Strava, the bike and run tracking system, is using their database to create Strava Metro, to sell to urban planners for commute data. But unless you're the Oregon DoT, London, or Alpine Shire, you might find the Strava bike and run heatmaps more useful. [more inside]
With incisor-like claws that can tunnel beneath your skin in seconds, ticks are rapidly establishing themselves as the Swiss Army knife of disease vectors. Carl Zimmer walks into the woods to find out why these tiny beasts appear to be skyrocketing in number – and outsmarting environmental scientists trying to control them with every bite.
"No GPS or weather reports—just a sailboat, the wild open ocean, and the constellations. Think you could find your way across the South Pacific? James Campbell rides along with a master navigator in the Caroline Islands, where they’ve been sailing this way for thousands of years." [more inside]
Remember that replica of HMS Bounty that went down in the middle of Hurricane Sandy? If you've ever asked yourself why a replica wooden sailing ship was in the middle of a hurricane, Outside has your answer.
If you've never done the Wingate-cycle test, let me try to explain what it feels like: It feels like your legs are giving birth. It feels like you've got an eight-martini hangover in your calves. Your face contorts like a porn star in an AVN-award-winning threesome scene. You emit noises that resemble feedback at a thrash-metal concert. Maybe your eyes are closed and you're rocking your head back and forth. The upside: It's over in 30 seconds. ... I rode the Wingate cycle as part of my research on a surprising and potentially life-altering theory called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Think of it as the Evelyn Wood of exercise. The idea is that lightning-quick intense workouts might be as good for you as — if not better than — longer medium-intensity workouts.[more inside]
The sky is a deep cobalt blue; coconut palms, orange-limbed and yellow-fringed, sway in the steady trade winds. There are still breadfruit trees and pandanus trees and flame trees with brilliant red blossoms. Two hundred yards to the north, a coral reef meets the full, transparent blue violence of the Pacific. There is just one problem, though you could stare at this palm grove for a lifetime and never see it. The soil under our feet, whitish gray in color with flecks of coral, contains a radioactive isotope called cesium 137. In high enough doses, it can burn you and kill you quickly; at lower levels, it just takes longer to do the job, eventually causing cancer.(via)
American Gladiators: "The masochistic sport of obstacle racing has exploded in popularity. Nick Heil tries to understand why so many are signing up for the misery." [more inside]
"When Robert Wood Jr. disappeared in a densely forested Virginia park, searchers faced the challenge of a lifetime. The eight-year-old boy was autistic and nonverbal, and from his perspective the largest manhunt in state history probably looked like something else: the ultimate game of hide-and-seek." [more inside]
THE VANISHING: 'In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women—by some estimates, many more—have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. BOB FRIEL drives into the darkness for answers.' [more inside]
Raising the Dead:'At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.'
Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
First, Do A Little Less Harm: "As Mark Jenkins knows, wilderness first aid can hurt. (Just ask his patients.) So he finally did what everyone should do: he took a class from real experts." [more inside]
Who Pinched My Ride? "Stolen bicycles have become a solvent in America’s underground economy, a currency in the world of drug addicts and petty thieves." Outside's Patrick Symmes tells his story of loss(es), frustration and the failures of modern technology. [more inside]