North sea texas sex scene -
When Texas Was at the Bottom of the Sea
It’s on a November afternoon, and I’m sitting on top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest mountain in Texas, eating trail mix. The sun is bright, the sky without a cloud, and the view is huge. In front of me—I am facing roughly south—I am looking down on the jagged spine of El Capitan, a mountain that sits at the front of the range like the prow of a ship. Beyond it, I can see at least 70 miles across an arid plain sprinkled with rows of smaller hills. The road to El Paso and the border with Mexico is a gray scratch across the landscape. It’s gorgeous.
But the view I came for is the one I’m sitting on. The rock beneath me, which looks almost white in the glare of the sun, is full of fossils. Zillions of them. Back when these life-forms were alive— million years ago or so—the Guadalupe Mountains were underwater, part of a flourishing reef that once stretched about miles around the edge of a long-vanished sea.
Reefs are a fascinating fusion of biology and geology. They are, after all, made of stone—but built by life. Moreover, although the individual life-forms involved are typically tiny, the results of their activities can be gigantic, resulting in a massive transformation of the landscape. As usual, Charles Darwin put it better than anyone. Writing about corals, he said: “We feel surprise when travellers tell us of the vast dimensions of the Pyramids and other great ruins, but how utterly insignificant are the greatest of these, when compared to these mountains of stone accumulated by the agency of various minute and tender animals!”
Mountains built by life. Literally. To give a couple of examples, the volume of coral built up on the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands is around cubic miles. This is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid of Giza more than , times. And that’s just one atoll: The Earth has scores. The Great Barrier Reef, which runs for more than 1, miles along the northeastern coast of Australia, comprises about 3, reefs and islands. It is the largest structure built by living beings in the modern world.
But today’s reefs, being underwater, hide their scale. To appreciate the full extent of a mountain of life, I decided to find an ancient example.
The Earth is littered with ancient reefs. Indeed, the pyramids were built mostly of limestone quarried from one. But the Guadalupe Mountains of west Texas and New Mexico are one of the best examples of an ancient reef anywhere. In honor of this, they were made a national park in They even have a time interval named after them: “Guadalupian” refers to the epoch from million to million years ago, when the reef was being built. And so, as I made plans to go, I began to see the trip as a pilgrimage. I was going to commune with vanished life-forms, marvel at the edifice they built and contemplate immense spans of time.
I began the journey in somewhat crazy fashion: After landing in El Paso, I drove five hours to Midland, Texas, which is about halfway between El Paso and Dallas—not particularly close to the Guadalupe Mountains, nor on the way. But Midland is home to the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. And there I could see a diorama of the reef as it looked when it was alive.
The first part of the drive took me southeast along the border with Mexico, through a landscape of low hills. From time to time, I saw border patrol vehicles; once, I had to go through a roadblock. When I finally turned east, I entered a flat plain that stretched as far as I could see: the Permian Basin, the largest petroleum province of North America and the source of much of the Texas oil wealth.
The roads were empty and fast. The light was harsh. The air was warm. I turned on the radio; whether in English or Spanish, the airwaves were full of the Bible. While I drove, I pondered the irony of so much religion in a place named after a period of geologic time. The Permian Period ran from million to million years ago—the Guadalupian is a slice from the middle of it—and ended with a great cataclysm. In the sea and on land, most species then alive were wiped out forever. It was, by far, the most catastrophic extinction on record.
No one knows what caused it. The prime suspects are a group of volcanoes in what is now Siberia. But whatever it was, the seas became stagnant; the average air temperature shot up; the rain became acid. And in the space of just a few tens of thousands of years, the rich and diverse ecosystems of the Permian world collapsed. Afterward, it took more than ten million years for life to recover.
The radio switched to an energy report. I listened while the announcer reeled off prices of oil. As I got nearer to Midland, the landscape began to fill up with metal. Pumpjacks, or “nodding donkeys,” pulling oil from the ground. At first, it was one here, one there. But soon, I was passing whole herds of them.
At the museum, a man at the front desk enthused about an exhibition of antique oil drilling equipment, informed me I could buy a copy of Spoiled, a movie that he said “puts right a lot of the myths about the oil industry,” and explained that the Permian Basin is rich in oil because of the seas that have come and gone, and the reefs that were built here. I asked for the diorama, and he pointed me beyond the Hall of Fame—portraits of petroleum industry bigwigs, including both Presidents Bush—toward a doorway guarded by a giant, coiled ammonite, cut in half and smoothly polished. I passed a display of local dinosaur tracks, which were being excitedly examined by a group of schoolchildren, and an array of stone cores lined up against a table of geological time, showing how different rocks formed during different periods. So—the diorama should be here. No. This is a model of a s oil town. Ah. Here it is.
I stepped into what could, at first glance, be mistaken for a walkway through an enormous aquarium tank. Wow. An amazing reconstruction. If it wasn’t for the stillness of the animals, I’d almost think it was real. Behind the glass, a shark appeared to swim in the distance; a couple of jellyfish seemed to pulsate nearby. In the foreground, the reef was full of colorful fish, snails, sea urchins, starfish and sponges. It was a thriving place: Fossils from at least species have been found here. As I walked to the next window, the scene came to life in my mind’s eye. Fish began to dart about. Fronds began to sway. Sure, there were some odd animals that you don’t see anymore—such as tentacled creatures that looked like squid, but bearing long, pointed shells. Apart from that, however, it all looked broadly familiar. Yet despite the apparent similarities, this reef of million years ago is fundamentally different from the reefs on Earth today.
Today, reefs are built mostly by corals. But million years ago, the main builders were a suite of less familiar life-forms. Chief among them were sponges, including the gloriously named Gigantospongia—a creature that could grow to be more than eight feet across, and which seems to have provided shelter for many other beings under its great expanse. (Not all sponges are soft like bath sponges: Many, like Gigantospongia, have skeletons that are strengthened with a limestone scaffold. These can play an important role in reef building.) There were also bazillions of foraminifera—“forams” to their friends—single-celled life-forms that live inside shells. Whereas most single-celled beings are speck-of-dust-size or smaller, some forams reach lengths of around four inches. For a single-celled life-form, that is colossal.
I had hoped to arrive at the mountains before the ranger station closed for the night. My plan was to camp at the foot of Guadalupe Peak, and set off early the next morning. At first I was hopeful: I could see the mountains from over 70 miles away, a jagged silhouette against the horizon. But as I drove, I realized I wasn’t going to make it: I had stayed too long at the museum. I didn’t get to Carlsbad, New Mexico—the largest town near the park—until dusk. The moon was setting over Walmart, and I tried to find a hotel room.
Impossible. Carlsbad is part of the fracking boom, and during the week the hotels are sold out. I eventually found a room in Whites City—a tiny hamlet between Carlsbad and the park that boasts a motel, a restaurant, a campground and an information-center-cum-T-shirt-shop that for some reason had two large green sculpted aliens standing out front. I tumbled into bed, and dreamt of foraminifera.
The next morning, I was at the ranger station when it opened at 8. I discussed the trails with the ranger behind the desk, paid for my campsite, and took a quick look at the exhibition of how the reef had formed. But I didn’t linger: I was anxious to get to the reef.
The air was cool; the sky was clear; the hike was strenuous. But by noon, I had arrived at the top of Texas, as Guadalupe Peak is affectionately known. All 8, feet of it. Eating my lunch, I was sitting on rocks composed of the shells of heaps upon heaps of large forams about the length of my little finger. I ran my hands over the stone, feeling the ridges and whorls of life from million years ago.
Two hundred sixty-five million years. Easy to say. Hard to imagine. Think of it this way: Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, but when this reef was built, they had not yet come into being. Back then, there were no birds, and no birdsong. No ants or bees. No mammals. No flowers, no fruits, no grasses. The shores of this ancient lagoon had no coconut palms.
Which isn’t to say the Earth was barren: It would have been full of plants and animals. Some would have been recognizable—lichens, mosses, ferns, monkey-puzzle trees. Dragonflies would have flitted around. There would have been plenty of cockroaches. Something like a grasshopper might have been singing. But other life-forms would have seemed strange to us—such as amphibians several feet long. In the sea, the trilobites were shortly to vanish, their astonishing million-year tenure on the stage of life about to come to a close.
But many of the evolutionary events that would produce the life-forms of our times were still millions of years in the future. Even the night sky was different: Star clusters such as the
Pleiades had not yet come into being.
Two hundred sixty-five million years ago, the continents were smashed together into one giant landmass, Pangea, surrounded by a global ocean, Panthalassa. The bit of Texas I’m sitting on was down near the Equator: Its current position of 32 degrees north latitude is the result of a long, slow drift. The sea that allowed the reef to form was an inland sea, connected to Panthalassa by a narrow channel. This channel was soon to be cut off; the sea would evaporate; the reef would be covered by sediments. In another million years or so, another sea would come; but this too would disappear. Then there were upheavals: Although much of the original reef still lies buried, tectonic forces pushed the rocks bearing this piece of it upwards. Softer sediments washed away, exposing the harder limestone. Exposing the edifice built by living beings long, long ago.
Such thoughts were in my mind the next day, as I hiked through McKittrick Canyon, another segment of the reef. The leaves had turned on the trees, yielding beautiful hues of red and orange. A couple of tarantulas were strolling around; a lizard was sunbathing on a rock. After about three and a half miles of flat and easy walking along a clear, burbling stream, the trail became steep and narrow. I scrambled up and up and up, until finally I passed “the notch”—a point that allows you to look into another part of the canyon—and sat down to rest. I took off my boots and massaged my feet. This time, the view was not across a plain, but of the steep and rugged walls of the other side of the canyon.
The place was immense. Vast. And—though just a few miles from the trailhead—remote. Sitting there, I felt small. Alone. And suddenly: terrified.
It was as if the scale of the place was too much; the sense of time needed to construct it, too huge; the number of beings that lived and died in its making, too incredible. With rising panic, I jammed my boots on and pelted back the way I’d come.
Was this an experience of the sublime? A dizziness at nature’s ungraspable proportions? A degree of awe so great that it left me cowering? I think it was. Though I had not expected it to happen—nothing like that had ever happened to me before—it was, perhaps, what I had come for.
That night, I woke around 3 a.m. and stepped out of the tent. Brrr. Cold. The sky was clear and full of stars, yet the air had an inky quality, the darkness around me impenetrable without a flashlight. For a moment, a shooting star blazed above me. As I stood on the slopes of that ancient reef, the silence was profound, broken only by the distant howl of a coyote.
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North Sea Texas
A young Pim and his mother, Yvette, live in the Belgian countryside with their dog, a Miniature Pinscher named Mirza. The mother, a lonely divorcee, plays a piano accordion, and patronizes a local bar called Texas. One day Pim and his mother attend a fair, where they meet a traveling carny named Zoltan. Zoltan is kind to the younger Pim, and Pim is infatuated. Zoltan rents a room in Yvette's home intermittently, but later stops coming to town. Meanwhile, Yvette begins spending time with a man named Etienne, who is brutish and macho, and whom Pim immediately despises.
As time passes, Pim develops a close friendship with the slightly older Gino, who becomes his best friend. Pim falls in love with Gino, and Gino explores his sexuality with the adoring Pim, and the two become increasingly intimate. They both agree to keep their sexual relationship a secret. Meanwhile, Gino's sister Sabrina develops feelings for Pim, and Gino nearly spends the night with a girl he is seeing named Francoise. Pim, seeing Gino kiss Francoise, commits an act of vandalism as revenge and a rift forms between the two friends. Sabrina subsequently finds out that Pim is gay, and Yvette breaks it off with the boorish Etienne. Around this time, the enigmatic Zoltan unexpectedly returns. Gino, growing uncomfortable with the complicated circumstances, begins pushing Pim away. Compounding the emotional roller coaster for Pim, he goes to Zoltan's room one evening, hoping to spend the night with him, only to find Zoltan out of his room and down the hall having sex with Pim's mother. Having long wanted Zoltan for himself, even before he fell in love with Gino, a distraught Pim runs off into the night. Devastated that he cannot be with Zoltan, He returns home to find his mother has left with Zoltan and left him a note. Pim takes Mirza and moves in with Sabrina, while Gino is living out of town with Francois.
Following the funeral of Gino and Sabrina's mother Marcella, Pim and Sabrina are seen living together, although the living arrangement is clearly platonic. On a rainy day, Gino returns. After Pim tells Gino that his sister isn't home, Gino tells Pim that it was he who Gino came home for. Gino gently grabs Pim and moves him against the wall. Gino returns a cloth with special meaning to them both to Pim, telling him to tie a knot in it so that he will never forget him. He then proceeds to kiss Pim on the neck and the two embrace one another passionately. Pim tells Gino to "stay," and the film ends with the two of them embracing each other, suggesting a happy ending for the young couple.
Theme Song - Wooly Clouds by Sarah Little Auk
The film received positive reviews from film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 81% out of 26 professional critics gave the film a positive review. Henry Barnes from The Guardian said that "North Sea Texas looks beautiful, is acted brilliantly, but it's hard to get a hold on when Pim's drifting by in a dream world." Allan Hunter from the Daily Express called it "A delicate little heartwarmer of a film."
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of the Chicago Sun-Times panned it, and compared the film to the director's previous efforts: “So why is it that Campfire is engrossing, while North Sea Texas is frequently dull?” Vishnevetsky notes this is Bavo Defurne's first feature-length film, having made short films since , and Defurne fails to develop the characters or story with the extra time.
At the edition of the Montreal International Film Festival, the film received two prizes: the "Silver Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film" and the "Fipresci Prize for a film in the First Films Competition". In late October, the film premiered at the Rome International Film Festival. It was warmly welcomed there, receiving the Marc'Aurelio Alice nella Città 13 + Award of the Festival.
In January, the film was selected for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, along with four other Flemish films. It was released in the United States by Strand Releasing, after it bought the film rights to Wavelength Pictures.
The film was also screened at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and was released April 6, in the UK. In it was screened in the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, TLVFest.
Leaked footage shows the moment a British F35 jet crashes into the Mediterranean sea and the pilot is forced to eject from the aircraft.
The video, which appears to have been taken by a security camera on the aircraft carrier, shows the jet attempt to launch from a ramp, but instead of taking off it plunges into the sea below.
It is not clear from the video why the jet did not take off.
The fighter jet - which is estimated to be worth around £m - crashed into the water on November 17 at around 10am UK time.
Read more: British F35 pilot ejects as stealth jet crashes into Mediterranean
The pilot was forced to eject from the aircraft, and was safely returned to the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The video footage captures the pilot's parachute floating down shortly after ejection.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed at the time they had been checked by medics, and added that an investigation had begun into the incident.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and it is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.
It has a four-acre flight deck as well as a state-of-the-art weaponry and communications system.
Read more: UK races to retrieve F35 stealth jet amid fears Russia is looking for it
After the jet crashed into the sea there was a frantic search for it, with fears Russian forces could also be looking for it.
The Times quoted a Navy source as saying the Russians would be "foolish" not to be watching the zone where the fighter crashed.
The paper added that the US had been called in to assist the UK with the search, and that they were closer to finding it than Britain.