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Dispatches : Adventure Lab

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, by the Numbers

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season in 4 minutes and 28 seconds. Video: NOAA Visualization Lab

Today marks the end of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, one of the busiest and costliest storm seasons in U.S. history. This season tied 2010 and 2011 for third place all time with 19 named storms, making the three-year span a rare, extended period of high activity.

In 2012, there were 19 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes and one of which became a major hurricane. NOAA classified the year as "above normal" based on the number, intensity, and duration of all tropical storms and hurricanes, saying that 10 seasons exceeded 2012 in the last three decades in terms of the combined effect of the three previously mentioned factors. The only major hurricane of the year was Michael, a Category III storm that died out over the Atlantic Ocean, but the storm that people will talk about when they mention 2012 is, of course, Sandy.

“This year proved that it’s wrong to think that only major hurricanes can ruin lives and impact local economies,” said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We are hopeful that after the 2012 hurricane season, more families and businesses all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts become more ‘weather ready’ by understanding the risks associated with living near the coastline.”

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Adventure Video of the Week: Into the Mind

How deep can an action-packed adventure movie get? A new bar has been set, at least for teaser video and text.

Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres depict the connectivity of Earth, and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led up the path of self-actualization.

As Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Into the Mind is about becoming.

 This week, Sherpas Cinema, the makers of All.I.Can, just released the above psychedelic dollop so audiences could get a taste of Into the Mind, their new feature film set to debut in the fall of 2013. The ambitious new flick asks a number of big questions, and will go to some of the most recognizable names in the adventure sports world to find answers, including skier J.P. Auclair, climber Jimmy Chin, snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue, and kayaker Rush Sturges.

After trying to wrap my head around the teaser—at least that's my excuse for spending an afternoon watching and rewatching the video and reading and rereading the text—I called up and emailed co-directors Dave Mossop and Eric Crosland to find out more.

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Holiday Gift Idea #1: A One-Person Remote Control Helicopter

If you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything, consider giving an IOU note with HX-1 written on it. That's the name of toymaker Hirobo's one-person, single-seat, remote control electric helicopter, which won't be ready until at least next year. The wait is a good thing for several reasons, one being the craft is expected to hit the market with a price of $375,000. It would take a while for 99 percent of the population to save up and buy it.

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The B.A.S.I.C.S. of Avalanche Awareness

The idea for the five-part B.A.S.I.C.S. series hit J.T. Holmes after a friend of his died who shouldn't have. "This person simply made a bad choice, chose an objective on a mountain that was completely above his skill set," says Holmes. "He was doomed before even saying, Ready, set, go. The idea to take action and found the B.A.S.I.C.S. program spurred from wanting to prevent those accidents which can be avoided."

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A New School Ode to an Old School Adventure Craftsman

Backlund1"Working at the Cheat Suite." Photo: Janis LeMieux

Roughly a month ago, on the evening of October 25, master woodworker and paddlemaker Keith Backlund took his last breath in the Stalker, Pennsylvania, home where he grew up. Since then, a stream of remembrances and condolences have rippled across the Web.

A few important things can be learned about Backlund from the on-point obituary written by Charlie Walbridge for American Whitewater. He was born in the Pocono mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. He began making wood paddles after taking up whitewater kayaking. He founded the mainstream paddle companies Woodlight and Viking. He made sure to share whatever he learned with a number of apprentices. He was one of a kind. "He knew wood and woodworking better than anyone we know and his paddles were probably the finest ever produced," wrote Walbridge.

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