The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Politics

Unplugging Runners, One State at a Time

Ipod runner Courtesy of Flickr

Runners in New York and Arkansas might soon find themselves unplugged, according to the Associated Press. Lawmakers in the two states have proposed restrictions on pedestrians operating electronic devices, such as iPods or cell phones, while using sidewalks and streets.

State legislators in Arkansas hope to ban walkers, runners and cyclists from wearing headphones in both ears. In New York, the law would target people using crosswalks; wearing an electronic device while crossing the street might result in a $100 civil fine.

So, if you're considering running the New York City or Little Rock marathons, better start training sans music.

--Whitney Dreier

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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


Number 9: Andy Irons Autopsy Inconclusive


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


Number 6: The Gear Junkie: Columbia Sportswear 2011

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


Number 4: Christopher McDougall's Top 4 Running Tips


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


Number 2: Remembering Andy Irons


Number 1: 10 Things You Should Know About 127 Hours


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Rockies Wolves Remain on Endangered Species List

Picture 2

Courtesy of dobak on Flickr.

Wolves in the Rockies will remain on the Endangered Species List despite growing controversy over their protection, the Associated Press reports. Negotiations between the Obama administration and lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming - where most of the wolf population is found - over the delisting of wolves have broken down.

The issue of federal protection has become a point of contention especially among ranchers in the Rockies region. Since wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone, they have enjoyed a population bloom and have begun harassing livestock with increasing frequency as their habitat has expanded beyond the park.

While plans to manage the population of the predator in Montana and Idaho were previously approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that presented by Idaho remains an obstacle. In August, a federal judge ruled that none of the Rockies wolves could be delisted while Idaho had an unacceptable management strategy. So wolves will remain behind a government aegis, at least for now.

More on the delisting controversy and Yellowstone Wolf Project can be found in our November Natural Intelligence column.

--Riley Blanton

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Fish Feel Pain Too

Little Nemo is looking at you. (Photo courtesy of Shek Graham on Flickr.)

The next time you go fishing, you might want to take a moment to consider how the fish feels before you bop one on the head or hook it through its gills, Discovery News reports.

According to a new book by Penn State professor Victoria Braithwaite, fish can experience pain and humans can cause fish to suffer. Braithwaite began studying fish cognisance when she realized that by 2030, half of all fish consumed by humans will come from fish farms.

So should farm fish have the same protections as do other commercially farmed animals? Will knowing that the fish you just hooked and threw back might suffer from PTSD keep you from fishing?

Thanks to Treehugger for the heads up.

--Erin Beresini

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Stuff You Should Click On: Week of December 3

A wolf in stilettos was crossing Iceland on his way to Vegas, got stopped at a traffic light and injured his Achilles, while Dolly the Sheep was speedflying in France. Sounds like a job for Leslie Nielson. Or something like that.  Here's the stuff you should click on this week.

One Way to Spend Your Holiday Break:

New Traffic Lights?
LEDs Make Clever Interactive Traffic Light Design Possible (Treehugger)

Synchronized Swimming. In Vegas?
Synchronized Swimming as a Show (New York Times)

Across Iceland (with a little Hendrix)

The Case For:
Exercise Often Enough for Achilles Injury Recovery (Reuters)

The Case Against:
Extreme Long-Distance Running Can Damage the Body (Reuters)

Dolly Déjà vu: A Glitch in the Matrix?
Dolly the Sheep: Alive and Well (NewScientist)

Really? Really.
Hiking High Heel Hybrids (Trend Hunter)

Hungry Like the Wolf:
U.S. Wants to Lift Protections for Wolf and Grizzly (Reuters)

Shirley, He Will Be Missed:
Leslie Nielsen, 84, Romantic Hero Turned Comic, Dies (New York Times)


--Michael Webster

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