Ben Saunders- North Pole Speed Record

I’m really excited about this. Myself and Si met Ben last year at the Explore conference at the Royal Geographical Society in London and he was a thoroughly nice guy. I hope he succeeds in beating the record of 37 days set in 1911 by a team using dog sleds. And I’ll be eagerly watching his progress via his blog.

I can only imagine what a scary, lonely place the north pole must be. Hazards include hungry polar bears, up to -70 degree temperatures, and the prospect of having to swim across swathes of open water in a dry suit while pulling a sledge.

The technology is available for Ben to blog in real time from the top of the world, posting his thoughts images and videos daily. Its a cruel fact of modern expeditions, however, that although you can phone anyone, anywhere in the world at any time, if you need help, you are on your own. And being on your own in the high artic is probably as lonely as you can possibly get on this increasingly crowded planet we call home.

Here’s his teaser vid, if it doesn’t get the blood racing I’m not sure what will.


Ben Saunders from Ben Saunders on Vimeo.

Trucker’s Blindspots

 As cyclists we often assume that it is the motorists job to look out for us. Certainly, they should be extra careful, as if theyhit us all too often the consequences are fatal. However, as the images below show, illustrating the blind spots(in red) of a truck driver, we need to be pretty awake when on the road as often drivers can’t see us even if they try to .To be honest, it seems that once the driver of an articulated truck turns the steering wheel he’s pretty much unaware of the 180 degrees behind him, even if he’s looking in the right mirrors. A scary prospect that when you’re cycling within touching distance of 4 foot high wheels the pilot of  those death traps is probably completely unaware of your existence.   More Here      existence.   More Here               

The Last Place on Earth

What are the last true outposts on our planet?

In an era when every nook and cranny seems to be mapped, every landscape and culture accounted for its refreshing to hear that there are still ends of the earth to be explored and experienced, or to be left alone and untouched.

“New Scientist set out to discover the Last Places on Earth.Pleasingly, there were plenty to choose from: unclimbed mountains, unexplored caves, unmapped deserts, tribes untouched by the outside world and islands where alien species have yet to invade. We also discovered the last place dinosaurs roamed, the last place to make radio contact with the rest of the world – and very many more. So join us on our grand tour of the planet’s most unknown, pristine or downright extraordinary locations…” http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=109253701265806683759.000001131ba622b25a571&om=1&t=h&s=AARTsJr1rFuCKjJ9vfWnuVkXP15Pnxp5cA&ll=31.052934,61.875&spn=71.765369,166.992188&z=2&output=embedView Larger Map

courtesy of Al Humphreys

Lyre Lyre, Pants on Fire.

Heres some amazing footage of the Lyre bird. Narrated by David Attenborough, the voice of the natural world. Its a reminder of what an amazing, awe inspiring and wonderful place the world is.I’ve watched it about 10 times already, and to be honest it sounds so scarily realistic that if richie wasn’t narrating I’d think it was a hoax.There is a more sinister twist though, listen to the sounds that the bird mimics. The call of the Kookaborough is followed by some other not so organic sounds that he hears in his forest habitat.The Lyre’s accurate mimicry is impressive, the sounds of the forest that it chooses to mimic are a little bit worrying.