CLOSE

Exploring Abandoned Mines in the Mojave

Some people like to go fishing on the weekends. Others fancy a trip to the spa. My buddy Rob likes to rappel into long-abandoned mines and find old dynamite to play with.

That's a slight exaggeration -- but only slight. The Mojave is honeycombed with old mines, and Rob is one of a special breed of people with the know-how, the technical rope skills, and the half-crazy fearlessness to explore them. He's invited me on several of these trips; I love abandoned things in the desert, but I'm not such a fan of vertical shafts 90 stories deep, 80-year-old wooden ladders, claustrophobic spaces, impenetrable dark, patches of possibly poison air, and left-behind sticks of dynamite and blasting caps so sensitive that it's quite possible that loud talking could set them off. So I say no, thank you. But I love the pictures he brings back. And last weekend, the friends he went exploring with -- some of them who have day jobs are as professionals on movie crews -- made a pretty amazing video of their exploits.

Does this look like fun? Or the scariest way to spend a weekend ever?

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
What Koalas and Humans Have in Common
5664632945001

There's something strange about koala fingerprints. Read more bizarre koala facts here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
fun
Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
iStock
iStock

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios