Daily Dirt: March 21, 2013

first_imgYour outdoor news for March 21, 2013:New Routes Go Up in the New River GorgeIn a great post on DPM Climbing, Mike Williams reports that new trad routes are going up in the New River Gorge. Focusing on popular Thunder Buttress of Beauty Mountain, Williams tells the tale of how Pat Goodman claimed the first ascent of Gun Control, a variation off of the established Gun Club. It’s great to see new things being done in a place like the New, where folks have been climbing since the 80’s; refreshing to know that there still remains undiscovered and unconquered territory out there. One of the things I love about climbing pieces is the names of the routes. Some highlights from this post are: The Thundering Herd, The Golden Bullet, In Gold Blood, and That’s What She Said. I also love stories written by climbers for all the climbing jargon and especially this one because it tells the story of a first ascent through the history of the place and the lives of the people who climb it.Snowboarding Industry SummitSo reports from this winter indicate that the snowboard industry is in decline, while the ski industry is ticking up, meaning that young peoples in general are picking up skiing and sticking with it longer than snowboarding. When those in the industry learned this, some flew off the handle, but most took the news calmly enough even if they were tearing out their eyeballs in private about the death of snowboarding AS WE KNOW IT! A decline in snowboarding interest is especially important on the East Coast where the sport has traditionally been as popular – if not more popular- than skiing because it was cool and different. But now that the two styles/attitudes/punks have leaked into each discipline, the lines are blurred and snowboarding is losing out. The leaders of the industry met in Deer Valley last week at the TransWorld Conference to hash out what the sport has to do to keep growing and stop retracting. This was no emergency Situation Room type of thing – it happens every year – but the emphasis this year was definitely on the sport as a whole and not just the brands behind the curtain. We’ll see what the big players come up with next season to reflect this trend. This past season we saw Burton launch a huge “Learn to Ride” program for the kids, so expect more of that. Get ’em hooked young.You can read the full recap of the conference here.Public Support for Keystone WaningAccording to a new poll for the Center of Biological Diversity by Public Policy Polling, 61 percent of those who voted for President Obama in the last election would be “disappointed” or “betrayed” if he goes ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Almost 75 percent of the general public thought the Keystone XL is not in the U.S.’s “best interest.” Plenty more numbers in this story from the Sierra Club.last_img read more

Colombia, US Improve UAV Flights

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo September 20, 2018 A U.S. Air Force delegation visited the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Academy (EBART, in Spanish) at the Third Air Combat Command in Barranquilla, Colombia, July 16-27, 2018. The objective was to exchange knowledge and experiences in the formation, training, and instruction of pilots and operators of ScanEagle drones. “The experience exchange was made possible through the ScanEagle Pprocessing, Exploitation, and Dissemination Course, based on the experience of the United States,” FAC Major Daniel Eduardo Martínez, deputy director of EBART, told Diálogo. “The course was a guide to conduct ISR missions [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], and taught us how to guide an unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] for this type of missions and make a briefing to conduct a mission.” Together, nine Colombian officers and the U.S. delegation learned how each air force operates UAV in conventional and asymmetric warfare. “The training will help us improve the doctrine for unmanned aerial vehicles, modernize manuals, strengthen flight operation planning, and improve surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence missions,” FAC First Lieutenant Brayan Higuera, ScanEagle course instructor at EBART, told Diálogo. FAC operates the tactical surveillance and reconnaissance system since 2006 to support the fight against illegal armed groups and terrorists. The system brought significant results in the identification, surveillance, and reconnaissance of targets, aerial surveillance, support of special operations units, and search and rescue. The highly autonomous aircraft of U.S. manufacturer Boeing Insitu are designed to conduct continuous missions of more than 15 hours and have the capacity to collect and transmit large numbers of images in real time. Improving the mission During the course, service members of both countries analyzed mission briefings to obtain good results with the systems. “We focus on the machine and the crew,” Maj. Martínez said. “[U.S.] officers found it interesting that technicians are included in the Colombian briefing to discuss the system status. Their briefing is between the analyst and the pilot but don’t involve a technician to report flight hours left for the unmanned aerial vehicle,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. The Colombian squadron learned how U.S. Air Force officers use “exhaustive information” when carrying out missions. “As soon as they have information coming from any human or technical source, they go out and conduct persistent surveillance, meaning around the clock,” 1st Lt. Higuera said. “We should also focus on persistent information.” New way to operate aircraft After the course, FAC opted to modify its operation of ScanEagle aircraft to adapt to those of the U.S. Air Force, with target-persistent surveillance. “The course helped [our] air institution promote a new way to operate the aircraft,” Maj. Martínez said. With this change, FAC will be able to show its UAV platforms to the Colombian Army, Navy, and National Police to increase intelligence efforts and sustained focus on a target. The UAV will also be able to submit more information than what security forces can currently achieve with human intelligence, such as images, video, and target surveillance for tactical maneuvers. “Air authorities study how the change in operations can help identify and eradicate illegal crops in the country,” Maj. Martínez said. “The ScanEagle can be an important tool in the current fight [against drugs].” Latin American benchmark FAC expects to obtain the Boeing Insitu certification by the end of 2018. “The idea is that with the certification, plus the experience we have, EBART will become Latin America’s school for unmanned aerial vehicles. This year [2018] we trained Peruvian personnel and last year [2017] we trained personnel from Chile. Also, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are interested in training their crews here, now that they started acquiring unmanned aerial systems,” Maj. Martínez said. Within a year, EBART plans to include naval personnel in the faculty. Their experience with UAV launched from ships will strengthen the training to be offered to the Colombian Armed Forces and other nations. The school also studies the possibility of bringing instructors from the U.S. Air Force. “We developed the new unmanned aerial vehicle aviation with the help of the U.S. Air Force. We received a lot of help from them. It’s important because it’s becoming increasingly developed, with more prominence in aviation worldwide,” Maj. Martínez concluded.last_img read more

Maybe it’s time to lower our expectations for Kobe Bryant

first_img“I give myself an F,” Bryant said when asked to grade himself.That is a harsh piece of self-criticism, to be sure.“I’m insanely critical,” Bryant said. “There’s a bunch of things I messed up on.”An even harsher truth is Bryant still has a long way to go before truly returning.If he ever does at all. LOS ANGELES >> As far as first steps go, it was clearly more of the baby variety than one giant leap for mankind.But then, it would have been a mistake to actually think Kobe Bryant would simply return to the Lakers eight months after rupturing an Achilles tendon and simply pick up right where he left off.No matter how much we wanted to see Bryant soar and glide and cut and pivot and slice up the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, that was about as likely as Dwight Howard winning a free-throw shooting contest.As evidenced by the nine points Bryant scored and the eight turnovers he committed in 28 mostly unsettled minutes. If so it will take a combination of things lining up, first and foremost the Achilles holding up and allowing him be the player he once was but also Bryant being confident enough in the rebuilt tendon to push it as hard as necessary.He admits he isn’t quite there yet mentally,“I’m still not sure exactly what I can do,” Bryant said. “You have to test it out. You have to keep pushing and pushing and then make adjustments and corrections.”None of which should be a surprise, no matter how much we hoped otherwise. He’s coming back from the sort of injury that ends careers, not one that temporarily diverts them.This isn’t the knee pain he’s grimaced through for years or the deformed finger injury he gallantly played through when most mortals would have immediately succumbed.It is the reconstruction of a vital tendon and a rehabilitation process normally timed in a year rather than months. And while the Hollywood crowd that showed up at Staples Center pined for one of those epic blockbusters they’re so accustomed to developing, even they’ll tell you no matter how much heart and soul and money you pour into a project, your chances of dropping a dud on the audience is just as high as delivering a smash hit.That isn’t to say Bryant bombed in his first game back, just that we might need to recalibrate our expectations.The fact he returned to the court as quickly as he did is the real achievement, and how well the Achilles held up after nearly 30 minutes and how good Bryant felt afterward are important markers to build upon.As far as the actual re-birth of the Kobe Bryant we all remember, well, that is going to take some time.If it ever happens at all.Bryant turned actual human on us that night he painfully limped off the court against the Golden State Warriors, the impenetrable shield he forever played with indefinitely suspended by a devastating injury.And Sunday was simply a continuation of that actuality as Bryant remained grounded most of the night while doing more probing and passing than flying, a bit thrown off by the speed of the game and not quite on the same page with the nearly rebuilt team around him.He didn’t take over as much as he tried to blend in.The man who could get off any shot at anytime spent as much time looking for teammates as he did his own shot.The Lakers played better without him than they did with him.And even when he returned to the floor late in the game and the Lakers creeping closer to the Raptors, he was more supporting cast than leading man.It was strange and odd and even a bit disconcerting.We are so used to seeing Bryant own these moments or conquering whatever obstacle is placed in his path. But it’s the new reality for Bryant, at least through this stage of his comeback.The most poignant element is how unsure he seemed of himself and his capabilities.How reluctant he seemed to just unleash.The last time Bryant was uncertain about his own ability?Or apprehensive and tentative?How about never.But get used to it.It was only two days ago Bryant felt comfortable enough to actually play in a game again.It’s going to take weeks before he’s confident enough to push his Achilles to the limit, or the level he needs to be the player we remember.Sunday was not that day, as the 2-for-9 shooting and eight turnovers proved.“This was a complete failure to me,” Bryant said.One he is determined to grow from.“I can’t wait to start watching the film and start criticizing everything,” Bryant said. “But that’s the exciting part. The exciting part is that you have a challenge, you have improvements to make. And you sit and watch them and break them down and get ready for the next game and take it from there.”No matter how much we wished for all that to come together Sunday, that wasn’t realistic.The hope now is that it happens at some point.But even that remains in question.vincent.bonsignore@langnews.com @DailyNewsVinny on Twittercenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more