Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Feel like you are hiking around in circles? Maybe you are!

The New York times reports on a study concerning how people do (or don’t…) find their way in varying conditions. It turns out that in some situations, “wandering around in circles” more or less accurately describes what folks will do when they get lost, at least if there aren’t sufficient visual cues to help them keep a straight line.

Apparently we all have a tendency to veer. (I once tested this when I was out on the Racetrack at Death Valley. Since there is little in the way of obstacles – save an occasional toe-whacking rock! – I tried closing my eyes and walking a straight line on the playa at night. After 100 steps or so I invariably, well, varied and ended up heading slightly off to the side.)


August 20, 2009 Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Feel like you are hiking around in circles? Maybe you are!

SFGate: Tracking Mountain Lions

There is a very interesting article at SFGate describing how UCSC researchers are tracking mountain lions in the Santa Cruz mountains and the surrounding areas:

Led by researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the project is the first attempt to track Bay Area mountain lions, which are being seen in greater numbers as urban areas spread into the region’s wildlands.

For the next three years, the team will track their behavior and movements in the Santa Cruz Mountains – including mating habits, favored prey, survival needs and travel routes. Researchers hope to expand the study for several more years after that to include the Diablo Range and the North Bay.

Given the close proximity of these magnificent animals to the human population of the Bay Area (not to mention the proximity to a number of university research programs) it is very surprising that no one has done this in the past.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SFGate: Tracking Mountain Lions


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