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Golf: A Guide for Beginners

September 22nd, 2009

golf-beginner-guide.jpgThe thrill of watching your golf ball soar into the backdrop of a clear blue sky and landing softly on the green may seem implausible when you find yourself slashing away with a golf club for the first time. Learning to play golf can be a very frustrating experience if you approach it the wrong way as many accomplished golfers will testify. Trial and error is a necessary part of learning the game but with the proper mindset, the errors will be reduced. The last thing you want to do as a novice golfer is to wander out on a golf course before you have spent time on a practice range. Why is this important?

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Food Tips for Hill Walkers

July 27th, 2009

hill-walking-food.jpgHill walking is an energetic pursuit. The energy required comes from food in the form of calories so eating well is important for the hill walker. Running out of energy is unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

If you are very fit and the weather is benign you can walk all day without eating and not run out of energy. I once walked for several days on less than I normally eat at one meal during a long walk through the Canadian Rockies when I ran out of food far from the nearest supply point. I was very hungry by the time I emerged from the woods and had lost a fair bit of weight. The walking, on steep slopes in dense undergrowth, was very strenuous and I was carrying a heavy load, yet I did not suffer any ill effects. The weather was warm and sunny, however, and I was extremely fit, having been walking all day every day for two months.

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How to Go Camping and Backpacking

July 19th, 2009

how-to-go-camping.jpgCamping in a different place every night is one of the joys of backpacking. It can also be one of the horrors if you find yourself stumbling around in the rain still looking for a site long after dark, so being able to find places to camp is an important skill. It is also important to leave your site so that no one can tell you were there. This is known as minimum impact camping.

Finding a Site

For a gentle introduction to lightweight camping the novice backpacker can use organized camp sites. There are many small sites where you will not be overwhelmed by frame tents and caravans. The Backpackers Club has a list of farm sites, available to members only.

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How to Use a Compass for Hill Walking

July 10th, 2009

how-to-use-compass.jpgThis article by Amy Weber describes some of the issues one might encounter when trying to use a compass for navigation during a hiking or hill walking expedition. Apparently it’s not quite as simple as looking at the compass and assuming that the needle is always pointing to the north.


Magnetic Variation

Unfortunately taking a bearing is not quite as simple as you might think because there are three different north directions: true north, grid norm, and magnetic north. The first is where the North Pole is and, unless you are going there, is not important for hill walking. Grid north is where the grid lines on a map point while magnetic north is where your compass needle points. The variation between these two is called the magnetic variation or declination.

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Has Steroid Testing Changed Anything?

June 4th, 2009

baseball-steroid-testingChicks dig the long ball. That was the phrase that paid during Major League Baseball’s so-called Steroid Era of the last 15 years. Players got larger from their use of performance-enhancing drugs and home runs numbers skyrocketed. Fans saw a dramatic shift in the way the game was played — away from a sport that relied on speed and strategy, to one that looked more like a beefed up beer league softball game.

The stolen base, it seemed, had become a lost art as teams stood around waiting for the three-run homer which inevitably came. Players like Dave Roberts and Juan Pierre, who in the 1980s would have been prized leadoff men for their ability to disrupt defenses on the base paths, became utility men who had trouble finding consistent homes. Certainly no one would ever again approach Rickey Henderson’s record setting 130 stolen base year of 1982.

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NFL Sends Copyright and Trademark Laws Over the Top

January 19th, 2008

litigious-nfl.jpgOne of the reasons that I have come to loathe most of American society is its overly litigious tendencies. For example, here in South Texas it has become commonplace for a certain segment of the population to make a regular income through the lucrative potential of personal injury lawsuits. People often collect unreasonably large sums of money from settlements with drivers or their insurance companies in minor accident cases where there was no substantial damage or injury.

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