October 17, 2013

Two white rhinos.     Photo: Ikiwaner/Flickr

Kenya to Microchip Rhino Horns

Tracking devices will help curb poaching

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will begin implanting microchips into the horns of the country's 1,000-plus rhinos to deter poaching on a continent that has seen a "gold rush" in poaching the last few years. The World Wildlife Fund is providing more than $15,000 worth of chips and scanners.

"Poachers are getting more sophisticated in their approach," Paul Udoto, spokesman for KWS, told AFP news agency. "Investigators will be able to link any poaching case to a recovered or confiscated horn, and this forms crucial evidence in courts."

In addition to tracking rhino poachers, these measures could also combat organized crime in the country.

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Pedal assist bike wheel fits almost any bike.     Photo: FlyKly Smart Wheel

Kickstarter: FlyKly Smart Wheel

All-in-one pedal assist bike wheel

A sleek, pedal-assist bike wheel showed up on Kickstarter yesterday. The new product is on track to raise its targeted $100,000 in just 48 hours. FlyKly is a "highly efficient all-in-one design pedal assist that fits on practically any bicycle," claims the wheel's Kickstarter campaign.

The motor, battery and all other components are tucked away in a thin housing on the wheel, which should fit almost any bike frame. The wheel is controlled by an iPhone app, of course, where you can set the top speed and monitor your progress. You can even charge your phone while riding by plugging it into the included holder. The app also provides you with the best routes according to your riding style and will even allow you to lock the wheel.

FlyKly Smart Wheel appears to be heading toward a successful crowd-fundraising campaign; get involved before it's too late!

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Passport stamps     Photo: IK's World Trip/Flickr

"Most Travelled Man" Ends 23-Year Journey

Canadian man has visited more than 190 countries

A Canadian man will return home this week after a 23-year journey, which will unofficially give him the title of "world's most travelled" man. According to the Toronto Sun, Mike Bown left Calgary in 1989 and extensively visited more than 190 countries. This week, Bown visited Ireland and was given his final passport stamp, which he celebrated with a pint of Guinness.

According to the Toronto Sun, Bown's distinction as the "most travelled" comes from the amount of time he has spent in each place. Although many others have visited just as many countries, Bown has made an effort to immerse himself wherever he goes. Bown spoke about his trip in a Toronto Sun interview.

“Some of the least travelled people I’ve ever met have been to 100 countries, or even as high as 170 countries — what they do is fly between major cities and especially capital cities, stop off in the airport or take a hotel for the night, and then say that they’ve ‘done’ such and such country…to my view, such people are passengers, not travellers.”

Some of Bown's travel stories include being the first recreational visitor in the war-charged region of Mogadishu, Somalia, in addition to hitchhiking through Iraq during the U.S. invasion. Bown also lived with countless native tribes around the world and celebrated a birthday on every continent, including Antarctica.

“I’ve had no ‘down time’—every day of my adult life has been adventure, and for this I feel very grateful" Bown told the Toronto Sun.

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Baumgartner at 128,000 feet.     Photo: deoman56/Flickr

WATCH: POV of Baumgartner's Historic Jump

Red Bull releases new footage

Nearly a year ago, Felix Baumgartner completed the highest jump in history, plummeting from 127,851 feet—about 24 miles. This week, Red Bull released Baumgartner's POV video from the jump. The nine-minute clip, which includes everything from an altimeter to a heart rate gage, shows Baumgartner spinning through space, only to be stabilized by his top speed of 844mph, according to Wired.

After Baumgartner breaks through the sound barrier and deploys his parachute, the video is relatively calm as he enjoys his descent toward New Mexico. While nauseating to some, the video is a fascinating window into an incredible event and well worth a watch.

The Red Bull Stratos project also recently released a full-length documentary, which outlines the entire story behind the jump. 

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More than 220,000 lung cancer deaths in 2010 were because of air pollution, says the IARC. The new finding is expected to spur governments to impose stricter pollution regulations.     Photo: Kodda/Shutterstock

Air Pollution Officially Causes Cancer

So much for urban bike commuters

On Thursday, the World Health Organization officially added air pollution to the list of leading causes of cancer worldwide.

"We consider [air pollution] to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking," said Kurt Straif, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer department that detects cancer-causing substances.

Unfortunately, the agency had few recommendations for how we should indiviually deal with the new classification. "When I walk on a street where there's heavy pollution from diesel exhaust," Straif told NBC News, "I try to go a bit further away. So that's something you can do." 

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A biker does a backflip at the Camelback Dirt Jump Jam in 2010.     Photo: Patrick Hui/Flickr

Record Mountain-Bike Backflip

Cam Zink sets mountain bike record

A record was set at the bikepalooza Red Bull Rampage earlier this week. Cameron Zink, 27, landed a 78-foot backflip in the desert outside of Virgin, Utah, making it the biggest freeride mountain-bike step-down backflip on record. Zink was awarded the Best Trick Award, placing third in the overall competition.

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