November 20, 2013

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Macy's Parade Under Fire For SeaWorld Float

Protesters call the float unethical.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, normally a celebration of holiday spirit and American commercialism, has become the center of controversy as animal activists have begun loudly protesting the inclusion of a SeaWorld-sponsored orca float. According to the Christian Science Monitor, parade organizers have received letters from nearly 80,000 people demanding that SeaWorld's "Sea of Surprises" float, a 27-foot sculpture of the park's signature killer whale attraction, "Shamu," be struck from the parade.

The most recent debate over orcas—and the whales held by SeaWorld in particular—was sparked by the controversial documentary, Blackfish, which detailed the history of the killer whales in captivity and their numerous fatal encounters with park trainers over the years.

"It’s unfortunate that they’re going to have a float to promote what we now know is a very ethically questionable industry,” Emory University neuroscientist Lori Marino told the Monitor. “At this point, everyone knows that this is an issue, and the data and the science on how orcas fare in captivity is pretty unequivocal at this point.”

Macy's organizers, for their part, have said they are not responsible for such concerns. In an email to the Monitor, Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras stated that the parade "has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate, or other forms of advocacy, no matter how worthy.”

SeaWorld is currently appealing a 2010 court ruling by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that forced the park to pay a fine of $75,000 for exposing its trainers to a hazardous environment.

Read more about the deadly history of orcas in captivity in "The Killer in the Pool," by Tim Zimmerman

0 Comments

Greenpeace's "Arctic Sunrise"     Photo: Capitan Giona/Flickr

Members of Arctic 30 Released on Bail

Brazilian biologist first to leave

Twenty of the Greenpeace activists from the Arctic 30 have been granted bail by the Russian courts this week.

According to a statement from Greenpeace, Ana Paula was the first member of the Arctic Sunrise to be physically released from Russian jail. As the Brazilian biologist left the prison, she held a sign that read “Save the Arctic,” reports BBC NewsPaula was released on a bail of 2 million rubles (roughly 60 thousand US dollars), which is expected to be the bail for the other Greenpeace detainees.

The Arctic Sunrise captain, Peter Wilcox, was also granted bail today but has yet to be released. The remaining Arctic Sunrise crew continues to be held in a St. Petersburg prison, according to reports from BBC News

The 28 activists and two journalists were detained during an Arctic oil platform protest on September 19; they have been held since on charges of hooliganism and piracy.

0 Comments

Lindsey Vonn Skiing.     Photo: B.Stefanov via Shutterstock

Lindsey Vonn Injured in Training Crash

Olympic downhill champion still being evaluated

UPDATE: 11/22/2013 12:59 P.M.

Following a partial tear in her right ACL, Lindsey Vonn will not be competing at Beaver Creek World Cup races next week, but she may still race in Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 6.

"While her rehab is progressing, she is not at a point where she will be able to ski next week and is unfortunately withdrawing from the race at Beaver Creek. She will continue to do therapy with an eye at racing in Lake Louise." Lewis Kay, her publicist, said in a statement. “Lindsey is recovering very quickly from abrasions to her face and contusions to her shoulder blade. Beyond that, she has a stable knee with an MRI finding of a partial tear of her ACL graft. With therapy, she is progressing well while not losing any of the strength she worked so hard to achieve.”


UPDATE: 11/20/2013 12:42 P.M.

Lewis Kay, Lindsey Vonn's public relations manager, issued a statement saying that Vonn sustained a mild strain to her right knee, a partial tear to her right ACL, minor facial abrasions, and scapular contusions from her fall on Tuesday.

"She needs to rest for a few days and then will pursue aggressive physical therapy and will determine the next time she is able to compete after seeing how she responds to treatment," Kay said.


11/20/2013 11:30 A.M.

Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic and World Cup aspirations might be in jeopardy after a crash on Tuesday while training in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Reportedly, Vonn was taken off the hill on a sled and returned to her home in Vail where William Sterett, the orthopedic surgeon who repaired Vonn’s right knee in February, evaluated her injury and possibly ordered an MRI. Lewis Kay, Vonn's public relations manager, would not confirm to the Denver Post that she had hurt the same knee.

But Maris Van Slyke, a high school skier from Lake Placid, New York, saw Vonn in the sled and believes the Olympian was favoring her right knee.

"As we got to the Speed Center, we saw her come down in a sled," Van Slyke said via email. "At first we couldn't tell if it was her, but then she got up and her coaches helped her inside. She wasn't putting any weight on her right leg, the one with the brace."

U.S. Ski Team spokesman Tom Kelly told Outside this morning that no new information has been released on Vonn's condition.

Vonn is expected to compete at a World Cup competition at Beaver Creek next week. She currently has a U.S. record 59 World Cup victories and only need three more to tie the all-time record.

Follow Outside for more information as this story develops.

0 Comments

According to John Peter, earthworms have a "muddy" taste, "but the texture mixed with other tastes is lovely."     Photo: Allan Henderson/Flickr

Indian Man to Set Earthworm-Eating Record

Bear Grylls fan lives on insect diet

India's John Peter, 23, has an interesting diet: a breakfast of dosa and earthworms, a dinner of dal and dragonflies, and 10 or 20 lizards for a mid-day snack.

He's now preparing to set the Guinness World Record for most earthworms eaten in a minute. (To understand what this could mean, know that India's C. Manoharan entered the Book of World Records in 2003 by swallowing 200 earthworms in 30 seconds.)

"I want people to respect me like they do Bear Grylls," Peter told the Daily Mail. "People are disgusted when I eat stuff like earthworms and cockroaches but they're amazed also. It's a good feeling."

Known in his hometown as the "insect-eating man," Peter says he delights in consuming ants, caterpillars, spiders, ticks, lizards, frogs, and snails—eaten live because "dead insects are really horrible." His favorite food is the crunchy, gooey, and "very sweet" scorpion.

The first time Peter tried an earthworm was at the age of 15, after he'd seen an episode of Bear Grylls' Man Vs Wild.

"I wanted to be a bit different, so when I tried eating insects for the first time and found them to be quite tasty, it was the start of a new habit, "Peter says. "Hopefully I'll be recognized by Guinness Book of Records, and then everyone will be intrigued and will wonder what a worm tastes like."

Peter speculates that one day the demand for earthworms and scorpions will be as great as the demand for chicken and beef. Perhaps.

0 Comments

Comments