August 9, 2011


Nyad Ends Attempt at Record Swim

Cuba-Florida swim stops at hour 29

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad on Tuesday ended her attempt to become the first person to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage. Nyad, 61, stopped after 29 hours in the water as rough seas, a bad shoulder, and problems with asthma made continuing impossible. The current had pushed her some 15 miles off course to the east, the same problem that Nyad faced in her first attempt at the crossing in 1978. "It was my decision to stop and nobody else’s," Nyad told the New York Times.  Nyad stopped long-distance swimming in the late 1970s and now works as a radio newsperson in Los Angeles. Her first attempt lasted 41 hours and 49 minutes. She came out of retirement to challenge her own open-water swimming record of 102.5 miles, set between the Bahamas to Florida. She does not plan to take another shot at the record. "I would be lying to say I'm not deeply, deeply disappointed," Nyad said. "This was a big dream, not just of the last two years, but some 30 years when I tried it."

Read more at The New York Times


Amazon rainforest

Amazon rainforest     Photo: Ivan Mlinaric/Flickr

Amazon Tribe Missing

Traffickers overrun protected area

Brazilian authorities are searching for an isolated Amazonian tribe after drug traffickers invaded a protected section of Amazon forest in July. The tribe, one of an estimated 100 living in the Amazon, was discovered in 2008 but has never interacted with the outside world. On July 23, five guards from FUNAI, the Brazilian agency dedicated to protecting indigenous groups, were forced from their post in the Javari Valley, near Brazil's border with Peru, by 40 heavily armed men. Brazlian police and members of the army later returned to the area and found a package containing 44 pounds of cocaine and a Peruvian citizen believed to be a trafficker. FUNAI employees have found no trace of the Xinane tribe, who were spotted by a flyover survey in 2008, apart from a broken arrow in a drug trafficker's abandoned pack. "We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee," Carlos Travassos, the head of FUNAI's isolated Indians department, said. "Now we have good proof. We are more worried than ever."

Read more at MSNBC


Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat     Photo: Miguel Vieira/Flickr

Lawsuit in Fatal Goat Attack

Did park know goat was dangerous?

The family of a man killed by a mountain goat last October in Olympic National Park has filed a wrongful death suit alleging that park officials knew of the goat's history of aggressive behavior. On October 16, Bob Boardman was eating lunch with his wife and a friend when the 370-pound goat approached, eventually goring him in the thigh. He was evacuated by helicopter but died from his injuries. Rangers later located and killed the goat. “The park service had received numerous complaints about this goat and its aggressive behavior from hikers and its staff, but did not relocate or euthanize the animal when it became a clear threat to the public,” Boardman family attorney John Messina said in a press release. Messina is seeking $10 million in damages. The park has since published guidelines, including a recommendation that hikers not pee near trails, in an effort to reduce human-goat encounters.

Read more at The Seattle Times


London Riots

London Riots     Photo: william_79/Flickr

London Riots Threaten Olympic Prep

Organizers will still host swim, bike race

London Olympic organizers will not cancel test events this week in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics, including a road bike race, despite widespread rioting and violence that has set parts of London aflame and destabilized the government of Prime Minister David Cameron. Olympic organizers are hosting a volleyball tournament near Cameron's residence in central London, and have no plans to cancel a badminton tournament that is already underway. An open-water swim in Hyde Park is still on tap for Saturday, as is a cycling race for Sunday. "[W]e're happy with how local organizers are dealing with the issue," an International Olympic Committee spokesman said. Until last week, security concerns for the Olympics Games had focused on terrorism. The city has seen several deadly terrorist attacks in recent years, including the infamous bombings that killed 52 people on July 7, 2005, one day after Olympic officials awarded London the games. The current rioting began as protests on Saturday after police shot and killed a man in Tottenham, in North London, on Thursday.

Read more at ESPN



K2     Photo: reurinkjan/Flickr

K2 Summit Bids Aborted

Mountain remains unclimbed since '08

Bad weather on K2 forced climbers to abandon summit attempts this weekend after a rare window of clear skies closed suddenly, raising the possibility that the world's second-highest peak will remain unclimbed for the third-straight year. A group of climbers, including Fabrizio Zangrilli and Christian Stangl, had pushed to Camp Three at 23,294 feet on Friday before high winds waylaid their progress and forced them to descend. Stangl, who caused controversy last year after falsely claiming he had reached the summit, has left the mountain with a handful of other climbers. Zangrilli reported that only one other team remains in basecamp; he plans to wait ten days and hope for better weather. On the mountain's north side, another team is still in basecamp and Kazakh climber Maxut Zhummayev is pinned down at 25,590 feet under heavy snow and wind. K2, the world's second highest mountain at 28,250 feet, is considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb. The last successful summit bid was in 2008.

Read more at The Adventure Blog