Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Definitions: Country Rock

Whutchy'all see when yer above ground.

It's the rock right there. It belongs there. It don't try to hide or nuthin cos it belongs there.

It feels right at home and comfterble. Maybe even has its shoes off an its feet up. Homey like.

Not twitchy and tight like them city rocks. Nosir.

Now there may be some funny rocks inside there, evry now and then. Strange ones. Ores an such. Can't hep that.

It happens to the best uvum. Does.

But that there ain't the country rock, the country rock is the main rock all over that you see, an is twut belongs there.

Whut you see on yer hike. Sometimes y'almost feel like dancin to it too. Makes you feel that good.

Take er easy now


Me? Currently making the transition from old creepy guy to creepy old guy.
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As always, Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Definitions: Escherichia Coli

Escherichia Coli is another small internal pal, one who is all too glad to be carried by you, and occasionally exchanged with others you meet.

If you are alive at all, your tummy is teeming with little guys like these. In fact, they're part of everyone, and we couldn't live without some of them.

In this case "everyone" means warm-blooded animals. And "part of" means that they live in our poop, while it's still inside us, even before we part ways with it.

Normally E. coli is quiet and friendly and causes no harm at all, but bacteria tend to get into all kinds of mischief if left unsupervised long enough. E. coli (let's just call it Coli) is one of these.

And it isn't really Coli's fault. It's the way nature works. Nature is a real mess, and endlessly complicated, which is why, every now and then, you'll see someone just go nuts, and stand up somewhere and start screaming and ripping out handfuls of their own hair. Those are usually biologists. Life is tough for them. Complicated. Frustrating. Frequently smells bad. One reason I went into physics.

But if you like you can skip the personal recriminations and blame everything on bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Yes, life is complicated. Eat or be eaten. Infect or be infected. Or, in the words of that long-ago sign in the shop window, "Dick Nixon before he dicks you."

Bacteria infect us, and viruses infect us, and viruses infect bacteria. One bites one and and then another, and so on ad infinitum.

But the deal is, there is another bacterium out there, called "shigella", that happens to make a really nifty poison called "shiga toxin".

You can get your own personal shigella (call it Shiga) infection too, if you like, but you won't like, because of this shiga toxin, which is one of the most deadly poisons known. Just a bit of it causes bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome. (Yikes! How nasty!)

You can imagine the bloody diarrhea part (like who can't), but maybe not the hemolytic uremic syndrome part.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a disease that destroys red blood cells and the linings of blood vessels. Your blood loses the ability to clot. And then your kidneys die. And there is no treatment, other than to drink water and hope.

But you die anyway, so you can skip the hoping and just save your strength for the dying.

Shiga toxin is so evil that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider it a potential bioterrorist agent. (Got any clues yet?)

So hey, you don't want no Shiga.

The kinky part is that bacteriophages (jumping back to bacteriophages) go around sucking on random bacteria and transferring DNA from one of them to another, like from Shiga to Coli for instance, and then Coli is able to make its own shiga toxin.

And then you eat some stray, now deadly Coli.

This does in fact happen, and is why people get deathly sick (and quite a lot of the time the deathly part wins) when they eat contaminated food.

So cook food well, don't share food with others from a common bag, and wash your hands.

Watch that others do these things too.

You don't want severe cramps followed by a day of watery diarrhea, followed by two to five days of bright red bloody stools, followed by death. Do you?

Probably not. Not you.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Anything happening out there? 27 FEB 19

APOD 2019 February 3.  An Airglow Fan from Lake to Sky.  Visit site  ▷

Alastair Humphreys Shifting Baseline Syndrome.  The phrase describes the way each generation perceives their own experience of the environment to be normal and is willing to tolerate a small decline in those standards.  Visit site  ▷

Long Walks and Dirty Socks Assimilation, Bad Histories.  Like our minds these landscapes are intricate machines. They take a while to get to know.  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic Photos: Superb Owl Sunday III.  A photographic essay celebrating a few of these magnificent birds of prey.  Visit site  ▷ Death Valley: Tin Mountain loop.  Back at the car, we were both disappointed not to have managed the longer, 8 day trip, but still rather pleased with the exploration of Tin Mountain and Hidden Valley.  Visit site  ▷

Parasite of the Day Acanthamoeba spp.  The cornea guzzling free-living protozoa from hell! Contact lens wearing accounts for > 80% of the cases. Basically, an ulcer forms on the cornea of the infected eye as a result of the hungry Acanthamoeba.  Visit site  ▷

Motherboard Climate Change Will Alter the Color of Half of Earth's Oceans by 2100.  Phytoplankton blooms tint the oceans green, which means their response to warmer waters will shake up the ocean color scheme.  Visit site  ▷

Instagram Even Tryggstrand.  Born under the Northern Lights  Visit site  ▷

Adventure Journal How About a New 4,000-Mile Bike Route Across the US?.  The RTC is currently in the midst of planning the Great American Rail-Trail (GART), a trail system they're calling the "single greatest trail project in the history of the United States."  Visit site  ▷

Zombie Squad Palmer Furnace style emergency shelter.  Doesn't make for a comfortable night, but it beats freezing.  Visit site  ▷

The National Parks Girl A Winter Wonderland: Mount St. Helens Summit.  The winter route up Mount St. Helens, called the Worm Flows Route, requires climbing 6 miles and 5,700' up to the summit which sits at 8,366',and then turning around and either hiking, glissading, or in our case, skiing back down.  Visit site  ▷

Section Hikers Backpacking Blog Backpacking Quilt Temperature Ratings.  An Interview with Therm-a-Rest's Quilt Team.  Visit site  ▷

Spectator USA 'If I get an adrenaline rush, something's gone wrong': An interview with Free Solo's Alex Honnold.  The elite climber on fear, failure and conquering El Capitan  Visit site  ▷

Backcountry Post Album - Moon Shots.  'There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path' - Joe Buddha  Visit site  ▷ Going Left Where Others Go Right: Interview with Yasu Ogita.  From an expedition point of view, the Arctic is more difficult. The South Pole is not that hard. You gain a lot from taking responsibility for your life and achieving something entirely by your own strength.  Visit site  ▷

The Ultralight Hiker DIY Crampons.  A few 1/4&quo; nuts and some cable ties and a bit of spare time and you are good to go!  Visit site  ▷

Midwest Basecamp Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Backpack Review.  A backpack that could carry all my gear, yet fit as a carry-on.  Visit site  ▷

Futurity Awesome mosquito hearing includes our voices.  The mosquitoes' frequency range for hearing overlaps with human speech, which means "they should be able to hear" people speaking.  Visit site  ▷

The Northwest Climate Toolbox Web tools for visualizing climate.  Past and projected climate and hydrology of the Pacific Northwest, USA​.  Visit site  ▷

Viajar a pie Via Alpina 1 Stage 5: Engstlensee to foot of the Wetterhorn.  I'm glad I slept under tree cover, the Alps are a surprisingly damp place!  Visit site  ▷

Viajar a pie Via Alpina 1 Stage 8: Bundalp to Adelboden.  I'm surprised at the gap between expectations and reality but not deceived. It doesn't really matter. I loved the trip.  Visit site  ▷

CNN It's so cold in Michigan, the trees are growing ghost apples.  Andrew Sietsema was pruning apple trees in an icy orchard in western Michigan when he came across some.  Visit site  ▷

science alert Watch a Swarm of Maggots Devour an Entire Pizza in Just 2 Hours, For Science.  People like enjoying meals together too.  Visit site  ▷

Pacific Crest Trailside Reader Bare Necessities.  Curiously, all black bears are not black especially in the Western United States.  Visit site  ▷

HikeLighter.Com Six Moon Designs introduced Carbon Fiber Sun Umbrella.  Our good friends over at Six Moon Designs have brought to market two new sun umbrellas made with carbon fiber, to help reduce weight of our favorite sun umbrellas.  Visit site  ▷

novaugust Cuba.  An incredibly interesting country. The government pretends to control everything. The Cubans pretend to obey.  Visit site  ▷

Scott Reinhard Mapping and Visualization.  Scott Reinhard is a Brooklyn-based graphic designer.  Visit site  ▷

Dwell New "Metallic Wood" Is as Strong as Titanium But Much Lighter.  Light enough to float on water. [Pack frames! Tent supports!]  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic The Scientific Cost of Glacial Retreat in Venezuela.  In the midst of political and economic chaos, Venezuelan researchers are struggling to save the scientific legacy of their country's fast-melting ice.  Visit site  ▷

The Adventure Blog Long Distance Paddler Will Attempt Northwest Passage in Summer 2019.  In 2012 he kayaked the length of the Amazon River in South America and in 2014 he followed that up with the first descent of the Volga River in Russia.  Visit site  ▷ The GEMINI Hammock Underquilt.  How to make a DIY, no-sew, all-season, convertible, down underquilt for $65 and love the results.  Visit site  ▷

Ridgeline Ferociously Scary Things.  "Goodnight, goodnight," he said as he shuffled off into the night.  Visit site  ▷

Bite Toothpaste Bits.  Bite down on your Bit. Brush with a wet toothbrush.  Visit site  ▷

Miguel Marquez Outside Spill.  Caution.  Visit site  ▷

Always Wanderlust Top 10 Best Backpacking Tents Of 2019.  We've handpicked a few tents worth mentioning to make this top 10 list.  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition.  For many scientists, the resonant mystery is no longer which animals are conscious, but which are not.  Visit site  ▷

Atlas Obscura This Glacier Is Losing Ice Faster Than Any Other in Antarctica.  Pine Island Glacier calved icebergs in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018-and now, another one is getting ready to break free.  Visit site  ▷

Behance Frozen Life.  Black Forest, Germany  Visit site  ▷

PetaPixel Photographer Captures Hikers as High-Fashion Models on a 2,653-Mile Hike.  The project is called Hiker Trash Vogue.  Visit site  ▷

Adirondack Explorer Should we stop rescuing people in wilderness?.  We need more forest rangers! We can't afford more forest rangers! There is a simple solution to the problem: stop rescuing people.  Visit site  ▷

Thermarest Blog How to Choose the Right Size and Shape Camping Mattress.  There are a few crucial considerations to make.  Visit site  ▷

Leor Pantilat's Adventures Recess & Mist.  Mount Gabb steals the show with its impressive arrow-shaped profile, flanked by Mount Mills, Mount Abbot and Mount Dade.  Visit site  ▷

Leor Pantilat's Adventures Mount Kaweah - Leor Pantilat's Adventures.  The Kaweah Peaks Ridge is one of the more rugged and remote features of the High Sierra and its jagged profile is recognizable from virtually all directions.   Visit site  ▷

Adventure Alan Lightest Air Mattress the ½ Lb Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress.  The new Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Mattress is the lightest insulated backpacking air mattress.  Visit site  ▷

Adventure Alan Approaching the 1 lb barrier for a 2-person tent! Big Agnes Tent Carbon with Dyneema for 2019.  1 lb 9 oz (709g) $1,000 for the Carbon with Dyneema version.  Visit site  ▷

Hike Bike Travel How to Spend a Day at the End of the World in Punta Arenas, Chile.  It's both bigger, windier and more colourful than I imagined it to be with an overriding sense of loneliness about it.  Visit site  ▷

Backcountry Post Album - Hoodoos, Spires and other Rock Formations.  I'll get it going with this large caprock hoodoo we found in Bears Ears National Monument earlier this month.  Visit site  ▷

Vox California has 149 million dead, dry trees ready to ignite like a matchbook.  18 million trees died just last year.  Visit site  ▷

the gear caster Ditch The Puffy Coat For an Inflatable Body Warmer.  The company claims it offers 10% better insulation than feather down (in R per gram), but at a fraction of the bulk.  Visit site  ▷ Cerro Vigia Circuit, Caleta Tortel, Chile.  Tourists visiting weird, wonderful and remote Caleta Tortel all climb up to the viewpoint above town. And back down the same way.  Visit site  ▷

Pacific Crest Trail Association The thing the trail teaches.  These days, I answer the question with a single word, one the trail teaches me a little more every year.  Visit site  ▷

Caitlin T. McCormack skeletal remains.  The act of stiffening intricately crocheted cotton string with glue.  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic Images From Antarctica.  Summertime in Antarctica is winding down these days.  Visit site  ▷

REI Co-op Journal Would You Create Your Own Thru-Hike?.  The fact is, no matter how well you plan this out, things are not going to go according to plan.  Visit site  ▷

The Outdoor Society Open Relationships and Our National Parks.  Relationships are tough. They take and they give, they inspire and they crush. If healthy, they allow us to love and be loved.  Visit site  ▷

The Nib How White Americans Refuse to Assimilate.  By Jen Sorensen  Visit site  ▷

Young Adventuress 30 photos that prove the Agordino in the Dolomites is a winter wonderland.  I'm going to make a bold statement: I love winter. Unashamedly.  Visit site  ▷

CBC Radio This woman hiked hundreds of kilometres to find peace.  Like others who have walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Margaret Lynch saw herself in a new light. [audio, 7:17 + transcript]  Visit site  ▷

CBC Radio The Dunning-Kruger Effect.  A look at the psychological phenomenon that makes you cocky in your ignorance - and how we all have it. [audio, 28:59 + summary]  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic 'The Last Ice Merchant': Chimborazo, the Highest Point on Earth.  The curtain falls on an ancient vocation.  Visit site  ▷

The Adirondack Almanack Feeding Deer Does Much Harm, Little Good.  Interestingly, northern deer will lose weight in winter no matter what or how much they are fed, even in captivity.  Visit site  ▷ Huemul Route, Fitz Roy, Argentina - day 2.  Omg your foot! Glad it's not painful for you! — Anna on February 18, 2019  Visit site  ▷ Huemul Route, Fitz Roy, Argentina - day 1.  Huemul is a difficult, remote, wild visit to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the second largest in the world.  Visit site  ▷

Alastair Humphreys Rowing the Atlantic Ocean: 7 Years On.  We gather together once more, from our separate homes and lives, and relive it all as friends.  Visit site  ▷

My Modern Met Award-Winning Landscape Photos Show the Beauty of the Environment.  Over 800 photographers entered the contest.  Visit site  ▷

HikeBikeTravel Everything You Need to Know to do the Torres del Paine Trek.  You are in for a treat if you head to Patagonia to trek.  Visit site  ▷

The Hiking Life Gear Review: Tarptent Aeon Li.  Impressions of the Aeon Li, along with recommendations for future users.  Visit site  ▷ Tarptent Aeon Li V Zpacks Plexamid comparison.  'Don't think I'll be buying either of those somehow. [video]'  Visit site  ▷

The Atlantic Climate Change Enters Its Blood-Sucking Phase.  As winters grow warmer in North America, thirsty ticks are on the move.  Visit site  ▷

Ancient Earth globe What did Earth look like "X" years ago?.  Cryogenian Period. Glaciers may have covered the entire planet during the greatest ice age known on Earth.  Visit site  ▷

Eating Snow Around the World The highest point on the Te Araroa.  Sleeping in such a place, it's easy to imagine you're the only one around and that this is all yours. And it is, at least for the night.  Visit site  ▷

The Treeographer Every tree has a story.  A collection of the true histories of significant or symbolic trees from around the world.  Visit site  ▷

Miguel Marquez Outside Last.  Please take the brochure.  Visit site  ▷

APOD Red Sprite Lightning over Kununurra.  Red sprites may start as 100-meter balls of ionized air that shoot down from about 80-km high at 10 percent the speed of light.  Visit site  ▷

BBC The dark town that built a giant mirror to deflect the Sun.  The Sun has powerful effects on our minds and bodies – and it changes us when it’s absent.  Visit site  ▷

YouTube Sorelle Amore.  I tried the Wim Hof Breathing & Cold Therapy Method for 7 Days. [video]  Visit site  ▷

Adventure Journal The Bracing Sublimity of Coldwater Swimming.  Well, this is beautiful. [video]  Visit site  ▷

The Adventure Blog Bikepacking Cuba's La Ruta Mala [video].  Those who do embark on the ride will be treated to a Cuban encounter that few visitors ever get the chance to experience.  Visit site  ▷


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