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Archive for April, 2011

No Shirt, No Jewelry, No Service

I was looking through a book entitled “The Investigator’s Handbook,” by Walter M. Strobl (1984, Butterworth Publishers, Boston, MA). It is more or less a (thin) textbook for undercover private investigators. There are chapters on “Shipping and Receiving Department Activity,” “Employee Misconduct Investigations,” “Traffic Accident Investigations,” and “Guidelines for Conducting Insurance Investigations,” among others.

In the chapter on “The Retail Store Investigator,” he includes a section on “Shoplifting Methods.” That is where I found the following (p. 55):

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Just a reminder that they will be showing a new episode of Dual Survival this evening, 9:00pm EDT. This one is entitled, “Buried Alive” and has the following description:

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Minimalist Marines

My son the marine pointed me to this article, Minimalist Footwear Hits the Military Barracks.

I’m usually pretty down on minimalist shoes. Most of that is because people call them “barefoot shoes” which is just plain inaccurate. The other reason is cautionary: everything I have gleaned is that the transition from fully shod to minimalist can lead to more injuries than transitioning from fully shod to barefoot. I’ve stated this before. Long-term shoe wearing will have weakened not only the skin of the soles, but all of the internal structures of the foot: the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments. When you go minimal, the only one of those weakened structures you continue to protect is the skin. Instead, the skin should be used as an early warning device to protect the entire foot in its weakened state.

Back to the military . . .

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HuffPo: Is Running Barefoot Safe?

A couple of days ago the Huffington Post had another barefoot article: Running Barefoot: Is it Safe? Should You Try it?. It started out by noting that The Barefoot Runners Society has designated May first as International Barefoot Running Day. The author of the piece, Dr. Neil Blitz, is a doctor of podiatric medicine. It was nice, for a change, to see such a podiatrist with an open mind. His main point?

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Duck!

Yesterday’s hike took me a full 125 feet to the back of my yard, where our creek runs. We’ve had a pair of mallard ducks there for the past couple of weeks. A pair has shown up for at least the last 5 years, but I have no idea whether it is the same pair or not. I would guess they are nesting, but I’ve never seen any ducklings. (I am also concerned about a couple a cats in the area—their owners just let them run loose and it drives me crazy.)

Here’s a shot with the male swimming in our creek:

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Liberty Lacking

One of the more famous barefooters, Dr. Daniel Howell, is a professor
at Liberty University. Here is an article from the Liberty Champion that highlights the barefoot running club that has arisen there. For once, we get a he said/she said article in which the barefooter gets the last word instead of an uninformed podiatrist.

Here’s a portion where they quote Dr. Howell:

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Cantwell Can’t Very Well

On Thursday I headed over to Cantwell Cliffs. This is one of the units of Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking State Forest. All of the other units are pretty-much connected, but Cantwell Cliffs stands alone. It is also the most northernmost unit. It turns out that I haven’t been there in probably 10 years, so I thought I’d add it to the areas that I’ve mapped.

I of course brought along with me topo maps of the park.

When I entered the park, I was greeted by the following map on a bulletin board:

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HuffPo StuffGrow

In another mostly vacuous article, we now have inflicted on us Smelly Feet? What To Do About It, by Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld, Founder of the Institute for Integrative Podiatric Medicine.

At least he properly (well, kind of) identifies the true cause of stinky feet:

There are many causes of malodorous feet and the underlying etiology gives rise to excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis) that is a great breeding ground for bacteria.

Well, kind of. While bacteria are part of it, it’s really the fungi that cause most of the smell. If your feet smell like really bad cheese, that’s the fungi, or mold. Of course, what mold and fungi really like is the warm, dark, moist environment inside a shoe. Excessive perspiration? I doubt it (thought it contributes). Any perspiration (and we all perspire, and all of our feet perspire) can help along the fungal growth.

His solutions: Botox! That’s right. Disable the perspiration glands. Never mind that your feet are sweating to death in feet saunas. Make them suffer!

If you were to put your hands in impermeable gloves nearly all day, and they stunk as a result (and they would), wouldn’t you think that the obvious solution was Botox? I don’t thing so.

Do I even have to mention the obvious solution? I sure hope not.

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The second season of Dual Survival starts tonight: 9:00pm EDT.

Here is how tonight’s episode is described:

SLASH AND BURN

Dave and Cody show how lost hunters can survive in the harsh conditions of Tierra Del Fuego, just 500 miles from Antarctica. To demonstrate how to survive an extreme injury, Dave self-inflicts a laceration and uses black powder to cauterize the wound. Then, the pair have to cross a frigid bog to reach the coast, facing the hazards of hypothermia and the threat of being swallowed whole by the sucking waters.

Cody Lundin, just by existing, shows that bare feet work perfectly well in these sorts of survival situations. From my experience, about the only time that footwear really is required is when it gets too cold. (I’ve also read of some corals that can rip feet — and shoes — to shreds.)

[Note: The original of this entry kept using "Dual Survivor" instead of the correct "Dual Survival". I have now corrected it.]

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What’s Wrong with Salt Creek?

I’ve been having fun lately looking a bit at the geology and topographic maps of southeastern Ohio. Earlier, in Great Sealer’s Ghost!, I showed a color-coded elevation map. Well, I have here another one showing more of the highlands east of the Scioto River between Circleville and Chillicothe.

[Yes, I know that calling them "highlands" is a bit presumptuous. But this is Ohio after all, and "high" in Ohio is a lot different than "high" in Colorado. In this case, the "mountains" in the Great Seal region "tower" over Chillicothe by a full 650 feet.]

Anyways, here’s the color-coded map east of the Scioto:

Highlands east of the Scioto River near Chillicothe

Highlands east of the Scioto River near Chillicothe

Take a moment and guess where the rivers and streams run. What is the drainage pattern?

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From yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch:

Just Right for Climbing

Just Right for Climbing

Here’s the story.

<sarcasm>

Whatever was that father thinking? Doesn’t he know how dangerous it is to let kids climb trees barehanded? Why, he might have gotten a splinter or other inconsequential owie.

</sarcasm>

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In some ways, TOMS Shoes One Day Without Shoes is delightfully subversive.

The common mythos is that walking barefooted is horribly dangerous. Store owners are sure that they have hazards everywhere (if so, why aren’t they removing them?). Yet, in 16 years of shopping barefooted, I’ve never had an injury inside any store. Oh, wait. I’m lying — I cut my finger on a coupon dispenser in a grocery store once. A nasty gash, too. And I didn’t even sue them. After all, what were my damages? The cost of a band-aid? People are also sure that walking on streets is incredibly dangerous. They have fears of glass and needles everywhere. (more…)

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The Octagon

Yesterday was an Open House at the Octagon Earthworks, part of the Newark Earthworks, in Newark, Ohio. These are the remnant of 2,000 year old mounds that were built by the Hopewell Culture. Unfortunately, many of these mounds have been plowed over or otherwise destroyed since their discovery by Europeans.

The Octagon Monument (actually, the Octagon Circle and the Octagon itself) currently have a golf course on them. However, the golf course is closed to golf 4 days a year, and yesterday was one of those days. Today is another one of them, so if you get a chance you should go. Personnel of the Ohio Historical Society (which owns the site) give guided tours throughout the day, and if you go you will learn a lot about the Octagon (for instance, it is a lunar observatory).

Here is a survey of the place that was done in 1847 by Squier and Davis, (more…)

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One Day Without Shoes

I’ve written before about TOMS Shoes and their mostly misguided shoe campaign. Here is what I wrote last year: TOMS Shoes—Bad Assumptions.

Their latest “One Day Without Shoes” occurred again a few weeks ago. I’d like to comment on one of their promotional posters:

TOMS Shoes Poster

TOMS Shoes Poster

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Skinky

I see a fair bit of wildlife during my hikes, but for some reason I rather like the skinks. There is this one location just north of Lake Hope in which I seem to have more luck seeing them.

Here is a photo I took last May (cell phone photo; sorry it’s not better):

Five-Lined Skink

Five-Lined Skink

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