The Outside Blog

Dispatches : May 2012

High-Powered Pocket Cam: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX66

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Are you looking for the ultimate in-between camera, more than you get with your iPhone but without the weight and bulk of a manual shooting SLR? Sony's new ultra-slim, credit-card-sized, AA-battery-thick shooter may be just the ticket. The Cyber-Shot DSC-TX66, while not a model name that is easy to recall, comes with features that make it more than memorable.

The TX66 is equpped with an 18MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and a 24mm equivalent Carl Zeiss lens with 5x optical zoom. What does all that mean? With you—or in spite of you—this camera takes great pictures, good enough to make really nice prints when you return from that trip you just took it on. It focuses fast, even in low light, where this little cam scores high for shooting ability. And once you've captured the moment, you can view your art on a screen that's nearly as big as the camera—about 3.3 inches.

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'The Cove' May Offer Whale and Dolphin Swims

Soon, you may be able to swim in the same waters where local Japanese hunters slaughter whales and dolphins. That probably won't be the slogan for the town of Taiji, in Wakayama prefecture. But the city featured in the documentary The Cove has applied for a permit so they can put a net across Moriura Bay in order to create a park where residents and tourists can swim with dolphins and whales. Before you jump to the conclusion that this will be a nice activity to take the place of their annual marine mammal hunt, there's this from the Herald Sun:

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Is Adrien Niyonshuti the Best Story of the 2012 Olympics?

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Adrien Niyonshuti. Photo: Ryan Heffernan

The physical measurements of Rwandan cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti suggest a world class athlete: 139 pounds, a VO2 max of around 75ml/kg/min (Lance Armstrong scores an 84), a haematocrit in the 46-49 percent range, 5.5 percent body fat, and the ability to sustain a power output of more than five watts/kg for several hours. Those attributes will have nothing to do with your desire to cheer for him during the cross-country mountain bike race in London. 

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Project Transport+: A National Bike Month Challenge

TrekTransport+_LoadedProject Transport+: We don't need no stinkin' car, even for shuttling two test bikes to the bike shop.

National Bike Month began yesterday. It's an annual push by the League of American Bicyclists to celebrate and promote all things bicycling, and it's probably best known for Bike to Work Week, which culminates this year on Bike to Work Day (May 14). I love this event because for a few short days there's an appreciable spike in bike traffic on the roads and motorists are generally more courteous to cyclists. There are festivals and seminars and Critical Mass Rides all over the country, and for a brief moment the world seems like it's moving in the right direction. I mean honestly, does anyone really enjoy sitting in a car in traffic?

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Building Better Board Shorts

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Surf shorts don’t offer a lot of support when you’re going from paddling out to riding a tube. Or they haven't—until now.

Oakley’s new Blade II Board Shorts have two parts. On the outside, they're all board—everything you would expect: quick-dry and stretchy with welded seams and a waterproof zip pocket. On the inside, they're high-performance compression shorts. The inner short reduces microvibration that can damage muscle fibers. It's chafe-free, and designed to increase your power, balance and endurance. And if you’re aching for the freedom that typical board shorts offer, the compression shorts snap out.

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