Sunday, August 31, 2008

No, No, No!
Women should hike alone if they want. They are not victims waiting to happen. As this article suggests.
Yes, yes I realize I’m old fashioned to think of women alone in the woods as targets. In some warped and soulless men that is exactly what women are. And yes, I know statistics prove that for the majority of women who hike alone it is perfectly safe.

I do not know what to say, perhaps this is a job for Shakes' Sis.

Tragically Hip

New Orleans Is Sinking, man and I don't wanna swim.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Does 61 Miles A Pilgrimage Make?
I suppose in college it does.

The hike was eight days and 61 miles.

It started on the Appalachian Trail in the middle-of-nowhere Maine and was designed around the idea that studying pilgrimages requires taking one.

At the center of the expedition was University of Virginia religious studies assistant professor Heather Warren, who spent the spring semester teaching Pilgrimage and the Appalachian Trail.

Oh, they changed.

Nature took a toll on all of them by the end, they said.

For one, they and their clothes reeked, they said.

What a change. When confronted with a hiker who is looking to change their life, I always remember the words of Dr Thomas Martin, who in 1742 said, "If an ass goes traveling, it will not come home a horse."

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Smell
The Unwashed and the Upper Crust in Connecticut. A fun article in the New York Times about the thru-hikers that enter high end towns in Connecticut. It did not mention that the first beer is free from Kent Liquors. Kent Market is a great place to get a sandwich in a town of over priced eateries. Really nice folks in there.
In towns like Kent, Salisbury, Cornwall and Falls Village, which are close to the 52-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Connecticut, unshowered hikers roam the same streets as well-dressed women in great round sunglasses and sweeping wide-brimmed hats. Porches of quaint inns accommodate antiques hunters along with hikers walking upwards of 15 to 25 miles in a single day. Fine food is not the exclusive domain of those accustomed to sleeping under a roof, on goose-down pillows and high-thread-count sheets.[...]
Over the years, the people who live in towns along the trail in Connecticut have come to accept, and in some cases embrace, the hobolike presence of rumpled hikers amid what remains an otherwise refined atmosphere. It is not uncommon for strangers to approach hikers on the street and start talking to them as if they were minor celebrities — never mind that major celebrities may be lurking nearby.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sad To Hear
A hiker fell to his death on MT Si in Washington.

A man who fell 200 feet Thursday while hiking along on a trail on Mount Si near North Bend has died, despite the efforts of a companion who scrambled down to his friend and administered CPR for more than hour.

The 27-year-old man was with a 22-year-old friend when he slipped and fell sometime around 1 p.m., the King County Sheriff's Office reported. The younger man immediately called 911, then went down to reach his friend. He began CPR, Sgt. John Urquhart said and kept it up until paramedics with King County Search and Rescue could reach him, a period of at least 90 minutes.

The sheriff's helicopter, Guardian One, tried to reach the fallen hiker, but fog and low clouds prevented such a rescue. Instead, the copter dropped off the rescue personnel at about 2,300 feet.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Update: The hiker has been identified as Thomas L. Dunn of San Jose California.

The Omnivores One Hundred
A list of a hundred things the omnivore should eat. I figure, I have eaten about 75 of the 100. But some of things are just not available in the good old US of A. I do not even know what black pudding is. Go check it out.
Democratic Convention Goes Green
Or as green as can be. In addition to normal recycling the vehicles used will have beer based bio fuels.

Then there's transportation: General Motors will be providing a fleet of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles, Coors is donating ethanol made with thousands of gallons of its beer waste and bus idling will be kept to a minimum.

Pollution is also being controlled through the use of wind and solar energy and efficient lighting, computers and appliances.

To top it all off, the party's "Director of Greening" hired an outside firm to calculate the convention's carbon footprint so it can be offset with carbon credits.

All and all not bad. Flying 50,000 people all over the country is not really green.

Still Melting
The polar ice cap is the second smallest year on record.
For the second year in a row, the fabled Northwest Passage has opened in the Arctic—thanks to a sea-ice melt that has already shrunk the polar cap to the second smallest extent ever recorded. And with a few more weeks to go in the summer thaw season, 2008 could surpass 2007 as the smallest amount of sea ice on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

A few more weeks to go before freeze up.
And, according to NSIDC, this year's melt is continuing at a "brisk pace," unlike previous record years, which slowed by the end of August. That means by late September a new low in global warming annals may be reached.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grease to Greece
A road rally using used grease to get to Greece.
The "Grease to Greece" race, the brainchild of 34-year-old Londoner Andy Pag, took the teams on a 10-day mission across Europe in which they begged oil to fuel their cars from restaurants, motorway cafes and fast-food joints along the way.

A fun way to promote grease cars. I'm not sure how these work.
An experienced eco-traveler, Pag drove to the desert town of Timbuktu in Mali last year using a truck powered by waste chocolate. His next scheme is a round-the-world trip next year using aviation fuel made from recycled plastic bags.

Heck if we keep at it, with a little of this and a little of that we can kick the oil habit.
Three Fingers

Three Fingers, originally uploaded by jasonracey.

Three hikers planning to spend the night in the three fingers lookout tower were caught in unfortunate weather on the way up. A rescue is being attempted.

DARRINGTON -- The search for three teenagers on Three Fingers mountain is continuing this morning as officials fear the boys may be succumbing to the weather.

Still, reached by phone early this morning, the boys told emergency dispatchers they were doing OK, officials said.

During limited cell phone communication with the boys, one 16, the others 17, their speech sounded slurred, one sign they could be suffering from hypothermia, Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. Two of the boys are from Arlington, the third is from elsewhere in Snohomish County.

It sounds like rescuers will get them down today.

Update: Rescuers reached the boys. They are helping them warm up so they can walk out. Good news.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What We Stand For
In the Democratic Party. Here is Bernie Horn.
So what’s our philosophy? Fair wages, fair markets, health security, retirement security, equal justice…for all. Let me describe each in turn.

I think there could be a better one but the Democratic Party should at least try something like this. Message discipline baby.
Via Avedon
Two Rescues Scaled Back
One in Montana.
WEST GLACIER - Searchers continued to comb Glacier National Park’s backcountry wilderness Monday, hunting for a hiker now a full week overdue.

Tuesday, however, will bring a substantially scaled-back effort, unless new evidence emerges as to the fate of 27-year-old Yi-Jien Hwa.

“We are still hopeful that additional information will eventually surface that will lead us to Yi-Jien,” incident commander Patrick Suddath said. “But we know that the odds for that outcome are reduced with each day that goes by. In the absence of a promising development, we will be scaling back the operation.”

And one in New Hampshire.
CRAWFORD NOTCH, N.H. — The search for a Windham County man missing in the mountains of New Hampshire has gone from "active" to "passive," according to an official.

"We've gone into a passive mode for now," said Maj. Timothy Acerno, acting chief of law enforcement for New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, of his department's search for Robert Hughes, 59, of Williamsville.

My thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Human Exoskeleton Suit
Is helping paralyzed people walk.

The device, called ReWalk, is the brainchild of engineer Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies, a small Israeli high-tech company.

Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by comic hero Iron Man, ReWalk helps paraplegics -- people paralyzed below the waist -- to stand, walk and climb stairs.

Goffer himself was paralyzed in an accident in 1997 but he cannot use his own invention because he does not have full function of his arms.

Solar Is Heating Up

Salt, water, and hydrogen. Concentrated solar power, using the sun rays to heat something to move turbines and create electricity.

As the first commercial “concentrating solar power” or CSP plant built in 17 years, Nevada Solar One marks the reemergence and updating of a decades-old technology that could play a large new role in US power production, many observers say.

“Concentrating solar is pretty hot right now,” says Mark Mehos, program manager for CSP at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. “Costs look pretty good compared to natural gas [power]. Public policy, climate concern, and new technology are driving it, too.”

Spread in military rows across 300 acres of sun-baked earth, Nevada Solar One's trough-shaped parabolic mirrors are the core of this CSP plant – also called a “solar thermal” plant. The mirrors focus sunlight onto receiver tubes, heating a fluid that, at 735 degrees F., flows through a heat exchanger to a steam generator that supplies 64 megawatts of electricity to 14,000 Las Vegas homes.

Today there are just 420 megawatts of csp but it could be as much as 4,500 in the near future.

Desert land lures developers In fact, there's a land rush at the federal Bureau of Land Management. As of July, the BLM reported more than 125 applications to build solar power on about 1 million acres of desert, up from just a handful of proposals a few years ago.

“We think there's a good market there,” says Travis Bradford, an expert at the Prometheus Institute, a Boston-based solar-energy market research firm. His firm sees 12,000 megawatts (12 gigawatts) of solar thermal installed by 2020 and maybe 20 times that in coming decades.

With natural gas prices high CSP is competitive but it still needs tax credits.
To stimulate development, Spain has deployed hefty, long-term feed-in tariffs. But in the US market, solar thermal is hanging by a thread. The investment tax credit, which covers 30 percent of a CSP facility's cost, will expire at year's end unless renewed by Congress. But bills to renew the ITC have been blocked eight times this year by Senate Republicans.

In case you were wondering, Obama voted for them and McCain did not vote any of the eight times. Including the time it had 59 votes but needed 60 to break a republican filibuster. So when you see those adds where he is in front of wind mills, know he is lying.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let Them Eat Sh...
A good post by Kirk James Murphy, MD, on irradiation of food. It is interesting to see an article that does not have to have official government and corporate spin.

Yesterday what remains of the FDA under the Bush regime opened the lead doors to allow Big Ag and Big Industrial Food to start irradiating the life out of the iceberg lettuce and spinach you eat. The FDA claims that nuking these leafy greens is required to keep us safe from the E. Coli and other fecal coliforms (nerdspeak for "shit germs") found to have contaminated the food we bring home to eat. The Bushies, their moles in the Federal agencies that once protected us, and the corporatists they all serve are -- as usual -- lying through their coliform encrusted teeth. Our menus -- and our choices -- need not be collapsed down to the binary option of "nuked food vs poop food". "Let them eat shit" is the GOP's de facto public safety policy, but we don't have to swallow it.

We also don't have to swallow the lie that irradiating greens would prevent most cases of food born illness the greens may carry. The majority of food borne illness linked to greens come from viruses, not bacteria. Irradiation won't kill the viruses -- but it does increase the greens' shelf-life. Gee - wonder what the real agenda is?

Read it all.

Peak Water
OK, we are not really there.

Global food needs are expected to roughly double by 2050, at the same time as climate change and dwindling oil reserves are pressuring countries to set aside ever more land for producing biomass to replace greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels.

These parallel global trends risk colliding with "the water-constrained biophysical reality of the planet," according to SIWI, which hosted the the World Water Week in the Swedish capital last week.

"Almost every increase in water used in agriculture will affect water availability for other uses, including that needed to keep ecosystems healthy and resilient in the face of change and perturbation," the institute said in a recent study.

It is going to be an interesting couple of decades coming up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scott Williamson

Scott Williamson and Tattoo Joe Kisner broke the speed record for an unsupported hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

As expected, Scott Williamson and Tattoo Joe Kisner set a record for a Pacific Crest Trail hike without a support team by finishing it in 71 days, 2 hours, 41 minutes. They beat Joe's 2007 record of 79 days, 21 hours, 42 minutes by 8 days, 19 hours, 1 minute. Reinhold Metzger of Point Loma, who once held the speed mark on the John Muir Trail, reported that they departed Campo on a hot, sunny day, on June 8, at 12:45 p.m. and arrived at Manning Park, Canada on a rainy day on Aug. 18, at 3:26 p.m. Tattoo Joe lost about 50 pounds, but Williamson didn't lose much at all. They celebrated with a big dinner in Seattle before parting company. A friend who picked them up at the Canada-U.S. border said they stopped at every restaurant along the way.

“Seventy-one days in the wilderness, without a stove, cranking 40 miles a day, amazing, truly amazing,” Metzger wrote in a e-mail. “They are truly two of America's premier backpackers.”

71 dats and 2,658 miles wow. Without support. Amazing! Way to go guys.

Once Again
If you are going to commit a crime, do not post the details online. Typo vigilantes are now paying for their crimes.

Jeff Michael Deck, 28, of Somerville, Mass., and Benjamin Douglas Herson, 28, of Virginia Beach, Va., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Flagstaff after damaging a rare, hand-painted sign in Grand Canyon National Park. They were sentenced to a year's probation, during which they cannot enter any national park, and were ordered to pay restitution.

According to court records, Deck and Herson toured the United States from March to May, wiping out errors on government and private signs. On March 28, while at Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim, they used a white-out product and a permanent marker to deface a sign painted more than 60 years ago by artist Mary Colter. The sign, a National Historic Landmark, was considered unique and irreplaceable, according to Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix.

They maintained a website that had details of their activities. The pictures and prose were used to convict the two men.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Greenland's Glaciers Are Calving
At a very rapid pace.

Images retrieved from NASA satellites and cameras monitoring the island's glaciers revealed that a chunk measuring 11 square miles (29 square kilometers) broke away from the Petermann Glacier between July 10 and 24. For its part, Jakobshavn lost at least 3 square miles (10 square kilometers) since the end of the last melt season, and its northern section has broken up in recent weeks.

To make matters worse, the scientists observed an enormous crack forming back from the margin of the Petermann Glacier, which Box cautioned could point to "an imminent and much larger breakup" -- a loss that could amount to 60 square miles (160 square kilometers), or roughly one-third of the glacier.

At some point Greenland's rate of melting is going to be exponential and catastrophic. Miami and Manhattan are at sea level. Boston and Baltimore are at sea level.

Missing Hiker
In New Hampshire.
Crews were searching Friday for a missing Vermont man who was hiking in the White Mountain National Forest.The Fish and Game Department said Robert Hughes, 59, of Williamsville, Vt., was last seen when he was dropped off at the trailhead by the Appalachian Mountain Club shuttle at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Picture and description at link. Authorities are looking for any information.
A bad idea. The Bush clan is going to try to get whatever it can for their sponsors on the way out the door.
WASHINGTON — The government will allow food producers to zap fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce with enough radiation to kill micro-organisms like E. coli and salmonella that for decades have caused widespread illness among consumers.[...]

The government has long allowed food processors to irradiate beef, eggs, poultry, oysters and spices, but the market for irradiated foods is tiny because the government also requires that these foods be labeled as irradiated, labels that scare away most consumers.

Consumers do not want it so the government wants to change the labeling requirements that is the real favor the Bush clan is doing for their sponsors.

Critics say that not only does radiation make food less nutritious and potentially toxic but that the process also does not eliminate the risks of food-borne illnesses. An analysis by the Centers for Science in the Public Interest found that most outbreaks of illnesses associated with salad are caused by viruses, which are not affected by the doses of radiation approved by the F.D.A.

Food-safety advocates, food producers and even farm groups agree that the government should mandate certain agricultural and processing practices that would limit the risk of all food-borne illnesses and increase the speed with which outbreaks are traced back to sources.

“The agency is choosing to have a high-tech expensive solution to a problem that needs a more thorough approach and one that really starts on the farm,” Ms. Smith DeWaal of the science center said.

Via Susie

Hiker Missing
In Montana.
Yi-Jien Hwa, 27, of both Kentucky and Malaysia, was due back on Monday, Aug. 18. When he did not call family as planned, park rangers were alerted, said Glacier spokeswoman Norma Sosa.

“A lot of the evidence still doesn't seem to make sense,” she said. “He was last seen at St. Mary, but then his car was found at Logan Pass. We have his hiking itinerary, but nothing about this provides us any idea of where he really went.”
The itinerary was both lengthy and arduous, Sosa said, covering ground from Floral Park to Gunsight Pass to Goat Haunt and finally Kintla Lake. The north-south route sticks close to the Continental Divide, nearing the Canadian border before heading west on its final leg.

Park officials conducted an initial sweep along those trails Wednesday, Sosa said, talking with hikers and campers along the way.

“But no one had seen him,” she said. “That's hard to explain at this point.”

The park service is still conducting search and rescue. Lets hope he makes it out OK.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All That Time
In a POW camp, sure did mess McCain up. More than 30 years later it is causing him to make mistakes.

"This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post.

For those of you who haven't kept track, the McCain campaign just recently cited McCain's POW years in explaining away the Miss Buffalo Chip gaffe, and in dealing with the allegation that he broke the rules and listened in on Barack Obama during the Rick Warren forum.

Foot Problems

Karl Meltzer who is trying to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail has foot problems.
Karl spent the morning at the hospital in Bennington. The worry was that his pain was due to a stress fracture or blood clots. Both very bad. Neither was the case. It turns out that the rain in Maine had more of an effect on Karl than just slowing his pace. Three hundred miles with wet feet on waterfall trails resulted in a nasty case of trench foot, also known as hyperhydrosis or "immersion foot." Essentially, the skin on his feet is rotting. Nice.

(Karl, Jonny and Cheryl are all super stoked on the smell that happens to be associated with this ailment.)

As we have been saying, his favoring his foot to alleviate the pain caused a stress injury in his left anterior tibialis. As of this morning, he has officially been diagnosed with tendonitis.

Karl will be fine. He has the meds he needs to treat the trench foot and the tendonitis. He is still icing and elevating. And eating and sleeping.

Looks like he will not make the record this year, but He's young and the trail is not going anywhere. Except maybe Alabama.

For Hollis
Not that he reads my blog. Chewing gum after colon surgery helps you go.

They found patients who chewed gum took an average of 1.1 fewer days to have a bowel movement compared with non-chewers.

Gum chewing is thought to act as a kind of "sham feeding," stimulating nerves in the digestive system, triggering the release of gastrointestinal hormones and increasing the production of saliva and secretions from the pancreas.

Via Clusterflock.
How Many Houses?
John McCain recently said your rich if you make 5 million a year. But a better definition might be owning so many houses you are not sure of the number.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now we're talking. Australian scientists are working to install geothermal energy plants.

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia scientists estimate that only one percent of the nation's untapped geothermal energy could produce 26,000 years worth of clean electricity.

The Australian government announced on Wednesday a A$50 million (US$43 million) project to help develop technology to convert geothermal energy into baseload electricity.

"Geothermal energy which is sometimes known as hot rocks has got a huge potential for Australia, both as a solution to climate change and in terms of national energy security," said Resource Minister Martin Ferguson.

Update: Google is also investing in geothermal technology. 10.5 million.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jennifer Davis. Fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail by a woman.

Saturday afternoon, she smashed the previous women’s record for an assisted through hike of the Appalachian Trail, and she sprinted to the finish line. In the final week of her trek she covered 300 miles — about a third of it running — while averaging less than four hours of sleep a night. She completed the 2,175-mile trail in 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes — 30 days faster than any other woman.

“There are only four men that have hiked it faster,” said Davis, 25, the daughter of Yorke and Barbara Pharr.[...]

Friday, her second to last day on the trail, Davis hiked 64.8 miles — an unprecedented distance to cover during a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Wow. Way to go Jennifer!

College Presidents Want To Lower The Drinking Age
This is a good start. More than 100 college presidents want the drinking age lowered to 18.

"Twenty-one is not working," says the group's statement, signed by presidents from prominent colleges such as Dartmouth, Duke and Syracuse. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine 'binge drinking' -- often conducted off-campus -- has developed."

No Long Island schools are on the list, which includes Manhattan College in Riverdale, Ohio State, Tufts in Massachusetts and Colgate in upstate Hamilton.

Even before the presidents begin the public phase of their efforts, which might include newspaper ads in the coming weeks, they face sharp criticism.[...]
The current law, he said, "pushes drinking into hiding, heightening its risks, including risks from drunken driving, and it prevents us from addressing drinking with students as an issue of responsible choice."

The two sides agree alcohol abuse by college students is a huge problem, but disagree on whether raising the legal drinking age to 21 has saved lives.

The age at which drunk drivers cause the most accidents and deaths is 21. This is not about drinking and driving. this about laws that will never be obeyed by a segment of society. Laws which cause more harm than good to our society.

If you are legally an adult why can you not choose which beverage you want to drink? Is it even constitutional?

I personally think the drinking age should be 14 for beer and wine and 18 for liquor. Teach kids to drink before you teach them to drive. Let them make alcohol related mistakes before they drive heavy machinery. Yes cars are heavy machines.

Update: Atrios has an interesting idea. Drinking or driving license.
Perhaps they should consider my cunning plan to let 18 year olds have a drinking license or a driver's license but not both, which would have the added benefit of helping my plot to make everyone move to Manhattan increasing the appeal of less car dependent locations.

Danish Island Goes Green
Samso Denmark gets all its electricity from green sources.

SAMSO, Denmark (Reuters) - Concerns about energy security may run high elsewhere in Europe, but on the windswept Danish island of Samso the inhabitants have achieved a decade-long target of self-sufficiency in renewable power.

It's a challenge their government set the island in 1997 and which has been largely funded through local taxes and individual investments, in one of Europe's wealthier countries -- Denmark's GDP per capita was more than $35,000 in 2006.

Now the islanders have shown that where there's a wind, there's a way -- and in the process mounted a global showcase for one of the prize export industries in Denmark, which is home to the world's largest wind-turbine maker, Vestas.

Mostly wind but some solar. It can be done if there is a will.

Monday, August 18, 2008

John McCain Is Pro-Life

This is for the folks that believe John McCain is a moderate.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls, originally uploaded by mrwsierra.

The dam that broke in the Grand Canyon was near Havasu Falls.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Hundreds of people were evacuated from a remote town in the Grand Canyon on Sunday after heavy rain caused an earthen dam to burst, reports said.

Local media citing the US National Park Service said between 300-400 people were evacuated from the Indian tribal village of Supai, north of Phoenix, after the Redlands Dam broke at around 6:00 am (1400 GMT) on Sunday.

No injuries were immediately reported. Some 75 campers were also evacuated from the Grand Canyon because of flooding, which followed two days of torrential rain in the region, according to local media reports.

Most of the evacuees were members of the Havasupai tribe and were being cared for at a Red Cross shelter set up at Peach Springs, around 60 miles (96 kilometers) southwest of Supai.

The dam break was upstream of the falls making it over a hundred feet wide.

The video claims to be from Yesterday after the dam broke.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We Can Solve It

Unfit To Lead

Via Tengrain. Who presents what is going on in the Russia Georgia conflict. He explains it so well a mainstream media reporter could understand it. Not that they would tell you what is really going on of course.
Baltimore Boy Does Good
Micheal Phelps wins eight gold medals.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Michael Phelps held his arms aloft on Sunday after surpassing Mark Spitz as the most successful swimmer and Olympian of all time, relief written on his face after he won an unprecedented eighth gold at one Games.

Afterwards, he said he just wanted to hug his mum.

Fourteen golds and sixteen medals for his Olympic career. Way to go Micheal!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sad To Hear
A hiker dies in Utah.
A hiker died of an apparent heart attack Saturday while walking on a Big Cottonwood Canyon trail.
Search and rescue workers responded to a call at 11:51 a.m. that a 60-year-old man had collapsed at the Lake Blanche trail head near the Mill B South Fork hiking area, which is about 4 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon, the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

The hiker has not been identified.
My condolences to his friends and family.
Approve This Message

A nice independent ad. I'm Chef Loves Beer and I approve this message.
Full Moon!

Moonlight of Gold, originally uploaded by `Bobesh.

Full Moon! Picture shot over Tasman Sea, Central Coast Australia.

Friday, August 15, 2008

John McCain sure does think it all belongs to him. Bmaz at Emptywheel's place has a nice rant about old sticky fingers McCain.
John McCain is an angry, mercurial, petulant and self serving man who believes that John McCain is entitled to say, do and take whatever John McCain wants and John McCain needs. In this regard, he has no honor, and no shame. From pilfering Iraq policy from Obama, to foreign policy from Wiki, to video from Wayne and Garth, Sticky Fingers McCain just takes what he wants because he feels he is entitled to it. The world is his due, because St. McCain was, you know, a POW. Everything else is his gravy. The latest thing Sticky Fingers McCain has ripped off is Jackson Browne's song "Running on Empty". Jackson isn't real happy about it and is suing McCain in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles over the misappropriation

Greening The Beer
Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland is taking great strides in lowering the their impact on Mother Earth.
They've already tried vermicomposting (feeding kitchen scraps to worms to make fertilizer), run beer delivery trucks on used vegetable oil and fanned cold winter air into beer chillers. But to Patrick it's all been low-hanging fruit. A few dollars saved here, a little less carbon emissions and trash there. The biggest challenge has been the manufacture of beer, an energy-intensive production process.

Now the have installed a heat exchanger to their exhaust pipe to chill their beer. It could also produce electricity but Ohio's laws prevent them from doing this. Cogeneration, the use of waste heat to generate electricity, could meet 7% of US's electric needs.
Pustai estimates that through cooling alone, 750,000 kilowatts less electricity will be used in one year, a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption. That will equal savings between $65,000 and $75,000. If Great Lakes and ReXorce could turn on the device's electricity production feature as well, those numbers could more than double. For the time being, however, Ohio's regulations and Cleveland Public Power's archaic rate structures (CPP is Great Lakes' electricity provider) prevent recycled energy advocates and entrepreneurs from reaping waste-heat recovery's total benefits. "At Great Lakes, our unit will be able to produce electricity, but won't," says Philip Brennan, the chief operating officer at ReXorce. That's because Ohio law allows only licensed utilities to produce and sell electricity. Anyone else faces regulatory oversight.

Do not stand in the way of power company's profits or you will get trampled. They used to be public utilities, but the republicans deregulated them for better profits.
Via Grist Mill.
Better Than Sex
Long distance hiking.
CNN has just discovered what we backpackers have known for years: The natural high one gets from hiking or climbing can produce a flood of endorphins that matches or even surpasses those experienced during sex.

Of course, according to the article, some people experience the same rush from shoe shopping, sky diving, or public speaking. But I'd argue that those activities don't possess the same built-in readiness for sexy, sexy metaphors:
"Hiking and climbing mountains is better than sex," says Ramani Durvasula, a professor at California State University Los Angeles who discovered the sport last year after reaching a big weight loss goal.

"When you pull yourself up onto a summit -- and climax, so to speak, particularly as a woman -- the sheer physicality, beauty and endurance are like no other feeling on earth," she explains.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Dead One Missing
Hiker in Colorado.

Searchers found the body of a missing hiker Wednesday night north of Red Feather Lakes in Larimer County.

The man appeared to have fallen while climbing through a rough area east of Box Acres and Prairie Divide Road, said Kathy Messick of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

The Larimer County coroner identified the man as Dennis Kasten, 57, of Dover, Fla. He was last seen on Sunday and was hiking alone.

The missing hiker is believed to be in the Big Thompson Canyon area.

My condolences to Dennis Kasten's friends and family.

Update: The other hiker's body has been found but not identified.

My condolences to his friends and family.
The second hiker has been identified as David Price of Richmond Kentucky.
A Market
For electric cars. 33,000 people have signed up for the Chevy Volt.
DETROIT (Reuters) - In a bid to show the demand for the upcoming all-electric Chevrolet Volt, a proponent of the car has released details of an unofficial waiting list for the vehicle with over 33,000 prospective buyers.

Lyle Dennis, a New York neurologist who has emerged as a prominent enthusiast for the battery-powered car from General Motors Corp, has been assembling a list of prospective Volt buyers for over a year through his Web site

On Tuesday, Dennis released details gleaned from the list showing that 33,411 people had signed up to show their intent to buy a Volt when the rechargeable car is released in 2010.

Chevrolet better hurry or these people will buy Toyota's plug in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Melting Faster
The melting of the arctic ice cap has sped up.

Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013.

Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic.

As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year.

If the ice goes it will speed melting in Greenland. And other northern islands. That is where the ocean rising water is.

Other environmental changes are likely to follow. Without sea ice to bolster them, land ice - including glaciers - could topple into the ocean and raise global sea levels, threatening many low-lying areas, including Bangladesh and scores of Pacific islands. In addition, the disappearance of reflective ice over the Arctic means that solar radiation would no longer be bounced back into space, thus heating the planet even further.

Miami and Manhattan are at sea level.

Doing Well
Jennifer Davis is on pace to hit Springer Mountain Georgia on Saturday.
If she makes it by Saturday, she’ll have completed the trail in 58 days, averaging almost 37 miles a day. Her initial goal was to complete the trail in 60 to 80 days.

Lets hope she stays well for the next few days. It seems she is getting tired of trail food and I do not blame her.

Missing fresh produce, she’s ecstatic when she gets her salad.

“Vegetables, mmmm,” she says.

On the trail, Davis must take in food constantly to replace the roughly 4,000 calories a day she burns. She snacks on Clif bars, trail mix and other snacks every three miles. Brew tries to bring her a variety of foods, but Davis gets tired of eating and chewing.

“Sometimes, I hate eating,” she says. “But you have to keep putting food in your mouth.”

She told Brew at one point, “It’s not food anymore, it’s just fuel.” One trail snack won’t go home with her. “I’m going to take a long break from peanut butter,” she says.

I have not eaten much peanut butter since my first thru-hike. Good luck! Go Jen Go!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hiker Missing
Near Durango, Colorado this time.

The search for a missing hiker suffering from Alzheimer's disease was suspended at dusk Monday, allowing searchers a night's rest after they had continued their efforts for almost two days in a rugged area centering around Engineer Mountain.

The 69-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer's disease who has been the object of a search since he lost contact with friends Sunday near Coal Bank Pass is Robert "Bob" Hatfield of Durango, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

Hatfield was hiking at the top of the ridge near Mushroom Rock when he told friends he wanted to rest, a Sheriff's Office news release said. The friends left him about 9:30 a.m. and returned a half-hour later to find him gone. The disappearance was reported about noon.

Hopefully he will be found soon.
Barns For Obama

The 14 year old who shot and killed hiker Pam Almli will be charged with manslaughter.

MOUNT VERNON — The 14-year-old boy from Concrete who shot and killed a woman last week after mistaking her for a bear will be charged with first-degree manslaughter, authorities said.

Rich Weyrich, Skagit County prosecuting attorney, said he expects to file the charges by Thursday or Friday.

The boy's name and the probable cause document have not been released. But Weyrich says the boy's actions "fit the definition of recklessness."

I am not opposed to hunting bears. I think bears need to be hunted more, not less. Especially in National Parks where the have become habituated to humans. I do not believe anyone with a hunting license should be allowed to hunt in National Parks. Professional hunters only.

Link to a video of where she was shot. She was in the open. And the shooter had just walked up the same trail. To not make sure of your target on a trail you just used is pretty bad.

Garden Bike!

Garden bike!, originally uploaded by fiddleswithbikes.

Was looking for something else but liked the bike filled with produce.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sad To Hear
A hiker died in Colorado.
ALAMOSA — On Sunday the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local and regional agencies recovered the body of a Texas man who is believed to have fallen some 1700 feet to his death sometime Friday or Saturday.

Saguache County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mark Werts said Monday Custer County Search and Rescue received a call from the man’s hiking partner Saturday afternoon reporting he had become separated from the man and had not seen him since Friday afternoon. The Dallas, Texas men had been hiking in the Needles area.

My condolences to his friends and family.
New Number One
With Budweiser now owned by the Europeans who is America's largest American owned brewer?
Mike Pomranz at Slashfood has the Answer.
A lot of companies have been quick to fly the American flag, but fittingly, the new #1 American owned brewery takes their brand name from an American patriot. Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams, is now not only America's largest "craft brewer", it's also the country's largest domestically owned brewery. If that doesn't further blur the line between the modern craft brewery and their macro counterparts, I don't know what does.

So who are in line to be the new "Big 3"? Breaking it down strictly by 2007's beer sales volume here you go: 1) Boston Beer (makers of Sam Adams), 2) Yuengling, and 3) Sierra Nevada.

Wall Arch No More

Wall Arch - In Memory Of, originally uploaded by Crumblin Down.

This picture was taken by flickr user appropriately named Crumblin Down. The arch fell last Monday or Tuesday.

Wall Arch, one of the most accessible major arches in the Devils Garden area of Arches National Park, collapsed sometime Monday night.
"Not being a geologist, I can't get very technical but it just went kaboom," Chief Ranger Denny Ziemann said. "The middle of the arch just collapsed under its own weight. It just happens."
Wall Arch, located along the popular Devils Garden Trail, was 71 feet tall and 33 1/2 feet wide, ranking it 12th in size among the known arches inside the park. Lewis T. McKinney first reported and named Wall Arch in 1948.

The article linked above has before and after pictures.

Busy Busy
The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit has been called out for a missing hiker in the San Jacito Mountains.
It's the group's fifth search in a week, according to a spokesman for the volunteer rescue team.

Search crews plan to start looking for the missing hiker at 6 a.m. Monday, beginning at the head of the trail, according to a taped phone message left by the the rescue unit. The crews are expecting helicopter support.

Update: Good news found alive and well.
Los Angeles resident Prashant Manoharm, 29, was found about 8:30 a.m. today just below Marion Mountain.

He was in good condition and was escorted to safety by the Riverside Mountain Rescue Mountain Rescue Unit, according to the sheriff's department.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Cookie Lady
I have passed her house three times and no cookies for me. The first time I got there late and the cookies were gone. Long distance hikers eat a lot. The other two times it was around six in the AM, so I figured she had not put out any cookies. Perhaps next time.

Roy and Marilyn Wiley don't look like angels. The blueberry farm owners in Western Massachusetts seem like sturdy, seasoned New Englanders - pleasant yet no-nonsense. But to Appalachian Trail hikers Buffet and Mooch, the Wileys are angels. Trail angels, to be specific.

"Oh my God, these are wonderful," says Mooch, 27, of Kalamazoo, Mich., whose real name is Michalina Keith, as she wolfs down one of Marilyn Wiley's homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.

Wiley, who is known as "The Cookie Lady" in AT guide books, has been baking treats for the hikers for 20 years. When the Wileys first moved to their farm in Washington, just off the trail, Wiley heard of a former resident who fed hikers cake and ice cream. That's a nice tradition, she thought, so she started giving hikers homemade cookies.

I have had blueberries from her farm. Great in pancakes at Upper Goose Pond.

Police Missing Beer Goggles
Sometimes called "beer goggles," the special glasses are used by police to demonstrate to high school students and parents how alcohol impairs a driver's vision and judgment. They look like safety glasses.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Oregon Tech is going geothermal.
College students are demanding sustainability efforts in their schools, and now universities are stepping up to the plate. This past Tuesday, the Oregon Institute of Technology outlined a plan to build a $7.6 million geothermal power plant on campus. The plant will become the sole power source for the school in a few years, making Oregon Tech the only university to be powered completely by geothermal energy.

Since Klamath Falls, the home of Oregon Tech, sits near a fault line, heat and energy can be easily taken out of the earth.

More needs to be done with this resource in the Pacific northwest where it is available.

Sleeping Bag Ratings
I have always believed that sleeping bag manufacturers just made them up. There is no American Standard rating system for sleeping bags. The European Union however does, and REI will be using it to rate its sleeping bags.

With product availability set for stores and on in Spring 2009, the company will incorporate the European Norm (known as EN 13537) into its new mummy-style backpacking bags above zero degrees. EN 13537 is a standard testing methodology developed and used in Europe that ensures sleeping bag temperatures above zero degrees are consistent across styles and brands. It will be easier for customers to make informed decisions when selecting a sleeping bag that will keep them warm wherever they recreate.

To date, there has not been a consistent test for temperature ratings among sleeping bags sold in the United States, and we believe this has resulted in customer confusion, adds Fromson. By using the EN 13537 rating, were removing the guesswork for our customers, and allowing an apples-to-apples comparison to other EN-rated bags, so the customer has a comfortable nights sleep.

I think this is step forward.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Governor Clement Shelter

Governor Clement Shelter, originally uploaded by carteca.

It seems a plan has been worked out to save this historic shelter. The local kids would throw huge parties making it unusable by the hiking community a few nights a year. The road that goes to the shelter will be gated and locked during most of the hiking season. I am sure it will reduce the trash in the area. There was a couch and several chairs behind the shelter last year. Kids will be kids.

A shelter was built near by on private property for use by the hiking community. I heard it is a great shelter. The guy whose yard it is in is supper friendly.

Here is an article about the details.

Backpackers on the Appalachian Trail and Vermont's Long Trail who tried to spend the night at the 1929 stone-walled shelter — one of the oldest shelters on either trail — found themselves interrupted by loud parties, and confrontations were not uncommon.

The shelter developed a national reputation. Appalachian Trail and Long Trail guidebooks, hiking Web sites and organizations warned people to stay away from the shelter because of the problems. Comments in online discussion groups and among locals suggested rerouting the road and even bulldozing the shelter.

The Least You Can Do
Mark Morford has some advice for the idiots that voted for Bush.

While you're at it, mention to your buds that the steaks they're eating are actually locally raised and grass-fed, not because you give a good goddamn about humane animal treatment or toxic industrial feedlots (though you really should), but because the meat tastes better and costs less and you wanna save some dough to, you know, buy more guns and porn. Hey, whatever works.

But don't stop there. Might as well tell your homies to throw their food scraps in your new compost bin, too, not because you care about garbage, but because you learned how to cultivate some great topsoil in which to grow your heirloom tomatoes for your famous spaghetti sauce for NASCAR night. Look at you! Actually caring about the health and the environment, but pretending not to! Hey, it's a start.

But really they need to address this simple reality.

But for now, let's be reasonable. After all, the sooner you realize that the world is, in fact, not America's bitch, that it's actually a living, humming organism, interconnected and interdependent in ways and on levels no organized religion or fear-based neocon political agenda can possibly comprehend, much less bomb into submission, well, the sooner we can get our collective s— together and move the human experiment forward once again.

And after what you've put us all through, it's the very least you could do.

Via Alternate Brain
Army To Lead Green Revolution
I do not know how serious the Army is but it does make some sense for them to go green.

FORT IRWIN, California (Reuters) - The U.S. military has a history of fostering change, from racial integration to development of the Internet. Now, Pentagon officials say their green energy efforts will help America fight global warming.

By size alone, the Defense Department can make waves. It accounts for 1.5 percent of U.S. energy consumption.

The military has set a goal that 25 percent of its energy should come from renewable sources by 2025 and aims to create machines and methods to help Main Street America reach similar targets, said Alan Shaffer, a retired Air Force officer who leads the Pentagon's research and engineering arm.

"It's only the Department of Defense that is big enough and has the federal mandate for the necessary scope of development" of new energy technologies and products, said Shaffer.

We need more large contractors to get involved, so that their bribes(campaign contributions) out weigh big oil's bribes. The republicans are so tied up with big oil that they fight any positive development by the government. The are the problem and will fight any reasonable solution to the oil addiction.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Quandary Peak

Quandry Peak, originally uploaded by armando10.

A hiker was found dead on Quandary Peak today.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Rescue workers found the body of missing hiker on Quandary Peak shortly after 1 p.m. today. The 31-year old man from Missouri was dead when rescuers found him; he had been missing since Wednesday afternoon.

The man, who had been vacationing in Breckenridge with his family, embarked on a short day hike from the Blue Lakes Trailhead Wednesday morning. When his family had not heard from him by 5:30 p.m. that evening they alerted search and rescue.

“We had 10 teams on the mountain Wednesday and we couldn’t find anything,” Summit County Search and Rescue public information officer Anna DeBatiste said.[...]

“According to his family, this guy was an experienced hiker and he had summited Quandary before,” DeBatiste said. “He knew what he was doing, so we don’t know what happened.”

My condolences to his friends and family.

Update: The hiker has been identified.

Summit County authorities think missing hiker Ryan Torpey, 31, a chef from Kansas City, Mo., fell to his death on Quandary Peak.

War or Car?
What could we do with the money we are spending in the sands of Iraq? Buy every house hold a Prius. Cover Vermont and New Hampshire in gold. Or my favorite buy the Irish enough beer to last a millennium.

Could be fun to watch.
Really Not Too Bright
About yesterdays mountain lion attack.
Kevin Lassiter told authorities he spotted a mother cougar and her cubs while walking Wednesday morning through Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Portola Hills. He said the mother cougar swiped at him with her paw, scratching him, when he tried to pet one of the cubs.
But a wildlife specialist with the Department of Fish and Game says Lassiter's wound is not consistent with an injury from a mountain lion attack.

He may be charged with making a false report. Idiot.
Sad To Hear
A young hiker fell on Mount Whitney.
LONE PINE, Calif.—A 16-year-old boy slipped and fell to his death Wednesday while hiking by a waterfall on a popular trail leading to the summit of Mt. Whitney, authorities said.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Department said the teenager was hiking with a youth group from Southern California around 11 a.m. when he fell at the falls at Whitney Portal, the main approach to the highest peak in the continental United States.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Lyrics not safe for work.
Via Susie
Not Too Bright
A man was attacked by a mountain lion after he petted her cubs.
Signs throughout the park warn that mountain lions live in the foothill wilderness. In 2004, a mountain biker was killed and another severely injured by a cougar in Whiting Ranch. The death of Mark Reynolds, 35, of Foothill Ranch, was the first in Orange County history and the only one statewide since 1994.

Today's attack happened about 8:30 a.m. a mile up the Borrego Trail. The hiker told authorities he came across a female lion and three cubs that he estimated were about 8 weeks old.

"He said they seemed so cute and cuddly and passive," Amormino said.

When he went to pet one of the cubs, the mother lunged at him -- and then ran off.

You just do not mess with animal's offspring. They get very protective.
Legal Weed Now Legal
Still Investigating
Something about the shooting of Pam Almli does not sit well with me.

Skagit County authorities continue to investigate an apparent hunting accident that left a 54-year-old woman dead.

On Saturday, a 14-year-old boy was hunting bear near Rockport when he shot and killed the woman, identified by The Associated Press as Pamela Almli.

The boy, who was hunting with his 16-year-old brother, told investigators that he mistook the woman for a bear, said Will Reichardt, chief criminal deputy of the Skagit County Sheriff's Department.

Reichardt said detectives are continuing to review the incident. No decision has been made on whether to refer the case for prosecution.

"We're looking at the evidence," Reichardt said. "We'll be meeting with the prosecutor and making a decision on charges later this week."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Missing Hiker
In Maryland.
Eighty-one-year-old Barbara Freund went hiking at Catoctin Mountain Park Monday.

She was last seen around 4:30 near Camp Misty Mount.

Search parties combed the area Monday night until about 11:30 and resumed their search Tuesday morning.

Lets hope they find her soon. The weather has not been to bad here in MD, but at her age she is at added risk of exposure.
Update: Alive and well. Good news!
Missing Hiker
In Oregon. The hiker, Dan Sims, was hiking near Detroit Lake.

A detailed radius search of the area began at 6 a.m. Monday, with more searchers joining the effort as the day wore on.

Vehicle patrols were expected to continue overnight Monday, and ground teams were expected to renew their search today, Myers said.

Half the searchers were on foot, while the other half traveled U.S. Forest Service roads on ATVs, Jeeps and SUVs.

Searchers confirmed that they found a set of footprints matching the shoes described as worn by Sims, Myers said. Crews also reported hearing whistling and human voices in the area.

Hopefully he will be all right.
Update: Wednesday afternoon: Sims flagged down a truck. A good but strange outcome.
Fruit Stickers

DSCN2234, originally uploaded by maryearly75.

I have been thinking about fruit stickers for a couple of days now. Eat Drink Better has a post about how to read the stickers on your fruits and vegetables. It is interesting.

On each sticker is a number. The number tells you how the fruit was grown.

A 4 digit number means it was conventionally grown (using chemicals).

A 5 digit number beginning with a 9 means it was grown organically.

A 5 digit number beginning with an 8 means it was genetically modified

But no information on what I really want to know. Why do cucumbers not have a sticker? All the other fruits and veggies do.

I say. But anyway, go Karl go! Karl Metzler is about to start his run of the Appalachian Trail. You can follow along at It will be interesting to watch via internet.
Karl have fun and good luck.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama, Brittany, Paris, and John

A great parody of the add from McCain.
Via Libby.
It Will Be A Long Time A Coming
The East Coast Greenway. I have never heard of it before. A nice article about the project.

Aiming to connect cities and towns of the East Coast with a continuous, traffic-free path, the East Coast Greenway spans 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. With nearly one-fifth of the ECG on traffic-free paths, and the rest mapped out on interim roads, people and communities all along the east coast are already enjoying the Greenway's benefits.
Frequently likened to an urban Appalachian Trail, the East Coast Greenway is the nation's first long-distance urban trail system; a city-to-city transportation corridor for cyclists, hikers, and other non-motorized users. By connecting existing and planned trails, a continuous, safe, green route 3,000 miles long is being formed linking Calais, Maine at the Canadian border with Key West, Florida. It incorporates waterfront esplanades, park paths, abandoned railroad corridors, canal towpaths, and highway corridors, and in many areas it temporarily follows streets and roads to link these completed trail sections together.

Already, 21 percent of this route is along off-road trail and the aim is for it to be entirely off-road and traffic-free. The East Coast Greenway Alliance will continue to work toward that end until it is 100 percent off-road. Obviously, that will take many years, much as the Appalachian Trail has taken decades to be moved off-road. Many people are surprised to learn that in the beginning, the Appalachian Trail was largely on roads too.

Good luck!

Trails Are Good For Business
The Great Allegheny Passage is proving to be good for businesses along the trail. It starts near Pittsburgh, in Mckeesport PA and runs about 150 miles to Cumberland MD. In Cumberland it meets up with the C&O Canal that runs 184.5 miles to Georgetown in Washington DC.
In 2007, Somerset County officials counted 31 new businesses started as a direct result of the Great Allegheny Passage. The Trail Town Program, an arm of the non-profit Progress Fund and supported by government and foundation money, helped start 11 new businesses last year alone. Halfway into 2008, Trail Town has aided eight more, and assisted with another two.

Hikers and bicyclers are good for these small towns.
An economic impact study conducted in 2007 determined the trail is generating $12.5 million in revenue and pouring more than $3 million in wages into trail-side communities.

Three million in wages goes a long way in small town's economy.
Via Tree Hugger.