Daily Dirt: March 19, 2013

19 Mar 13
Daily Dirt: March 19, 2013

Your outdoor news for March 19, 2013

Jocks Not That Dumb After All

According to a new study out of the University of Illinois elite athletes may not only be sweet jocks, but may have superfast brains as well. Using the aesthetically pleasing focus group of 87 top-ranked Brazilian volleyball players (What? The Ballroom Dance team wasn’t available?) researchers found the athletes performed better in processing information quickly, changing between multiple tasks, and memory tests. They were also better at accomplishing tasks while ignoring irrelevant information and quicker with peripheral vision and subtle changes. On the surface, this makes sense: athletes spend a lot of their time making instantaneous decisions based on their field of vision, situational awareness, and speed. They constantly gauge their own abilities against that of their opponent and finding weakness. This takes a lot of brain power, maybe that’s why some don’t do as well in the class room.

The study appears in the journal Frontiers of Psychology (bet that’s a page turner…although here I am talking about it, so who knows what’s what anymore. Maybe they should do a study on that, bring the Brazilians.)

Biting the Hand That Feeds

Why do people insist on insulting Mother Nature? Nothing good can come of it. An interview conducted by the Outdoor Nation Blog aims to answer this question as it pertains to the ski resort industry. The interview is with Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at the Aspen Ski Company, and describes how and why the majority of ski resort CEOs and executives are climate change deniers. Climate change deniers despite a report on its negative effects on the ski industry co-written by the Natural Resources Defense Organization and widely circulated. Climate change deniers despite the fact that their whole industry relies on the weather. It’s an interesting read and Schendler expresses some strong opinions on the matter.

New Mountain Bike Trails in NOVA

Northern Virginia got some new mountain biking trails this week at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton. According to this post from the Virginia Bicycling Federation, the 4.7-mile South Branch Loop Trail is the “first constructed natural surface trail open to mountain bikes on Bureau of Land Management-managed land east of the Mississippi River.” The BLM built the trail in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) and plan on adding several more miles of mountain bike only trails by the end of August (South Branch Loop Trail is mtb and hike). They need donations and volunteers to help out with finishing the project. Find out more here. GET INVOLVED PEOPLE, KEEP THE MOMENTUM!

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