Morning Discussion

By Jeff "geedeck" Gondek, Jan 16, 2008 5:39am PST

How is everyone doing today? Awww, come on it can't be that bad, can it? Maybe it'll cheer you hear about a scaled down Uwe Boll? Oh you mean you willingly saw that, I'm sorry. Well did you hear that the former City of Heroes developers might handle Star Trek Online? Still nothing, eh? Well if Nick's crack game journalism doesn't do it, I give up.

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  • So let's say I was studying monkeys for the last year and I missed... everything.

    what's new with PC games?

    what about DS games?

    Sorry this is a really broad subject, but i've been literally in the jungle.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 8 replies.

    • pOrtal : Psigun
      • It was the most difficult job I have ever had...

        I was studying White Faced Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. I was working for a PhD through UCLA just trying to pass sometime between my undergrad and grad school. The study has been going on for about 18 years now. We're (or I guess they're) trying to follow a select group of focal monkeys all chosen from a select range of birth years for their entire life up until a point. (This point differed for males and females, for males we would follow them up until successful migration for females until the point they had their second baby.)

        We would get up around 3:30 - 4 in the morning every day. Had to slam down breakfast and get into the car to drive out to the center of the reserve. This was followed by a fast hike (sometimes running) to where the monkeys were sleeping. We weren't using any sort of GPS or radio collaring so the monkeys had to be put to sleep every single night and woken up the next day. The average day being around 13/14 hours long.

        Some days you got so fucked up... I've been stung and cut and bruised by so many malicious things. The jungle is an unfriendly place. The particular reserve I was working in was originally established to study insects. It's home of some 50% of the world's bee and wasp species. My particular favorite was Polistis instabilis. They were a colonial wasp species that liked to make their 1-10 inch nests anywhere from knee to eye level. The nests were usually placed just under a leaf. The wasps are fine until you either touch their nest or jostle the branch that it's on. Now when you're running after a focal (we would do ten minute follows, recording everything they did including everyone they interacted with in that ten minutes) and you have to smash through vines and other horrible shit the last thing you want to do is run into a PI. But run into them I did, I think I got stung over 200 times. Luckily the breeding season only lasts 4 months...

        There was one time I got attacked really bad by chaser wasps. They're sort of like killer bees (which were also found in this reserve) in that if one stings you you're fucked. They release a pheromone which enrages the others into chasing you. I was on the top of a cliff in a particularly bad area trying to keep track of the few monkeys I could see when I started getting stung. I fell all the way down that cliff fast first. Fucked up my face and hands pretty good. Lost my binoculars just for good measure. I got stung around 40 times I think... I used an EpiPen for good measure. It was the first time for me. When I stuck it in I thought I had done it wrong because I didnt feel anything. I pulled that sucker out and it must have been an inch and a half long. Adrenaline was so high I guess.

        The monkeys were great though. I knew over a hundred by face. That was quite an undertaking, especially when they're running away full speed. You had to be able to identify them pretty much instantaneously to get good data. We recorded everything on handheld computers (PSIONs) in a code developed just for the project. For examples: SAS=scratch, FSMBO=Focal does a sex mount of Boones, FSXBO=Focal sex thrust Boones. Etc. Etc.

        The jungle itself was beautiful. I got so much pleasure just walking around and looking at everything. Last night I got back to Michigan and to tell the truth I'm kinda weirded out. Everything here is dead and I'm so used to an overabundance of life. It made me realize I gotta get outta here...

        Anyways, haha, now i'm trying to compensate by playing video games.

        Some pictures of monkeys here: www.projectverge.com , more when i edit the hundreds I never got around to.