Worst Case Scenario


Black Belt
Founding Member
Oct 25, 2001
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College Park, MD, USA
I'm not sure if this should go here or in the Locker Room. Mods, feel free to move it if you think it belongs elsewhere. This isn't really martial arts related, but I thought others might be interested in it anyway because it's (mainly) about survival.

There's a new TV show airing this summer, Wednesdays on TBS, called Worst Case Scenario. It's based on the book The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht where a number of experts were asked about what they would do in certain (unlikely) life or death situations and to reveal just what you'd need to know to survive. OK, they're not *all* life and death, but a lot of them are. They were also intentionally chosen to be highly unlikely survival situations, one of those just in case, you never know deals. From the front and back covers of the book, here are some examples of what the book contains: how to escape from quicksand, wrestle and alligator, break down a door, land a plane, fend off a shark, take a punch, deliver a baby in a taxicab, survive a poisonous snake attack, jump from a moving car, escape from killer bees, survive if your parachute fails to open. I read through the book and found it to be very interesting and I expect the TV show to be the same way. I'm planning to record and save the shows to have a sort of video companion to the book. The first show airs tomorrow, so if this sounds interesting, make sure you check it out.
I can check the book later if you want. It lists all the people who contributed and their relevant credentials. I remember looking over that list, but don't remember it well offhand. As I recall though, things like jumping from a moving car, jumping off a building into a dumpster, jumping from a bridge into water, came from professional stuntmen/stuntwomen (one or more people, I forget). There was a bit on how to get into a locked car done by a professional locksmith. I think the breaking down a door info was from the same person. How to deliver a baby was from some medical doctor with something like 20 years of experience in child birth. I think trained survival experts covered things like surviving poisonous snake bites, quicksand, animal attacks, things like that. Landing a plane must have come from a professional pilot.

The authors of the book got their answers from trained professionals in their fields. If you want more details, I can copy some (but not all, there's too much) of the people and credentials from the book later. Since it's all published and documented you could obviously check up on the individuals should you really want to. I imagine this was done before the book was published, so I believe it's all legitimate. Plus I don't think they would have made a TV series out of it if it wasn't legit.
Here are a few references from The Experts section of the book.

How to Break into a Car -- Source: Bill Hargrove, a licensed locksmith in Pennsylvania with 10 years of experience opening locks.

How to Wrestle Free from an Alligator -- Source: Lynn Kirkland, curator of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm; Tim Williams of Orlando's Gatorworld, who has worked with alligators for nearly 30 years and now lectures and trains other alligator wrestlers.

How to Take a Punch -- Source: Cappy Kotz, a USA Boxing certified coach and instructor, and author of _Boxing for Everyone_.

How to Jump from a Bridge or Cliff into a River -- Source: Chris Caso, stuntman, member of the UCLA gymnastics team and the US gymnastics team, has produced and performed high-fall stunts for numerous movies including _Batman and Robin_, _Batman Forever_, _The Lost World_, and _The Crow: City of Angels_.
(also the source for How to Jump from a Building into a Dumpster)

How to Deliver a Baby in a Taxicab -- Source: Dr. Jim Nishimine, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California. He has been delivering babies for 30 years.

How to Land a Plane -- Source: Arthur Max, a pilot for more than 20 years, owns Flywright Aviation, a flight training and corporate flying service on Martha's Vineyard; Mick Wilson, author of _How to Crash an Airplane (and Survive!)_ has a gold seal flight instructor certificate for both single- and multi-engine aircraft.

Like I said, the experts are generally trained professionals in their field. BTW, there's a web site at http://www.worstcasescenarios.com/ should you care to check it out.
I understand your concern, arnisador. Honestly, my first reaction at seeing the book was amusement. I thought it was rather funny that they had all these unlikely survival situations collected together -- how often do you get caught in the line of gunfire or attacked by a mountain lion? Maybe this is why the store put it in the humor section. But when I got it home and started reading it, I realized it was a serious book and looking over the experts' credentials I saw that the authors did their homework and got the answers from good sources. But you're right to be concerned -- you don't want the wrong people giving you survival information.