August 30, 2012

    Photo: Fora do Eixo/Flickr

Evidence of Indigenous Massacre in Venezuela

80 people feared killed by illegal prospectors

Venezuelan officials are investigating the claim that as many as 80 Yanomami Indians were murdered by illegal Brazilian gold prospectors in July. According to a criminal complaint filed earlier this week by Horonami, the Yanomami rights organization, the prospectors flew in by helicopter and razed the village to the ground. “Survivors of the community who were [off hunting] in the jungle heard gunfire, explosions and even a helicopter in which the miners landed,” said Luis Shatiwe, executive secretary of Horonami. The only known survivors were away from the village at the time. Brazilian prospectors have been illegally encroaching on Yanomami land on both sides of the lightly-guarded Brazil-Venezuela border for decades. Officials say the remoteness of that stretch of jungle—Irotatheri is a 15-day walk from the state capital of Puerto Ayacucho—makes it difficult to rigorously patrol. Indigenous advocacy groups are pointing to the massacre as evidence that the Venezuelan government is not doing enough to protect indigenous peoples.

Via New York Times



Marathon     Photo: Martineric/Flickr

Marathons Safe for Older Runners

Study finds no evidence of long-term heart damage

Older runners can compete in marathons without worrying about permanent cardiac damage, a new study has found. Headed up by Manitoba University professor Davinder Jassal, a team of researchers subjected a group of healthy volunteers from the 2010 and 2011 Manitoba Full Marathons to blood tests, heart ultrasounds, and CT and MRI scans. The group discovered that marathon runners over 50 had the same temporary cardiac abnormalities post-race as younger runners, but didn't incur any permanent damage. "What our study shows is that if you've trained well and you've done your homework in terms of keeping yourself hydrated, things will be OK," Jassal told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The number of Canadians over 50 who run in marathons has doubled over the past two decades.



Tanner Hall     Photo: Neroyak/Wikimedia Commons

Red Bull Drops Tanner Hall

Ends 11-year sponsorship of skier

Red Bull released a statement on Wednesday announcing the end of their long-standing relationship with freeskier Tanner Hall. The 28-year-old is a record-breaking seven-time X Games champion and was voted Powder Magazine's 2009 Skier of the Year in a readership poll. He has since suffered from a spate of injuries that have kept him off the slopes, including a bad jump in 2009 in which he tore his ACL in both knees. "After 11 years of hard work for Red Bull and everything I have done and been through the[y] decided to drop me," Hall tweeted from New Zealand, where has was participating in the Red Bull High Performance Camp. Hall is planning a return to competition this year as he attempts to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics. His agent has indicated that the hunt for a new sponsor is underway.



    Photo: Jon Mountjoy/Flickr

Boy Stumbles on $60,000 Whale Excretion

Finds valuable chunk of ambergris on beach

A precocious young British boy has stumbled upon a chunk of congealed whale vomit that could be worth as much as $63,000. Charlie Naysmith, 8, was walking with his parents along the beach at Hengistbury Head, on the south coast of England, when he got interested in a curious-looking rock. Ambergris, a waxy excretion formed in the intestines of sperm whales, has traditionally been used in perfumes as a fixative, though it has been gradually replaced by synthetics. In Moby Dick, Melville writes of the irony that "fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale.” Known as "floating gold," possession of the stuff is banned in several countries, including the U.S., to prevent the poaching of sperm whales. As for the boy, he’s now trying to decide what to do with the windfall and has indicated he might like to build a house for animals.

Via Daily Echo


Rescue helicopter on Everest

An A-Star B3 crests the Khumbu Icefall carrying the body of a climbing Sherpa who died last week.     Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Missing Tourist Finds Herself

Joined search party in southern Iceland

A woman reported missing from a tour to the Eldgjá volcanic canyon in southern Iceland ended up joining the search party formed to find her. The mix-up occurred when the woman left the tour bus and changed clothing. When she returned, the other tourists didn’t recognize her and began to worry about the missing passenger. Going off of the bus driver's description, a search was organized for an Asian woman in dark clothing who spoke English well. The missing woman didn’t recognize the description of herself and joined in the search. The following day, as the coast guard prepared to send a search helicopter, the woman realized her mistake. Sveinn K. Rúnarsson, chief of police in Hvolsvöllur, said that the woman simply didn't recognize the description of herself and "had no idea that she was missing."

Via Yahoo! News