March 15, 2012
Felix Baumgartner prepares to jump on March 15, 2012

Felix Baumgartner prepares to jump on March 15, 2012     Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

Baumgartner Makes Test Jump

Skydiver leaps from 13.6 miles above Roswell

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner leaped from a balloon at an altitude of 13.6 miles on Thursday in Roswell, New Mexico, in a practice jump for a planned attempt later this summer at a a skydiving altitude record. Baumgartner, 42, was in free fall for three minutes and 43 seconds before pulling his rip cord, according to a spokeswoman for the project. Baumgartner, who is sponsored by Red Bull, will eventually try to jump from a balloon 23 miles above the Earth's surface while wearing a helmet and pressure suit. Colonel Joseph Kittinger, now an adviser to Baumgartner and Red Bull's Stratos project, set the previous record in 1960 when he jumped from an altitude of 19.5 miles for the Air Force.

Read more at Albuquerque Journal


Dallas Seavey

Dallas Seavey     Photo: Alaskan Dude/Flickr

Dallas Seavey Wins Iditarod

At 25, son of '04 champ is youngest winner

Dallas Seavey became the youngest musher ever to win the Iditarod on Tuesday when he arrived in Nome, Alaska after mushing for nine days. Seavey, 25, is the son of 2004 Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey. Dallas credited his victory to a careful strategy and said he held his team back in the first part of the race, then pushed them at top speed in the final stages. In addition to Mitch Seavey, who came in seventh, Seavey's 74-year-old grandfather Dan Seavey also raced.

Read more at ESPN


Gasherbrum I

Gasherbrum I     Photo: The Real Kvass !/Flickr

Search for Gasherbrum Climbers Halted

Three remain missing in Pakistan

A search and rescue mission for three men lost on Pakistan's Gasherbrum I has been called off nearly a week after the men went missing, according to The Adventure Blog. Gerfried Goschl, Cedric Hahlen, and Nisar Hussein were last heard from by radio close to Gasherbrum I's summit on Friday, the same day a team of three Polish climbers recorded the mountain's first-ever winter ascent. Search parties had ascended as high as camp two but have seen no trace of the missing men.

Read more at The Adventure Blog


THIN COVER     Photo: dvs/Flickr

High Temps Break 943 U.S. Records

Warm weather expected through March

Unusually high temperatures across the central and eastern United States have broken or met 943 records since Sunday. The warm weather is reportedly bringing insects and rodents into homes earlier than usual and sparking concerns about wildfire danger in the midwest. Forecasters expect the weather to last through March. "If the current model forecasts prove correct, a high pressure ridge over the U.S. bringing heat this intense and long-lasting in March will be unprecedented in the historical record, going back to 1872," wrote a forecaster at Weather Underground. Climatologists are tying the warm spell to broader global warming trends.

Read more at the Washington Post


Prehistoric human skull

Prehistoric human skull     Photo: Didier Descouens/Wikimedia

Possible New Human Species Discovered

14,500-year-old Chinese fossils tested

Fossils unearthed in China more than 20 years ago might be from a previously unknown human species, according to a paper published Wednesday in the PloS One science journal. The bone fragments were discovered in China in 1979 and 1989 but were not studied until 2008. The species, dubbed the "Red Deer Cave people" by scientists, has been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago, which suggests this new species might have co-existed with the earliest modern Homo sapiens. A second theory says the species evolved independently from other humans and died out without contributing genetically to today's humans.

Read more at MSNBC