Top news, college students who exercise have better memories.
“In a small-scale, qualitative study of 75 college students over a two-day period, researchers found that those with the lowest fitness levels struggled the most to retain information.”
I gather that pot consumption levels were not part of the study.
I’m staying tuned, but I’ve always felt that treating life as a “mind – body – spirit” process was best, and that skiing helped with all of it in various ways. Yet, if this memory enhancement by exercise theory is valid, why do I still do things like leaving my skis and boots at a hotel in Chile?
Time to bring global warming back into our news roundups. Remember the unpardonable sin of geoengineering? I’m told that while we’re allowed to engineer our climate by accident (smog and global warming) it is the ultimate transgression to engineer our way back out of this mess. I tend to disagree. In recent news, theoreticians at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have figured out a way to use an antacid substance that might cool the earth along with preventing acid rain and ozone damage. Bring it on. According to nearly everything I read, we have nothing to lose. More here.
Speaking of energy news that could change the planet, solar panels are getting amazingly inexpensive. By some measures the cost of generating electricity via solar is cheaper than natural gas or wind. This Bloomberg article tells part of the story. What it doesn’t mention is that solar has a huge problem: the energy has to be stored for times when the sun doesn’t shine. Doing so costs money, often quite a bit of it. And storage is inefficient, thus raising the cost of each watt obtained from the otherwise inexpensive panels. We be watching.
And yes, Virginia, we do know a bit about solar power as we run WildSnow Field HQ on a solar power system we built ourselves, with battery storage — and a gas generator hard wired in for when the $1,000 worth of batteries are not enough.
Perhaps I’m spoiled from last winter, but we still don’t have much of a snowpack here in Colorado. But we’ve got enough to avalanche. Got me thinking about how you can get seduced into alpine terrain when you begin your day on discouraging terrain but the snow gets thicker higher up. With avalanche danger. That exact situation appears to have happened in the Tirol a few weeks ago. Use Google Translate on this report, it’s concise — and sobering.
Did you notice Google Translate has improved? Monster word count style reporting in the NYT says so.
In my testing Translate does seem slightly better, but not as amazing as I was led to believe by the article. At least that’s so in the skiing and alpine sports realm where the relationship between language and concepts is skewed from the verbal expressions of everyday life. For example, in this article about heli skiing in the Tirol, the translation reads “With the many peaks in Tyrol, which already leads a train or a lift, that would make little sense,” says Dagostin with a polemical undertone.” How that should probably read is “With so many peaks in Tyrol already accessible by mechanization such as ski lifts, heli skiing makes little sense,” says Dagostin with obvious distaste for the idea.
Or, how about the first sentence in the heli ski article. In German it reads “Sie heißen Mehlsack und Orgelscharte,” which Google translates as “They are called flour sack and Orgelscharte.” Weird that Google would leave one proper noun as is (Orgelscharte), while translating Mehlsack to “flour sack” in regular case.
All that said, I’m having fun with Google Translate. Talk about helping us become global in our understanding of the world, this is a big thing. For example, check out this Italian article on the state of snow cover and weather outlook for the Alps. Translate works pretty well on it.
That’s it friends. Looking forward to a nice weekend here in Colorado as we did get some snow. Stay tuned next week, big stuff going on.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.