To those that struggle in Paris and other parts of Europe: A Few Words from Tennyson

"Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are, One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." --
Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809 - 1892

Gear I have been using lately: Hiking, trekking, and traveling

This represents some of the gear I have been using lately, and individual reviews will be forthcoming.

The Petrified Forest: Great scene with Leslie Howard & Bette Davis (1936)

The Petrified Forest (1936) is a wonderful film which perhaps gets lost in its stars' later successes. It is an American film directed by Archie Mayo and based on Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 Broadway drama of the same name.

Leslie Howard played Alan Squier, a disillusioned intellectual and once-great writer who wanders into a café near Arizona’s Petrified Forest. There he meets Gabby (played by Bette Davis), a young woman who longs to move to France and become an artist. The quiet is interrupted by the arrival of Duke Mantee and his thugs, who are on the run from the police. As they hold the café patrons captive, Squier realizes a way to fund Gabby’s dream. Unbeknownst to Gabby, he signs over his health insurance policy to her and asks Duke Mantee to kill him. Squier is fatally shot as Duke Mantee attempts to escape.

Sony Investing $9 Billion in Image Sensors, Aims to be Top Camera Brand

Canon and Nikon are still the heavyweights in the camera industry when it comes to market share, but Sony has made huge inroads in recent years with cameras such as the Sony a9, which just won “Camera of the Year” in Japan.

Now Sony is hoping to overtake the likes of Canon and Nikon by March 31, 2021, as the industry’s “top camera brand,” but it’s unclear what standard Sony is measuring “top” by.

The company also observes that there has been a “revitalization of the mirrorless camera market” — thanks in part to its technological advancements and that one of the trends in the camera industry is that its competitors are becoming “more aggressive in the market.” Canon and Nikon are both reportedly planning to launch their first full-frame mirrorless cameras within the year.

Sony has experience in making ambitious plans and then achieving those goals. After being hammered by massive losses back in 2012, then-CEO Kazuo Hirai unveiled a “One Sony” initiative that aimed to trim unprofitable businesses while focusing on three core “pillar” businesses: digital imaging, gaming, and mobile. Fast forward five years and Sony announced record profits in late 2017. A few months later, Hirai stepped down as CEO and handed the reins to Yoshida, having accomplished his goals of righting the ship.

(via sonyalpharumors)

Tokyo’s impermanent skinny house

Tokyo’s impermanent skinny house made to age well with owners by -video: Kirsten Dirksen/ youtube

Inheritance taxes on land in Japan means plots often get smaller as they are passed on. This “divide and sell” phenomenon in Tokyo translates into some very tiny home sites. When architects Masahiro and Mao Harada were tasked with creating a home on a lot only 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide at its narrowest point, they chose to interpret small as “near” and use the small scale to their advantage…

Major League Baseball: London Stadium to host two fixtures in 2019

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play each other in two Major League Baseball regular season games at the London Stadium in 2019.

BBC sports:

The matches, which will be held on 29 and 30 June, will be the first MLB games to be staged in Europe. 
MLB says it intends to play again in 2020 and establish "a long-term footprint in the city". 
Talks were held in 2016 to stage regular-season matches in London but the plans were later abandoned. 
MLB matches have already been staged outside the USA in Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and, most recently, at Australia's Sydney Cricket Ground in March 2014.

Appetite and Stomach issues while Long Distance Backpacking

Have you ever worked so hard that you encountered a loss of appetite, rather than an increase?

Similar conditions are present in long-distance backpacking and thru-hiking, especially during the first couple of hundreds of miles. Also, stomach upset and added fatigue from physical exertion can cause your body to not feel hungry which compounds the problem when one radically alters their dietary habits.

"I figured if I could do this, I could do anything..."
- Anonymous A.T. tru-hiker.

Thru-hiking can be relentless, and if you are the type to test your own limits, thru-hiking will be your personal dream come true. The elevation gain and loss of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times -- the elevation change hikers traverse along the A.T. totals up to an approximate 464,464 feet!

With this understanding, it is important to give your body enough recovery time: a zero-day during the week, or three nero-days every other week.

High-carb foods are supposed to help with altitude adjustment. It's also important to keep very well hydrated, especially at higher altitudes. An electrolyte drink mix in your water may help; it does for me.

Soupy foods on the trail are surprisingly effective; there is an excellent article on this topic here.

For different people, it's going to be different things, and often it will be different combinations of things. Keeping these elements in mind, you kind of have to design a plan that works for you. It took me a lot of experimenting to find a diet that works well for me and to confirm that if I'm going at high intensity for full days, I'm not really going to feel very hungry for the first week and a half or two of backpacking.

One of the greatest of the Greek mysteries

One of the greatest of the Greek mysteries surrounds the written form of the Iliad. I am not talking about whether Homer wrote the Iliad, or if his granddaughter wrote the Odyssey, those are mysteries, too, but something just as cryptic, if not more so: How were such perfect works as the Iliad and Odyssey written at all?

Around the mid-1100s B.CE, the Greek dark-age was very, very dark, indeed. Prior to this period the written form of the Mycenaean Greeks -- Homer refers the Mycenaeans in a myriad of names -- was Linear B. Around the time of the mysterious 'Sea People', the so-called Greek Dark Age began, and whereupon areas of mainland Greece were depopulated up to 80%. Virtually all of the rich culture of the Mycenaean civilization was lost, including the written Linear-B as a written language.

Note: To help put this chronology into perspective, the Torah was written down around 1272 B.CE. -- the Trojan War itself is often attributed to the year 1280 B.CE.

Coming out of the Greek Dark Age, the first glimmer of a new Greek written script was in the area of Ionia -- naturally, some disagree with the geography -- and some believe this area was where the Iliad was written down, which only makes sense.

Keep in mind the Iliad was written in a relatively new language, fresh out of the Greek Dark Age; this being said, during most any era artistic pursuits of any kind go through roughly three phases: crude form, refinement, and a final refined form. This is not the case with Iliad: BOOM THERE IT IS, in all its glory. It was as though the goddess Athena stepped out of the head of Zeus, in full armor, a second time!


Archaeologists decipher 3,200-year-old stone telling of invasion of mysterious sea people

Athena, goddess of wisdom

GoLite reincarnated as MyTrailCo.

GoLite was a legendary outdoor gear and clothing manufacturer based in Boulder, Colorado. The company was founded in the late 90s by the Coupounas family. They designed and manufactured light and ultra-light clothing, footwear, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hydration packs, and accessories. GoLite products are used for backpacking, hiking, thru-hiking, adventure racing, trail running, mountaineering, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and alpinism.

They sponsored an Eco-Challenge team, and by 2008 had created an astonishing product line which emphasized the use of dyneema -- a fiber known for extremely high strength and low weight.

From my observations in the 2000s, they changed their business model to a direct-sales philosophy and omitted the middle retailer, giving them better pricing control. Having said that, their prices undercut many far more seasoned manufacturers, and given that fact, the quality control, too, was astonishing.

Golite brand Retail stores started to enter the mix, and with the rise of the brick and mortar stores, Golite's website (presumably the main source of revenue) began to flounder.

During this era, it was common to see "Out of Stock" on a vast amount of the most sought after items, including the legendary 'Golite Jam 70' pack, which could be out of stock online for months at a time.

However, this negation wasn't limited to the "gear" it was the clothing items as well, which must have been a massive hit to their revenue stream, and, because of this, on Oct. 13 of 2014 the company that operated as Golite filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

BizWest: "Despite retail failure, GoLite founder hoping for comeback..."

Case and point

Today, "Golite" is on the comeback trail as "MyTrailCo," and while it shadows its former self, some solid gear-systems are shipping.

Like a Time Lord from Gallifrey regenerates a new "incarnation," MyTrailCo might look a bit different, but the framework of Golite continues (just a bit slimmer and leaner).

The first thing I noticed was a slightly re-tooled "Jam Pack," which was one of their biggest hits from the previous incarnation;  ranging from $149-$179 these packs are still reasonable, especially considering the quality. The new Pyramid Shelter, too, looks suspiciously like the older Hex-3, which was a great 4-season tent.

Though MyTrailCo is just starting back up with a meager few products, it looks to a promising future.

Trees in Australia with Email Addresses?

Trees can get email in Australia. In 2013, trees were assigned email addresses by the city of Melbourne  so its citizens could report potential problems, but people ended up writing thousands of love letters to their favorite trees instead. (Source)

Upcoming space events: The Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter (Arrival July 4)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter is a NASA New Frontiers mission currently en route to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 and will arrive on July 4, 2016. Juno will be inserted into a polar orbit around the giant planet on or around July 4, 2016. From this orbit the spacecraft will study Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetic field. Juno will remain in orbit until October 2017, when the spacecraft will be de-orbited to crash into Jupiter.

The spacecraft's name comes from Greco-Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, but his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and see Jupiter's true nature.

Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 Could be a Long Wait?

I started watching Daredevil an episode prior to season two; like many, I read Frank Castle (aka "The Punisher") would be played by Jon Bernthal of "The Walking Dead" fame. By the time season two started, I was engrossed by the character quality and gritty noir-esque elements within the series.

Bernthal really gave a good showing as  the punisher, making it his own roll. Yet, after a grand season two, I was left wanting more -- which hasn't occured for me with a new series in some time. And I am not alone.

It only took one episode to fully entice me, then went back to flesh-out my season one viewing.  I didn't complete season one fully when two started, and I was copiously engaged in the second season's plotline.

The latest season of Marvel's Daredevil Netflix series has been met with tremendous acclaim by fans. It's certainly dominating everyone's binge watching schedule at the moment. But the big question is when we'll get to see Daredevil Season 3.

Charlie Cox told ScreenRant that he has "no idea if there's going to be a third season." He does, however, know who he wants to see if it does happen. "I can’t imagine doing a run of Daredevil where Bullseye doesn’t show up at some point," Cox said. He did admit he would love to see more of the Kingpin, too. "It’d be great if at some point Vincent D’Onofrio would come back for a season. There’s so much Daredevil-Wilson Fisk left untold." (Den of Geek)

Marvel is trying to keep their Netflix shows on a roughly six month schedule. So after the first season of Daredevil in April of 2015, we got Jessica Jones six months later in November. The gap was a little less before this current season of Daredevil, and now Luke Cage is on the schedule for September 30th, 2016. Iron Fist will begin production this summer, so we'll probably see that around this time in 2017...unless of course Daredevil Season 3 gets fast-tracked. (Den of Geek)

Wyrd Blogger's Backpacking Gear List

Friends, I like to go light when possible, though by no means am I a minimalist. I thought it would be fun to share this general guide to what I, more or less, take on the trail. This is by no means advice on what you should take, but if you pick up some ideas that would be excellent. 

A Third of Milky Way Stars have Changed Orbit

Researchers have created a new map of the Milky Way which shows that nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their orbits.

Quintuplet cluster

The discovery, by a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), brings a new understanding of how stars are formed, and how they travel throughout our galaxy.

“In our modern world, many people move far away from their birthplaces, sometimes halfway around the world,” said Michael Hayden, New Mexico State University (NMSU) astronomy graduate student and lead author of the new study.

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