May 9, 2013

    Photo: Myst√®re Martin

First Chinese Rider Out of Giro

Withdraws due to fever

The first Chinese rider to enter the Giro d'Italia, Ji Cheng, has withdrawn ahead of the sixth stage because of a fever.

Team physician Edwin Achterberg told the Associated Press that Ji felt very weak and couldn't eat breakfast. "We don't want to take any risks. Health comes first."

On the fifth stage, the 25-year-old Argos Shimano rider helped propel teammate John Degenkolb to victory. Ji was the first Chinese rider to finish the Spanish Vuelta, placing 175th last year.

"I just got sick during the night, and it is really hard to leave this beautiful race already," Ji told the Bangkok Post. "It was my goal to support John to a stage win and to finish this race. So I am very disappointed that I can't reach the second part of my goal."

The UCI has pushed to expand cycling's appeal beyond Europe in recent years through its promotional arm, Global Cycling Promotion, but has faced intense criticism for race cancellations and dangerous conditions at its Chinese events.


AC45 catamaran

The AC45 catamarans, like this one operated by Oracle ¬≠Racing, can move three times as fast as the available wind.     Photo: Acea/Gilles Martin-Ragut

Sailor Dies in America's Cup Practice

After the catamaran capsized

One sailor died and another was injured after a boat capsized in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America's Cup races on Thursday.

Roughly 12 people were on board the Artemis Racing catamaran when it capsized around 1 p.m. near Treasure Island, a former naval station. A support boat operated by Oracle Racing, last year's America's Cup winners, managed to pick-up all but two of the sailors.

After bringing two injured sailors to shore, paramedics performed CPR on one person, but he was pronounced dead a short time later, San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge told the Associated Press. The other person's injuries are not life-threatening.

The 34th America's Cup is scheduled from July through September, and teams are currently training in the bay. Outside reported on the new, "scary-fast" catamarans that are set to debut in the race this summer, speculating that there will be serious accidents.

“The danger factor is just one piece of the puzzle,” says four-time champ Russell Coutts.

More here.


    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Naked Surfer Washes Up On San Diego Shore

Covered in shark bites

The naked remains of a surfer were spotted 250 yards from a San Diego beach Thursday. The 42-year-old man's body were covered in wounds consistent with a shark attack, but authorities speculate he may have died from other causes.

"The thought is the person drowned in the waters off PB and then some time after that event, was the shark attack incident," lifeguard Lt. John Everhart told NBC San Diego.

The man was reported missing by his fiancee Wednesday evening, and was spotted by other surfers drifting far out to sea. Lifeguards say the man's wetsuit was purposefully tied around his surf board and that he may have died of hypothermia, ocean conditions, or committed suicide.

“That someone would take their wet suit off while they’re out at sea, and then tie it around their surf board and then disappear,” Everhart said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”


    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bearded Men More Attractive, Study Says

Heavy stubble rated the highest

When psychologists in New South Wales released a study last spring declaring facial hair to be unattractive to the opposite sex, beard supporters were skeptical. The study asked a group of women to rate the attractiveness of men who had just shaved, and then rate them again after a month and a half of growth, with no trimming allowed. Unkempt, tangled overgrowth lost to clean-shaven by a hair.

Now, in a new study published in Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers Barnaby Dixson and Robert Brooks have taken a closer look at the data and found that a middle ground exists between the two extremes. Dixson and Brooks showed women four stages of growth: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, and full beard. This time, the middle ground won out, with women finding heavy stubble the most attractive.

Women judged faces with heavy stubble as most attractive and heavy beards, light stubble and clean-shaven faces as similarly less attractive. In contrast, men rated full beards and heavy stubble as most attractive, followed closely by clean-shaven and light stubble as least attractive.

So there you have it. Supporters of stubble need not hide in the shadows any longer. Just keep your business trim.



Wrigley Pulls Caffeinated Gum From Market

FDA begins investigation

Wrigley has taken its much-hyped caffeinated gum, Alert, off the market after the Food and Drug Administration opened an investigation into the safety of food products infused with the drug.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Wrigley president Casey Keller said his company was backing down to give the agency more time to probe caffeine's health effects on youth:

"After discussions with the FDA, we have a greater appreciation for its concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply," Keller said…"There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products."

The gum, which contains the equivalent of half a cup of coffee per stick, is the latest arrival in a wave of caffeinated snack foods which include Jelly Belly's "Extreme Sport Beans," as well as caffeinated chips and popcorn.

The FDA doesn't currently regulated caffeinated foods, and hasn't directly approved a caffeinated product since the 1950s, when it gave the OK for the substance to be added to soda.


    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Honeymoon Ends in Shark Attack

Victim killed surfing in the Indian Ocean

A French citizen enjoying his honeymoon on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean was killed in a shark attack off the shore of Brisants de Saint-Gilles beach on Wednesday. The victim was surfing when a shark charged at him twice, biting him on the arm and thigh. A nearby swimmer spotted blood on the water and raised the alarm.

When rescuers reached the victim, he was already in cardiac and respiratory arrest. He was brought back to the beach, but lifeguards were unable to revive him. The victim’s wife was present on the beach when the attack occurred and is currently being treated for shock.

Three people have been killed by sharks on the French-controlled island in the past two years. Last summer, another surfer was attacked and lost an arm and a leg, though he survived.

In response to the increase in shark-related incidents, Reunion Island authorities have commissioned several studies on shark behavior and have deployed lookouts on land and in the water. 


    Photo: nathanwales via Flickr

Fishermen Survive 4 Weeks Adrift

Lived on raw fish and rainwater

Two fishermen from the island of Kiribati were three days from dying of extreme dehydration when a passing fishing vessel rescued them after four weeks on the Pacific Ocean. 

Elirito Tataua, 40, and Teikauea Tegiaa, 20, lived on raw fish and rainwater after their small boat’s engine broke down and strong winds pushed them almost 435 miles from Kiribati’s Gilbert Islands. When their supply of fresh water ran out during a dry spell, they were forced to drink seawater.

Alfred Canepa, the captain of the American Samoa-based fishing vessel, spotted the two completely by chance, initially mistaking them for a small flock of birds on his radar. The men were given water right away and spent an hour giving thanks for their return in the ship’s chapel. Canepa and his crew have promised to fix the boat, and the fishermen will be taken to Kiribati in the next few days.