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Science : Media

Sign of the Rapture: Hincapie Accuses Armstrong


Today's reports that George Hincapie has flipped on Lance Armstrong don't bode well for the seven-time Tour de France winner (and frequent Outside cover subject). Unlike previous Armstrong accusers Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, Hincapie didn't go public with his accusations—he reportedly told federal investigators, not a TV or newspaper reporter, that he witnessed Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs. And unlike Hamilton and Landis—both of whom were suspected of doping long before they came clean— Hincapie has a sterling reputation, no ax to grind, and no feasible way to profit from accusing Lance. Hincapie and Armstrong were best friends. This is akin to Andy Pettite testifying against Roger Clemens, Kathy Hoskins testifying against Barry Bonds. So, how will Armstrong respond? An hour ago, he tweeted that he was going to meet with the Nike Livestrong team. The dam may be breached. —ABE STREEP

@abestreep

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How the Seasons Affect Fitness Motivation

The Emotional Calendar Dr. John R. Sharp, who teaches at Harvard and UCLA, has been practicing psychiatry for two decades. He brings his wisdom to the masses with The Emotional Calendar, a book of case studies and advice on recognizing and understanding the annual cycle of your emotions in relation to the four seasons. Here’s a re-cap of the Doc’s main pointers and how to tailor them for a healthy, active lifestyle throughout the year.

Motivation: It’s hard to get yourself out the door to train in the dead of winter or the dog days of summer. When you feel a lack of motivation, acknowledge it, identify how the weather outside affects you, then figure out how to make yourself accountable for getting a move on. A simple way to do this is to set up regular training dates with a buddy. 

Thought patterns: When you start thinking you can’t, nip that thought in the bud. Defeatist thinking naturally happens when we’re tried physically, mentally, or emotionally. It’s important to notice when these thoughts pop into your head so you can counteract them with self-motivating, positive thoughts. Simply put, tell yourself: "Yes, I can." And believe it.

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Carl Safina: The View from Lazy Point

Lazy-Point-Cover Carl Safina is a critically acclaimed ecologist and marine conservationist whose latest book is The View from Lazy Point. You can check out Bruce Barcott’s review in our January issue. We caught up with the MacArthur "genius" award winner to chat about Lazy Point and what’s so unnatural about the world that we live in.

How long have you been a scientist, and what drew you to ecology and marine conservation?
By my nature, I was drawn to science and wanted to "be a scientist" when I was 7 or so. I grew up near seawater on Long Island so naturally gravitated to the docks and bays and boats and birds, doing a lot of fishing and crabbing.

All of college and grad school was science training—which I largely paid for by playing drums. Then I worked a decade studying seabirds, a decade advancing improved fisheries policies, and a decade writing books about how the oceans are changing and what the changes mean for wildlife and for people. But now I feel that my work is more about humanity’s relationship with the rest of the living world and the future.

This book functions as both elegy and advocacy. What's the main message you want people to remember from it?
That nature and human dignity require each other. In my travels I slowly came to see this. I’m interested in conserving nature, so it took me a while to see that saving nature from people is also saving it for people. For an extreme example, think of Haiti. Bad government, no freedom, no dignity, and as a result they destroyed their forest and land. And now the resulting poverty is a terrible trap. They have no remaining natural resources from which to draw a future, rebuild, or envision a path out. No dignity, no nature; no nature, no dignity. That dynamic is visible in a lot of places, and it’s at the root of some of the world’s recent strife.

And yet, the world still brims with life. There is so much left, but there is only so much left, and that means the stakes are high. I sense it in the migrations of birds and fishes and whales and others that surround us in the course of a natural year at Lazy Point. Their energy brings me sanity, solace, delight, and hope.

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Fools For Nature

Species Seekers jacket

In the early 18th century, only a few thousand species were known, the word “scientist” didn’t exist, and, according to Richard Conniff, “even educated people still inhabited a jabberwocky world in which monsters abounded.” Conniff’s ninth book, The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth (Norton, $27) is an account of the great age of discovery of the natural world.

The story begins in 1735, when Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus creates a species classification system; for the next 200 years, it’s a mad race to scientific and religious glory as naturalists shed light on God's creation, reclaiming a mastery of nature lost in Eden.

Fans of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything will appreciate Conniff’s anecdotal romp through the strange history of naturalism. Absurd characters, exciting discoveries, and fierce rivalries abound.

Conniff delights in recounting the quirky resilience of the early naturalists, those "fools to nature." Take Edward Baker, a British ornithologist in the early 20th century who was tossed by bison, trampled by a rhinoceros, and lost his left arm down a leopard’s throat. (He died, peacefully, at home at age 79.)

Other 19th-century seekers, such as British taxidermist Charles Waterton and French-American explorer Paul Du Chaillu, traveled through South America and Africa, searching for critters such as caimans and gorillas, enduring fevers and venomous flies, and captivating the public with their wild tales. “Naturalists,” Conniff writes, “became the heroic type of the day, like knights-errant in the Middle Ages.”

Caught up in the improbable stories of The Species Seekers—in the Battle of Alcañiz in Spain, French Colonel and coleopterist P.F.M.A. Dejean dismounted amidst flying bullets to collect a beetle before launching an attack—it’s easy to feel nostalgic for a lost era of curiosity and exploration. Nature seems to have exhausted its surprises. But Conniff offers a little hope to the next generation of would-be seekers: “Out of our present apocalypse, strange new species will populate Planet Earth…and children not yet born will again grow up to know the incomparable delight of discovering new species.”

--Nick Davidson

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Book Review: The Species Seekers

Species Seekers jacket In the early 18th century, only a few thousand species were known, the word “scientist” didn’t exist, and, according to Richard Conniff, “even educated people still inhabited a jabberwocky world in which monsters abounded.” Conniff’s ninth book, The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth (Norton, $27) is an account of the great age of discovery of the natural world.

The story begins in 1735, when Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus creates a species classification system; for the next 200 years, it’s a mad race to scientific and religious glory as naturalists shed light on God's creation, reclaiming a mastery of nature lost in Eden.

Fans of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything will appreciate Conniff’s anecdotal romp through the strange history of naturalism. Absurd characters, exciting discoveries, and fierce rivalries abound.

Conniff delights in recounting the quirky resilience of the early naturalists, those "fools to nature." Take Edward Baker, a British ornithologist in the early 20th century who was tossed by bison, trampled by a rhinoceros, and lost his left arm down a leopard’s throat. (He died, peacefully, at home [no indication of cause in obituary--old age?] at age 79.)

Other 19th-century seekers, such as British taxidermist Charles Waterton and French-American explorer Paul Du Chaillu, traveled through South America and Africa, searching for critters such as caimans and gorillas, enduring fevers and venomous flies, and captivating the public with their wild tales. “Naturalists,” Conniff writes, “became the heroic type of the day, like knights-errant in the Middle Ages.”

Caught up in the improbable stories of The Species Seekers—in the Battle of Alcañiz in Spain, French Colonel and coleopterist P.F.M.A. Dejean dismounted amidst flying bullets to collect a beetle before launching an attack—it’s easy to feel nostalgic for a lost era of curiosity and exploration. Nature seems to have exhausted its surprises. But Conniff offers a little hope to the next generation of would-be seekers: “Out of our present apocalypse, strange new species will populate Planet Earth…and children not yet born will again grow up to know the incomparable delight of discovering new species.”

--Nick Davidson

Read More

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