June 27, 2011
KC Skyline

KC Skyline     Photo: MoBikeFed/Flickr

Cyclist Dominates Race Across America

Austrian averages third fastest speed ever

Austrian Christophe Strasser, 29, won the 30th Annual Race Across America bicycle race Friday, pedaling 2,989 miles from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, in eight days, eight hours, and six minutes, beating out race favorites Gerhard Gulewicz and Marko Baloh en route. Strasser's time, which included sleep breaks, gave him an average overall speed of 14.94 mph, the third fastest average speed ever recorded. (Pete Penseyres set the fastest average speed of 15.4 mph in 1986.) In the Race Across America, the clock never stops ticking, and most top racers sleep as little as 90 minutes a day. To finish within the race's 12-day time limit, riders can sleep no more than four hours per day.

Read more at VeloNews


Coastal Taipan

Coastal Taipan     Photo: Denise Chan/Wikimedia Commons

Bit by a Snake? Use This Cream

New product may slow envenomation

Australian researchers have found an unlikely new field treatment for snakebite: ointment used to treat angina. A paper published today in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that snakebite victims may extend their chance of survival by one-and-a-half-times with an ointment containing nitroglycerin. The scientists found that a compound released by nitroglycerin inhibits the smooth muscle contractions that propel venom through the lymphatic system, potentially cutting the speed of envenomation by a factor of three. Tests in rodents found that this translated to a 50 percent boost in survival times. In the study, researchers from University of Newcastle and two Australian hospitals injected fifteen human volunteers with a non-toxic, venom-like substance, then traced it as it moved through their bodies. They found that slowing the lymphatic system significantly delayed the faux-venom's absorbtion into the body. Poisonous snakes kill as many as 100,000 people each year, but scientists say that the treatment needs further evaluation before it can be put into practice.

Read more at ABC Science


Las Conches Fire

Las Conches Fire     Photo: Snowpeak/Flickr

Forest Fire Threatens Nuclear Lab

Los Alamos closes as fire draws near

The Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to the United States' primary nuclear research facility, closed Monday as a wildfire raged nearby. The Los Conchas fire has surpassed 40,000 acres and reached within a mile of the laboratories, which developed the world's first nuclear weapon in the 1940s. Facility officials have cut gas lines to some buildings as a precaution but say all radioactive and dangerous materials are safe. The fire started Sunday afternoon in the Santa Fe National Forest and exploded out of control within a matter of hours. It is the latest in a string of wildfires across the Southwest, including the Wallow Fire, at 500,000 acres the largest fire in Arizona state history. East of the Las Conches Fire, the Pacheco Canyon Fire is still burning outside of Santa Fe, and to the south, a smaller fire started in the Rio Grande valley on Sunday. Fire experts believe that an unusally dry summer, high winds, a buildup of fuel, and even climate change have made 2011 one of the worst fire seasons in recent history. Thunderstorms are expected tonight in New Mexico, but may bring little or no rainfall.

Read more at Reuters


Kilian Jornet WS 100

Kilian Jornet WS 100     Photo: Salomon

European Wins Western States 100

Americans lose title for the first time

On Sunday, Spain's Kilian Jornet became the first non-American man to win California's Western States 100, perhaps the most prestigious ultra race in the United States. Jornet ran 15:34, finishing four minutes ahead of Western States novice Mike Wolfe after taking a two-mile detour. Wolfe, from Bozeman, Montana, was the only American man to finish among the top five. Jornet has emerged as the world's top ultra trail runner and was competing at Western States for only the second time. In 2010, he led the race through mile 80 but became dehydrated and eventually finished third. Earlier this month, Jornet set a speed record up Mount Olympus, in Greece. An American man has won Western States every year since it was founded in 1974. Alaska's Geoff Roes set the course record of 15:07 in 2010 and, until he dropped out at 55 miles this year, was undefeated in each of the eight 100-mile races he had contested. Ellie Greenwood, of Canada, beat top Americans Nikki Kimball and Kami Semick to win her first title in 17:55.

Read more the Colfax Record


Surfing wipeout

    Photo: Mostly Dans/Flickr

One-Armed Surfer Slices Arm

Hamilton cuts bicep in surf accident

Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a 2003 shark attack, sliced her right bicep in a surf accident on June 22 in Mentawai, Indonesia. Hamilton's surf fin cut her arm and required ten stitches. As of Saturday, Hamilton was returning to the United States and had reported numbness in her arm, signaling possible nerve damage. Hamilton survived an attack from a tiger shark while surfing in Kauia on October 31, 2003, in which she lost her left arm.

Read more at The Christian Post