Wherever you are on the the having guts scale, you can level up with Gutsy Girl

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure by Caroline Paul Bloomsbury USA 2016, 160 pages, 6.4 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches $12 Buy a copy on Amazon

If ever there was a book I wished was around when I was little, it’s The Gutsy Girl. But I’m just as glad to have it in the world now. While I would have read it to pieces as a kid, it also gave grown-up me a powerful reminder: bravery and resilience are skills. Anyone can develop them.

The Gutsy Girl comprises author Caroline Paul’s stories of her own (mis)adventures, accompanied by short bios and quotes from other inspiring ladies, and helpful how-tos (make a compass outside, find the North Star, recognize animal tracks, etc.). All together, the book is everything it promises to be: escapades for your life of epic adventures.

Throughout the book, Paul models adventure through her own life, from racing a boat she made of milk cartons down a river as a young girl, to white-water rafting and working as a firefighter as an adult. And she shares what she’s learned along the way. While the lessons — about planning, communication, teamwork, knowing your limits and when to push them – and when not to — are valuable, I think the bigger idea is that all of her failures and triumphs are part of a learning process. With each new experience, Paul tests, hones, and ultimately grows her own bravery and resilience. Read the rest

Hope Larson's "Compass South": swashbuckling YA graphic novel

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Hope Larson is a comics genius, the woman hand-picked to adapt Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle In Time for comics, who furthermore just nailed it, and whose other projects are every bit as rich and wonderful. Today she begins a new young adult series, Four Points, whose first volume, Compass South is a treasure-chest of swashbuckling themes and action.

An early peek at 'The Jungle Book,' new Disney live-action remake of Kipling classic

Detail of a poster for 'The Jungle Book' by artist Vincent Aseo for Disney

Disney today released two new clips and a new little featurette from the studio's upcoming live action film “The Jungle Book.” I'm also loving the stunning poster art for the new film by Vincent Aseo, shown above in detail and below in full.

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Pick-pocketed in Ho Chi Minh City: A cautionary tale

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Although we hoped it wouldn't happen, we knew that being pick-pocketed on our Trip Around the World was a very real possibility. We tried to always be careful, especially in crowded places, but we just weren't careful enough in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you've ever visited Vietnam or even seen videos on YouTube, you know the streets are filled with an endless flow of motorbike traffic. There are plenty of cars on the road, too, but, as it was explained to us, Vietnam has an import tax of 200% on automobiles while motorbikes are bought and sold from flyers on the walls of cafes and restaurants for $200. And that means there are a lot more motorbikes than cars traversing the streets of Vietnam.

We'd been in Vietnam for more than a week, so we'd gotten used to the intensity of Vietnamese street traffic. We even got really good at crossing the street with (almost) no fear. Despite this familiarity, we were still a little surprised when we left The Secret Garden (a well-regarded, somewhat hidden rooftop restaurant located up four flights of stairs in an alley off Pasteur Street) to walk to Fanny's, an ice cream parlor where we had a reservation to enjoy a fancy 14-scoop ice cream fondue platter.

It was New Year's Eve, and a massive number of people and motorbikes were clogging the city's streets like nothing we'd seen before. HCMC has a population of almost eight million people, and it felt like every one of them was either driving through the heart of District 1 on a motorbike or walking toward Công viên 23 Tháng 9 (Park September 23) to get a good view of the upcoming New Year's concert and fireworks show. Read the rest

“Meru,” a new film on the quest to scale an “unclimbable“ mountain in India

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For decades, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in Northern India was thought by most elite climbers to to unclimbable.

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Living in a tent hanging from a cliff with a 4,000 foot drop

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The Shark's Fin on Mount Meru is 21,000 feet above the Ganges River in Northern India. In this short video, climber-filmmaker Jimmy Chin gives a tour of his tent, which hangs on the side of a sheer cliff, and contains 200 pounds of stuff that he and his climbing partner have hauled with them.

Watch the trailer for the full-length documentary about ascending this challenging mountain, called Meru.

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Short film: "Denali"

“There's no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they've supported you through your darkest times.” Read the rest

Adventurers can help science by sharing their data

"K2 8611" by Kogo - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

By adding a little sampling to their adventures out in the wild, explorers in hard-to-reach locations could lend a big hand to scientific research.

An organization called Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation hopes to bring the two professions together in the name of science.

This week, I sat in on a session at the American Geophysical Union meeting in which the speakers discussed the merits of citizen science and the potential impact that explorers could make on scientific data collection.

Many scientists are explorer and trek across the globe, but often they have responsibilities that keep them tied to the institutions where they work with limited opportunities to get into the field for data collection. If sampling techniques can be simplified and standardized so that anyone can learn how collect the necessary bits of rock, water, flora, etc. at particular sites, why not ask the people who are already out there to help out?

Additionally, those out exploring are often on the front lines of witnessing changes to our planet, and are passionate about wanting to help in some way.

Not all science can utilize the citizenry, but for those projects that can, this seems like an amazing resource on both sides of the equation. Read the rest

The Majesty of Easter Island

As a young boy, Tom Fassbender remembers being fascinated by Easter Island while watching In Search Of, but he never thought he'd have the chance to actually visit the place — then his family decided to travel around the world.

Managing expectations on a trip around the world

When Tom Fassbender took a trip around the world with his family, he wasn't naive enough to think that it was going to be a year of easy adventure full of laughs and endless fun.

How We Decided to Travel Around the World

How We Decided to Travel Around the World
"Most people think that taking a family of four on a trip around the world for an entire year would require a long discussion and some careful consideration," says Tom Fassbender. "But for us, the decision was made with the speed of a single text message."

Life-threatening science in a tropical jungle

Taxonomist Kipling Will tracked a rare beetle through the jungles of the south Pacific ... and almost lost his life in the process. Read the rest

Some things to think about before you apply to go to space with Mars One

Mars One wants to send human beings on a one-way trip to Mars by 2023, funding the mission via the proceeds of a reality television show about human settlers on Mars. If you're like me, part of your brain is going "Awesome!" and part of it is going "Aw, hell no!" And there's good reason to listen to your pessimistic side, says space junkie Amy Shira Teitel. If Mars One actually happens, there are many ways this could go horribly wrong — from the funding model to the technology. Read the rest

Surviving a massive wildfire

In 2011, the Pagami Creek Fire burned through 92,000 acres of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area. At Outside magazine, Frank Bures tells the story of two kayakers caught in the inferno. Includes some amazing photos taken by one of the kayakers. Read the rest

The story of the men who destroyed the Unabomber's last bomb

When the feds busted the Unabomber they found a live bomb under his bed. They needed it for evidence. But they also needed it to not explode. Enter a crack team of bomb experts who were flown in to Montana to dismantle the explosives in Ted Kaczynski's backwoods cabin. Read the rest

The horrors of an avalanche (and the beauty of really amazing online journalism)

Now this is how you do multimedia.

At The New York Times, John Branch tells the amazing, terrifying story of 16 backcountry skiers and snowboarders caught in an avalanche in the Cascade mountains in February 2012. The article, by itself, is a must-read. But you should also take a look at the absolutely fantastic way that Branch and his editors put the online medium to good use — embedding interactive maps, photos that move like something out of Harry Potter, and more standard videos into a lovely, fluid design.

Alissa Walker, who pointed me toward this piece, said that she felt cold just reading it. And you really do get that feeling. All the elements of Branch's article are brought together in a way that enhances the urgency and amplifies your sense of experiencing somebody else's story. It's really, really, really fantastic.

Read the full story at The New York Times Read the rest

How the Eagle Landed: Grumman Construction Log, and a message to space (Apollo 11)

On the anniversary of Apollo 11, Steve Jurvetson posted an amazing, never-before-seen series of space artifacts. He writes:

On July 20, 1969, Eagle landed on the moon. These are the handwritten notes from the Grumman engineers as they pushed to complete Lunar Module LM-5 in 1968. On the last page, they learn than this particular Lunar Module would be the one to bring the first humans to the moon.

The Grumman Engineering Log served not only as an engineering notebook but also as an intercom between the day and night shift – separate teams that needed to push the ball forward from where the other left off. So we are offered a rare peek into the concerns, uncertainties and conversations that might have otherwise been quietly undocumented.

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