September 9, 2011
Jeannie Longo

Jeannie Longo     Photo: Ludo29880/Flickr

Longo Facing Whereabouts Ban

Cycling legend allegedly misses drug tests

Former Olympic and world champion cyclist Jeannie Longo could be forced from from cycling after allegedly missing three random drug tests, violating an anti-doping whereabouts rule that could result in an automatic two-year ban. The French Anti-Doping Agency has warned Longo, 52, three times in the past 18 months, most recently on June 20 while Longo was training in the United States. A report published Friday in the French newspaper L’Equipe said “the champion was not at the hotel where she should have been” when American anti-doping authorities arrived to administer a test. Longo will now face a disciplinary hearing before the French cycling federation and may miss the world championships on September 19-25 in Copenhagen. If found liable, her suspension could run from three months to two years. Longo, one of the greatest masters athletes in modern history, won her 58th French national title in June. In addidion to her Olympic gold, she owns two silver medals, 13 world championship titles, and the world one-hour record.

Read more at VeloNews


    Photo: Unhindered by Talent/Flickr

McKinley Raising Price on Climing Permits

Park will put money to search and rescue

Climbing Mount McKinley will get more expensive next year, as the National Park Service increases expedition permits in an effort to better fund search and rescue missions on the mountain. The NPS will charge $50 more per permit for climbers under age 24, pushing the total cost to $250, and will charge older climbers $350. Permits were first introduced for $150 in 1995, then jumped to $200 in 2005. The service is looking to offset search-and-rescue costs, including safety education for climbers, a program that some estimates indicate have cut deaths on the mountain in half. Stagnant permit income has created in a 13 percent budget gap under current prices. Park officials introduced the age-graded pricing structure to keep McKinley accessible for young climbers. At 20,320 feet, McKinley is the highest peak in North America.

Read more at Adventure Journal




Botanic Garden

Inside the dome at the Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Queensland     Photo: Martin Howard/Flickr

Man Will Spend Two Days Sealed in Box

Scientist will rely on plants for oxygen

Iain Stewart, a professor at England's Plymouth University, is preparing to seal himself in an airtight box for 48 hours next week, using only plants for fresh oxygen. Stewart will pack 160 plants into a 130-square-foot plastic box as part of a BBC documentary series called “How Plants Made the World.” Stewert is hoping to emphasize how critical plants are for life on earth. "I cannot think of a more powerful way of driving home to the viewer the importance of photosynthesis," Stewart said.

Read more at the BBC


Commuter pain survey

Commuter pain survey     Photo: Courtesy IBM

Mexico City World's Worst Commute

IBM ranks global commuting attitudes

Mexico City, Mexico is the worst place to commute, and Montreal, Canada, the best, according to a new survey published yesterday by International Business Machines, or IBM. The survey asked 8,042 people in major cities across world a variety of questions about their commutes, from travel times to how much they pay for fuel. Surprisingly, the survey found that communing times are dropping, the result of improving transportation infrastructures combined with high fuel prices and a weak global economy. But that mix has raised what the survey calls "commuting pain," a measure of how much people dislike their commutes. “A person’s emotional response to the daily commute is colored by many factors," said IMB transportation expert Naveen Lamba. This year's survey, Lamba said, "indicates that drivers in cities around the world are much more unsettled and anxious compared with 2010.” Of the 20 metropolises studied, American cities fared reasonably well. Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago each ranked among the ten least-painful commutes.

Read more at Fast Company


Not an actual tsunami. Terrifying Japanese woodcuts notwithstanding, tsunamis have no face, no pipe, no curl. A tsunami is more like a storm surge: it comes ashore like an enormous high tide, with a low leading edge backed by a steadily rising onrush of water.     Photo: Illustration by Hamyquah McLiverman

Earthquake Hits Vancouver

6.4-magnitude quake rattles island

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Vancouver Island, British Columbia early Friday afternoon, rattling buildings but causing little serious damage, according to initial news reports. The quake lasted some 40 seconds and was located off the island's west coast, roughly 300 kilometers from downtown Vancouver, at a depth of around 25 kilometers. No tsunami warnings were issued. The quake likely originated in the subduction zone between the Juan de Fuca plate and the North American plate, the area most likely to produce a devastating 9-plus-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific northwest, the potential effects of which Bruce Barcott details in the October issue of Outside. Friday's quake "is nothing to sneeze at," said Brent Ward, a earth sciences professor at Simon Fraser University. "You think of the earthquake in Haiti and it was about the same but it was shallow."

Read more at The Vancouver Sun