Why I like Gary Larson

Gary Larson has long been one of my favorite cartoonists. I reread all his stuff at least once a year. He manages to tell a story in a single panel and manages to make every word of his captions mean something. His humor is so subtle sometimes it literally took me years to finally get some of his cartoons. He possesses that weird sense of humor I particularly like. Here’s a video I found showing why I like him.

Many people who love the strip don’t know about the animated series he did way back in the nineties. It has that same Far Side vibe, but certainly is a very different experience from the cartoons. I only found out about it recently, for some reason. Anyway, check it out.

Een reactie plaatsen

Verloren in de jungle in bestsellerlijst

Vandaag kwam Verloren in de Jungle op nummer 13 binnen in de CPNB Top 60, de nationale bestsellerlijst van Nederland, gebaseerd op de verkopen van de week ervoor.

Een reactie plaatsen

#1 True Crime op Bol.com

Vandaag vond ik Verloren in de Jungle terug op #1 op Bol.com in de categorie True Crime.

Een reactie plaatsen

Recensie NRC

Het NRC gebruikt vandaag het woord “imponerend” bij de bespreking van Verloren in de jungle. Tevens ben ik blij aan te mogen kondigen dat de uitgever inmiddels een tweede druk in gang heeft gezet! Goede tijden!

Een reactie plaatsen

Human Condition

I have been thinking about the way we as human society have responded to this Pandemic thing. I must admit feeling rather disappointed how we managed not to do a fairly simple thing as a short lockdown – which means, staying inside for a short while to protect ourselves but also others – resulting in a drawn-out sort of lockdown with a curfew at night. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out the human condition apparently is one of selfishness and boorish behaviour.

Another surprise was how people responded to the extremely rare side effects of some of the vaccines, which are a lot safer than most of the medication we routinely take and a whole lot safer than drinking alcohol or smoking. Maybe it has to do with fear. That’s what this guy says. A plausible story and at least something to make one stop and think – which is always a good thing.

“Security Junkie Syndrome”. The addiction to fear. We have become afraid of everything: of risk, of death, of disease, of disappointment. Even the 1-in-a-million chance of side effects with a certain vaccine, safer than cholesterol medication or birth control, is too much for us to consider, even when it’s one-in-a-million for you, but 95% protection from infection for somebody else. If you decide not to be vaccinated, at least have a better reason.

Een reactie plaatsen

Verloren in de jungle in Algemeen Dagblad

Vandaag verscheen er een groot stuk over Kris en Lisanne alsook een interview met mij en Marja in de bijlage van het Algemeen Dagblad.

Een reactie plaatsen

Survival myths

One of the things that I have learned from writing about the Kris and Lisanne case is how important it is to be well prepared when you go out in the jungle, or any type of wild country. When we were talking to several survival specialists, one thing came up several time: there are a lot of things people think to know about surviving in nature that are simple not true. Like “if you follow a river, you will always end up in civilisation”. Which is, as the kris and Lisanne case proves, not true, more often than not. Same thing goed for the saying “moss always grows on the northern side of the tree”. Which is true most of the time (since usually the north side of a tree gets the least amount of sunshine), but not all of the time. Watch this video for a few more great tips. It’s one of my favorite channels, too.

Een reactie plaatsen

Details, details

Kris’ earrings

One final blog this week, to show how much data we processed while writing the book – and how much we had to leave out. I might do some more next week, but you can always buy the book. It will be out in English translation in a few weeks.

There are plenty of details to see on the photographs that helped us build our case in the book. I’m not going to repeat our scenario’s here, you’d best read the book for that. But there are things that we took into account that we couldn’t fit in the book – details so small they would only confuse the casual reader, but would be of considerable interest to someone familiar with the case.

I already mentioned the shoes, shadows and shoelaces in Image 0489. Similar things can be learned from Image 0486, a selfie with Kris and Lisanne early in their hike on the Pianista path. Smiling faces on this picture, too. They were having a good time.

The high quality of the images we have made it possible to zoom in considerably. As seen in the book, we could zoom in on the sunglasses, to see if we could perhaps see a third person in the reflection and if we could determine if the girls took the picture themselves.

As you can see, we can safely say: yes, they took the picture themselves. In this case, it was Kris who took the picture. On the detailed image you can see her outstretched hand and the camera she is holding. In the book, we included an image of the Powershot in her hand, to show how she is holding it.

We can see exactly the same arm in exactly the same pose reflected in Lisanne’s glasses. There is also no other person visible in this picture, not in front of them and not behind them. They were alone at that point.

She is holding the camera with her right hand and on her wrist we can see traces of an armband of some sort she is wearing on her wrist. On Image 501 we can see this is probably a hair elastic.

Another detail we can see on this pictures are the earrings Kris is wearing: two on the right (a silver one and a black one) and one on the left (a silver one). This means that the fact that on some pictures she seems to be wearing a black earring while on others it’s silver, does not mean, as some have suggested, that there was a perpetrator mixing photo’s from another day to somehow construct the Pianista hike.

Lisanne’s glasses
Kris’ glasses

2 reacties

Shadows and shoes

Time to take a look at a picture thet is rarely mentioned when discussing Kris and Lisanne’s Pianista Hike, photo 0489. Yet much can be gleaned from it. It’s possible to pinpoint both direction and location from the photo and because of the shadows Kris casts on this photo, also about the exact time the photo was taken.

I always liked this photo, for some reason. First of all, she looks pretty happy on it and not tired in the least It also shows the beauty of the surroundings – the great view of the valley you can see behind her (not visible on this cut I made).

We can also clearly see the shadow she is casting. The sun is high in the sky, almost at its zenith, and is located somewhere behind her right shoulder. The length of the shadow is very short and indicates a time shortly before noon, somewhere between 11:30 and 11:50 am.

A closer look at her shoes reveals they are brown, wuth grey-ish laces, tied in an unruly not on both shoes. There are small metal shoelace eyelets. The rucksack carrying bands have a tartan print.

Een reactie plaatsen

Official time stamps daytime photo’s

Most of this information is already known to many, but still, there might be some value in analyzing the time stamps of the day time photo’s, as reported in the official investigation. We have verified the images and image numbers as the exact order they were found on the camera. This is the listing as found in the earliest reports, and we could not detect any mismatches between the Panamanian and the Dutch NFI investigation.

Photo 476 is the first one taken on the Pianista Trail, photo 508 is the last one of the daytime photo’s, the picture of Kris crossing the Quebrada.

There is no mention anywhere of a supposed second photo 508, which I come across once in a while. The list shown here is as the police found the photo’s on the memory card.

We offer a detailed analysis of this in our book. While many pictures seem to have been taken very, very fast, if you analyze the photo’s and place them in the right order, there is nothing impossible about the speed with which the photo’s were taken. They eveidently were of the “click and shoot” kind.

This behavior is consistent with the theory that thet just intended to walk up to admire the view and then go back down again, as a good way to fill a sunny free day and had no real interest in the flora and fauna. So, they did not feel the need for lots of photo’s and extensive stops along the way.

Een reactie plaatsen