After chasing a record-setting wave for a dozen years, the veteran surfer may have ridden a 100-foot monster off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. All that remains now is for Guinness to certify it as a world record.
Nicole McNamara observed the rumbling of the cliff beneath her feet and listened to the sound of “explosions” as waves off the central Portuguese coast continually broke on the rocks a hundred feet below her position. For one breakneck moment Monday, she looked dead ahead and saw her husband surfing toward her, and then down toward the rocks.
In November, over the Thanksgiving holiday, Nicole stood firm-footed in the location, as she did Monday, alongside big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara. She exchanged vows with the man searching for the 100-foot wave only yards from where their nuptials had been announced.
Perhaps, in Nicole’s passing glimpse of Garrett almost two months later, as he reached her height near the Nazaré lighthouse under which they were married, the surfer may have become the first ever to ride the sought-after 100-foot wave.
Garrett’s apparent record-breaking ride on Monday—he’s waiting for Guinness World Records to certify it—took the rider into a dangerous area where rocks define the Nazaré coast.
Ten batteries were replaced before recent incidents.
Secrets don't make friends, Boeing. Earlier this month all Boeing 787 jets were grounded after battery failures led to unsafe conditions--and apparently Boeing was made aware of issues months earlier. All Nippon Airways, the biggest operator, told The New York Times that it had replaced 10 batteries already before the fires, and reported the issues to Boeing. They were not reported to safety regulators because no flights had been cancelled. The Transportation Safety Board says it will now include battery replacements in inquiries. Boeing officials said the battery issues suggested safeguards may have kicked in, and acknowledged the batteries weren't lasting. The incidents are being investigated.
Sets new world record.
That wave sounds gnarly, brah. Surfer Garrett McNamara has reportedly broken a world record by riding a 100-foot wave. McNamara says he caught the massive wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. The claim must still be verified, but if it is confirmed, then McNamara will have broken his own world record. He set the previous record in 2011 when he surfed a 90-foot wave, also in Nazaré. At the time, a fellow surfer said, “Everything was perfect, the weather, the waves ... Most people would be scared, but Garrett was controlling everything in the critical part of the wave. It was an inspiring ride by an inspiring surfer.”
How long before Africa’s rhinos and elephants are wiped out in the wild?
You wouldn’t think a room as big as a warehouse could feel this airless— not even a maximum-security warehouse, like this one. At the same time, the place seems odorless. Which also seems strange, with so much evidence of death shelved in wire-mesh bins and stacked up like firewood on all sides. But the overwhelming impression is utter soundlessness, except for the tread of armed paramilitary escorts’ boots.
In Kenya, this anti-poaching team protects a northern white rhino. (Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty)
Few other outsiders have ever seen the inside of the Tanzanian government’s notoriously secretive Ivory Room. Whenever the country’s law enforcers catch ivory poachers or smugglers, or find an elephant dead of natural causes, the tusks are supposed to be sent to this repository in the African nation’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. At present the government-owned stockpile holds more than 137 tons of ivory. Its retail value on the ground in Hong Kong would be more than a quarter of a billion dollars—if only the worldwide ban on ivory trade didn’t prohibit such sales.
For now, however, the ivory continues to pile up. And the worst of it is that what arrives in this government warehouse represents only a fraction of the total kill in Tanzania alone, never mind the rest of the continent. Today, all of Africa is suffering one of the bloodiest wildlife slaughters in history—of not only the elephant, but the rhinoceros as well. Asia’s booming economies have spawned an insatiable market for contraband luxuries and traditional “medicine.” (The truth is that, contrary to persistent myth, rhino horn has no more medical value than your fingernails, which consist of the exact same substance: keratin.)
Miguel Syjuco reflects on the tangled capital of the Philippines.
There’s a multitude of Manilas: the past, present, and imagined future. Layers unpeel to reveal a city that is pungent, astringent, lachrymose, sweet, delicious.
At its core, the Manila of memory: On the Pasig River, where the nila plant was plentiful, the sultanate of Maynila grew rich trading with China. In 1571, the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi built a walled city there, declaring it the capital of the archipelago named for King Philip II. A Spanish colony for more than three centuries, the Philippines was both backwater and gateway to the East, linked to the West by the galleon trade. Revolution came in the 1890s, as ilustrados (privileged young men with foreign educations) returned from Europe to wrest a populist rebellion from its leader, the self-taught Andres Bonifacio. The United States helped Filipinos found the first free republic in Asia, until President McKinley and company saw value in colonies. In 1901, the USS Thomas brought 540 teachers, imposing a new language, history, identity.
Manila: “Pearl of the Orient,” the architect Daniel Burnham’s unfinished project, Douglas MacArthur’s beloved home, a city where periodicals in English or Spanish or Tagalog fought for readers, nationalists politicked for independence, and Chinese coolies toiled for future wealth. Along the canals andcalles, art deco masterpieces rose among traditional stone-and-wood houses with windowpanes made of Capiz shell. Then the Japanese conquered and occupied, and Manila’s liberation left her one of World War II’s most devastated cities. In the decades after independence, Manileños fled violent memories to new suburbs that sprawled and filled.
For many there’s no more of a New York novelist than Jay McInerney, but like so many in the city he moved here and made it his own. He talks to Henry Krempels about the literary scene today versus the ’80s, his new novel, and where he buys his books.
Since the publication of Bright Lights, Big City in 1984, Jay McInerney has been inextricably linked with New York—and he remains a fixture of the city’s literary landscape. The success of his debut novel, set around experiences in New York, led his life in the city to be chronicled way beyond most other writers.
Author Jay McInerney photographed at the Gotham Bar and Grill in Manhattan in 2006. (David Howells/Corbis)
Now more than 10 books and nearly 30 years later, McInerney and his relationship with the city have changed. Although he contributes a regular wine column for The Wall Street Journal, (recently gathered in a collection entitled The Juice) he has dialed down his pubic profile, while continuing to work on fiction, often set in New York.
Could you describe the area of New York that you live in?
Blur and Red Hot Chili Peppers to anchor festival.
This pair will certainly go down as an unlikely duo. Coachella 2013 will be anchored by British pop band Blur and longtime alternative-rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, the festival announced Thursday. Also on the roster for the multiday event: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lou Reed, Modest Mouse, Yeasayer, Skillrex project Dog Blood, and Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels. Remaining tickets will go on sale Jan. 29 on Coachella’s website. The festival is set to take place the weekends of April 12 and April 19 in the desert city of Indio, California.
Could stay grounded for even longer.
Just what the airline industry needs in the dead of winter. U.S. regulators inspecting the now grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft said Thursday that they would need more time—stoking fears that aircraft’s grounding could be even longer. While the investigators have found “symptoms” of what caused the Jan. 7 battery fire in Boston, the underlying cause still remains a mystery, said Deborah Hersman, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Calling the Dreamliner mishaps an “unprecedented event,” Hersman refused to answer questions about how long the investigation could take. The 787 has been grounded worldwide since two fires aboard aircraft in Japan and the incident in Boston, all of which occurred earlier this month.
With its gorgeous beaches and thriving nightlife, Tel Aviv has successfully marketed itself as a gay mecca—and other cities are following its lead.
Last summer, Scott Perlmutter, a 44-year-old gay TV executive from Los Angeles, went on a 10-day vacation to Mykonos—a tiny, gay-friendly island off the coast of Greece. Among the dizzying array of skimpy Speedos, ridiculously fit men, and breathtaking sunsets, Perlmutter was so high on life, he had to look down to see heaven.
Like many of his gay friends, Perlmutter is a travel fanatic. His yearly trips are carefully planned months in advance and include a mixture of fun and culture. In just the last few years, he’s been to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Berlin. He’s even gone on a lavish gay cruise to Italy.
But when his trendy (and, more relevantly, non-Jewish) friends suggested Tel Aviv as their next destination, Perlmutter thought they were a bit meshugah—out of their minds.
“Last time I was in Israel, back in the ‘80s, the airport was a field with some planes on it,” says Perlmutter. “There was barely a tarmac.”
G. Willow Wilson on an ancient city that's alive once more with books.
The first and last thing, of course, is the harbor: that perfect blue-green keyhole to the Mediterranean, sheltered by two slender spits of land extending toward one another. Sphinxes sit underwater at the old shoreline, long ago submerged by rising sea levels. Today the ancient harbor is nearly empty—it’s not large enough for the tankers and barges of modern commerce—but looking out over it toward open water, one is tempted to imagine fleets of triremes decorated with painted eyes. Conquerors have looked upon that harbor and dreamed of empire: Alexander the Great (after whom the city is named), Caesar, and Napoleon. The Arabs broke with centuries of tradition when they built their capital at Fustat, an old military encampment on a bluff overlooking the Nile to the south, which became the city we call Cairo. For almost 1,000 years, Alexandria was the seat of power and learning in Egypt.
The Corniche, alongside the city’s harbor. (Hemis/Alamy)
The most renowned symbol of the city’s power was the Bibliotheca—the Library of Alexandria—and so naturally debate flourishes over who was responsible for burning it down. Received wisdom blames the early Christians, who, having decided Hellenic knowledge was too pagan to be useful, torched the place in the name of God (an event dramatized in the 2009 Rachel Weisz film Agora). But historians peg Julius Caesar as the real culprit: he set fire to his own fleet in 48 B.C. to frustrate an enemy general, and prevailing winds spread the blaze to the library; what the Christians burned was a much more modest collection housed in the serapeum nearby. Still other theorists blame the Muslim conquerors who swept through Egypt in the seventh century, a suggestion that has been reenergized by our modern fear of Islam.
What excites my imagination, however, is not the burning of the great library, but the fact that it is being rebuilt. Two thousand years after the destruction of the original Bibliotheca, modern Egyptians have brought it back. Today, the Corniche—Alexandria’s main drag—is dominated by a massive glass-and-steel disc, the edifice of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It stands out among the European-influenced façades of the old apartment buildings and hotels along the water and the minarets of the local mosques. Inside, the Bibliotheca features computer workstations with high-speed Internet, an international interlibrary search service, and space for an extraordinary 8 million books—though currently more than three quarters of its shelves sit empty. Exhibits on the main floor feature paintings and sculptures by a dozen of Egypt’s most respected modern artists. The Bibliotheca has been a destination for the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual conference and has played host to lecturers such as Umberto Eco. Despite rumors of inadequate funding and management issues, the Bibliotheca’s administrators seem determined to make it a hub of intellectual life.
Company failed to make less-revealing software.
Little did you know that every time you raise your arms and pass through one of those fancy airport security scanners, someone gets an eyeful of your wobbly bits. Not to worry: the Transportation Security Administration has announced plans to remove the “naked image” scanners from U.S. airports because developers can’t write software to make the images less graphic (is that an explosive in your knickers, or are you just happy to see me?). But government agencies across the country will continue to use them, which means federal employees will still have their genitals imaged.
Arrive in Japan on Friday.
Uh oh, here come the big guns. A team of U.S. aviation experts arrived in Japan on Friday to inspect the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet that was forced to make an emergency landing last week as the aircraft were grounded worldwide for battery issues. The five representatives from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Boeing are working with Japanese authorities to investigate the aircraft, as regulators in Japan say it’s unclear when the plane can return to the air. Sources said the U.S. investigation is focused on the Japanese-made batteries—and there’s no indication the ones made by American manufacturer United Technology Pratt & Whitney were involved.
After battery problems link to fire risk.
The FAA is taking the "better safe than sorry" approach to the escalating concerns over safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Two Japanese airlines have already grounded all fleets of Dreamliners after battery problems have demonstrated a fire risk, and now the U.S. is doing the same. United, currently the only airline with Dreamliners, has been ordered to stop using them until the risk is fixed. "Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe and in compliance," the FAA said Wednesday evening.
Two Japanese airlines have grounded Boeing’s new fleet of 787s. Aviation expert Clive Irving on the plane’s very bad week—and why we need an explanation quickly.
Over the course of the last week, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has become the most troubled airliner in the sky. Now the grounding of the plane by Japan’s two main airlines shows that Boeing faces its gravest challenge in decades.
An All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787 Dreamliner is seen after making an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in Japan on January 16, 2013. The plane made the landing in Takamatsu after smoke appeared in the plane's cockpit, but all 137 passengers and crew members were evacuated safely, Osaka Airport said on Wednesday. (Kyodo/Reuters, via Landov)
A statement from the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday made it clear what investigators regard as the most serious of the 787’s problems. As they drill deeper into the cause of the fire aboard a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Boston last week, their focus is on a decision taken early in the development of the plane: to use lithium-ion batteries as a power source.
Last week’s fire was in one of these batteries, in an electronics bay under the rear of the cabin. The latest emergency, when a 787 flown by All Nippon Airways—the first airline to fly the 787—had to make an emergency landing in Japan, apparently involved a similar battery in a second electronics bay under the forward cabin.
He’s a photographer who was lucky to grow up during Australia’s surf revolution. The pioneer talks to Josh Dzieza about his new book.
Kara Cutruzzula combs the beaches—and blackjack tables—of Puerto Rico for the meaning of ‘vacation.’
In ‘Mapping Manhattan,’ explore the city via 75 New Yorkers’ personal geographies. By Allison McNearney.
Travel writer Sara Wheeler, famous for her stories of polar expeditions, returns home to her city: Bristol.
Need to plan your next grand adventure? From Burma to Cuba, 12 places to see this year. By Nina Strochlic.