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<   No. 4703   2022-02-09   >

Comic #4703

1 Jane Goodall: Elon’s sending an electric powered mini-sub.
1 Terry: What? How is that helpful?
2 Jane Goodall: It can go through the sewer pipes and emerge from the toilet in Steve’s cell.
3 Terry: But Steve’s too big to fit through sewer pipes.
4 Jane Goodal: Oh, it brings him back in pieces.

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It may be obvious to readers, but I got the idea for this strip from the Tham Luang cave rescue that occurred in Thailand in 2018. During that rescue of a group of boys stuck in the cave, Elon Musk offered to send a "kid-sized" submarine to go through the flooded cave system and rescue the kids - an offer that was declined due to concerns that it wouldn't actually work.

I don't really have a good idea how firmly that news event cemented itself into the global consciousness, for a very interesting reason. Although, apparently, news of the cave rescue gripped the world from 23 June to 10 July, 2018, at the time I had no idea that it was happening.

I departed home for a vacation trip to Tanzania before the news broke that the boys were trapped. While away, I was completely out of contact with the Internet or news services. I could have taken steps to seek out and catch up on news at times, but typically while I'm on vacation I avoid doing that, preferring to retreat from the rest of the world and just enjoy myself in the moment and the place I am. I arrived home late on 11 July, the day after the rescue had been successfully completed.

So I only found out anything at all about the whole rescue after it had been completed. I gather that it was big news at the time, but I'll never really know what it was like to have experienced it while it was happening, or just how big it was. Were my friends talking about it at work every day? I have no idea.

I lived through, yet utterly missed a major world news event.

I've had similar things happen a couple of times. I missed the 1989 Newcastle earthquake, one of Australia's worst ever natural disasters. I only found out about it two whole days later, because at the time that it happened I was bushwalking and camping in the Blue Mountains National Park with a small group of friends. We were completely out of contact with any other humans for three whole days. And no, although we were in an area where people had felt the quake, we didn't notice it.

I wonder if maybe the world would be a safer place if I never went on vacation again?

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
My blogs: (daily updates) | 100 Proofs that the Earth is a Globe (science!) | Carpe DMM (long form posts) | Snot Block & Roll (food reviews)
More comics I host: The Prisoner of Monty Hall | Lightning Made of Owls | Square Root of Minus Garfield | iToons | Comments on a Postcard | Awkward Fumbles
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