The Naked Truth
I'M SURE YOU'LL TAKE some flak for having a naked girl in your magazine ("Marla Streb's Mind-Body Problem," July), but Andrew Tilin's article (as well as the pictures) rocked, and that's what mountain biking is—a little wild. If people can't handle it, they should go read Martha Stewart Living!
Oradell, New Jersey
WITH THE JULY ISSUE you have reached a new low in terms of bad taste. We don't read your magazine to see photos of naked females with tattoos on their butts. It seems you have sunk to the level of junior high school boys who have recently discovered the female body. Your editorial staff needs to grow up.
James A. and Kathleen L. Crone
HEY, she's not wearing a helmet.
War and Peace
THE JUXTAPOSITION of personalities in your July issue is impressive. First, we get the image of a tattooed, self-consumed Marla Streb bragging, "I'm totally cruel, huh?" Your counterpoint—and a portrait of a much more attractive person—comes in Peter Maass's terrific story on aid workers John Miskell and Sienna Loftus, "Another Day in the Drop Zone." Loftus's philosophy of life is something you want to remember: "When you see war, when you see a culture that has changed into a war culture, you become grateful. People in the States do not know what it's like to not be free. They have no clue." I'm grateful that in an egocentric world there are people like Loftus and Miskell who remind us of what really matters.
JUST FINISHED READING your article about the attempted sabotage of the TV show Survivor ("Survive This!" July). Bill Vaughn, I salute you! I wish I had the time and the resources to carry out a similar mission. You had me in stitches, especially over the sudden flash to set the island on fire—"Run, TV boy!" By the way, did the contestants ever find any of the gin? Cheers to Outside for running the story.
THE CHARITABLE SIDE of me would like to assume that your pronouncing Canada the "third-largest country in the world" in the description of the 10,000-mile-long Trans Canada Trail ("Go On, We Dare You," June) was a mere typo or editorial mix-up. But there is also a cynical component to my soul that wonders what country you elevated (consciously or subconsciously) to the second-largest rank instead. My suspicion has to be that the writer gave the good old United States this particular honor. No, despite occasional threats of secession in Québec, Canada is still, and quite handily I might add, the second-largest country in the world.
IN RESPONSE TO an answer in July's Wild File column about animals that eat flowers, I have one more to add to the list. When the Aldabra tortoise at the Phoenix Zoo escaped his habitat a few years back, only one thing enticed him back to his home—hibiscus flowers. An emergency call went out to the community, and volunteers responded quickly, bringing every hibiscus flower they could find. They made a trail of blossoms, and the tortoise followed it slowly back to his enclosure.
The Flip Side
I PAID PARTICULAR attention to the "Cold" section in "Severe Conditioning" (Bodywork, June), since my training grounds are buried in snow for a large part of the year. You say to keep the wind at your back when warming up and then head into it once you're warm. I would advise the exact opposite. It's far safer to head out into the wind, because you quickly determine if you're wearing sufficient clothing by facing the coldest weather first. More important, if you bonk on the run or have bike problems, it is much safer to have the wind at your back for the return trip. There's nothing worse than working up a good sweat, only to cramp up and have to hobble home into a bone-chilling wind.
PUTTING A MOVIE SET on your June cover is not Outside. It is, in fact, inside—a studio that houses a 70-foot boat. The wave behind the boat is a digital image superimposed on a bluescreen background. I read your magazine for insightful news about the world we travel in, not for Hollywood's latest depiction of sea disasters. Read your mission statement please...or did Hollywood buy that too?
Golden, British Columbia.
The Wizard of Oz
I WAS DELIGHTED to read of Bill Bryson's Australian adventure in the June issue, titled "The (Seriously, Truly, Very) Fatal Shore." I hope we can expect to see much more of his work in the magazine in the future.
Hanover, New Hampshire
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