January 30, 2013

Two women run the popular London Marathon     Photo: Annie Mole/Flickr

London Marathoner Died After Taking Stimulant

Banned Jack3d in her water bottle

A 30-year-old 2012 London Marathon participant who collapsed and died a mile before the finish line is said to have had a banned energy drink in her water bottle.

Authorities are now saying that Claire Squires had Jack3d in her water bottle during the race. While it is unknown whether or not she drank it as planned after mile 15, doctors believe that it could have contributed to her death.

Prof. William McKenna of the University College London hospitals trust, who reviewed Squires' medical records, said he found "significant levels" of the amphetamine-like substance in her blood. The energy drink was, he added, "an important factor" in Squires' death.

"In an apparently fit and healthy young woman who dies suddenly in the last stages of the London Marathon, with no abnormalities identified to explain her death, the toxicology identifying an amphetamine-like substance does suggest its contribution to her [cardiac] arrest, particularly after excessive exercise," he said. "In the absence of further evidence, we think the irregular heartbeat is a red herring and the substance found in the blood is an important factor in the outcome."

Jack3d was banned in the United Kingdom in August—four months after the London Marathon—after its key ingredient, DMAA (dimehtylamylamine), was linked to high blood pressure, headaches, vomiting, stroke, and a death. Similar rulings have been issued in the U.S. and Australia.

DMAA is a stimulant similar to amphetamines and its use in Jack3d was said to boost energy, concentration, and metabolism. Squires told her boyfriend she wanted to take it in order to beat her previous marathon time.

Via The Guardian

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Caleb Moore's Condition Deteriorating (Update)

Crashed snowmobile in X Games

Extreme snowmobiler Caleb Moore has been fighting for his life since his terrible crash last Thursday at the Winter X Games in Aspen. Unfortunately, his condition only appears to be worsening. Caleb's grandfather, Charles Moore, told the Denver Post that it seems unlikely he will survive. "Caleb is not doing good at all," he said. "The prognosis is not good at all. It's almost certain he's not going to make it."

Moore, a Texas native, was performing a flip on his snowmobile when he clipped the top of the jump, sending his body face first into the snow and the 450-pound vehicle rolling over him. Initially, Moore appeared to be OK. He was able to walk off the course and was taken to the hospital with a concussion. However, he later developed bleeding around his heart and was rushed to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. Caleb’s younger brother and fellow X Games competitor, Colton, also suffered a separate fall Thursday that separated his pelvis.

Caleb’s accident can be seen below. The footage shows him completing five jumps before coming up short on a backflip and plowing into the jump hill.

[WARNING: While the footage is not particularly graphic, it is quite disturbing.]

There has never been a death in the 17-year history of the X Games.

UPDATE: The family has released a statement saying that Caleb Moore has died of his injuries.

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    Photo: Chris Erwin/Flickr

Cats Kill Billions of Animals Each Year

Honestly, are you that surprised?

Your cat is a murderer. While I—and others—have been beating this homicidal cat drum for years, a new report from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service has found that, on average, domestic and feral American cats kill about 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion (mostly native) mammals per year.

To give you a sense: the average human being blinks eight million times in a single year. So, every time you close and open your eyes, about 1,875 animals are being killed by cats in America.

The Times offers more context:

The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills, and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

According to the study, free-roaming domestic cats account for only about 29 percent of dead birds and 11 percent of dead mammals. The real problem, researchers say, is the country’s growing feral cat population, currently estimated to be somewhere around 80 million.

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Fitz Roy     Photo: Jenny Mealing/Flickr

New Climbing Route on Fitz Roy

Thirty pitches in three days

Three South American climbers completed a new free route up the north face of Patagonia's Fitz Roy peak, climbing 30 pitches in a three-day, alpine-style push.

Flavio Daflon and Sergio Tatari of Brazil and Luciano Fiorenza of Argentina joined forces to put up Samba do Leao, which includes 28 new pitches, some as hard as 5.11b.

Fiorenza, a 29-year-old mountain guide, is one of Argentina's most prominent first ascensionists, with new climbs on Cerro Catedral, Cochamó, and others to his credit.

Via Pataclimb.com

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