Bambi Meets Godzilla, Bubba Meets Jesus

first_imgOne area in the New, Bubba City, got its name because prolific climber Kenny Parker and friends thought some other climbers took route naming too seriously. “In climbing, as in all sports, everyone thinks their attitude is the best. We were just having fun, and we never thought what we were doing had any greater meaning,” says Parker, who has almost 30 years of New River Gorge first ascents. At that time, he says, “Staying out of the line of fire with the locals, laying low, was always a strategy.” He says back in the 80s and early 90s, much of the land, like Endless Wall, was still privately owned. If one wanted to continue to climb there, standing out or directly disrespecting the locals was nonsensical. The Legend of Bubba How did iconic rapids and climbing routes get their names? Names have long been used to either nod or jab at others. Advocates for two styles of climbing, traditional (trad) and sport, have butted heads since the latter was invented. Trad climbing requires gear like cams, nuts, and sometimes hexes, which the climber must place in natural cracks for protection as they climb upward. Sport climbing allows for bolts to be drilled into the rock every few feet so that climbers only have to bring quickdraws to clip into the bolts as they lead. The trad-or-die tribe believes that sport climbing defaces the rock and allows for the first-ascensionist to rappel down the face, drilling bolts in preparation for a ground-up push. Sport climbers see their preferred process as an inevitable evolution of climbing, opening up more diverse rock that would otherwise be inaccessible.  The Hookup Spot Rapids often get their names from happenstance or a comical turn of events. Lost Paddle, one of the Big Five rapids of the Upper Gauley, found its label during a 1969 trip devoted to naming the river’s rapids. In a 2017 piece for Highland Outdoors, editor and raft guide Juniper Rose relays pioneer Gauley kayaker Jim Stuart’s account of the naming trip. “Crew member Barb Brown’s paddle was launched from her grip in the class V rapid just below the confluence with the Meadow River.” Brown swam, her paddle gone. Miraculously, “years later, Brown’s paddle was found with her name engraved on it. It was returned to her, but by then, the name Lost Paddle had been imprinted in the legend of the Gauley,” Rose writes. Others still, like Kenny, might have resisted it in the past but came to see the benefits of each. “Ethics wars between trad and sport were huge in the 90s; people got into fights over it,” he says. “Still, there was a lot more seriousness to the famous areas [like Yosemite]. Here, some people got serious about it, but most of us had a life and jobs outside of climbing and not enough personal energy to crusade.” This story is told in part by Saved from the Blasphemers, a route which was put up on trad gear. When someone returned to bolt it as a sport route, they were stopped by local trad climbers.  Flip through any climbing guidebook today, and you’ll find a range of colorful, silly, or cryptic route names: Pudd’s Pretty Dress, Death by Chewing Insects, I’m So F’in Hungry, and Eye of the Narwhal. Names of rapids can be just as out there but are often more candid. Iron Ring on the Gauley River is named for a big iron ring embedded in the rocks above the class V rapid. The four drops of Pipeline on the James River in Virginia were creatively dubbed First, Second, Third, and Fourth Drop. Not all river feature names are as universally accepted as climbing routes, either. Want to start an afternoon-long debate with some James River paddlers? Ask whether one break in an old Richmond dam is called Grummans or Suckers.  Outside of the sport itself, names also point to paradigm shifts in the history of regional recreation and external tension that inevitably arises from priorities competing for the resource. A lifelong James River paddler, Charles Ware recounts the fight against hydroelectric power in the early 80s. One firm’s proposal became a serious threat to river ecology and recreation, prompting Coastal Canoeists and American Whitewater to establish a group to oppose the plan: the Virginia Rivers Coalition.  Sometimes, two threads of regional climbing history come together in one weird name. Kenny Parker relays that when he was younger, many climbers started at Seneca Rocks before the New matured into a hotspot. At Seneca, they looked up to one of the most impressive climbers of the day, the late Cal Swoager. A Vietnam War veteran, Cal partied hard and climbed harder. As one story goes, after staying up late then finally topping The Bell, establishing perhaps the first 5.12 at Seneca, he bent over and emptied his stomach off the other side of the cliff.  A short profile of Parker in Williams’s New River Rock Vol. 2 guidebook, appropriately titled Kenny Never Wore Lycra, highlights his desire to blend in rather than stand out like many neon-clad climbers of that era. “Bubba” became tradition, and today it lives on in dozens of route names, from Peanut Bubba and Jam (a 40-feet 5.8 trad route at Bimbo Buttress) to Hubba Bubba (a 60-feet 5.9 sport route on the Head Wall). center_img Trad vs. Sport One of them, let’s call him Mark, had the unfortunate habit of sleeping in the buff. Mark had gotten up in the night to use the bathroom donning only boots and birthday suit. Kenny says, “I get woken up to someone outside; I’m like, ‘Mark, what the hell is going on?’ He had gotten caught outside naked by these two girls,” who were supposedly there to bait guys meeting up for other reasons. Kenny, after getting dressed, exited his tent to deal with the situation.  The intentionally-misspelled Travisty is another example of trad-sport tension. This route’s origin story is told by Mike Williams in an article published on his blog “Mike’s Ironclad Beta” in 2012. When a visiting climber named Travis bolted a hard climb at Beauty Mountain, he drilled some holds in the rock to make it easier. “After his departure, the holds were filled in with epoxy and when Harrison Dekker completed the climb [in 1991] in its natural state, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to exploit the unfortunately-named equipper. Years later, an inferior, traditionally protected variation to the route was done and dubbed the Tradjedy.” “Next thing I know, a car comes rolling up, and it’s their boyfriends. One guy gets out, but the girls talk him down, having figured out I was fine.” Parker proffers a beer as a peace offering, but the second man wants to start a fight. “I’m getting shoved while the girls try to break it up.” Eventually, things simmered down. “I think I hung out with them for awhile, and they went away. But the very next weekend, with the same group at the exact same spot, we were woken up again by the same girls,” this time asking for Parker. They hung out for awhile, locals and climbers. When asked what route name arose from all that, he says, “A number of them.” Visitors to the Blue Ridge often remark that the names of our mountains are imaginative, if not abstract: Reddish Knob. Old Rag. Little Stony Man. Used as landmarks, these peaks’ straightforward, descriptive monikers made sense. But as future generations began using the landscape less for orientation and more for chasing its many world-class crags and rivers, naming traditions evolved to tell the exciting, hilarious, and tumultuous histories of climbing and paddling in the region. Another unforgettable Kenny tale revolves around one unofficial campsite. Apparently unbeknownst to climbers, a certain bridge was a known local spot for covert coitus. Because of its proximity to a popular crag, it also became a logical spot for visiting climbers to camp. “We would drive up and sleep at pull-offs in the gorge. There had been incidents involving law enforcement,” Parker describes, “but it was sort of under the radar. We had encounters where locals thought we were there [for hookups].” He describes how one time a group of climbers were camped out at the spot, some in tents or just sleeping bags, some in trucks.  Mike Williams, a climbing guide and author of the New River Rock guidebooks, has been climbing in the New since 1998, establishing many of the most popular routes. He points out that “a lot of tall tales” characterize the region and climbing in general. “It’s an oral history. Someone puts up a new route, and they might note all the things that happened that day,” like who was with them and what they were thinking. Any of those factors could contribute to the new route’s name, but some climbers take it more seriously than others.  A ‘Travisty’ Swoager was welcoming and encouraging to budding climbers and sent routes with Kenny at Seneca. Some time later, he became a born-again Christian and part of the development of climbing at the New. His passion for his religion fed into nearly every route he established, from the ever-popular Leave it to Jesus to Team Jesus and Never Alone (all first ascents in 1985). Later routes began to play off the legendary Swoager’s love for the cross, and routes like Bubba Meets Jesus, a 60-feet 5.11a established by Dave Merritt, were born.  To increase awareness of the issue and publicize local river recreation, they conceived of an urban whitewater race day and sought sponsorship. The first downriver race in 1983 was roughly eight miles long and included the infamous Hollywood rapid, with a take-out at Ancarrow’s Landing, well below the Falls of the James. It was essential that everyone run through one particular dam, in the middle of downtown Richmond, correctly, and while local participants knew the maneuver well, the Coalition thought visiting competitors should have a visual marker. Just before the race, the river was low enough to allow Ware to paddle out to the dam in a canoe and spray paint two giant Xs on the bridge pillar ruins that abutted the proper line. The paint, supplied by a utility opposed to the power proposal (imagine that!), was said to wash out in a few days. But there the Xs remained for ten years, until they were updated to skulls and crossbones. The name of the line, Xs, was given in the 1985 race and has stuck ever since. As for the electric proposal, it was foiled. The descendants of those regional pioneer paddlers, like Ware’s son John, continue to run the James’ class I-IV rapids, while other rivers around the world continue the fight against hydroelectric dams. Names or rapids and routes can be steeped in mythology. When asked what mythology in climbing means to him, Mike Williams puts it succinctly: “Mythology doesn’t have to be true. It’s an oral history, often based on a sort of campfire mythology.” Embellished details, memories fogged by both time and intoxication, different versions of the same event… Humans are adept, if not objective, storytellers; we’ve named everything since the dawn of language. The mountains and rivers couldn’t care less what we call them, but no matter what’s in a name, the act of naming lets someone leave their mark on history, cement in some small, symbolic way their side of a great story.last_img read more

Sparkle Launches Its Portion of Seabras-1 Cable System

first_imgSparkle, the international service provider of TIM Group, has activated three fiber pairs it owns and manages on the new Seabras-1 cable, connecting Sao Paulo, Brazil, to New York, USA.Sparkle’s capacity on Seabras-1 supports the fast growing demand for advanced connectivity between North and South America, as well as it caters the needs of customers in Latin America that need to connect to rest of the world.The main advantages for Sparkle’s customers using Seabras-1 include lower latency on the US-Brazil route which has been developed on a path completely off of the hurricane risk area.The new route, fully integrated with Sparkle’s global backbone, also increases the overall redundancy of Sparkle’s Americas network as it provides a third option for diversification, the company explained.Seabras-1, operated by Seaborn, is a 6-fiber pair, 72Tbps submarine cable system that is the first and only direct point-to-point system between São Paulo (Brazil) and New York (US).last_img read more

Aján resigns as honorary IOC member

first_img Aján has been at the IWF since 1976, serving 24 years as general secretary and the past 20 as President. His fifth term as President was due to run until May next year, and at the age of 81 he said he would not stand again. Aján stepped aside pending an investigation, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, into the claims made in the documentary. The Hungarian has been replaced by Ursula Papandrea of the United States, who will head an Oversight and Integrity Commission “whose responsibilities will include identifying, nominating and recommending independent experts in fields including anti-doping and financial reporting”, according to the IWF. The new Commission will report to the Executive Board and the IWF Congress, scheduled for Bucharest on March 11 to 13. Aján’s membership of the IOC was linked to his function as IWF President and he was elevated to honorary status after reaching the age limit of 70. During his time on the IOC, Aján served as a member of four commissions – Sport for All, sub-commission on Out-of-Competition Testing, Olympic Movement and International Relations. Read Also:Aján’s 44-year reign at IWF under threat as Executive Board members demand change He becomes the second IOC honorary member to quit the role in recent years after disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federation President Lamine Diack resigned following his arrest on corruption charges in November 2015. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The IOC said the 81-year-old, who served as an IOC member from 2000 before assuming honorary status in 2010, had stepped down as he “wanted to protect the reputation of his sport and that of the Olympic Movement”. Aján was the main subject of the German television documentary Secret Doping – Lord of the Lifters broadcast by ARD on January 5, which featured allegations of corruption, both financial and in anti-doping procedures. The Hungarian official stepped aside as IWF President for 90 days following the documentary, the content of which was described by the IOC as “very serious and worrying”. Aján denies wrongdoing and the IOC said he had “offered his resignation whilst rejecting in the strongest possible terms allegations recently made against him in a TV programme”. “At the same time, Mr Aján explained that he had realised that these allegations are overshadowing Olympic preparations and Olympic competitions in his beloved sport of weightlifting,” a statement from the IOC read. “For this reason, with his resignation he wanted to protect the reputation of his sport and that of the Olympic Movement. “The IOC Executive Board expresses its thanks and great respect for this personal gesture by Mr Aján.” Loading… International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President, Tamás Aján, has resigned as an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after he was accused of corruption in a German TV programme. Promoted ContentMost Outstanding Female Racers Who Made History In SportsEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid Armageddon6 Most Unforgettable Bridges In The WorldEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouMagnetic Floating Bed: All That Luxury For Mere $1.6 Mil?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More10 Characters That Should Be Official Disney PrincessesBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Madelast_img read more

Tracking and handling concussions in college football is left to schools. Doctors think that should change.

first_imgUPDATED: Aug. 28, 2017 at 11:08 a.m.On Nov. 1, 2013, inside a Manley Field House office, then-SU head coach Scott Shafer told defensive lineman Tyler Marona his career was over. For about three months after Marona suffered a concussion at an inter-squad scrimmage, he said he regularly met to evaluate his progress with Shafer and SU team doctor James Tucker, who came to the team facility about once per week. Marona liked both men and thought they cared about his health. He did not know who officially decided to medically disqualify him, but he understood why.“(Shafer) ended up being like, ‘I don’t want to bring you back and then have you get hurt again, and then I can never look you in the eye ever again and be like, hey, I did what was best for you,’” Marona said this month. “I don’t intend for this to be condescending or any of that, but (Shafer) was covering his ass in that regard, so that he wouldn’t get fired. … I also get it, because if I had a kid, and I was coaching him, I would say the same thing.”That the decision to disqualify Marona was the team’s to make highlights what experts say is the major issue in how concussions are handled across college football. Because neither the NCAA nor the Atlantic Coast Conference provides oversight or tracks concussions, the onus rests on individual schools to monitor head injuries.Currently, team doctors are charged with making decisions both routine, like allowing a player to practice or not, and serious, like medical disqualification. Some team doctors, like Tucker, are not neurological specialists. Tucker is certified only in family medicine, yet he has the final say on all medical disqualifications.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse has disqualified at least five football players in the past four years. There are multiple players still on SU’s roster who have undergone concussion testing protocol in that timeframe, most notably quarterback Eric Dungey, who has reportedly suffered at least two concussions.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorThere is an inherent conflict of interest that experts worry about in providing the power to those on a team’s payroll. The conflict could be eliminated, independent doctors and a lawyer said, with the creation of an NCAA-wide — or even ACC-wide — policy that requires independent neurologists to assess head injuries.Multiple attempts to reach the NCAA, ACC and SU Athletics for comment on this story were unsuccessful.Further action addressing concussion tracking at the NCAA level likely isn’t imminent, experts said, because doctors are still unsure of the long-term consequences of concussions. This leaves the issue’s severity and legality unclear.“For now, the more we can provide an environment where an athlete is given the best medical advice independent of the pressures of sport, that’s really the ideal goal,” said Dr. Brian Rieger, the director of the Upstate Concussion Center in Syracuse.In August 2013, after Marona felt “woozy” from the scrimmage hit, he approached SU’s head athletic trainer Denny Kellington. He “went up the chain of command,” speaking with Timothy Neal, assistant athletics director of sports medicine, as well as Shafer and Tucker. Then, Marona took an ImPACT test, a computer assessment tool to evaluate and manage suspected concussions. Marona said the test results were similar to previous attempts when he was concussed, so all he could do was wait.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorSpeaking up as Marona did is not the norm among college football players, doctors and multiple former players said.One reason is that college players are particularly less open to hearing about safety, said Dr. Theodore Henderson, a concussion expert who has spoken to the NFL Players Association and the players’ safety summit.“The college system sort of enforces this,” Henderson said. “You have to do your best to show your best if you’re going to get picked up in the (NFL) Draft.”Athletes also feel a lot of pressure, former SU players said, to reliably perform, which they say can lead to a chain reaction. It could become harder for the player to admit to himself that he’s hurt. This can make players unreliable self-reporters, which is crucial for an injury like a concussion, that cannot be definitively determined with medical equipment. Without the player’s admission, problems may persist unmonitored and players grapple with injury alone.“Judging a concussion is very hard, unless you’re the person having the concussion,” said Isaiah Johnson, a former Syracuse football defensive end also medically disqualified under Shafer.Though coaches want to keep their players healthy, it’s not their top priority, Johnson and Marona each said.“They just want you to be there so that everybody can win,” Marona said. “There’s nothing worse than losing. That’s really the crux of the point, that’s the reason why (not self-reporting) is a problem, because there’s pressure to perform, to win and for the coaches not to get fired.”At a spring practice in 2015, Johnson said he told a coach that his head wasn’t feeling well seven plays into a 24-play scrimmage. Despite his concussion history, Johnson said, the coach didn’t take him out of the scrimmage and Johnson ultimately participated in 18 of those 24 plays.In April of that year, Tucker disqualified Johnson after he suffered three concussions in 18 months.“I just don’t think the coaches at the time cared about preventing other concussions from happening,” Johnson said. “I believe that I was put in a bad spot. I’m not blaming anyone, but I do believe that different things could have happened.”To prevent predicaments like Johnson’s, many experts endorse the independent neurologist system, which would mirror the NFL’s system. Schools such as SU could contribute to a fund that the NCAA or ACC would use to hire those neurologists, said Paul Haagen, a co-director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy at the Duke University School of Law.“That’s at least a plausible move,” Haagen said.Compelling the NCAA to do more, such as significantly changing rules, will likely require more research and a better understanding of concussions. There are no universal guidelines on determining when it is and isn’t safe to continue a career in contact sports after concussion injuries.Some research has indicated a correlation between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy known as C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. The issue came into the national spotlight in July, when researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System found C.T.E. in all but one of 111 brains that belonged to former NFL players.But experts cautioned against immediately drawing conclusions from that study, noting that the sample was biased. The brains were donated, not randomly selected. There are “strong associations” between concussions and C.T.E., one researcher said, but no scientific link. It’s possible that repeated blows to the head, not concussions, caused the C.T.E. in the players in the study.There’s also no players’ union in college football as there is in the NFL, where a labor agreement exists between the league and the NFL Players Association. The most recent agreement, reached in 2011, stipulates that players are eligible for benefits if they are found to have neuro-cognitive impairments.Without a players’ union at the college level, it’s difficult for players to fight collectively against the NCAA. But it hasn’t stopped some from trying: The Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC has filed at least 43 concussion lawsuits on behalf of former players alleging that the NCAA, conferences and individual schools knew or should have known the risks associated with football and did nothing. One of those suits was filed on behalf of former SU player Marcus Clayton. The attorneys at Edelson PC declined to comment on this story.Former Syracuse quarterback AJ Long was disqualified in 2015 due to concussions. | Courtesy of AJ LongLawyers for thousands of ex-NFL players have filed similar lawsuits against the NFL, and in 2015 a judge approved a $1 billion settlement.But lawsuits against the NCAA are less likely to succeed because, rather than a CBA, the NCAA has only a “loose obligation to consider student-athlete welfare,” said Haagen of Duke’s Center for Sports Law and Policy. Depending on the United States’ future politics, he added, it’s possible the lawsuits could be dismissed completely if the NCAA argues that athletes made an informed choice by playing football.“The suits may go forward,” he said. “But they may not.”Concussions suffered by players not involved in lawsuits, such as Marona and Johnson, likely are unknown to the NCAA or the ACC, since neither organization tracks those injuries.The governing bodies likely don’t know about AJ Long’s injuries, either. Tucker disqualified the former Syracuse quarterback in October 2015 after he suffered multiple concussions. Long then transferred to Wagner and then Division II West Chester to continue his football career. Long declined to comment on this story.Syracuse has also added players previously medically disqualified at other schools, such as Luke Arciniega in 2013.Marona had come into the facility “every day” as a part of SU’s concussion protocol, he said, to talk about how he was feeling. He had taken the ImPACT once, then again, then a third time. Each time, he thought he improved and the computer spit back close to the same results. His displayed unreliable judgment, he said, pushed SU to have its final “heart-to-heart” in the head athletic trainer’s office. Looking back, Marona said he knew the risks of playing football and, while Shafer and SU’s staff seemed to care, he knew few in college football beyond the team’s complex did.“The NCAA is a money machine,” Marona said. “They just want to get the guys on the field. It doesn’t matter to them. ‘We want these guys to get passing grades and we went them to be on the field.’ If something prohibits that, they figure well, injuries are part of the game. … But this injury specifically is a life-altering injury. If you tear your ACL, you’re not going to go dumb.“Something needs to be done.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the medical decision-makers for student athletes were misstated. Coaches are not permitted to make medical decisions on behalf of athletes. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Published on August 28, 2017 at 12:47 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more