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Filming The North Face climbers in Chad’s Ennedi Desert (Video)
Filming The North Face climbers in Chad’s Ennedi Desert (Video)

Fourteen minutes of a side of rock-climbing that few get to see.WE ARE BIG FANS of photographer and climber Jimmy Chin as well as his production company, Camp 4 Collective. This past spring, while his first National Geographic cover feature was being released, Jimmy and fellow North Face-sponsored climbers, including Yosemite solo star Alex Honnold, UK trad climber James Pearson and New England mountaineer Mark Synnott, set off to scale the rocks of Chad’s Ennedi Desert.

New Zealand: Your Safest Bet
New Zealand: Your Safest Bet

Some recent events have lowered Iceland’s peaceful ranking. New Zealand is there to slip into top spot.It’s nice to know that amongst the crime, corruption, and political dissent in today’s world we can rely on some places to go where we can feel relatively safe. The Global Peace Index 2009 has found New Zealand to be the most peaceful nation on the planet, usurping Iceland for top spot.

Pivoting Backpacks: Black Diamond’s Octane
Pivoting Backpacks: Black Diamond’s Octane

The ultimate backpack contoured and designed to move with your body.New to the multi-hour-day-trip backpack lineup is Black Diamond’s Octane.Designed for short to long technical day trips, it’s equipped with Black Diamond’s ergoACTIV suspension. The weight is distributed continuously throughout the shoulders and applied to the pivoting weight straps.

The philosophy of liberty explained
The philosophy of liberty explained

In 8 minutes, learn how the philosophy of liberty is based on the hallmark of self-ownership.In the USA, it seems barely a moment passes before you hear references to freedom and liberty. This could be talk about the right of free speech, gun control, property, or any other number of topics.This is not surprising.

Romanian Teen To Pay Half Of Her Virginity-Auctioned Earnings To Gov
Romanian Teen To Pay Half Of Her Virginity-Auctioned Earnings To Gov

Teen now faces more than just the moral issue of auctioning off her virginity to pay for school.From the, “Wow, this whole thing is really sad” file:For those who don’t know, Alina Percea, a Romanian teenage girl living in Germany, recently auctioned off her virginity to an Italian businessman for 8,800 pounds.

Patron saint of my round-the-world trip
Patron saint of my round-the-world trip

Tom Gates travels from Boston through Amsterdam, Paris, and Stockholm, where he finally meets the person who inspired his round the world trip, and reflects on the journeys so many of us have taken, and continue to take at Matador.May 20, 2001, Logan Airport, BostonI have blagged my way into the British Airways lounge by complimenting the check-in lady on her silver dollar-sized earrings.

Japan encourages office workers to strip down
Japan encourages office workers to strip down

To reduce AC consumption at the office, Japanese businesspeople are encouraged to wear less.On a recent trip to Tokyo, I noticed two things.First, the city was unusually hot. Cafes, stores, and offices just weren’t running the air.Second, many salarymen were NOT wearing the traditional dark suit, tie, and leather shoes.

100 Days & Counting…
100 Days & Counting…

With just 100 days left in what’s easily been the most exciting presidential race in my lifetime, voters are beginning to ask:Who will McCain and Obama select as their vice-presidential running mates? Hillary Clinton has clearly indicated her interest in the vacant position, and other former presidential hopefuls who were left in the dust on the campaign trail are also angling to be their party’s VP nominee.

Summiting Mount Doom in Bolivia
Summiting Mount Doom in Bolivia

Not too technical, Volcán Licancabur offers a relatively easy route to just under 20,000 ft. You get the views for free.Images of Tolkien’s volcano come to mind. Perfectly coned slopes loom over a stretch of desert so sinister it could be taken for Mordor itself.I always thought Frodo was a chump, but after climbing the 19,423 ft (5,920 m) Licancabur, I’m willing to cut him some slack.

Notes on a Burmese Monk
Notes on a Burmese Monk

Robert Hirschfield finds a juxtaposition between Burma and India, past and present, East and West, while talking to a monk at the Bodhi Tree.THEY SIT like saffron pigeons on the stone ledge across from the Bodhi Tree.If I clap my hands, will they scatter? Or like the good Theravadan monks that they are, will they log the bare fact of hearing in minds polished with the spirituality of perception?

What’s In Your Backpack, Ryan Libre, Professional Photographer?
What’s In Your Backpack, Ryan Libre, Professional Photographer?

Every year, my camera bag grows and my personal gear shrinks. My camera gear is now two times my personal gear in volume, five times in weight and 100 times in cost.Often, when someone finds out I’m a photographer their first question is, “What gear do you use?” So let’s see what’s in my bag…I go through camera bodies way too fast.

Blues singer, Maria Muldaur, talks religion
Blues singer, Maria Muldaur, talks religion

Through the glass wall of the room where she was taking interviews, I could see Maria Muldaur look out toward the queue of journalists who were waiting for their turn.I WAS IN that line. It was only three deep, but I could tell she’d had enough. She arrived on the island of Borneo from San Francisco the previous night and, coming from Vancouver myself, I knew well the painfully long journey she just went through.