Some of my friends and family actually do think I’m a little crazy. This summer I decided to really find out what drives me to climb, what pushes me to expand my own vertical limits. What better way to really connect with myself and with the wall than to do it like the early purists and those on the leading edge of the sport today — with no ropes and no worries?
Not a treatise on Pink Floyd
There’s a lot happening in the body that’s implied by the catch-all word “bonk” (a.k.a. “hitting the wall”). While the resulting symptoms can occur at once as a symphony of pain and delirium, it’d be a mistake to think they all have the same cause and the same treatment. In my opinion, the the most valuable distinction for beginner long-distance runners is between dehydration and a glycogen bonk, or, generally speaking, running out of stored carbs to burn.
At Your Service
In the process of creating revolutionary products and services that made everything from music, movies, games, photos and a vast world of internet-related services instantly on-demand to consumers with the touch of button, Apple has been out-innovated in the one area that supposedly guides everything that they do. With the launch of the new Kindle HDX, Amazon revealed a new free support service aptly named Mayday built into each new unit shipped. Google has an on-demand, face-to-face help service too. Is this the future of tech support (and beyond)?
Wear what you like, like what you wear
Several years ago, I unwittingly wrote what I now believe was my first Op/Ed article in the form of a post on a popular Internet watch forum. In it I dared to put a $200 Seiko dive watch up against a $4,000 OMEGA Planet Ocean — both watches I had owned — and declared the Seiko the better dive watch. I should have donned a Nomex suit for all the flaming responses I received. In the years since my inflammatory comparo, I’ve come to realize that there is so much more to a watch than its intended purpose. It’s made me think: with respect to timepieces, can “best” ever be applied?
We're not gonna take it
Just about every car manufacturer has had its “car of shame” at one point or another. The names are easily recognizeable and are usually followed by a full-body cringe: AMC Gremlin, Renault Fuego, Chevy Citation, Oldsmobile Achieva, Volkswagen Fox, Geo Metro, Nissan Pulsar, Cadillac Cimarron, Pontiac Aztek, Ford Festiva, Chrysler PT Cruiser. To our everlasting chagrin, many of the cars we’d rather not have driven have come from right here in America. But things have been improving. Improving a lot, in fact. American cars today are better built and better designed at just about every level, and they’re even competitive with once out-of-reach European performance cars.
Falling into the game
GTA V heralds a new era of gaming, one in which top studios will attract gamers by focusing on their interactions with the digital landscape — i.e., by creating more immersive worlds.
A Lesson in Trickle-Down Mechanomics
Just over 30 years after saving the Swiss Watch industry, Swatch has once again broken trail into uncharted territory. Revealed at BaselWorld earlier this year, the Swatch Sistem51, today’s watch version of the Model T, is set to be released this month.
Protecting Your Interests and Theirs
In the face of what Apple has recently touted as a record-setting sales weekend, there’s one important feature of the iPhone 5S whose larger implications are flying under the radar of the smartphone-toting public: Touch ID. In case you’ve been too busy living to pore over Apple spec sheets, Touch ID refers to the new “fingerprint identity sensor” feature that allows iPhone 5s users to unlock their phones and even make purchases on iTunes using only their fingerprints. Just how secure is this tech? We examine.
Pulling the Plug
Swiss watch movement maker ETA supplies much of the horological world with movements and ébauches (partial movements in need of finishing). Then in 2002 Nicholas Hayek, then chairman of The Swatch Group (ETA’s parent company), announced that ETA would soon begin tapering back the supply of ébauches to the world of Swiss watchmaking beyond their sister brands. Effectively, the Swatch Group decided to stop selling to the competition, albeit gradually. The uproar was tremendous.
Does this weight make me look fat?
Though the newer cars might be faster, safer and better appointed, they certainly don’t feel more agile or connected to the driver. In the name of technology, most sports sedans have lost a purity that once existed across the segment. And there’s virtually no end in sight.
Ride smart and stay alive
Hey there. Yeah, you, riding along in your cool color-coordinated cycling team kit, all matchy-matchy. You look real spiffy, so neat you’ll make a great hood ornament. Because that’s where you’re going to end up — on someone’s hood, or like me, under one. Those who really need to see you, can’t. In your fancy attire, you’re invisible to motorists.
The most excellent excess
Studies show that many young people just don’t care much about cars or driving these days — they’re more focused on things like smartphones and the latest portable technology. Though the supercar landscape is changing, the basic idea and fulfillment behind this dream car is not. Regardless of changes in the industry or the pressures of fuel economy, the supercar will not only survive, it will continue to thrive.
Weakness in numbers
We Americans. We’re proud, we’re tough, and we’re just not all that purposeful sometimes, are we? Cases in point: we wear work boots to nightclubs to be hip; we wear diving watches and sit at the shallow end of the pool. Most egregiously, perhaps, we drive big SUVs and trucks with locking differentials and barely manage to negotiate speedbumps at the local strip mall parking lot. We want our cake, but only so we can stare at it through the plastic wrap. It’s just the way we are. And it’s wrong.
Seeing through the smoke
Bismark calmed an angry crowd in Paris by producing a cigar and asking a Frenchman for a light. Mark Twain enjoyed smoking the most noxious cigars he could find out on his front porch. Churchill dipped his in cognac and smoked them so incessantly it’s a wonder he didn’t kill his political opponents with secondhand smoke.
I got into the cigar smoking game in search of sharp one liners, cool smoke rings and an emulation of the men I so wanted to be. Things have changed.
The sincerest form of flattery?
Within the watch industry there exists a thriving category of timepieces that is wholly unoriginal. This is the realm of the so-called “homage” watch. While legions of fans gratefully purchase these ersatz Grail timepieces, homages also have their detractors — those who write them off as mere derivative copies that don’t deserve attention.GP’s Jason Heaton dives into the debate.
It’s hard to keep a longstanding car model fresh and consistent over the course of decades. Cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, the Honda Accord and the BMW 3-Series are a few models that have stood the test of time. Then there are those models that keep on keepin’ on as the rest of us wonder why. The Nissan Maxima is quite possibly the poster child of this category. I heave a sigh of disappointment every time I see a current model on the road.
Diving’s Identity Crisis
There’s a popular saying among nostalgic dive bums that reads, “Remember when sex was safe and diving was dangerous?” Times have changed, and while I won’t comment on the hazards of promiscuity and the risks of STDs, I will say that diving has gotten too safe. Or at least that’s the perception — and one that, ironically, is keeping people from diving. What diving needs is a re-branding campaign.
An encounter with speed listening
It was a rainy afternoon, and being but sixteen years old and still shackled to the dependent life of the unlicensed driver, I was waiting for my brother to pick me up at the train station. When he finally arrived and I stepped into the warm and dry shelter of his Jeep, I was greeted by a cacophonous sound. Blaring from the speakers was the voice of a man speaking at breakneck pace. A few dozen confused questions later, I deduced that we were actually listening to a book at 3x speed.
Lace up, own up
I recently sat in on a self-improvement lecture about the importance of changing our ways of thinking in order to improve life. The speaker quoted Einstein (or paraphrased, since there are multiple versions of this quote): “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. He was encouraging a particular way of thinking, one that emphasized taking personal responsibility for what happens in our lives. This got me thinking about running, and the way we’re reconsidering our fundamental ideas about the sport.
Thanks, Dr. Bose
Dr. Amar Bose passed away several weeks ago, after what can only be described as an incredibly productive life as an innovator, scholar, designer and mastermind behind some fantastic products that made lots of customers very happy.
At death's door
If driving at geologic speeds in the passing lane or shaving while driving weren’t bad enough, American drivers cemented their poor automotive tastes by killing the station wagon. Today, there are fewer than ten wagon models offered in the states. Cross-overs don’t count. This decline isn’t something new, but it is ever-worsening. It’s likely that in less than a decade, the station wagon will effectively be gone from showrooms here and as difficult as it is for us to stomach, it’s not hard to understand why once you take a look at the reasons.
A thoughtful look behind the case back
After Jason Heaton tells people that he writes about watches, the question inevitably arises: why do some watches cost so much? (This after the incredulity that one can actually make a living doing what he does.) The answer is not so simple. Good thing Mr. Heaton has the time to explain. Read on for his argument.
Look Ma, no brains
When smartphones, texting and social media start replacing people’s ability to actually socialize in a semi-productive manner, things are beginning to go wrong. Asking a pretty girl out on a date involves more work with your thumbs than it does with some semblance of charm. Soon, any kind of online video resume or social media site will supplant your ability to put on a spiffy suit, press the flesh with the powers that be and verbally convince them that you deserve bi-weekly pay.
So, what happens when, in turn, the automotive realm is peppered with all manner of high-tech driving aids? Does it make the world a better place or does it mean the loss of real skills? Granted, most drivers don’t really have what amounts to any skill aside from smiling with their eyes open at the DMV; but for those who don’t have ridiculously high insurance premiums, it matters.
Remember your first bike? We do too
Just why did GP decide to run a week about bicycling? Limits Editor Jeremy Berger explains — and hints at where we’ll go next.
Inside the head of a typical addict
I’ve heard that question answered a lot of different ways in 23 years of flinging sharp wire & feathers at the finned ones. For some, it borders on the mystical. People talk of otherworldly feelings or suspension of time (as in time spent fishing doesn’t count against your allotment here on planet Earth).
For others it’s a religious experience.
Remembering the important moments
Most of us have “remember the time dad…” stories. In celebration of Father’s Day (it’s coming up fast, you slacker) the GP staff decided to put their memorable father-son moments on paper for all the world to see.
One son's Take on an important tradition
Most of my friends growing up didn’t celebrate Father’s Day. I was always curious about that. Who were their dads, exactly, and why didn’t they care? I figured they must have been intellectual types (some of them were) or artists (some of them were) or dads who just had way too many neckties already and didn’t see the point. But in our house, we always celebrated Father’s Day. In fact, it was always kind of a big deal.
Why the wolf pack's third outing marks a bad day for comedy
This weekend, director Todd Phillips, who’s already set a new model for comedy success in many respects, will gain another distinction when his most popular film series joins a rare — and terrible — group of humor franchises that make it to a third outing. He hopes The Hangover: Part III avoids the doomed flight path flown by the others. I’m praying he fails.
Because things could get ugly quickly
Maybe you’ve heard about them — there’s no way you haven’t — but Google is pushing a new eyewear gadget poised to revolutionize(!) how we interact with technology. It’s called Google Glass, and its current form makes even the those Rec Specs wearers from your youth soccer days look like Steve McQueen. The internet backhanders have already made a Tumblr about it, god bless ‘em. But as awkward as they are today, chances are that tech’d up eyewear is here to stay. It’s up to us to deal with it. So we decided to show some initiative by drafting a few ground rules. And we’re counting on you to buy in.
A GP Report
More and more, men and women are looking online — not just for books and flat-screen TVs — for companionship. Much like they’re shopping online, these guys and gals scroll through page after page of potential partners. But we’re not talking about straightforward online dating here. On the sites we’re talking about, users are looking specifically for who’s rich, who’s hot and who’s able to keep a secret. In this special report, we decrypt the pay-to-play world of digital get-downs.