March 24, 2014

Bungee-jumping sequence.     Photo: Ammit/Getty Images

Bungee Jumping into the Record Books

UK man sets Guinness World Record

For most, bungee jumping is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but for Colin Phillips the extreme sport was a 151-times-in-a-day attempt at a Guinness World Record.

On Friday, the fitness coach and former professional rugby player from the UK surpassed the previous official record of 105 jumps in a 24-hour period. From a 328-foot crane in Dubai, Phillips completed the feat in three sessions, jumping for fewer than 12 cumulative hours. Philips had originally aimed to complete 200 jumps but stopped at 151 from fatigue.

"I feel a bit beaten up, to be honest," Phillips told the National. "Every jump has been different. Sometimes it's a good one. Sometimes it's not so good."

Besides the most jumps in 24 hours, Guinness World Records also recognizes the highest bungee jump (15,200 feet), the highest dunk of a doughnut while bungee jumping (198 feet 8 inches), and the most bungee jumps in one hour (80).


Rescue efforts are still in full gear looking for survivors of the Washington landslide.     Photo: Rep. Suzan Delbene/Twitter

Update: Deadly Mudslide Hits WA

14 dead, 176 missing

A combination of groundwater saturation and heavy rainfall caused a deadly landslide on Saturday in the towns of Oso and Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington, north of Seattle. As of early Monday morning, eight people have been confirmed dead and seven others injured. More than a dozen people are still unaccounted for.

"Total devastation. I mean, it's just unbelievable. It reminds me of what a tornado looks like when it's touched the ground," explained Ty Trenary, the local sheriff. 

After the landslide struck the towns on Saturday morning, rescuers have been searching nonstop for people among the debris. The slide is estimated to be roughly a square mile in size and up to 15 feet deep in some places.

Immediately after the slide, rescue workers reportedly heard survivors crying for help under the debris but were unable to reach them due to the depth and thickness of the mud. Several sections of the slide are still too dangerous for rescue workers; however, many are hopeful that more survivors will be found.

Between the two affected towns, six houses were completely destroyed and 16 others were damaged. Flooding remains a concern as the slide traveled across the Stillaguamish River, which is now blocked by mud and debris.

UPDATE, March 25, 2014:

On Monday, rescuers uncovered six more bodies in the slide debris, bringing the death toll to 14. John Pennington, the Snohomish County Emergency Management Director, announced Monday evening that the missing persons list had also grown from 108 to 176. That number is expected to drop as many are likely duplicates.


Engineer Jim Smith floating around in what he calls the world's first 3D-printed kayak.     Photo: Grass Roots Engineering

World’s First 3D-Printed Kayak

Doesn’t sink

In recent months, 3D printers have cranked out everything from prosthetics to pizza, and the new technology continues to revolutionize the outdoor world one layer at a time.

Last week, engineer Jim Smith debuted the world's first 3D-printed kayak. The colorful boat took more than 1,000 hours over 42 days of printing to construct. Crafted with a home-built large-scale 3D printer, Smith’s custom kayak measures in at 16 feet 8 inches long, is two feet wide, and cost about $500 to make.

The kayak is made of 28 color-coded ABS plastic parts, which are connected using brass-threaded thermoplastic inserts. To ensure that the kayak is watertight, a small amount of caulk is used like glue between sections.

This video from Smith’s website breaks down the incredible process:


Two people died in an inbounds avalanche at Sochi on Sunday.     Photo: wasja/Getty Images

Sochi Avalanche Kills 2 Skiers

Day after resort opens to tourists

An inbounds avalanche killed two skiers Sunday at Roza Khutor, the resort used for the Sochi Olympics.

Six skiers were on the middle section of the Labirint run when the slide occurred, according to resort officials. Two women were buried in the snow, and the rescuers who dug them out couldn’t save them. The other skiers weren’t harmed.

The mountain had just opened to tourists following the closing ceremonies of the Paralympics. Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the avalanche as they clear snow from the area.