Go Outside

Smokies Run to End Mountaintop Removal

By Will Harlan | 05 Jun 09
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On June 23, I’ll be running 72 miles on the Appalachian Trail across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help end mountaintop removal. My journey will cross the highest mountains along the A.T. and some of the tallest peaks in the East, including Mount Guyot, Mount Cammerer, Charlies Bunion, and Clingmans Dome. While these […]

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Opedix Performance Apparel

By BRO Staff | 02 Jun 09
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Can apparel made for athletics add support to the skeletal structure? Yes, according to Smart Fitness Products LLC, a Vail, Colo., company that sells the Opedix line of tops and tights. By stitching together swaths of fabric, then crisscrossing it and building it into a top and tights, the company (www.opedix.com) touts its futuristic clothing…

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Panther Creek Falls Trail, Georgia

By Leonard Adkins | 01 Jun 09
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Since we’re still in the time when streams are at their fullest flow of the year, I thought it would be good to share one more waterfall hike with you before we get into some of the best summertime outings in coming weeks. For now, I’m going to direct you to northern Georgia. Filled with…

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Charging Hybrids and Electric Cars

By Beau Beasley | 01 Jun 09
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Dear EarthTalk: With plug-in hybrid and electric cars due to hit the roads sometime soon, will there be places to plug them in besides at home? And if so, how much will it cost to re-charge? — Nicole Koslowsky, Pompano Beach, FL Gasoline-electric hybrids, like the Toyota Prius, are all the rage due to their…

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Microwave energy use vs. that of gas and electric stoves and ovens

By Beau Beasley | 25 May 09
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Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?                                                — Tempie, Dexter, MI  The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, and the relative efficiency…

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The End of the SUV

By Will Harlan | 20 May 09
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For twenty years, these gas-guzzling beasts roamed the earth, devouring petroleum reserves and hogging parking spaces. Yesterday, the equivalent of a meteor crashed down on the dinosaur SUVs. Higher national fuel efficiency standards announced by the Obama administration means the end of the SUV era. The higher mileage and emissions standards will take effect in…

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Swallow Falls, Maryland

By Leonard Adkins | 20 May 09
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A couple of weeks ago I told you about the more than a dozen waterfalls along South Carolina’s Foothills Trail. If the pathway’s 75 miles is more than you want to do, head to western Maryland’s Swallow Falls State Park where a 1.3-mile circuit will take you past four waterfalls with little effort. You’ll also…

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Nanotechnology forges ahead, despite health and environmental unknowns

By Beau Beasley | 18 May 09
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Dear EarthTalk: What is “nanotechnology?” I’ve heard that nanoparticles are already in consumer products, yet we haven’t really studied their potential health impacts.                                                                                                                          — Dan Zeff, San Francisco, CA  Nanotechnology makes use of minuscule objects—whose width can be 10,000 times narrower than a human hair—known…

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Bye Gauley?

By Will Harlan | 14 May 09
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No region epitomizes the essence of outdoor adventure in the Appalachians better than the Gauley. The Gauley River and surrounding area brings more tourists to West Virginia than any other attraction. The class IV-V whitewater is world-renowned, as is the legendary Gauley Festival every September, and the hiking and mountain biking trails that lace Gauley…

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Global warming and human illness

By Beau Beasley | 11 May 09
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Dear EarthTalk: Has anyone been tracking whether climate change is causing more loss of human life as it gets more pronounced?                                                             — Gordon Gould, Compton, CA  Researchers believe that global warming is already responsible for some 150,000 deaths each year around the world, and fear that the number may well…

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A Paddler’s Wet Dream

By Will Harlan | 06 May 09
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Seven consecutive days of rain: The Southeast has been deluged with several inches of the wet stuff over the past week, which has left many hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, and other outdoor enthusiasts grumbling. But not paddlers. They’re flocking to the region’s waterways during this monsoon season. Free-flowing rivers like the Chattooga and the Nolichucky…

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A Southern Uprising::Five Bands to Watch

By Shaun Harvey | 05 May 09
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To say that it’s a great time to be a music fan, is most assuredly an understatement of the highest order.  Keeping up with all the new music, emerging bands, upcoming album releases, concert dates, and the like is not just a full-time job it’s actually an impossible task.  So I’m not even going to…

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Foothills Trail, South Carolina

By Leonard Adkins | 04 May 09
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All of us know April showers bring May flowers. They also swell streams to what will probably be their highest levels of the year, making this the time to really enjoy waterfalls. One of the best places is the Foothills Trail along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says an escarpment is “a long…

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Print vs. Web: Which is Greener?

By Will Harlan | 04 May 09
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As the newspaper industry declines and publications enhance their web presence, many are claiming that the web evolution is “greening” the publishing industry. Fewer print publications saves trees and the planet, right? Not so fast. A closer comparison of total life cycle energy and resource consumption reveals that web publications are not necessarily greener. Studies…

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Environmental Impacts of Tennessee’s December 2008 Coal Ash Spill

By Beau Beasley | 04 May 09
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Dear EarthTalk: What were the environmental impacts of the huge coal ash spill in Tennessee this past December?                                                                                                 — Dave S, Lynnfield, MA  Environmentalists’ call for an end to the age of coal—one of the dirtiest and most common of all the fossil fuels we now use—took…

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