Wednesday, 29 August 2007 18:50

Gerber Legendary Blades Recalls Pocket Knives

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 08:57

Crocs coming to a hanger near you

Crocs Menswear Crocs, the company that brought us those famous foamy shoes has started to branch out into clothing. They have developed a way to blend it's patented Crosslite (the foamy shoe material) with natural and synthetic fibers into material.

According to Crocs, the new fibers, which is it is calling Crosslite rt, will be resistant to harsh chemicals and heat which means it can stand up to exposure to sun, UV rays and sweat.

They also claim that the material won't have the rubbery feeling like the crocs.

Don't worry everybody, you will soon be able match your shoes to your shirt so everything will be all right. [Daily Mail, Gizmodo]

Wednesday, 29 August 2007 06:18

Hippo crushes canoe in Zambia

According to Zambia News and Information Services, three fisherman drowned in Lake Itezhi-tezhi after a hippo hit their boat and capsized it.

Four men were fishing with nets at the time when the furious hippo hit the boat causing them to fall into the water. All four climbed back into the boat and resumed fishing again when the hippo attacked again, this time crushing the dug out canoe.

This time the menu tried to swim to a nearby tree in the lake but only one made it and was rescued by other fishermen.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007 05:54

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 12:49

Werner Paddle Warranty Update

Werner Paddles Logo 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.
Monday, 27 August 2007 12:41

Paddling Raft-Up for August 27, 2007

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.
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!
Sunday, 26 August 2007 16:45

Jackson Ramps Up Factory for Big '08

Jackson Kayak 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.

Friday, 24 August 2007 18:15

Paddler Raft-up for August 24, 2007

Almost done!
23 days into their "Chasing the Anna" expedition, Derrick and Taino are ¾ the way around Puerto Rico. They made it through Hurricane Dean. [Link]
Sunscreen Confusion
Outside Blog has an interesting post about what SPF means in sunscreen. They report on a couple improvements the FDA is trying to implement for package labeling. [Link]

Keeping Maine's boaters safe
The Kennebec Journal in Maine asks the question: Are we doing what we can and should do to keep Maine's boaters safe? It gives an interesting primer at mandatory boater education for all boats including canoes and kayaks.

"Boating safety is analagous to hunter safety," says a 2007 report issued by a state group studying the possibility of a Maine mandatory boater education course. "Until mandatory hunter safety was implemented Maine experienced many hunting related shootings including numerous fatalities. Once mandatory hunter education and mandatory hunter orange clothing were required, hunting related shootings decreased significantly." [Link]

MSR Reactor StoveThe Reactor is coming!
MSR has finally started shipping is long delayed Reactor Stove. Everybody seems to be really excited about it. [Link]

BCU Syllabus Change Summery
Mark Tozer recently posted a great summery of many of the changes about to happen to the BCU kayaking instruction program. It looks really promising. I'm a big fan of the new kids curriculum. [Link]

Calling all Gear Junkies!
Kayak Journal Podcast has posted a pile (and I mean a pile) of great video casts reporting on the latest gear from OR. If you want to find out what Werner, Bending Branches, Suunto, Delta Kayaks, Wenonah, Watershed, Surefire, Smith Optics, Optimus, Teva or Kokatat are working on for next season, head on over! [Link]

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Wednesday, 22 August 2007 05:52

Google Sky

Stars It is no secret that I love Google Earth . There have been rumours over the past couple of months of a celestial version. Tomorrow Google will release Google Sky which will be an add-on to Google Earth.

One of the really cool features of the program is that you will be able to click a button and the world flips around showing you how the sky would look from that particular location.

You will be able to see the position of seven planets and the moon for up to two months ahead.

I am really looking forward to taking a look at it tomorrow. It might just replace the Stellarium project I downloaded recently...

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