The best articles, videos, and photos I didn't post this week—until now. If you only have time to click on two links, check out "BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay Over $4 Billion," from The New York Times, and "Tunnel Vision," a haunting and thoughtful look at a fatal avalanche, from Outside.
As Dave Vanderveen recovered from a car accident that could have killed him, he decided to return to mountain biking. The only problem was that the bones in his foot were shattered, and at least one of those bones looked like a bag of marbles. He needed something special for motivation, and his wife put up with an unusual bedroom request to make sure he had a muse. That last sentence sounds dirty, but the video is nothing of the sort. It's clean, short, beautifully edited, and you should watch it to get an idea of what an injured athlete has to go through to get back to singletrack.
It would be hard to dream up a better combo for an adventure movie that raises awareness about a water crisis than filmmaker Peter McBride and climber Jake Norton. McBride's film Chasing Water won the 2011 Banff Montain Film Short award for tracking Jonathan Waterman's source-to-sea paddle down the Colorado River. Along the way, McBride documented the changes the river has undergone since he was a boy living in its watershed. Norton is in the middle of an expedition called Challenge 21, a multi-year project to climb the three highest mountains on each of the seven continents to raise awareness about the world water crisis through Water For People. He's traveled to eight of those peaks so far.
In The Water Tower, the pair is joined by Kim Havell and others for a July 2012 expedition up Mount Kenya. The 17,057-foot peak provides roughly 70 percent of the nation's fresh water supply. Aside from an electrical storm the team had to weather on the mountain, they also faced plenty of challenges on the ground. For McBride, one of those tests was whether to drink the warm blood from a recently slit goat's neck during a Samburu warrior festival. "I didn't have the courage to tell these
warriors no," he says. "Keeping it together afterwards—belly gurgling—and going
back to shooting was trickier than I expected."
Farrell put together a proposal to start surveying the
coast, got the go ahead, and founded the Coastal Research Center
at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 1986.
He has conducted coastal surveys every spring and fall since. By late October, he was nearing the end of the 2012 fall monitoring. “But Sandy hit,” he
says. “Now we’re going back and seeing how much dune and beach are missing,
because somebody’s gotta come up with a number for how many cubic yards of
sand we’re going to need to fix things.”
Every morning since the hurricane struck, Farrell has driven
and walked the coast to survey the damage. That includes weekends. So far, he’s
captured Atlantic, Cape May, and Ocean counties. His groundwork will be
combined with aerial surveys and computer models that offer a fuller sense of
the damage, but even right now the effects of the storm are clear. “It’s the
worst event in my career, which goes back to the 1960s,” he says.
We called up Farrell this past Friday afternoon, after he
returned from surveying damage in the borough of Avalon, to find out more.