Once a year, from 1975 to 1978, skateboarders in pursuit of speed and recognition gathered in Signal Hill, California, to race down a roughly 30-degree slope. Actually, after the first couple of years, contestants in the annual Signal Hill Speed Run weren't so much skateboarders as speed junkies in small-wheeled crafts of variable designs bombing down a road surrounded by thousands of spectators. The event began after a producer for The Guinness Book of World Records television show called the head of the U.S. Skateboard Association and asked for a competition fit for television. As one can imagine, a large number of unqualified contestants pushing the boundaries of design and speed in proximity to a large crowd led to plenty of record runs, a wild party, and a whole lot of accidents.
On January 31 at the SIA Snowsports Show in Denver, Colorado, sports design company Giro will introduce its first soft-shell helmet. Using new impact absorbing materials, Giro promises that this helmet will provide riders with durability and protection across a wide range of impact types, and even when the helmet takes multiple hits over the course of an event, a season, or even multiple seasons.
Last week I was at Canyons Resort in Utah on official Outside business, and for the first time in months, I had to leave my children behind. Solo traveling has its pros and cons. On one hand, without little bodies pattering into my bedroom at 3 a.m. or hollering “Rise and Shine!” while it’s still black as night outside, the assignment was surprisingly relaxing. I actually came home more rested than when I’d left. On the other, it’s a kind of strange to find yourself at the epicenter of family adventure without, well, your own family.
Then again, because I wasn’t spending every free second bundling little ones into snowsuits and wrangling their gear, I had time to dial in the details on a sweet family ski trip.
On January 15, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology announced that it had converted its Macauley Library sound archive into a digital catalog that anyone can click. "Our audio collection is the largest and the oldest in the world," said Macaulay Library director Mike Webster. "Now, it’s also the
The institution said the new digital archive will help expert and amateur birders and other naturalists train, offer video and audio editors a place to find specific sounds, and allow the library to assemble a larger collection. "Now that we’ve digitized the previously archived analog recordings, the
archival team is focusing on new material from amateur and professional
recordists from around the world to really, truly build the
collection," said audio curator Greg Budneyaid.
Here's a bit more about the sounds that have been collected and digitized, with a selection of some of the best recordings and a look at the numbers.