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  1. In the Bonfire there's a thread by or about skydiving duck. A student who wrote a comic about being a new skydiver. Check it out; it's an entertaining read and at the very least will show you that you are indeed not alone. Edit: found it:
  2. Baksteen


    It has an indirect benefit: By decreasing the population of people who prefer Facebook-medication, the vaccination rate will actually increase.
  3. Well, I'm going out on a limb here and guess that you are not a student trying to get their first few dozen of jumps in.
  4. Nobody has ever said vaccines are 100% effective. But then again, nobody has ever said they lose 40% effectivity a month. Not even your source. I'd like to point out *again* that a vaccines' effectiveness (in %) is measured by comparing how many people in the vaccine group contract covid compared to the non-vaccine group. So if the virus changes, so might the effectiveness. If the number of cases spikes, a vaccinated person will have increased chance of (repeated) exposure to COVID. Hence more chance of the virus successfully infecting them. Lastly, I'm pro-vaccinating third world regions (which seem to include some regions in practically every first- and second world country as well) before mandating extra boosters. The longer the virus is allowed to run unchecked, the more chance of mutations. The more mutations, the more chance of a strain eventually popping up which lowers the vaccine efficacy even further. A mutation is a small change in the viral code, which happens when the virus reporoduces. Most mutations are harmless to the virus. Nothing changes. Some are harmful to the virus and will be weeded out as the new virus tries to compete with other strains. Some mutations are beneficial to the virus, for instance by giving it a shorter incubation time or improved resistance to the vaccine.
  5. Actually, my experience as a low-timer was that you do at least as much waiting at multi turbine DZs due to many low-timer specific issues. That may be for instance since the DZ is not necessarily keen on high exit/high pullers in every load, or that the many instructors on-site are all very busy, or that available loads are spread wide apart due to the high number of fun jumpers and tandems etc. etc. etc. This is not to start an argument that small or large DZs are 'better' than the other, it's just a personal observation that there was a period of experience in my logbook where I could barely scrounge out a mere 1-3 jumps a day regardless of the type of DZ I went to. And the weather will likely remain an issue for a while, whether it be due to dust devils, rain, high winds or whatever in the general area. Also, OP, be prepared for conditions which allow others with (slightly) more experience to jump while you are benched. ETA: In all fairness, my job strictly limits my jumping activities to the weekends, and has done so in every stage of my jumping career.
  6. I know, right? Waiting for the weather to clear up, waiting for your slot, waiting for the boarding call, waiting until you can exit, waiting until your AAD fires, waiting until you reach the ground, waiting until your parachute is packed.... Kidding aside, I too thought I'd never thought I'd get multiple hours in freefall. Yet here I am. And that is with at least half of my 1000 jumps being clear&pulls (five or less seconds of freefall), which I don't count. As others have said, there is much more to skydiving than the actual skydive. And please, don't go wasting your money on "one or two tandems a year". Save up for decent gear instead, or use it for tunnel time if the problem is/was something like stability issues in freefall. Tunneling is a great way of honing your skills (especially on rainy days). Be sure to tell the tunnel marshall that you are a skydiver though and tell them what you want and need to work on, otherwise you'll likely get the carnival ride. Better yet, organise a tunnel camp with other newbies and preferably get an experienced AFF instructor or coach involved (depending on the needs of the other trainees). That way you can buy a larger chunk of tunnel time, which is cheaper per person.
  7. Baksteen


    Let me put it this way: I agree that Big Pharma companies do not operate from idealism about making the world a better place. They are geared towards making long-term profit. But please consider that the best way of generating long-term profit in that field is basically achieved by, you know, not killing your customers and instead providing products that strictly adhere to international regulations and oversight. Another good way of keeping your profit is to not make your vaccine available to 3rd world countires, but that's a different can of worms. Lastly, as has been previously stated many many times before, a vaccine is tested extensively before it's released (starting long before we ever hear of it). First in test tubes, later in animals, yet again later on healthy volunteers. Each of these steps is subject to extensive oversight and auditing.
  8. Caution: not a rigger, nor an expert. I mostly jump a L160 main and have a Tempo 190 reserve, which I got to land once. I have more confidence in my abilities of dealing with a two out than in my abilities of landing unconscious or otherwise incapacitated under a small reserve. I don't fully buy into the "two out" school of thinking, especially where the mains get smaller and the models more agressive. I am really curious about how a small swooping canopy would actually behave in a two-out scenario with any type of reserve of similar size, simply due to the differences in what the canopy is intended for and consequently what I imagine to be quite large differences in flight characteristics. It's one of these bits of wisdom "everybody" knows and passes to newer jumpers without question, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's only actually true (instead of merely kind of true-ish) for either rounds or the very first types of squares, which were both big and made of F-111. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong - with an explanation. :-)
  9. "Stop crying, or I'll give you a reason to cry". when my little brother or me were whining. Having said that, I can only remember one single instance when my mom actually did smack me. Once, on the behind. I also clearly remember that my shock was infinitely greater than the actual physical contact. And boy - had I earned it.
  10. The vaccine was developed faster because a lot of money was pumped into it short term rather than over the course of years, allowing companies to have a broader approach, testing several options in the lab instead of only the one which looks on paper the most promising. And, cynically, the regulating authorities had a vested interest in reviewing all documentation regarding COVID vaccines. It's quite the difference to your research process if the authorities come asking whether you have something for them yet, rather than you having to chase after them for months on end trying to cut through the red tape.
  11. Well, it never really only affects "them" does it? A 50 jump wonder jumping a handkerchief as a main and a postage stamp as a reserve as a H&P on their own pass may only be endangering themselves - but a lot of innocent bystanders are likely to be affected if (when) they bounce. A smoker is getting the lion's share of the unhealthy substances in the cigarette, but second-hand smoke is a health risk, especially for their children. An anti-vaxer is not endangering just themselves, but also their innocent children - and indoctrinating said children into the same pseudoscience as well. Let alone the fully vaccinated people who for whatever reason have a weak response to the vaccine and end up in the ICU because some @$$hat is maintaining that they have "just a cold" and therefore do not need to quarantine.
  12. After reading the entire thread I'll come back to the OP. Getting quality (e.g. useful) video during a skydive is a discipline, just like any other one (FS, FF, CReW, Swoop, instructing, tandem). You cannot expect any skydiver to be usefully competent in any discipline without investing some time in it first. I mean, I have enough jumps to wear a camera. I have enough jumps to make a freefly jump, if I were so inclined. Would that make me a suitable person to get video from a two-way headdown?
  13. Baksteen


    It's a sad fact of life that conspiracy ..people are much better at providing catchy, easily digested "information" than science/governments. This is of course partially due to the fact that science is slowed down by well, the need to backup their claims with actual science, basically. As to "our leaders" (as in the government), they are politicians, not medical experts. This means that in case of COVID-information they are at best well-informed and well meaning amateurs, not experts.
  14. Baksteen


    I think the US have lost their "leader of the free world"-status for quite some time now. At least in all countries which are not actually the US themselves. You guys merely have the most soldiers; that is not the same.