In This Episode: A story in This is True struck me as an astonishing example of Uncommon Sense, so I thought I’d tell you about it to see some really out-of-the-box thinking, and provide some practical advice that could save your life. Here’s a hint: no one thinks they’re going to get lost and need rescue. Yet there are tens of thousands of rescues every year in the U.S. alone. What will increase your odds of being safe? Uncommon Sense.

090: Rescuing Uncommon Sense


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Show Notes

* Help support Uncommon Sense: kofiwidget2.init('Support TRUE on Ko-fi', '#29abe0', 'L4L31K3PE');kofiwidget2.draw(); — yes, $5 helps!

* See below for the True version of the story, and the several photos. My new site is, and Submission Guidelines are here. You can also read the stories on Medium if you prefer.

* Products I use/mention*: Pocket flashlight, about $30. The portable battery pack I have is discontinued, but if I was going to buy again I’d start with Anker, about $35. The GPS app I use on Android: GPS Status & Toolbox, which is available in free and paid (no ads) versions (I paid: $2.49).

Mike’s Story about the Rescue:

Picture Perfect

Rene Compean, 45, texted to his friend: “SOS. My phone is going to die. I’m lost.” He also sent two photos to relay his location, but only one got through, showing his legs and some of the surrounding terrain in California’s Angeles National Forest, where he’d been hiking. The photo had little information, especially since the poor signal meant his friend received a low-resolution version. Worse, the phone’s location settings were disabled, so the photo didn’t include those details. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a Twitter call for help along with the photo: “Are You an Avid Hiker in the Mt. Waterman Area? #LASD SAR Teams need help locating a #missing hiker.” Ben Kuo, 47, saw the photo and thought, “I bet I could find that spot.” He has an unusual hobby: “I have always loved looking for where photos are taken.” He’s able to identify locations from photographs or movie scenes by cross-referencing them to satellite imagery. He quickly located and tweeted a screenshot of his findings on Twitter, then called the sheriff’s department. Compean was rescued. “I’m so lucky that Ben did what he did,” Compean said. “I’m thankful to be alive.” (MS/Washington Post) …Privacy settings: sharing what you want to keep private and keeping private what you want to share.


Welcome to Uncommon Sense; I’m Randy Cassingham.

Before I begin, yes: it’s been more than two months since I’ve released an epi...

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