I spend a good bit of time reading outdoor related news on the interwebs. As a professional blogger, I feel compelled to spend some portion of the day I'm getting paid by someone else for other work I do trolling the world wide webs for outdoor related scoops to dish out to my ravenous audience. Well, there was something about this recent headline that caught my eye, "Secret Slaughterhouse Pipeline Fills Texas Creek With Pig Blood."
Yep, In Texas - a state not exactly known for its great environmental stewardship - a pig slaughterhouse buried a pipe that carried raw pig blood from the plant into a nearby creek. And yes, even in Texas, this is definitely illegal. The pipe, and pig blood in the water, wasn't discovered by intrepid agency personnel sleuthing out nefarious slaughterhouses. It was instead discovered by an amateur drone pilot, out flying his own drone with a camera mounted for fun. He noticed the red creek and reported it to local agencies, which then discovered the pipe.
Well, maybe this happened in the far flung corners of Texas, you say…No, not quite. Reports indicate this was near Dallas. The good news is that a random citizen uncovered this utterly disgusting travesty before officials finished developing a recreation area near the creek where folks will fish and picnic. But not long before folks playing in the man-made water park in downtown Dallas had the pleasure of playboating in diluted pig blood. I hear it gives your boffs a whole new feel.
Here's what really sets this story apart. The company claims it installed the pipe because the city had failed to clear a drain in the municipal waste-water system and they could no longer dump blood, flesh, and hair into the drain. The city acknowledges the drain clog, but is still investigating the company for illegally dumping pig blood into the creek. So in Texas, meat packing companies on the outskirts of a massive city can dump offal into the municipal drain system…Wow. Thank God he made Rick Perry dumb enough to be governor of Texas but too dumb to be President of the U.S.
Anyone who has "climbed" Half Dome in Yosemite, knows it's a bit of a zoo. OK, that's being kind, it's a f-ing mess. At peak times, 400 people use the cables installed by the Park Service to march their way to the top, experiencing the solitude and beauty of Yosemite with 399 of their closest friends. Accidents happen and there have been accusations that the number of people not only decreases the quality of the experience, but increases safety concerns and incidents of accidents.
So in a bid to better manage the throngs summiting Half Dome, Yosemite has proposed cutting the permit numbers from 400 to 300 as its preferred management alternative in its recent plan to address Half Dome. The other alternatives include: leaving the cable system and keeping 400 permits per day, leaving the cable system and reducing permits to 140, removing the cable system entirely, and returning to the good old days when no permit was required to clamber up the cables. As I mentioned, the Park's preferred alternative is limiting permits to 300 a day and leaving in the cables. You can comment on the plan at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/halfdome. I'm pretty sure I know which alternative John Muir would prefer, and it's not the one the Park prefers.
Both my boys have one of these. Great bag for kids. Have kept them warm
camping on California Coast and the High Sierra. Excellent price.
Usually cost about $100 a pop, so with your dividend refund, at only $57.93, you're
talking +45% off. Make it happen.
Crap, two app posts in a row. I've been drinking the poison and it's clearly effecting me. This one, unlike yesterday's post, might actually be super useful…if it works.
A new GPS enabled app promises the world, but can it deliver? The ViewRanger app has been available in Europe since 2006, and is now available in the U.S. for Android and iOS devices (I'm not sure, but I think that's geek code for iPhones and iPads). The app combines GPS tracking and mapping capabilities with access to a full set of USGS topo or shaded terrain topo maps. Included with the maps are 250,000 miles of trails and in-app trail guides developed by Monasha Ridge Press and Wilderness Press to help provide all the beta for your next hike. The guides provide directions, trail descriptions, and photos and are pinned to the routes for purchasing for $0.70 to $1.00 apiece. Like any GPS unit, you can pre-program your route or have the app track your travels and guide you back.
You can access less formal trail info through ViewRanger's online network if you don't want to blow 70 cents. Let's see, you also get an integrated sports computer that calculates your trip time, speed, altitude gained and distance traveled. You can find your pals through a Buddy Beacon which allows you to share your location with them, display their location, and even Tweet your deepest thoughts.
What's truly impressive about this app is the company's apparent lack of profit motive. They're selling it for $4.99. Yep, that's right - 5 bucks gets you an advanced GPS unit that tracks your whereabouts, has links to high quality guide content, lets you connect with friends, etc. No word on how much of your battery it sucks, or how well it works with questionable service, but if it's gentle on the juice and performs as reported, it could very well become the must have app for all you smart phone folks out there. If you're interested, there's a promo video below. Via Gizmag
Coloradans like to point to their healthy lifestyle as the reason they have the lowest obesity rates in the country. Sounds
right intuitively, but what if it was.....wrong. What if the only reason Coloradans
were skinny was because it was cold there. A new study finds that
certain fats called brown fat, actually reduce the amounts of other fat
in people's bodies when it's cold.
It is brown fat, actually brown in color, and its great appeal is that it burns calories like a furnace. A new study finds that one form of it, which is turned on when people get cold, sucks fat out of the rest of the body to fuel itself. Another new study finds that a second form of brown fat can be created from ordinary white fat by exercise.
A collaborative project by Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty. What
started as an idea turned into an ongoing adventure to timelapse
Yosemite in a extreme way.
We were complete strangers before it all started, but after we met on
Vimeo our idea came into sight, and then began the challenge to make
numerous trips to YNP where we would capture the beautiful landscape it
offers for visitors every year.
Love the beach, love the surf, not so sure about your love for getting eaten by a Great White shark. Well, guess what…there's an app for that! Which is good, because shark attacks are on the rise…da dumm, da dumm.
The new Expedition White Shark app for iPad and iPhone put out by the Marine Conservation Science Institute lets folks track tagged Great Whites in pretty close to real-time. For just $3.99, you too can follow Bruce, a shark well-known by cage divers, or Junior, or Amy, or several other sharks.
Researchers have been tagging Great Whites for a while now. They decided to clue the public into their movements to raise funds for additional research. Of course there's a few caveats. Apparently the transmitters only work when the shark is finning for several moments, and even then, can only be received if the satellite is pretty much directly above it.
Seems like it must be tough to get many hits with a system like this, but over time researchers are building a pretty good foundation of knowledge about some of the estimated 220 adult Great Whites living off the North Pacific Coast. Females hang less close to the shore, spending more time in the deep ocean, while males like to hang closer inland, hunting sea lions and surfers.
Long story short, this app might not actually provide real time warnings for pending shark encounters, but for $3.99, it's a cool way to help fund shark research.