GeoCaching)
- Presentations (fixbuffalo, Radio Communications, Exploration Safety, and more!)
- Climbing Challange

Lodging:
There will be facilities to provide free lodging or very cheap hostel lodging ($25 a night)

Transportation:
- We will be able to pick people up and transport them to and from the airport and train station to their lodging locations, the day before, and the final day of the event. We will also provide transportation to and from the events (within reason).

NOPEX (Event in Sudbury Ontario, Canada) will be following directly after OPEX. People who attend OPEX can take another week off and attend NOPEX. It is only a days drive away. We will provide information needed for people interested in crossing the border to Canada.

Send a message to Roadwolf or GeoViolator for more information.

Thanks,
Happy Exploring!
american gothic

Inept explorer gets probation

Michael Arndt, previously covered here when he got arrested for getting into the set of "The Wire", was sentenced yesterday.
Judge Mary C. Reese sentenced the 25-year-old Columbia man to six months' probation for possession of burglary tools and ordered him to stay away from the show's sets and the Web site that inspired his evening prowl, www.urbanadventure.org
Morals:
  1. Don't carry anything that could be construed as burglary tools.
  2. Don't learn UE from Panic.
Dans Haga and Ayers of urbanatrophy.com get a nice plug, as did Alan S. North and his book The Urban Adventure Handbook which I have not read.

"Explorer is pinched in 'Wire' adventure" from the Baltimore Sun.
american gothic

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel


The San Francisco end of the tunnel

From one of my favorite online writers comes this engaging tale of the The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel.

Ever since Isaac Newton first described the laws of gravity in 1687, scientists have known that the quickest route between two points is along a straight line through the Earth’s interior. Through the magic of gravity, any object dropped into such a “chord tunnel” at one end will emerge exactly 42 minutes later at the other end, no matter the distance. But for hundreds of years, the technical challenges of building such a tunnel were so daunting that it remained a theoretical curiosity. Only at the start of the 20th century did the idea become technically feasible, and to this day the tunnel linking the East Bay with New Jersey remains the only structure of its kind in the world.


A difficult exploration, but I'm going to look into the Cedar Rapids shaft entrance and see if it's infiltratable.
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Did DaVinci invent the manhole cover?

With a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out (aka "brand necrophilia"), there's sure to be an upswing in interest in draining amongst the younger set. I predict at least two articles on kids getting lost in tunnels, hopefully with better results than the last entry I posted.

Here's the only TMNT-related historical artist joke T-shirt endorsed by the UE News (no affiliation or profit, just thought it was neat). From Threadless, for $10, seemingly out of print:


Jeremy throws in a TMNT manhole cover joke for no charge.
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Creepy '50s drain photo

A drain of death
Saturday, January 19, 1952
Michael Lee Carr, 5, points to the storm drain in Compton where his playmate, Terry Hall, 3½, fell and was swept away during the flood late yesterday. His body was found in the Los Angeles river.
I don't know if it's the combination of flashbulb and daylight or the weird depth of field, but it's a creepy photo, even without the description.

And that thing was a deathtrap. Nowadays a junction like that would be enclosed in a grille room.

From here via here, then here. I'm officially low on the blog food chain.
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Barbed ice

When a six foot chain link fence with barbed wire on top just isn't keeping the explorers out any more, coat it in ice.





© me.
american gothic

Infing TV show sets

The Washington Post reports (continues on the second page) on urban explorer Michael Arndt getting arrested in Columbia, Maryland, after mistaking a live set for the TV show "The Wire" as an abandoned warehouse.
The day after his arrest, Arndt had a pizza delivered to the security guard at the warehouse with an apology and printouts from Web sites about urban exploration
Eddie Izzard, British exectutive transvestite comedian, has a bit in his set Dress to Kill about breaking into studios when he was a kid and "hoping that some guy with a big cigar might go, "Hey! A creeping kid! For my film, 'The Creeping Kid!' You, you're in!""