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Dispatches : Celebrities

Skydiving Naked Isn't That Sexy

At least that's what the world's sexiest skydiver says. Italian Roberta Mancino appeared on Conan O'Brien last night to reveal that jumping out of a plane naked isn't that enjoyable. Every part of your body fluctuates in frantic waves while falling. It can hurt, especially in those places not normally exposed.

Skydiving naked four times certainly hasn't hurt Mancino's status. The 29-year-old skydiver and BASEjumper recently appeared on E:60 (below) and in Men's Fitness—as the "hottest sports babe ever".

The nudity certainly isn't the only reason she gets noticed. She's joined her boyfriend, Jeb Corliss, for some BASE jumping and proximity flying. Next she wants to jump off of the Dubai tower in a BASE suit and circle it on the way down. Then she wants to jump out of a plane and re-enter it as it dives.

--Joe Spring
@joespring

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Elvis Revives Marathon Runner

Elvis An anesthesiologist dressed as Elvis Presley revived a marathon runner after the runner passed out in a Las Vegas restaurant, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Dr. Claudio Palma ran the Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon on Sunday dressed as Elvis. He got married at a run-through chapel at mile two, crossed the finish line, then settled in at a booth in Mandalay Place's Burger Bar to celebrate his marriage and his race. When a woman passed out in the restaurant, he sprang into action, jumpsuit, sideburns, scarf and all.

He performed CPR on the woman. When she came to, Palma told the Review-Journal, "She was giving me a weird look and telling me she was okay."

Read the whole story here.

-Erin Beresini

Photo courtesy of howieluvzus on Flickr.
Note: This is not Dr. Palma. It is a random Elvis.

 

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Top 10 Blogs from November

What did you miss last month? A lot. Pay attention next time. Or, just check back at the beginning of each month for a round-up of the top 10 blogs from the previous month, like this one.

Number 10 (a tie!):

Stuff You Should Click On: Week of November 12

Attack of the Mama Grizzly

Palin

Number 9: Andy Irons Autopsy Inconclusive

Irons

Number 8: The Gear Junkie: World's Warmest Winter Coat

[Editor's note: We didn't say Most Stylish.]

  CoatNumber 7: Surfer Alana Blanchard Makes 2011 Tour

Alana

Number 6: The Gear Junkie: Columbia Sportswear 2011

Columbia Number 5: Jared [The Subway Guy] Fogle's Marathon Training


Jared

Number 4: Christopher McDougall's Top 4 Running Tips

Fogle

Number 3: The Gear Junkie: The Top 10 Gear Picks of 2010

Gear

Number 2: Remembering Andy Irons

Andy

Number 1: 10 Things You Should Know About 127 Hours

James

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Racing Triathlons Blind: A Lesson in Dodging Blobs

Professional triathlete Aaron Scheidies was born with a hereditary condition has left the 28-year old with only 10 percent of his vision. In 2007, he became the only disabled athlete to break two hours in an international distance triathlon (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run), breaking a world record. In 2010, he broke that record, finishing Ohio's Sylvania Triathlon in 1:57:21. Below, Scheidies shares what it's like to race blind.

It's race morning and all of the triathletes are strolling into the transition area with their tricked out bikes. All heads turn and commotion stirs when an unusual bike rolls by them. As my guide directs the bike toward our designated area, whispers begin. Some athletes are so curious and confused that they come up and start asking questions. Over my ten years in the sport of triathlon I have heard it all:
 
“Can you explain this, I am a little confused.” 
“There is a tandem division?”
“We should do a team like them next time.”
“So, who sits on the front of the bike?”

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Kayaking Africa: Down the Mysterious Rusizi River

Ben paddles below crowd
The following dispatch is from extreme kayaker, Ben Stookesberry, a member of the First Ascent kayak team. They are currently on an expedition in Africa to make a first descent of the Lukuga River.

Rusizi River: The Great Connection
Six months ago, when trip leader Hendri Coetzee first mentioned a "waterfall-strewn river that flows from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganika" over a muddled Skype connection, Chris Korbulic and I became obsessed. This was the chance to be the first to navigate a major headstream of the Congo basin that joined two of Africa's Great Lakes. While the main goal of the expedition was to make the first descent of the 200 mile long Lukuga River that drains Lake Taganika into the Congo, making the first descent of the main inflow to Tanganika would be an amazing bonus.

Big ones on Rusisi
Google Maps/Earth is the number one tool of the modern expedition kayaker; not more than a minute after Hendri's intriguing suggestion, Chris and I were looking at high res satellite photos of the crux canyon of the Rusizi River. The images showed long white streaks locked into a deep canyon, indicating one to two-kilometer sections of cataracts that dropped over 700 meters--more than 2300 feet--between two of the deepest lakes on the African continent. (See image of the Rusizi above.)

But there was a problem. No matter how far we zoomed in, a pesky yellow line kept rendering and re-rendering the course of the river: an international border. And not just any international border, but the one that separates the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Rwanda, and further south, the DRC from Burundi. Over the following months of planning, Hendri penciled, then erased, and then re-penciled the Rusizi onto the itinerary as information about crossing the border reached Hendri's home base on the White Nile in Uganda from the Upper Congo.

IRC Security Briefing: Bukavu, DRC
To be honest, I understood very little of the potential ramifications of an attempt on the Rusizi until a few days ago when I was in a security briefing from the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

"Last week at least 25 cadavers were pulled out of Rusizi river in Burundi" the IRC's Swiss-born security attaché said. "I would highly recommend that you avoid the Burundi section of river. If something happens out there, there is simply no recourse and no turning back." With that, he looked at us with a wide-eyed stare that seemed to probe us to make sure that what he said was understood.

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