The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2012

Surfer Kelly Slater Wins Quiksilver Pro France

Slater_k0013quikeu12cestari_mSlater on the way to his tour victory number 51. Photo: ©ASP/Cestari

Surfer Kelly Slater nabbed his second straight ASP World Cup Tour victory of the year when he defeated wildcard Dane Reynolds in three-to-five foot waves during the final of the Quiksilver Pro France. “It has literally been 20 years,” Slater said. “I had my first win here 20 years ago and that’s pretty crazy."

The 40-year-old is on a quest to win his 12th world title. He climbed from third to second place in the overall standings with his victory, and is in the middle of a tight race with three events left to go.

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Electric Cars: More Harm Than Good?

A new study says that electric are often more environmentally hazardous than their combustion-engine counterparts. The research, conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, looked at the entire life of the cars—from production, to usage, to end-of-life breakdown—to determine their total impact on the environment. If coal was used to create the electricity in cars, the study found, greenhouse-gas emissions rose greatly. The toxic waste created in production of electric cars—from nickel, copper, and aluminum—was also much greater than in conventional-car production. According to the study, "The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles." However, if the electric car is produced using low-carbon sources, there is still potential for it to reduce emissions on the whole. "If you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle for its environmental benefits,” said the study’s co-author professor Anders Hammer Stromman, “first check your electricity source and second look closely at the warranty on the batteries."

Via BBC

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Rome Introduces Snack-Free Zones

In a move that Italian papers have dubbed, “War on the Sandwich,” the mayor of Rome, Gianni Allemanno, has declared it illegal to snack on or around the city’s many historical monuments. Pedestrians are allowed to walk and eat but if they stop and sit near the Piazza Navona fountain, the Colosseum, or the Pantheon with their food, they could face a fine of up to $650. The measure is targeted primarily at tourists who frequent the city in large numbers every year. An Italian police officer interviewed by NBC News had this to say: “I once caught a tourist chopping a watermelon in the fountain at Piazza Navona. Now we have a way to stop them.”

Via CNN

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Expedition Watch: Swimming the Missouri River

Tumblr_mb595ae3As1rrsp00Cornthwaite playing for the camera. Photo: DaveCornthwaite.com

On August 10, British adventurer Dave Cornthwaite hopped into the Missouri River near Chamberlain, South Dakota, with a 40-pound, gear-filled raft and started swimming south. Since then, he has stroked for roughly 12 hours a day while dragging the raft behind him. As he swims, he tries to avoid floating debris and tree branches lurking just under the surface of the water. The expedition is the seventh installment of his quest to complete 25 journeys of 1,000 miles or more without assistance from motorized transport. He got the idea for his latest gig while stand-up paddling the Mississippi River just north of Saint Louis, Missouri. "I looked up a short stretch of the river and thought, One day, my friend," said Cornthwaite. "Then my mum got me some swimming goggles for Christmas and I thought I better use them well."

We emailed Cornthwaite a day before the end of his journey to find out a bit more.

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78-Year-Old Arrested Blocking Pipeline

A 78-year-old great-grandmother from Texas was arrested for trespassing on her own farm as she attempted to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline alongside actress Daryl Hannah. Eleanor Fairchild and Hannah stood in front of heavy machinery that was being brought in to begin work on Fairchild's 300-acre ranch, part of which has been seized under eminent domain for Keystone. "We just sort of stood in front of them and held our hands in a stop motion," said Hannah, adding that a private security guard hired by TransCanada had injured her wrist. The pair face charges of criminal tresspassing, with Hannah facing an additional charge of resisting arrest. The incident marked Hannah's second arrested in 12 months for protesting Keystone.

Via Detroit Free Press

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