Wednesday, 29 August 2007

The psychology of risk-taking

Boing Boing posted a really interesting post about the psychology of risk-taking. A new survey by researchers at University of Michigan suggest that just because somebody will take part in risky behaviour, doesn't mean that they will be risk takers in other areas of life. The researchers surveyed participants to see their participation level for several different types of risky business including exposing yourself to chemicals that might lead to birth defects for a high-paying job, engaging in unprotected sex or chasing a bear out of your wilderness campsite area while banging pots and pans. They found that somebody might go skydiving (which is risky) but not stand up to an abusive boss (also risky). The research shows that not all risk is created equal and people show a mixture of both risky and non-risky behaviours in their daily lives. The research seems to go against common theories of risk that group people as either risk-seeking or risk-avoiding, and suggests that we can have a mix of both risky and non-risky behaviour depending who you are and what situation you are in. They also found (to no surprise) that men were higher risk takers then woman. Press Release Research Paper (pdf)
Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Werner Paddle Warranty Update

I heard back today from Werner Paddles. Last week I posted a note about how the ferrule in the paddle shaft was starting to wear and wiggle around. I'm very pleased to report that they are going to replace it under warranty! I'm very excited about it. Normally the warranty period is 1 year from the date of purchase but they extended it by a couple of months since I bought it 15 months ago. Thanks for your fantastic support Werner! Talking to Liz in repairs, she said that they have redesigned the ferrule so that it doesn't wear the same way as mine did. I guess when you have 23 inch pythons like I do, things wear out quickly...
Don't mess with these guys. On a recent camping trip in Oregon a couple campers heard a rustling in the bushes near the woman's latrine. When they went to investigate, they saw a man running from the bushes so they tackled him and tied him to a tree until the police arrived. The amazing thing about it is that this isn't the first time it happened. It seems that the same guy did it last year but got away. At the time, they took down his license plate but there wasn't much the police could do at the time. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 18.
Simon's back! Simon is back from his trip from Norway. It sounds fantastic. He had difficulties updating his blog via text message so the whole trip was posted all at once. [Link] Blow-Up Doll Whitewater Raft Race And they're off: The fifth 'Bubble Baba Challenge' begins. Is there anything that the Russian people won't do? The recently ran Fifth Bubble Baba Challenge saw 400 men and woman race to the finish line of a set of rapids in the Vuoksa river. What makes this race different is that you need to bring your own inflatable woman to float along with. Where do they get that many inflatable woman to come along? Apparently, they were able to rent them somewhere. A couple of woman were disappointed that they were required to float down on another woman as the rental company didn't rent blow-up men... I don't know what to think about it. It reminds me of the Gale Storm rescue device we recently reported on. [Link] Thanks to Strained Diplomacy between Iran and US Spills over to Paddling We reported on it earlier but it is starting to pop-up in other news sources so it is good to talk about again. It seems that Iranian kayak coach Katayoun Ashraf was fired from the Iranian National Federation team for bringing three teenage athletes to the U.S. to train.  They sought extra training in hopes of representing Iran in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  But now the athletes' position on the national team is in jeopardy. How crazy is that. [Link] Now get back to work!
Team Jackson Kayak, already a powerhouse on the river with more national and international freestyle competition titles over the past four years than all other whitewater teams combined, is setting its sights on earning the same reputation at the factory that produces the leading brand of whitewater kayaks. "We want to be known as the powerhouse of quality and delivery," said Jackson Kayak founder, president and namesake Eric "EJ" Jackson. "Our two main goals for 2008 will be one-week turnarounds and achieving a level of quality never before seen in the paddlesports industry." To achieve these ambitious goals, Jackson has added horsepower to the factory management team that has been under the helm of John Ratliff the past three years. Joining Ratliff will be Chief Financial Officer Dave Olson who will lead operations with a big helping hand from industry veteran John Shepherd, formerly of Wilderness Systems and co-creator of Confluence. Don Holden moved up from Atlanta, to take over duties as controller. Tony Lee, is adding rotomolding management to his duties as research and development manager.

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