January 31, 2013

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Caleb Moore Dies of Injuries

Crashed snowmobile in the X Games

Snowmobiler Caleb Moore died Thursday morning from injuries sustained in a crash at the Winter X Games one week ago. He was 25 years old. The Moore family has declined to release any details about Caleb’s death, but it was reported that he’d suffered a “brain complication” in addition to his other injuries.

The family spokeswoman, Chelsea Lawson, released a statement on behalf of the Moores this morning:

This morning Caleb Moore passed away. He will be truly missed and never forgotten.

The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for all the prayers and support they have received from all the fans, friends, and family around the world that Caleb has inspired.

They would also like to thank the physicians and medical staff at both Aspen Valley Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital, Grand Junction for their care and dedication.

At this time, the family will not be making any other public statements. They continue to decline interviews. Thank you for continuing to respect the family's privacy during this difficult time.

ESPN, which hosts the X Games, also released a statement:

We are deeply saddened by Caleb Moore's passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Wade and Michelle, his brother, Colten, and the entire Moore family. He will be remembered for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends, and he will always be an inspiration to everyone he touched in the action sports community.

As a result of this accident we will conduct a thorough review of this discipline and adopt any appropriate changes to future X Games.

For 18 years we have worked closely on safety issues with athletes, course designers, and other experts. Still, when the world's best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain. Caleb was a four-time X Games medalist attempting a move he has landed several times previously.

Moore’s death is the first in the 17-year history of the Winter X Games.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tortoise Survives 30 Years in Store Room

Thought lost in 1982

A Brazilian family cleaning out a storage room in their house made an interesting discovery last week: a family tortoise thought lost since 1982. The Almeida family believed that Manuela the Tortoise had escaped one day when construction workers left the front door of the house open. When their father Leonel died earlier this month, they began clearing out some of his old possessions. Inside an old box containing a record player sat Manuela the Tortoise.

Leonel’s son Leandro had left the box on the street for garbage collection when a neighbor asked him if he would be throwing out the tortoise as well. "I looked and saw her," he told the Telegraph. "At that moment I turned white, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing."  

While the family is happy to have Manuela back, no one is sure how the creature survived inside the box for 30 years. According to veterinarian Jeferson Pires, the red-footed tortoise, a threatened species native to Central and South American, can survive long periods without eating. "They are particularly resilient and can survive for two to three years without food,” he said. “In the wild they eat fruit, leaves, dead animals, even feces." His best guess is that Manuela survived by eating termites and other insects scurrying through the storage space.

May the tortoise inherit the earth.

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    Photo: fung.leo/Flickr

Canned Air on Sale in China

Comes in three flavors

Just how poor is the air quality in China right now? A Chinese entrepreneur has taken to selling fresh air in cans. Chen Guangbiao, who is worth somewhere around $740 million, is marketing soda cans filled with air for five yuan (80 cents) each. They come in the following “flavors”: pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan, and revolutionary Yan'an (the Communist Party's original base region).

Chen is kown for his publicity stunts, but maintains that he's trying to draw attention to environmental pollution in China.

"People say I am high profile or love to stage a show, but I don't think those who seek stability and a low profile can do much for social progress," said Mr. Chen. "I am confident about what I do and I dare to put it under sunlight."

Mr. Chen said many of China's entrepreneurs were "sacrificing their descendants" for the sake of short-term profits.

As recently as Tuesday, the level of air pollution in Beijing was so high that it was “Beyond Index,” while small, hazardous air particles reached levels 20 times what is considered safe by the World Health Organization. The Big Picture has some great photos of what that looks like.

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Bears at a North Carolina park have been abused, yet the government has not taken them away.     Photo: Scott Calleja/Flickr

Bear Park Closed Due to Abuse

Owner's license suspended

Federal authorities closed down the Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee, North Carolina, on Tuesday after citing the owner, Kole Clapsaddle, and park staff with multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended the owner's exhibitor license and ordered him to pay $20,000 in fines for failing to provide proper housing, food, and veterinary care.

PETA led the campaign against the zoo after finding that staff fed the animals unsanitary, rotten food and that the animals were placed in incompatible groups that resulted in aggression.

Leaders at PETA hope that the gruesome zoo will be shut down for good, but the USDA says it is not able to take custody of the bears.

USDA spokesman Dave Sacks said his department will not take custody of the bears. Clapsaddle will have an opportunity to come into full compliance with the regulations.

The USDA can confiscate animals if it can prove they are in “a state of unrelieved suffering,” Sacks said.

“That’s the only time we can take an animal, not because they’ve been written up for 20 different things or an animal advocacy group tells us to,” Sacks said.

There is no word on how long Clapsaddle will have to improve the conditions at the park before the USDA takes away the park's license for good.

Via The Citizen-Times

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    Photo: SurfaceWarriors/Flickr

Navy to Dismantle Grounded Ship in Marine Park

Minesweeper damaged Philippine reef

The U.S. Navy will dismantle a minesweeper that ran aground on a reef in the Philippines due to fears that removing it intact could cause further damage.

Spokesman Captain Darryn James said on Wednesday that the USS Guardian was already too damaged to repair. "We really do care about being good stewards of the environment," he said.

The Guardian was en route to Indonesia when it crashed into a reef in Tubbataha National Marine Park; the Navy is currently investigating the circumstances around the grounding.

The Guardian is the first ship to be dismantled by the Navy since 1971. Salvage crews have already removed about 15,000 gallons of fuel from the ship, as well as lubricating oil and paint.

Via Washington Post

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