May 23, 2012

Cyclist     Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr

Students Suspended for Biking to School

Principal says mass ride was a prank

A high school principal in Michigan on Tuesday suspended 65 seniors for biking to their last day of classes. Principal Katharine Pennington suspended the students for the day, told them they could not participate in Wednesday's traditional senior walk, and threatened to keep them from attending graduation. Pennington cited safety reasons and traffic delays for imposing the suspension. The students, however, had secured a police escort for the ride and were accompanied by Alpine Township's mayor, who rode alongside in a car and handed out donuts. The punishments have since been rescinded and students who missed scheduled final exams will be allowed to retake them without penalty.

Read more at ABC News


Mount Everest

Mount Everest     Photo: Rupert Taylor-Price/Flickr

Italian Climber Rescued High on Everest

69-year-old man was presumed dead

A team of five climbers on Wednesday sucessfully rescued 69-year-old missing climber Luigi Rampini high on Mount Everest days after he became stranded and was presumed dead. Spanish climber Ferran Latorre had reported that Rampini, who was climbing with Nepal-based guides Montrose Treks and Expeditions, on Sunday elected to wait out bad weather and not to descend with a sherpa. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday rescuers found Rampini at Camp II with mild frostbite. That report, however, suggested that Rampini was stranded for two days, not four. Ten people have perished on Mount Everest this spring.



Mount Rushmore

    Photo: Timefortea3/Flickr

Man Arrested Climbing Mount Rushmore

Judge issued $500 fine

A man was arrested on Monday for attempting to climb Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Park rangers sighted Patrick Marshall, 53, scrambling up the loose scree directly below the carvings of four presidents and escorted him down the mountain. Marshall pleaded guilty to trespassing charges, and a federal magistrate fined him $500, plus $50 in court fees. “At no time during the incident was the sculpture or the visitors at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in any danger,” park spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Ballinger said. The National Park Service increased security at the memorial in 2009 after Greenpeace activists climbed the back of the sculpture to protest global warming.   

Read more at The Washington Post



Tigers     Photo: Keven Law/Flickr

New Shoot-On-Sight Policy in Indian Park

Rule to help protect tigers from poachers

Forest guards in a state in western India will be allowed to shoot poachers on sight without fear of prosecution in an effort to protect dwindling tiger populations. Maharashtra state's forest minister Patangrao Kadam said on Tuesday that guards who injure or kill illegal hunters will not be "booked for human rights violations." The change follows a similar move in Assam, where one-horned rhino populations have recovered following the state's adoption of a hardline anti-poaching stance. Half of the world's estimated 3,200 wild tigers live in India.

Read more at the Associated Press


A helmeted cyclist

A helmeted cyclist     Photo: fluemoon/Flickr

Helmeted Bike Riders Go Faster

French study shows small speed increase

A study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health suggests that novice male cyclists go faster when they're wearing a helmet. The study, which tracked the speed of 587 French riders over two years, found that men were likely to ride 1.5 miles per hour faster while helmeted. Women also rode slightly faster with helmets, though not at a level that was statistically significant. The study may help confirm what is known as risk compensation theory, in which people behave more dangerously when they know they are protected by safety equipment. The authors said the increase was "unlikely to offset helmet preventive efficacy," however.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal


Wingsuit jump: Lysebotn, Rogaland Fylke, NO

Wingsuit jump: Lysebotn, Rogaland Fylke, NO     Photo: hakonthingstad/Flickr

Man Lands Wingsuit Jump Without Chute

Stuntman's flight is a first

On Wednesday in Ridge Wood, England, stuntman Gary Connery became the first person to successfully land a wingsuit jump without using a parachute. Connery, 42, jumped from a helicopter at 2,400 feet and used his aerodynamic wingsuit to steer himself into a landing strip of 18,000 cardboard boxes. He hit speeds of 80 mph, slowing his downward speed to 15 mph before impact. "It was so comfortable and so soft. I got my calculations absolutely right," he said. Connery, who has appeared in the Harry Potter films and Die Another Day, has made over 880 skydives and 450 BASE jumps.

Read more at The Independent