Monday, January 30, 2012

Shaun White scores first perfect 100 in Winter X Games superpipe

Shaun White was told by his mother to slow down. He was 6 years old. Before the age of 5, Shaun White had already undergone two cardiac surgeries because of a congenital heart defect.

At age 6, Shaun White took up snowboarding and his mother was concerned for her son's heart, so she ordered him to slow down. His mother told him he could only snowboard backwards, aka switch riding or riding fakie.

Mother's edict, while it might have slowed him down in the beginning, actually helped Shaun White develop his snowboarding ability, and he hasn't slowed down since.

Certainly there was nothing slowing down Shaun White in the superpipe at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday night -- not an ankle sprain or the fact he'd already clinched his fifth consecutive gold medal in the discipline with a 94.00 on his first run.

Not one to slow down, in his third and final run, one he could've turned into a simple victory lap, Shaun White instead made an encore run for the ages.

This is perfection -- watch and be amazed by the 25-year-old Flying Tomato:

The ESPN announcer said at the end, "Whether it's scored the highest or not it’s hands down the best run we’ve ever seen in history."

Indeed, Shaun White's last run in the superpipe made history. He laid down a perfect 100.00 -- a first in the 16-year history of the Winter X Games.

Here's how James Sullivan from described it:
Shaun White broke new ground in the history of the sport. Combing jaw-dropping amplitude, text-book skill and style and a technical difficulty never before seen. White executed the first truly perfect performance in Winter X Games history including an 18-foot backside air, a 17-foot frontside double cork 1080, an 11-foot switch frontside double cork 1080, a 14-foot frontside cork 540, a 13-foot backside double cork 1260 and a 12-foot frontside double cork 1260 -- the first back-to-back double cork in Winter X history.

The judges concurred perfection was at hand and awarded him with an immaculate score of 100.

A surreal moment for the global audience but not a speechless one for Shaun White.

"It was bizarre - and my coach Bud Keene was saying 'They're going to give you a 100 if you make it.' I'm thinking he was very excited. But I don't know, I just came through it and everything felt perfect. I was landing the 10 at the top and the cab double came through perfect. I don't know if I have ever landed my double Mc12 as clean as I have tonight so that just set myself up perfect for the frontside double cork 12. I guess it's the first (time) ever to do back-to-back double cork 12s. What a night!"
On his Facebook page, Shaun White merely wrote, "X Games 16, what an unreal night!"

Clearly, Shaun White, himself amazed at his feat, has the heart of a champion. Thanks, in large part, to his mother.

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Great white shark surfaces in Ironman competition in Australia (video of shark surfacing)

A large great white shark is said to have surfaced just yards away from contestants paddling in an Ironman competition last week in Australia, but nobody noticed it until TV footage was shown later.

At least some believe it was a great white shark, supported by reports of a shark attack less than 10 miles away four days earlier.

Not everyone is convinced, however. Others claim it was a pilot whale or dolphin.

Take a look at the short video on YouTube and tell us what you think. Watch in the upper left-hand corner:

It was ironwoman Kirsty Holmes who first alerted organizers of the Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series about the surfacing of a great white shark at Newcastle Beach, located 101 miles north-northeast of Sydney.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
“I was at home on Monday night and just watching a replay of the round on You Tube when I saw it,” Holmes said.

“I was actually looking at the top of the screen because at that stage I think I was coming fourth or fifth and thought I should be coming into picture, then all of a sudden I saw the fin and said ‘What was that!?’

“As soon as [I] saw it I thought it was a shark. I rang Zane (Holmes) and he agreed, saying it was either a shark or a pilot whale.

Folkard's surfboard
“I suppose it’s good for the sport because there’s now plenty of hits on YouTube, but the only reason I thought it was a shark was because it didn’t resurface, and normally dolphins and whales do.”
Just four days before this Ironman Series competition, surfer Glen Folkard was reportedly attacked by what was believed to be a juvenile great white shark at Redhead Beach, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Folkard told The Australian that the impact from the shark was like being hit by a car and being turned 180 degrees. The shark bite his right leg before he managed to climb back on his board and swim to safety, nearly bleeding to death.

Redhead Beach and Newcastle Beach are about six miles apart.

The Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series was unaware of the surfacing great white shark/pilot whale/dolphin.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

“We didn’t know about it until after it happened and if we did know about it on the day we would have acted accordingly to what the authority - council lifeguard or surf lifesaving australia - required and they would have closed the beach and we would have removed our competitors,” a Nutri-Grain Ironman Series spokesman said.

“But we don’t think it’s a shark. It looks to be either a pilot whale or a false killer whale. Safety is always the priority. Our competitors encounter sharks and dolphins on a regular basis while training and if it hadn’t been for a shark attack the week earlier I don’t think we’d be talking about it.”
But then, who can dispute Kirsty Holmes? She ought to know a whale when she sees one, considering the two-time Open Ski champion was once knocked off her ski by a whale.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

X Games tribute to Sarah Burke

In a touching tribute, the X Games remembered legendary freestyle skier Sarah Burke on Thursday night in Aspen, Colo., with a ceremony on the halfpipe, where Sarah Burke built her stardom.

Friends walked or, on skis, glided down the halfpipe holding white glow sticks above their heads.

"Everything she believed in is on this mountain tonight," Winter X emcee Sal Masekela told the crowd, according to the Associated Press. "Competition, excellence, progression."

View the tribute to Sarah Burke here:

[A unique tribute to Sarah Burke on Facebook]

More from the Associated Press:
With light snow falling on them at the bottom, those friends embraced Burke's parents and her husband — all still mourning a week after the 29-year-old Canadian freestyle icon's death following a training accident on a halfpipe in Utah.

It was a touching moment in front of a normally raucous X Games crowd that fell silent while watching the tribute. It opened with a video remembrance of Burke, the four-time champion in skiing superpipe who used to save her best work for the fans in Aspen. [...]

Burke was the first woman to land a 720, then a 900, then a 1080-degree spin in competition. But the summary of Burke's life, Masekela said, will never be found in any stat sheet or record book.

"She was a superstar with the humility of a rookie," Masekela said.

Shortly after the tribute, with the competition moving on, Burke's name was briefly the second-hottest trending topic on Twitter — one small indication of what she meant to the action-sports world she helped shape. Meanwhile, all around Aspen, the new sticker that reads "Celebrate Sarah" was becoming an increasingly popular item. [...]
Even though it wasn't her best event, it was Burke's prodding that played a big role in bringing women's slopestyle to the X Games program in 2009. She had a similar impact on the International Olympic Committee, which voted to bring that sport, along with Burke's specialty, superpipe skiing, into the games beginning in 2014.
Sarah Burke once said in an interview years ago, "I just ski because I really like it. I'm not going out there to win the most money or make a big difference. I do it because I love it."

Because of her love for skiing, she did make a big difference. RIP, Sarah Burke.

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A unique tribute to Sarah Burke on Facebook
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coca-Cola polar bears to watch, react to Super Bowl live on Facebook

Bears are cute, as we know from this friendly bear that waves back to people and these fun-loving polar bears that mugged for the “Spy on Ice” Polar Bear Cam.

We also know that Super Bowl commercials are clever.

What does one have to do with the other?

For Super Bowl XLVI, Coca-Cola is combining cute with clever by having its popular polar bears watching the game live, and allowing human fans to watch their reactions on Facebook.

Essentially, it’s a continuous, game-long Super Bowl commercial, and it benefits the World Wildlife Fund. Sounds like it’ll also entertain those tuning in on iPads, iPhones, laptops and other devices. Oh, and the polar bears will also be tweeting during the game.

Ah, the beauty of social media. Here’s a preview:

This is how the Coke Polar Bowl is explained on Facebook, where you can also RSVP for the special Polar Bear Super Bowl Party:
On Feb. 5, the Polar Bears are throwing their first-ever Coca-Cola® Polar Bowl Party. They’ll be watching the game and chatting with friends from kick off until the clock runs out. RSVP now to hang out and chat with the Polar Bears during the game. Plus, with each RSVP Coca-Cola will donate $1 to World Wildlife Fund to help polar bears and their Arctic home.
USA Today wrote about the new concept of mixing Coca-Cola’s polar bears, the Super Bowl, Super Bowl commercials and social media to take advantage of today’s Internet and (Name the Device) Age.

From USA Today:

The computer-animated bears will appear in a video stream running throughout the game at, a site hosted within Facebook. The bears, appearing to watch the game, will respond in real time to the real game’s action, such as touchdowns, turnovers, bad calls and even commercials for other brands. For instance, if a sexy ad airs, an adult bear would cover the eyes of a baby bear.

The bears — programmed with hundreds of reactions — will be “puppeted” by Coke controllers. Coke will also post witty Twitter updates from the bears and encourage viewers to upload photos to be incorporated into the live stream.

“The trick is to be everywhere consumers are,” and that means having a presence on the TV broadcast, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other popular sites, says Pio Schunker, Coke North America head of integrated marketing platforms and content.
What’s next? A phone app to track great white sharks that are tagged? Oh wait, they already have that.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowmobiler buried alive in avalanche, see dramatic video

Two snowmobilers race up the side of a steep incline. One motors to the bottom, the other falls off as his machine continues to the bottom of the hill. The tossed-off rider starts trudging through the snow toward his snowmobile.

A third snowmobiler races farther up the incline and charges down, passing above the walking rider.

A fourth snowmobiler waves his arms and points to warn them of impending doom.

Too late.

A small avalanche slides down and buries the walking rider.

And it was all caught on a helmet camera worn by the fourth snowmobiler who was trying to warn them.

Take a look at the dramatic video of the recent snowmobiling incident somewhere in Washington:


The YouTube posting of "Live to tell" included a post from Captain Swanson, the surviving snowmobile rider.
The guy on the white sled rode the avalanche down and knew right where to look for me. These guys saved my [expletive] and got me out fast. Seemed like a whole lot longer when in the snow but thanks for the quick work guys. Looking forward to the next ride with you beacon and all.:)
Good idea. Wearing a beacon is especially recommended when snowmobiling in avalanche-prone areas, such as a steep incline like the one in the video, which shows that it doesn't take much to trigger an avalanche and for an avalanche to bury someone.
Another no-no is riding above someone else on a steep slope. Doing so can trigger an avalanche, as you just witnessed.
It's probably not surprising to know that deadly avalanches mostly involve snowmobiles. From the Safe Riders Snowmobile Safety Awareness Program:
Snowmobilers top the list of those who get caught and perish in avalanches in North America. Understanding the basics of avalanche safety is important for those wanting to snowmobile in avalanche country. It is strongly recommended that you take an avalanche-training course with a field session to learn what to look for. Avalanches that involve people do not randomly occur. Over 90 percent of the time, the victims or someone in their group triggers the snow slide. This means that avalanches could generally be avoided if snowmobilers would learn to follow avalanche safety procedures. The following information is a general introduction to avalanche safety. For additional information, visit
For more information on avalanche safety, go to the Forest Service National Avalanche Center.

Be safe out there, snowmobilers.

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Underwater video of killer whales off California coast

One voice among the group of whale watchers said it all: “It’s unbelievable. This is the best killer whale show I’ve ever seen.”

Indeed, when a whale-watching boat spots 40 killer whales on one trip, it really is unbelievable.

And to see some of the orcas from an underwater viewing station aboard the Manute’a? All the more incredible.

That’s exactly what happened last Thursday on a whale-watching trip with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari out of Dana Point, Calif. Take a look at part of the trip on this YouTube clip from Captain Dave's:

Wildlife enthusiasts can take an African safari and see lions, elephants, giraffes and hippopotamuses, among other exotic animals, in their native habitat.

Most people only see killer whales, aka orcas, at Sea World. Same for dolphins. But on Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, one can sometimes see hundreds of dolphins in one pod in the wild, and during the winter whale-watching season (which is now), possibly a handful of whales -- this only miles off the Orange County coast.

Seeing 40 killer whales is not a guarantee, however, but during the winter season you’re likely to see at least one or two migrating gray whales, with blue whales passing by on occasion in the summer months.

Which is why seeing 40 killer whales on Thursday was so rare, so special.

The underwater video was taken from the eye-to-eye underwater viewing pod, originally designed to view dolphins on the Manute'a.

The view of dolphins -- like the view of the killer whales you just saw -- is unlike any other in the world. Can't imagine seeing hundreds of dolphins at once? Then take a look at this KABC special report.

Captain Dave Anderson has also incorporated live streaming video online for those who can’t make it out to Dana Point. But if you're in the neighborhood, it's time well spent.

At the end of Thursday’s trip, three killer whales lined up, spouting water and slapping the water with their tails one after another, as if putting on a show.

You know, maybe they were.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Narrowest trail in the world or scariest trail in the world? (videos)

Narrowest trail in the world? Or scariest trail in the world?

We don't know where it was, who it was or when it was, only that it looked extremely dangerous, this dirt biker performing a death-defying ride across the narrowest trail in the world. Or the scariest trail in the world, if you'd prefer.

The 1 1/2-minute video of the daring dirt biker was posted Friday and is making the rounds on the Internet.

Not much information was offered. All the poster said was "Dirt biker with a death wish rides on what appears to be the narrowest trail in the world with massive dropoffs on each side."

Take a look, and then compare it to the video below:

"I get vertigo from watching this," one commenter on said about "The narrowest trail in the world."

"Fish eye lense on camera makes it look gnarlier than it may be," said another. "Still not much room for mistakes, though."

No, not much room for error at all. Kind of similar to the narrow singletrack the mountain bikers had in this YouTube video, one simply called radwanderung or bike:

This mountain biking video was posted a couple years ago but not long ago found its way onto Adventure Journal, which called it "the most terrifying five minutes of singletrack on Earth."

It might be right.

So what say you? Which was the scariest trail in the world? Or was THIS the scariest trail in the world?

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Vail resorts to snow dance; Lake Tahoe ski resorts could use one, too

Lake Tahoe ski resorts, take note.

If you are lacking in snow for the winter sports season, as the ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region are, hire a Native American to do a snow dance.

Are you listening, Squaw Valley? Northstar-at-Tahoe? Heavenly? Alpine Meadows?

Look what happened at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado.

Vail was reporting a 15 percent decrease in total skier visits at its six properties, and Vail’s popular back bowls had been roped off late into the season because of a lack of snow, according to The Wall Street Journal.

So what did Vail do?

It hired Eddie Box Jr., 66, a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of Colorado, to do a snow dance, much to the delight of skiers and snowboarders.

Here’s how it went:

Since the snow dance was performed on Jan. 7, Vail has received at least 25 inches of snow, and the back bowls opened Thursday for the first time this ski season, the WSJ reported.

Apparently, this wasn’t the first time Vail brought in a Native American to perform a snow dance. Box’s father performed the first snow dance at Vail in 1963. By the end of that day, the mountain was covered with eight inches of snow.

Like other mountain resorts across the U.S., Lake Tahoe resorts are starving for fresh powder for the skiing and snowboarding season. The region just recently broke a record of 56 straight dry days, including a completely dry December. Can you say snow dancer?

Ah, but finally on Friday, the Tahoe resorts were starting to get some snow, according to Ski Lake Tahoe.

But if the Tahoe ski resorts really want a good dumping of fresh powder, they might want to call Vail to get the phone number for Box.

A snow dance sure couldn’t hurt.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A tribute to Sarah Burke, an X Games icon in freestyle skiing

Hundreds of tributes, thoughts and prayers from all over the world were pouring in by the minute on Sarah Burke’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon after the sad news about her passing hit the Internet. Among them were these:
Rest in Peace, Sarah Burke

Skiing loses another shining light. Shred in Peace Sarah.

Rest in peace and ski in the heavenly clouds above....

You'll never be forgotten ♥

RIP Mes condoléances a tout ses proches :,(
One of the more poignant of the RIPs was one posted by an illustrator at boulplanet:

Boulplanet wrote: "une étoile des neiges nous a quitté aujourd'hui ! j'ai voulu par ce dessin exprimer ma peine de voir partir si vite une magnifique championne si talentueuse... RIP Sarah Burke."

As translated by Bing and Google Translate: "A star of snow left us today! I wanted by this drawing to express my grief at seeing a great champion so talented leave so quickly."

You can see all the Sarah Burke tributes on her Facebook page.

To view an excerpt from “Winter,” a documentary Sarah Burke and husband Rory Bushfield were the subjects in, go to the bottom of the page.

And for those who don't know the full story about the sad death of X Games icon and freestyle skiing pioneer Sarah Burke, here’s The Associated Press version:

Sarah Burke was an X Games star with a grass-roots mentality—a daredevil superpipe skier who understood the risks inherent to her sport and the debt she owed to it.

The pioneering Canadian freestyler, who helped get superpipe accepted into the Olympics, died Thursday after a Jan. 10 crash during a training run in Park City, Utah.

Burke, who lived near Whistler, in British Columbia, was 29.

Tests revealed she sustained “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest,” according to a statement released by her publicist, Nicole Wool, on behalf of the family.

A four-time Winter X Games champion, Burke crashed on the same halfpipe where snowboarder Kevin Pearce sustained a traumatic brain injury during a training accident on Dec. 31, 2009.

Wool said Burke’s organs and tissues were donated, as she had requested before the accident.

“The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched,” the statement said.

A four-time Winter X Games champion, Burke will be remembered as much for the hardware she collected as the legacy she left for women in superpipe skiing, a sister sport to the more popular snowboarding brand that has turned Shaun White, Hannah Teter and others into stars.

Aware of the big role the Olympics played in pushing the Whites of the world from the fringes into the mainstream, Burke lobbied to add superpipe skiing to the Winter Games program, noting that no new infrastructure would be needed.

Her arguments won over Olympic officials and the discipline will debut at the Sochi Games in 2014, where Burke likely would have been a favorite for the gold medal.

“Sarah, in many ways, defines the sport,” Peter Judge, the CEO of Canada’s freestyle team, said before her death. “She’s been involved since the very, very early days as one of the first people to bring skis into the pipe. She’s also been very dedicated in trying to define her sport but not define herself by winning. For her, it’s been about making herself the best she can be rather than comparing herself to other people.”

She was, Judge said, as committed to the grass roots of the sport—giving clinics to youngsters and working with up-and-coming competitors—as performing at the top levels.

“She was a great, positive person for the whole team, the whole sport,” said David Mirota, the Canadian team’s high performance director. “She enlightens the room, and she’s great.”

News of Burke’s death spread quickly through the action-sports world, where the Winter X Games are set to start next week in Aspen, Colorado, without one of their biggest and most-beloved stars.

She’s probably one of the nicest people I’ve known in my life, and that’s about the only thing I have to say about it,” said American superpipe skier Simon Dumont, a multiple X Games medalist.

Jeremy Forster, the program director for U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding, said freeskiers would remember Burke “first, as a friend, and then as a competitor who constantly inspired them to do greater things.”

“She was a leader in her sport, and it’s a huge loss for the freeskiing community,” Forster said.

“Shocked and saddened,” former freestyle Olympian Jeremy Bloom said on Twitter. “Sarah was a true champion in everything that she did.”

Burke’s death is also sure to re-ignite the debate over safety on the halfpipe.

Pearce’s injury—he has since recovered and is back to riding on snow—was a jarring reminder of the dangers posed to these athletes who often market themselves as devil-may-care thrillseekers but know they make their living in a far more serious, and dangerous, profession.

The sport’s leaders defend the record, saying mandatory helmets and air bags used on the sides of pipes during practice and better pipe-building technology has made this a safer sport, even though the walls of the pipes have risen significantly over the past decade. They now stand at 22 feet high.

Some of the movement to the halfpipe decades ago came because racing down the mountain, the way they do in snowboardcross and skicross, was considered even more dangerous—the conditions more unpredictable and the athletes less concerned with each other’s safety.

But there are few consistent, hard-and-fast guidelines when it comes to limiting the difficulty of the tricks in the halfpipe, and as the money and fame available in the sport grew, so did the tricks. In 2010, snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton told The Associated Press that much of this was self-policed by athletes who knew where to draw the line.

“If the sport got to the point where halfpipe riding became really dangerous, I think riders would do something about it,” Burton said. “It wouldn’t be cool anymore.”

His opinion is shared by many.

“There are inherent risks in everything,” Judge said. “Certainly, freestyle skiing has one of the greatest safety records of almost any sport. Freestyle is a very safe sport in large part because we had to build a safe sport in order to get into the Olympics.”

In 2009, Burke broke a vertebra in her back after landing awkwardly while competing in slopestyle at the X Games. It was her lobbying that helped get the X Games to include women’s slopestyle—where riders shoot down the mountain and over “features” including bumps and rails.

It wasn’t her best event, but she felt compelled to compete because she pushed for it.. She came to terms with her injury quickly.

“I’ve been doing this for long time, 11 years,” she said in a 2010 interview. “I’ve been very lucky with the injuries I’ve had. It’s part of the game. Everybody gets hurt. Looking back on it, I’d probably do the exact same thing again.”

She returned a year after that injury and kept going at the highest level, trying the toughest tricks and winning the biggest prizes.

A native of Midland, Ontario, Burke won the ESPY in 2007 as female action sports athlete of the year.

In 2010, she married another freestyle skier, Rory Bushfield, and they were headliners in a documentary film project on the Ski Channel called “Winter.”

In her interview with AP two years ago, Burke reflected on the niche she’d carved out in the action-sports world.

“I think we’re all doing this, first off, because we love it and want to be the best,” she said. “But I also think it would’ve been a great opportunity, huge for myself and for skiing and for everyone, if we could’ve gotten into the (Vancouver) Olympics. It’s sad. I mean, I’m super lucky to be where I am, but that would’ve been pretty awesome.”

A little more than a year later, with Burke’s prodding, her sport was voted in for the next Winter Games.

RIP, Sarah Burke.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Man burns money to keep warm while lost in Mt. Rainier blizzard

Yong Chun Kim was lucky he had money to burn.

For Kim, a 66-year-old who became lost in a blizzard on Mount Rainier in Washington, burning money became the last resort to keeping him warm as he waited for more than two days to be rescued.

King 5 News has the amazing story about the man who burned money to stay warm:

Kim is an experienced outdoorsman. He snowshoes Mount Rainier nearly every week, and was leading 16 members of a hiking and climbing club on a snowshoeing outing Saturday when he slid down a slope and became separated from the group, according to The Associated Press, King 5 News and CBS News.

He radioed the group twice, telling them he was OK and that he'd meet them farther down the trail. When the snowshoeing group reached the parking lot, Kim wasn't there. Nor could the group reach Kim on the radio. The snowshoers last communicated at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Park officials were called, and a search and rescue was launched.

Kim had become disoriented in the whiteout conditions and slid a second time, losing his walkie-talkie, a glove and ski pole.

The Associated Press picks up the story:

[Kim of Tacoma] said he carried a lighter and other emergency supplies and burned personal items: extra socks, Band-Aid, toothbrush, packaging, and lastly $1 and $5 bills from his wallet.

Kim, who served in the South Korean military in the Vietnam War, told KOMO-TV in Seattle that skills he learned as a soldier helped him survive. He said he wasn't scared. He kept waiting for the sounds of the helicopter — though severe weather conditions prevented park officials from using one to search for Kim.

"I'm a lucky man, a really lucky man," he said in an interview Tuesday afternoon from his home.
With temperatures in the teens and winds whipping on the mountain, Kim said he kept walking and moving to stay warm. He took cover in several tree wells — depressions in snow that forms around a tree — and slept standing for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

He initially made a shelter near a big rock and tried to stay warm. He tried to keep walking, but at times "the snow was so deep, I couldn't breathe."

Kim dreamed of his wife and a nice hot sauna. He talked to himself. He took pictures. He prayed to God. He worried his family and friends would worry about him. He made a fire, drank hot water and ate rice, some Korean food and a chocolate bar.

And even as he burned his personal items to say warm, the last $6 going up in flames Sunday night, he said: “I worried because it’s a national park. You’re not supposed to have a fire. ... I’m worried about that but I want to (stay) alive.”

Money made for the best fire, he said, laughing. Nylon socks and packaging, not so great.

Kim told KOMO-TV of Seattle that he first burned leaves, then his extra socks and then the two bills from his wallet -- a $1 bill and a $5 bill.

"I don't care. I have money at home," he laughed, recalling to the decision to burn money. "I had to make it home!"

Kim found refuge beneath a tree, sat and waited.

Without the aid of a helicopter, rescuers resorted to a Sno-Cat to reach the search area, and searchers set out on snowshoes to find Kim.

By Sunday night, Kim's family had nearly lost all hope, though Kim remained positive and warm by marching in place and singing "Amazing Grace" in his native Korean.

Finally, on Monday afternoon, after more than 50 hours in a blizzard, Kim was found by search crews, but it took nine hours traversing rugged terrain to find a road off the mountain.

Kim was in such good shape, he didn’t even need to be taken to a hospital. He happily returned to his family, vowing to return Mount Rainier.

From King 5 News:

With a song in his heart and a fire in his belly, Kim plans to return to Rainier as soon as possible, just as he has done almost every weekend for the past 10 years. He says even with the occasional brush with death - it beats golf.

"Golf is too stressful. Hard on the mind. You get angry. Stress no good!"

Kim says at the insistence of his family he will take this weekend off, but there is something about that mountain that keeps calling him back.

"It takes me close to God," he said.
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Monday, January 16, 2012

A dog and sea lion play together: See the video

The unlikeliest of playmates -- a small dog and a huge sea lion -- get together for a short rendezvous with a thick glass partition between them.

The wall of separation doesn't seem to matter as the dog strikes up a relationship with the sea lion in an aquarium in some foreign country.

Enjoy this YouTube video entitled "Dog plays with sea lion!":

It reminds us of this video making the rounds on the Internet last week showing a little girl staring down an African lion with a thick pane of glass separating them.

The above video may be a little less entertaining, but it's hard to top a lion pawing at a little kid. This time the dog is pawing at a sea lion, which seems desperate for a four-legged companion. Definitely a strange encounter.

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Hilarious fishing animation video
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

A crow goes snowboarding down a snowy roof

Shaun White might be the snowboarding king, but even he will appreciate the ability of this first-time snowboarder snowboarding down the side of a roof.

At least we're presuming the crow is a first-time snowboarder.

Yes, that's right. A crow. A black crow. A snowboarding crow. If you don't believe us, we'll eat, uh, crow.

See for yourself:

See, we told you it was a snowboarding crow. Or a snowboarding bird, if you prefer. Or as someone else put it, crowboarding. Or a sledding crow.

For those who are video impaired, this is what happened on the YouTube video: The crow used a circular snowboard to slide down the side of the roof. The bird picked up its snowboard and flew back to the top of the roof and tried a different route, only to be thwarted because of a lack of snow.

The bird picked up the snowboard and flew back to the top of the roof. Then, the crow went sliding down the same route as the first time, and with great success we might add. It again picked up the snowboard and returned to the top of the roof. From there, the bird picked up the weird-looking snowboard and flew off to join Shaun White & Co. at an unknown ski resort.

Near as we can tell, this was shot somewhere in Russia, considering the nyet used in the conversation by one of the kids. The children and parents were watching and laughing -- and videotaping -- from a window.

BTW, take care of that cough, little guy. And keep those snowboarding crow videos coming.

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A little girl stares down a lion: see the video!
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Epic surfing video: Big-wave surfers captured in slow motion at Billabong event

The reviews are in, the people have spoken, and the verdict is pretty much unanimous. The epic surfing video by world-renowned, award-winning cinematographer Chris Bryan posted at MPORA Pure Action Sports is absolutely must-see.

Don’t take our word for it, see what the critics are saying in the comments posted Friday below the video entitled “Biggest Teahupoo Ever”:


“Unbelievable! How does one survive the fall?”

“Spiritual, sick, insane......the best surf video I have EVER seen!!!!! Brilliant.”

“Absolutely captivating.”

“Worth rationing my use of the overworked word ‘stunning’ so I can save it for rare gems like this.”

“I’ve never seen a video that captures the power and beauty of waves and surfing quite like this!”

Chances are, you haven’t either, but you are about to. Feast your eyes on the “Biggest Teahupoo Ever, Shot on the Phantom Camera”:

Teahupoo is a village on the Southwest Coast of Tahiti and is known for its awesome surf with heavy, glassy waves offshore that can break as high as 70 feet.

This surfing video was shot by Chris Bryan at a Billabong Pro event last August, though it is just hitting the Internet.

The video is brilliantly filmed in super slow-motion HD and posted to the song “Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun” by M83, though “Die with the Waves” would be more appropriate.

This is what surfing legend Kelly Slater had to say about the surfing action that day:

“Witnessing this was a draining feeling being terrified for other people’s lives all day long, it’s life or death. Letting go of that rope one time can change your life and not many people will ever experience that in their life.”

The post at also said it was “the biggest and gnarliest Teahupoo ever ridden.”

Now we just need a behind-the-scenes look to see how the cameraman (or cameramen, as it were) survived shooting this epic surfing action.

Thanks to John Strege!

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'Of Men and Mavericks' surfing film shoot at Mavericks results in citations
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Surfing at night with surfboards and wetsuits in neon lights

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

World’s smallest frog found in New Guinean rain forest

Photo courtesy of Louisiana University

The latest find in nature comes from the New Guinean rain forest in the form of a tiny frog that is less than a fourth the size of a dime.

National Geographic News published the findings Wednesday, saying "the world’s smallest known vertebrate is a frog the size of a housefly."

From National Geographic News:

At an average of 7.7 millimeters long [or .3 inches], the newfound Paedophryne amauensis is a hair smaller than the previous record holder, the Southeast Asian fish species Paedocypris progenetica, whose females measure about 7.9 millimeters [.31 inches].

During recent field surveys in southern Papua New Guinea, scientists found P. amauensis and another new species of tiny frog, Paedophryne swiftorum, which measures about 8.6 millimeters [.34 inches].

"I think it's amazing that they're continuing to find smaller and smaller frogs," said Robin Moore, an amphibian expert with Conservation International, who was not involved in the study.

It's obvious "they're adapting to fill a niche that nothing else is filling," he said.

Indeed, the frogs likely evolved their tiny sizes to eat tiny invertebrates, such as mites, that are ignored by bigger predators, said study co-author Christopher Austin, a biologist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
For those who love nature and want to read the entire text about the Paedophryne amauensis, the smallest known animal with a backbone, click here.

UPDATE: Claim is contested.

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'Of Men and Mavericks' surfing film shoot at Mavericks bring citations

Big-wave surfers at the famous Mavericks in Northern California are not allowed to use personal watercraft as a safety measure unless the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues a high surf advisory.

That ban of PWCs goes for Hollywood, too.

The lights, camera and action of Hollywood recently descended upon Mavericks near Half Moon Bay, Calif., to shoot surfing action scenes for "Of Men and Mavericks," a surfing movie about the life of surfer Jay Moriarity, whose big-wave surfing exploits helped put Mavericks on the map.

Last Thursday morning, a day before the shoot wrapped up, NOAA officials showed up at Mavericks to enforce the ban of PWCs in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The ban is said to protect the wildlife.

According to, a NOAA official got on a loudspeaker and warned those on PWCs who were on their way out to work safety for the movie that they'd be ticketed "unless they went out [and] moored to a bigger boat and stayed in the channel."

That didn't happen, of course.

Ironically, in December, actor Gerard Butler was caught in a set of big waves. He was held down underwater for two waves before popping up and being pulled out of the punishing surf by a safety patrolman on a PWC. The actions likely saved Butler's life.

On Thursday, NOAA wasn't in the business of helping to save lives. It issued three tickets to the PWC safety patrolman working on the movie. "Heated discussions" were involved. reported that on Friday, the California Department of Fish and Game had a boat and helicopter tracking down PWC serial numbers.

Said Surfer/stuntman Mark Healey, "They probably spent about $300,000 of our tax dollars to get a few skis at Mavs."

Turns out, the movie producers on "Of Men and Mavericks" got the shot they wanted on Thursday. Apparently, they were shooting for a similar wave -- one famously caught on video -- that wiped out Moriarty and made he and Mavericks famous.

Thursday's swell - while chunkier than Tuesday's -- was a perfect opportunity to nail some serious footage. A dozen Pearson Arrow guns, colored the same as Jay's famous Surfer mag cover wipeout, were sprinkled throughout the lineup. Guys like Anthony Tashnick, Greg Long, Twiggy, Ryan Augenstein, Kenny Collins, Travis Payne and more were all vying for the Iron Cross money shot. A helicopter with a crazy, $250,000-camera circled just above.
Mark Healey had a shocker at Jaws and flew over to Mav's for Thursday morning. "It's completely ironic," he laughed. "Greg Long is an actor playing Jeff Clark - and I'm doing Greg's stunts 'cause Clark's a goofyfoot! So funny."

Healey, a part-time stuntman by trade, is no stranger to big Hollywood productions. He was hired on to, well, eat [expletive] as Jeff Clark. "I had to try get smoked," he said. "So I was taking a lot of chances. I figured eventually my number would come up. It did. They got the shot."
Incidentally, "Of Men and Mavericks" is scheduled to be released Oct. 26, 2012.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo of the Week: The Hammock Boat

We have no idea where it came from, who manufactures it (if indeed it is manufactured), who is doing the paddling, or who would buy such a thing if it were for sale.

Quite frankly, we prefer our hammocks under a shady tree, thank you.

Thanks to FishingFury.

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A little girl stares down a lion
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Freediving with great white sharks: An underwater video

Great white sharks at Guadalupe Island, Mexico, are as common as kelp.

The fishing industry loathes them for stealing the fish its clients hook. The diving industry loves them for the underwater spectacle. But usually divers view the great whites from cages.

Not this time.

This video, produced by, shows freedivers swimming with a great white shark without using any protective equipment. As writes, "Fred Buyle and Willliam Winram show another aspect of this often misunderstood apex predator."

Fortunately for them, this great white shark is in a good mood. Take a look:

Unfortunately, it will only be a matter of time until one day that docile great white shark will turn on freedivers like these, thus tainting the shark's reputation.

One only needs to be reminded of the story of Grizzly Man: "A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed (by grizzlies) in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears."

With luck, we can avoid such a scenario. In the meantime, one can still enjoy the beauty that is the great white shark.

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A shark is photographed surfing with other surfers
Shark swims the streets of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irene
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little girl stares down a lion

Even the biggest, bravest adult male staring into the face of a huge lion would flinch and back away if said lion started pawing at him, despite a thick protective glass between them.

But 3-year-old Sofia hardly batted an eye when a lion named Malik at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand took a great interest in her, and then started pawing the glass.

The video of the staredown between the little girl and the lion, easily won by the little girl, has gone viral, making the rounds on talk shows and throughout the blogosphere.

See why:

The little girl, dubbed Sofia the Lion Tamer, asks her mother what the lion is trying to tell her.

"I think it's telling you to move away from there so he can eat his food," the mother responds.

The mother is correct, actually.

From "Malik Makes the News" on the Wellington Zoo website:
Three year old Sofia experienced a pretty close encounter through the glass at the viewing cave, which allows visitors a glimpse into just a portion of the lion’s exhibit. 
This behaviour is normal for a lion - they do tend to get very protective of their food which is why we feed our five lions separately from each other.  The way Malik reacted to Sofia is a healthy reaction that lions in the wild would display.  He was not displaying overt aggression towards Sophia – he was ‘politely’ telling her to go away.  Luckily, we have a really lovely large exhibit for them, so rest assured that if Malik didn't want to be near the visitors, he could easily take his food somewhere else. There are areas where the lions can go to be out of the view of visitors if they choose.
In a related wildlife video, see the bear that waves back to people in the link below.

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Fishermen use a car to catch fish: Vintage video

They did things a little different in the 1930s. Thanks to an old film from that era, we discover just how different the fishing was for some people who didn't care about their cars or how they "smelt" after fishing. This black-and-white film from the 1930s is, well, just watch as these fishermen -- one, an editor of Outdoor Life magazine -- use the car to catch a ton of smelt:

We don't know anything about the film other than what the YouTube poster said: "Teach a man to fish and give him a Chevrolet car. Funny old 1930s film of using a car to fish."

OK everybody, let's sing that ever popular advertising jingle: "See the USA in a Chevrolet...but never mind the slippery, silvery, slimy backseat drivers."

Or something like that.

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Great Outdoors defined by video called 'Missing Hatchet'

Many people have a hard time grasping why others are so enamored with the Great Outdoors.

They don't quite understand that fishing can still be great without catching fish.

They don't appreciate the beauty of a redtail hawk circling above. An osprey swooping down to snatch a trout from the surface of a lake. A bald eagle keeping watch. The warmth and crackling of a campfire. The peace and serenity found in the outdoors.

"Missing Hatchet," a video shot and edited by Nate Ptacek, essentially gives you a definition of the Great Outdoors.  Enjoy:

Here's what Nate wrote about the video:

Shot on location in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Northern Minnesota, September 2011.

The Pagami Creek Fire grew ten times in size on our first day in the park. Although we were some 40 miles away, we could see the plume and received significant smoke and weather from the resulting pyrocumulonimbus formation. Most of the hail, snow, rain, and wind we experienced was not captured in my footage for obvious reasons, but it was some of the strangest weather I've ever seen. On our way out we encountered a number of closed portages and soon realized we had been largely alone in the wilderness for some three days, not realizing the scale to which the fire had grown over the course of the week we were out.
Nice job, Nate. Thanks for sharing a piece of the Great Outdoors.

Thanks Adventure Journal!

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Whale Wars: Sea Shepherd using drones, whalers using military vessels
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First Ascent kayakers paddle over waterfalls in Brazil
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Dog swims up to kayak fisherman out of nowhere in a sad tale off Florida

An unidentified kayak fisherman was far offshore in Sarasota, Fla., when the most unlikely thing occurred: A dog swam up to him out of nowhere.

The kayak fisherman was busy fishing when he must have heard a commotion behind him, because he turned his head and saw the unimaginable. A dog was dogpaddling toward him.

The fisherman helped the wet dog into the kayak, wiped it dry with a Shamwow and started to paddle to shore.

A video camera attached to the bow of his kayak captured the entire scene. The kayak fisherman posted it on YouTube and called it, "Sometimes when you're fishing, strange things, dogs swim up to you." Take a look: 

"I usually keep a camera running when I fish, in case I catch the big one," he wrote on his YouTube post of the incident. "It does happen occasionally."

But a dog swimming up to his kayak was a first. It wasn’t until later that the kayak fisherman learned the rest of the sad story, as reported by ABC Action News

A 53-year-old Sarasota woman was hit and killed by a drunk driver, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

It happened Saturday afternoon when troopers say Blake C. Talman, 22, was fleeing from another crash scene.

Talman reportedly lost control of his Nissan Altima on State Road 758 north of Glebe Lane when troopers say he struck Donna L. Chen as she was walking her dog on a sidewalk.

According to authorities, the dog was also hit, and it ran away from the scene.
The dog's name is Barney, and it was returned to its family. It had to have been one terrified pooch.

"The accident scene was about a mile from where I found Barney swimming," the kayak fisherman wrote. "Our guess is that he was so freaked out and traumatized that he just wanted to get as far away from there as possible. And when he ran out of land, he took to the water. I feel lucky that I was there fishing, because there was no place for him to go and I don’t know if he could have made it much farther. He’s banged up, but fine. Our hearts go out to the family who lost their mother."

Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all involved.

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Underwater ice fishing; that is to say, ice fishing from UNDER the ice

Two Finlanders did the unthinkable recently. They went ice fishing from the other side of the ice.

That's right, underwater ice fishing.

They might not have caught any fish, but they certainly caught the attention of those in cyberspace.

The underwater antics of the two ice fishermen who go ice fishing on -- or rather in -- Lake Saarijarvi in Vaala, Finland, have been viewed by more than 2 million people since it was posted on YouTube on Jan. 2, 2012.

Be prepared to be mesmerized by this underwater video:

OK, maybe it wasn't as intriguing and captivating as this video of Inuits catching a 1,000-pound shark while ice fishing the normal way -- uh, yes, a 1,000-pound shark! -- but it was definitely artsy and creative, as well as initially puzzling, until you realize which direction the bubbles are going.

The person who posted the video, Juuso, offered these addition words about the video:
Camera I used was Sony HDR-SR11 with Amphibico HD Elite housing.

The Wheelbarrow was saved from the bottom of the lake and I have used it many times after that.

The rubber duck and the balloon are also home with me.

None of the divers got any permanent damage either.

And yes, we had a lot of fun making this video.
Good to know. Especially the saving of the wheelbarrow and rubber ducky.

UPDATE: For those who still don't get it, and apparently there are those who don't, these guys are upside down in the water under the ice, using some sort of floatation in their legs. Why they'd go to these extremes to make such a video is anyone's guess.

Thanks to Adventure Journal!

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Hilarious fishing animation video
Fishing technique never seen before
Another oddity: A sinking sailboat that only looks like it's sinking

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Two fishermen ride a shark -- a friendly shark

File art.
A whale shark is huge but docile. It is not 
considered dangerous, as it eats mostly plankton.
 A whale shark can look intimidating, but really, it's just an over-stuffed teddy bear.

Even though it can grow to 41 feet and weigh 47,000 pounds, it has a bite akin to grampa without his dentures.

A whale shark has between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth. Emphasis on tiny. With those tiny teeth and large mouth, it is hardly a maneater. It feeds primarily on plankton by opening its mouth and filtering the food through five pairs of gills.

So to hear that two fishermen in Australia got into the water with a whale shark and caught a ride on the beast isn't so alarming, though foolish nonetheless, as humans ought not interact with any wildlife.

The men were tuna fishing off Moreton Island on Saturday when the whale shark approached their boat.

According to Nine News of Australia, the whale shark swam with the men for around 20 minutes. Another fisherman in the boat shot video, the footage of which can be seen at this link to Nine News.

It was almost as if the whale shark was posing for photos with the two fishermen.

If ever there was a video to show how docile a whale shark is, this is it.

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Killer whale imitates a boat motor in killer video
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World-record great white shark caught and released by 'Shark Men'

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