Technology Making People Stupid


Tue, Aug 24th, 2010 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Yellowstone National Park's history is full of examples of misguided visitors feeding bears, putting children on buffaloes for photos and dipping into geysers despite signs warning of scalding temperatures.

But today, as an ever more wired and interconnected public visits the parks in rising numbers, rangers say that technology often figures into such mishaps.

People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.

And last fall, a group of hikers in the canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers explained that their water supply "tasted salty."



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