October 23, 2013

Left to Right: Dent Blanche, Ober Gabelhorn, Zinalrothorn, Mettelhorn (foreground).     Photo: Craig Stanfill/Flickr

Watch: Unicyclist Rides Mettelhorn

German daredevils set new benchmark in extreme unicycling.

Most of us ride down mountains on two wheels, but these German daredevils do it on one.

Lutz Eichholz and Stephanie Dietze set a new benchmark in the fledging sport of extreme unicycling after descending 11,174 feet from the peak of the Mettelhorn through steep gravel fields and icy trails to the valley of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps.

"Like most mountain sports, it can be quite dangerous," Eichholz told Radio Times. "If you make a mistake in the wrong place you can easily fall down the cliff and face the consequences."

The two have quickly become the most prominent names in mountain unicycling. In July, the duo rode the Cima Ombretta Orientale Mountain in Italy, 10,000 feet of descent. Both Eicholz and Dietze have been unicycling for 16 years and Lutz is a four-time unicycle world champion.

Watch the Ride:

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Dog dummy before crash test     Photo: Center for Pet Safety

How Safe Are Pet Harnesses?

Study found serious failures

The Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America have teamed up to test the effectiveness of pet harnesses for automobiles. Early this month, the study was released, revealing some disconcerting news about how safe pet harnesses really are.

Currently there are no performance standards for U.S. pet travel products, making manufacturer safety claims extraneous without benchmarks to measure against, reports Subaru.

Out of the eleven harnesses tested, all of which promised crash protection, only seven passed the basic strength test. Consumer Reports says that those seven were then crash tested using a series of life-like dog dummies at 25, 45, and 75 pounds.

Many products were deemed failures as they let the dog become a projectile or be released from the restraint.

The best-performing harness throughout testing was Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness, according to Subaru. The harness kept the dog from launching off the seat and was rated the highest for protecting other passengers in the vehicle. Each of the pet safety manufacturers were invited to watch the testing and many have worked to improve their products using the results, reports Subaru.

The Center for Pet Safety is working toward creating a safety harness standard by the end of the year.  

(Photos: Courtesy of the Center for Pet Safety. Note: only dog dummies were tested.)

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About 25 California condors—a species with an average wingspan of nine to ten feet, according to National Geographic—were seen on the live videocam during testing over the weekend.     Photo: George Lamson/Shutterstock

California Condor Cam Goes Live

Watch North America's largest bird

Bird watching just got a lot easier. The endangered California condor, a rare bird to spot since there are only 429 left, is going viral thanks to a strategically placed videocam streaming live since Monday at www.ventanaws.org.

"We put the camera right on top of one of the main feeding areas so we could zoom down and get identification of each individual," says Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society, a nonprofit that works to save condors from extinction.

The solar-powered cam lets the public observe these enormous, slightly macabre birds, which are most active in the morning. Scientists will use it to monitor how the condors feed or whether any show symptoms of poisioning from eating dead animals with lead bullet fragments in them, reports San Jose Mercury News.

Several times a week, Ventana biologists will put out stillborn calves on the 240-acre site—meriting the disclaimer "Viewer discretion advised,"—and today at noon, biologists will release three condors on camera that were raised in captivity.

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If you don't look like this, you might consider Funkybod's padded undershirt, which comes in black, white, and gray.     Photo: Filip Krstic / Shutterstock.com

Funkybod’s Padded Muscle Baselayer

Scrawny guys, rejoice.

In our recent roundup of best baselayers, we somehow missed Funkybod’s muscle-enhancing undershirt

Time calls it the “pushup bra for men,” but it really has the opposite effect—it compresses manboobs. The shirt does, however, accentuate the pectorals, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

The UK-based company touts the shirt as breathable, washable and “realistic to the touch.” And, at only $48, it’s definitely cheaper than a gym membership.

 



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