As some of you may have seen in a previous post of mine, John Hennessey created an extended Lotus that is most likely the fastest road car in the world. It seems Lotus can sit on their high throne and watch as another do-it-yourself garage tuner seems to have made another Lotus that is likely to kill Hennessey’s. It supposedly has 50% greater power to weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron, not to mention greater than a 70′s era F1 car as well, back when there were no restrictions on power. You should check this out yourself… any car nut or science buff will be awe-struck. Try and fathom 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds, you can’t can you? Frank Profera has challenged Hennessey, we’ll need to keep tabs on that.
Ever since I witnessed this in a video, I knew this was going to be something I would attempt to do before I die. Flying has been something I have wanted to do since I was 3 years old, watching the Chicago Air and Water Show on the roof of my apartment overlooking Lake Michigan. I got into high power amateur rocketry, worked at a hobby shop, joined the US Air Force, went to school for Aerospace Engineering, learned to fly propeller aircraft and have dreams of one day designing and flying my own aircraft. This insatiable urge to fly combined with my NEED for adrenaline (my drug of choice)… only leads to the absolute ultimate adventure… wingsuit proximity flying. Not too different from base-jumping except in the fact that an airfoil is integrated into the arms and legs of the flight suit. This allows for a huge gliding ratio for a freefalling body, about 4:1. It is highly recommended that you have 200+ logged jumps before even stepping into a wingsuit, many businesses won’t even allow it until you reach four or five hundred. Then you must train out of an airplane before you can base jump. It is a highly dangerous sport. In the first video, Jeb Corliss, has already had several friends die while wingsuit flying. To be honest, if I could die by some choice… dying by wingsuit would be one hell of a way to go out. Sure beats taking a last breath as a cripple on a death bed. Hope you enjoy the videos… you can leave a comment and/or share below.
- Video: BASE jumpers use wingsuits to do Great Wall of China fly-by (davidjrodger.wordpress.com)
- Video: Wingsuits flights that make you go ‘wow’ (futureoftech.msnbc.msn.com)
As 2011 winds to a close and the 2012 new year commences, it only seems fitting that I post (part 1) of my ongoing bucket list. If you are a continual reader of this site you will notice I talk a lot about experiences… and how you should do everything within your power to make new experiences as often as possible. Of course, this being the last new year the world will see (rolls eyes), you now have a reason to tick off the things you have always wanted to do (although, you being alive should be reason enough). I will share with you the first part of the things I wish to do before I kick the bucket. Feel free to share anything you want to do before you die in the comment box at the bottom of the page.
1. Climb the 7-summits (tallest mountain on each continent)
2. Wingsuit base jump in northern Europe
3. Drive a Formula 1 race car
4. Go to space
5. Design, build and fly my own airplane
6. Finish writing my book and get it published
7. Start my own Aerospace Engineering company
8. Become an inspiration to many
9. Solicit a new way to perceive the world and its inhabitants
10. Learn to become patient
11. Explore an island that has primitive human civilization
12. Make a contribution (any contribution) that improves the human condition
13. Relearn trumpet and learn piano
14. Never stop traveling the world
15. Own and operate a sailboat
16. Never stray from the truth
17. Get a meaningful tattoo (or two… or three)
18. Avoid news networks
19. Never settle
20. Compete in another Tough Mudder (my latest TM)
21. Kayak expedition in Alaska
22. Try not to let my heart talk before my brain, instead, always let my brain tell my heart what to say
23. Find someone to spend the rest of my days with
Tough Mudder is hands down the most demanding mass race on Earth. I will be doing this race 4 days from now with a team of 4 that I gathered several months ago. A quick overview of the race is a 10-12 mile obstacle course through mud and icy water, over hills and into trenches, through fire and electricity and more. A death waiver is required for all applicants while only 3/4 of the racers actually complete the course. You want tough, this is tough.
Tough Mudder was created a couple years ago by a Harvard student who had a project tasked to him by a professor in a goal of finding a potentially successful start-up company that is unique in today’s world. When the professor heard of his this student’s idea, he thought it was crazy and he would be lucky to get a hundred people at the first event. Well, the Harvard professor was wrong, over 10,000 people showed up! Tough Mudder now holds races once a month (on a Saturday and Sunday) all over the world with each course being completely and totally independent of the last.
The costs range from $80 up to $200 depending on how soon in advance you sign up. The majority of the money goes to the Wounded Warriors Project while the rest goes to paying staff and course construction. This is why the prices seem so high, but when you see where the funds are going, you’ll be happy. I always find it funny that people will donate hundreds or even thousands of dollars to their political party of choice for the upcoming election but might consider a tens of dollars to wounded veterans a high price to pay. Makes me curious, hah.
Anyway, there are 24 obstacles in the upcoming Wisconsin race I am doing. Obstacles include: Braveheart Charge, Death March, The Gauntlet, Boa Constrictor, Funky Monkey, Berlin Walls, Devil’s Beard, Cliffhanger, Kiss of Mud, Turd’s Nest, Log Bog Jog, Shake and Bake, Walk the Plank, Underwater Tunnels, Spider’s Web, Berlin Walls, Greased Lightning, Firewalker, Everest, Ball Shrinker, Twinkle Toes, Dry Wood, Mystery Obstacle, Chernobyl Jacuzzi and Electroshock Therapy. Look here for course map.
All of these obstacles take place in heavy mud, water, fire or electricity, or all at the same time. And between the obstacles are nothing but wet and muddy hill climbs… often times involving the carrying of a partner or a log. Speaking of partners, this is supposed to be a team challenge. It literally cannot be completed without the help of a friend or some random stranger willing to help. In fact, immediately before the race, at the Braveheart Charge… they make everyone take the “Tough Mudder Pledge” which states that no Tough Mudder will be left un-helped if help is available to be given.
It is NOT a race but a challenge, but if you CHOOSE to time yourself you have the possibility of making it into the World Tough Mudder challenge, which is probably the only event that is tougher than this.
Tough Mudder takes the average person about 2.5 hours to complete… and this is for mostly athletic people. Overweight people are rare on the course but you do see them. I give such great props for men and women who are overweight and attempt this course. If it was a goal set or the stepping stone in their road to healthy living, it sure is one big one.
Once/If Tough Mudder is completed, you will receive an orange Tough Mudder headband, admitted into the after party with a live band, drinks and food. You also receive free tattoo vouchers for the Tough Mudder logo and you get the honor of being one of the few who have completed the challenge… a challenge less accomplished than a marathon. If you really want to test your toughness and have an awesome time doing it, sign up, it’s totally worth it AND it’s a charity. Look forward to reading about my experience when I get back from Wisconsin on July 24th, 2011… hopefully having accomplished the race.
Attempting to summit Mt. Everest has been a dream of mine since I was just a kid… now, I have actually made it a goal of mine to complete a climb to stand on top of the world. It will be significantly harder for me with my recent epilepsy diagnosis but I won’t let the doctor’s “suggestions” prevent me from accomplishing my dreams. Just some words of advice, don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t achieve your goals, you just work within your means to accomplish them. And now, the video that will take you to 29,031 feet adding one more person to the small list of 2,700 people who have ever summited Everest.
It’s official! I just registered my name on the mountain for June 1st, 2011! I can’t wait. What a great way to kick off the 2011 year. For those of you who don’t know about Mt. Rainier, let me feed you some facts; It is the most prominent mountain in the 48 states. It is a stratovolcano. It is likened to a mountain in the Himalayans. The Muir Snowfield is in the top 10 of North America’s most deadly hiking routes. It has 26 glaciers which cover over 30 square miles of terrain.
To put it simply… this is one mother of a mountain. And just because I say “mother”, does not make it forgiving.
It will take me about 4 days to reach the summit, provided I reach the summit. I will be acclimatizing in the northern cascades for about a week before the climb because the lack of oxygen can be seriously detrimental and just downright annoying when you’re climbing. Things like headaches, stomachaches, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and dehydration are results of hypoxia which has to do with not be acclimated to the amount of oxygen prevalent at that time. So hopefully my week of hiking through the cascade mountains will help with this when I begin climbing Rainier.
I will be in a 12 person team, most likely we’ll have 3 sub-teams with 4 people on a rope for safety. The climb will not be easy, about 50% of people don’t make the top. High winds and intense storms can pop up out of nowhere, it has been known to snow 2 feet on July 4th. 12 spike crampons are basically required as well as an ice axe. Crevasses and snow bridges are everywhere so it takes a lot of mental strength to make it to the top as well as physical. Especially since Ranier sticks out of the ground higher than the 2nd tallest mountain in the world, K2.
I could continue with the technical stuff but that doesn’t really matter, if you have questions, ask! and I’ll answer! In the mean time, here are some videos for your viewing pleasure.
This evening I experienced a random act of kindness. In our busy world today nobody stops to care about other people’s situations. Everyone is cared about where they are going, what they are doing and if they have gotten a text yet. Once you stop and take a breath, you realize and take note of other people’s situations better than you thought you could. Next time you are walking or driving around, look and see what people are doing around you. Sometimes all people need to make their day that much better is a smile and hello.
As a member of the Air Force here on campus, it is our responsibility to put up and take down the central campus flags. This evening it was chilly, somewhere in the high teens low 20s. I was at central campus and my fellow wingman never showed to help me take down the flags. For those who have ever taken down flags before, it’s not easy with just one person. That is, if you plan to do it correctly and not let either of the 2 flags touch the ground as well as fold both of them correctly. As I was struggling taking down these flags, there were many students that looked over at me and continued on with their day.
(below you will see 2 photos of central campus… our weather right now is essentially in-between those 2 photos)
Until… one lady asked if I needed help. She helped me take down as well as fold the flags. Took about 5 minutes out of her day to help a random stranger. I thanked her greatly for her care to help me and then we both went on our way. There is an upside and a downside. The upside is that people still will take time out of their day just to help someone. The downside is that so many people didn’t even bother to care even when it involved the American Flag, a symbol of our society and a point of respect.
I challenge you, the next stranger you pass by… smile and say hello. I’m curious how many people will do it. Maybe you won’t and you’ll remember what I said and kick yourself for it. Or maybe you’ll do it, and when you do, you’ll feel noticeably better and you sure as hell made the other person feel better as well. If somebody looks like they need a quick hand, whether it be with groceries, holding the door because their hands are full, or whatever, help them!!!
Post a story of a random act of kindness you have either done or experienced… we need more of it in our ever busy world.
For anyone who knows me, knows that I am at home in the outdoors. A fanatic. In general, I guess it is because I enjoy experiencing new things, even if it doesn’t involve the outdoors… and there is always something new to experience wherever you go. The ultimate healing of the mind, I believe. And go with someone you are very close with or go alone (just tell people where that may be). It will ALWAYS be an experience to remember, whether it be a good one or a bad one, you come out having learned something new and in general, loving yourself and the people around you more. I am going to share a list of reasons (in no particular order) to experience the wilderness.
1. Don’t Make Excuses If You Are Uncomfortable.
To people who are hesitant to get outside in the elements, you will never know the benefits of these experiences until you actually push yourself to do it. People who don’t do things they are uncomfortable with leave no room for themselves to grow. Keep that in mind next time you make an excuse to experience something new that you’re uncomfortable with. Your life’s knowledge is solely based off the experiences you willingly and unwillingly make.
2. The Outdoors Is The Ultimate Mind Healer.
I am actually not making this up… there have been numerous studies that show mental illness patients heal up to 60% faster when they are near the ocean or in an area that is not inhabited and not developed by people. These are just the studies, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is absolutely true. Whenever I am feeling blue, or under a lot of stress in my life, I get outside. And I ALWAYS return feeling noticeably happier and refreshed… not just for a short period of time, but indefinitely. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself… doesn’t have to be a far place, just get out for a couple days either by yourself or with a few close people in your lives. There are many things on the internet that will show you what you need for certain activities, do a search, or better yet, ASK ME!!!
3. You Appreciate Things Far More Than Ever.
Placing yourself in places that are more remote than you’re used to, forces you to appreciate the things you would otherwise take for granted. When you go someplace where you can’t sleep at 71 degrees F, can’t have running water at your disposal, or such things as toilets, ovens, a bed… you learn what is actually important in life. A shower becomes a treasure and beds become a luxury. Your eyes open and you love everything you have in your life that much more. Again, these are things that are hard to understand until you actually get out.
4. You Have Fun!
This is probably the most directly obvious one. There is nothing more satisfying than making new experiences, especially with some of the people you love. You do things that you cannot do when you’re at home and all the stresses you would otherwise have, are gone. It’s a fact that when you smile, your body releases chemicals that make you happier… and you smile A LOT when you get outside.
5. You Get More Exercise Than You Remotely Realize
This seems basic, but I bring it up for a reason. The biggest reason is that America (and a lot of the world) is becoming frighteningly overweight. Why do we accept the fact that 1/3 of the population is fat? Anyway, my point is that when you go to a gym and workout, you eventually stop after exerting yourself past a point. When you are in the wilderness, you don’t realize that you work all aspects of fitness and burn several thousand calories a day because you are having fun!
6. One In A Lifetime Experiences All The Time
I can for a fact, define a one-in-a-lifetime experience for every single instance I have left for time in the outdoors. Whether it be a local day hike at a state park or a month long venture through the Grand Tetons… I ALWAYS come out with at least one experience that probably will never happen again. And better yet, more often then not, you experience it with somebody else. It creates an everlasting bond that only strengthens your relationship… and a story that will last a lifetime. I can’t stress this enough, this is essentially why I enjoy it so much. You would be crazy to underestimate this point.
7. It Gives You Something To Improve On, Like A Hobby
When you enjoy something, you naturally want to get better at it. With experience, you naturally become better… but you also enjoy trying new things. After you have done this for a while, you might want to learn new ways and uses to build a fire, learn new uses for various tools, perfecting the art of navigation… the possibilities are endless. In a way, it becomes a hobby that you can develop. Not only are there those who experience the outdoors and those who don’t, but there are those who have learned the outdoors more than others. It is just another way to experience new things, make things more fun and satisfy the brain’s desire for improving on something.
That is all I can think of right now as far as general topics and I could delve into each one of them into great detail… and maybe I will sooner or later… if you have anything to add, go right ahead! I always love hearing new reason and experiences related to the outdoors. Also, if you are interested in getting into the outdoors but don’t know where to start, contact me! I absolute LOVE helping people get involved in such activities and I feel like I have a wide range of experiences and knowledge to help get anyone started in any outdoor activity.
<a href=”http://feedshark.brainbliss.com” id=”US919577″>Blog pinger</a>
I’d say my blog post is over now that I’ve given it a title… why? Because, it’s that simple. It’s no myth, no legend, but definitely an accurate stereotype.
One of my fellow Air Force Wingmen recently got a purebred Siberian Husky puppy. He is allocated as a pilot in the AF and will be leaving to a base in several months. He wanted to get a puppy while he was still living in the crappy house he is in now before he moves into a nice base housing unit. I first met this puppy a couple weeks ago shortly after he got her, her name is Columbia and she is gorgeous. Big blue husky eyes and fuzzier than you can imagine.
I LOVE dogs if you haven’t figured this out… but this article is not about how I love dogs…
Taking care of and raising a puppy at any time while you’re still in education is a tough task. I offered to take her on walks and take Columbia off his hands for a while every now and then so he can get stuff done.
Recently, on Halloween (in a campus town, for the record), took her out on leash and you wouldn’t know what a chick magnet was until you saw this. Ladies, whether sober or intoxicated would run down the block and cross the street screaming just because I had this puppy. And the funny thing is is they would flirt with me in front of the guys they were with and all the guys just thought I was cool.
This was just one instance, there have been more that have allowed the exchange of numbers!
And for any lady that thinks this is a horrible ploy that a man would use to attract women… you’re actually horribly wrong, because the benefit works both ways. The way I see it, is this works in 2 steps…
1) The puppy provides the reason for the woman to approach you, it IS the ice breaker. Why? Because the puppy is naturally adorable, which women like, and it seems like a perfectly normal reason for 2 people of the opposite sex to converse.
2) The puppy shows the woman that the man is responsible and can take care of others. It shows compassion and adoration as well as love. It also shows time-management, sociability, and understanding life’s simple pleasures.
Why is this good for both men and women? Because in general, step 2 actually is more often then not correct for someone with a puppy. It also gives men everything you get out of owning a dog as well as an opportunity to meet women VERY easily. So ladies, this is just as much an opportunity for you as it is a man. So the next time you see a guy walking his dog, go say hi!
I’d be willing to money down that others have stories of meeting people that involve dogs… and probably credit the occurrence to the dog.