March 22, 2013

George Lowe in 1953     Photo: Courtesy of the Evening Post

Last Member of Hillary's Everest Expedition Dies

George Lowe was 89

George Lowe, the last surviving member of the 1953 expedition that made the first ascent of Everest, died on Wednesday following an illness, his family said. He was 89.

While not as well known as Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay, Lowe played a key part in the expedition, ferrying gear up to the South Col and setting up camp. The workload was so great that Lowe once said it made him feel "hollow inside." When Hillary and Norgay descended from the summit, it was Lowe who welcomed them back with hot drinks and extra oxygen canisters.

"When it came to the point near the summit, George had to play a subsidiary role," said Jan Morris, a journalist who traveled with the expedition. "He climbed very high, he climbed to top camp and said goodbye to Hillary, then helped him come down. He played a very important role."

Born in New Zealand in 1924, Lowe also participated in expeditions to Cho Oyu and other Himalayan peaks before taking part in the Everest climb. He would go on to participate in the first successful overland crossing of Antarctica, from 1955 to 1958, and his work filming the expeditions would earn him two nominations for the Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Via The Telegraph

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Google to Discontinue Frommer's Guidebooks

Bought the brand in August for $22 million

Readers of the beloved Frommer’s brand guidebooks may soon have to look elsewhere for guidance. Google, which purchased the brands Frommer’s Travel and Unofficial Guides from publisher Wiley in August for $22 million, has ceased production and publication of all books bearing the Frommer’s name.

The authors of the 29 listed future Frommer’s titles were recently informed by editors at Google that the books would not be published, according to Skift. The last Frommer’s book, Frommer’s Florida, was published in December. On the bright side, Google will continue to print the Unofficial Guide series title Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, which remains one of the best-selling guidebooks in the country.

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Los Angeles is covered in beautiful smog.     Photo: TravellingOtter/Flickr

L.A. Moves to End Reliance on Coal by 2025

Mayor calls for cleaner fuels

Los Angeles plans to eliminate coal as a source of power by 2025, mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week. The city's municipal utility, the Department of Water and Power, is moving forward with plans to stop using energy from two coal-burning plants in Arizona and Utah.

Villaraigosa originally hoped to eliminate coal from the city's energy consumption by 2020, but issues with contracts and changes in leadership at the DWP have slowed his plans.

The city's utility plans to sell its 21 percent interest in the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, and convert the Utah power plant to natural gas.

"There's no utility in the country going faster and further," Evan Gillespie of the Sierra Club said.

Eliminating the city's consumption of coal-fired energy from the two plants would be equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.

Via Los Angeles Times

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