Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 05/01/17

Monday, May 1, 2017

BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON!!



 


   The Badwater Ultra marathon describes itself as "the world's toughest foot race". It is a 135-mile course starting at 282 feet  below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet  at Whitney Portal, the trail head to Mount Whitney. It takes place annually in mid-July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 °F, even in the shade, are not uncommon. Consequently, very few people—even among ultramarathoners—are capable of finishing this grueling race.








 

     Course

    Originally, the run was conceived as being between the lowest and the highest points in the contiguous United States:  Badwater, Death Valley (−282 ft) and Mt. Whitney's summit (14,505 ft). The two are only eighty miles apart on the map, but the land route between the two points is substantially longer, 146 miles, because of detours around lakebeds and over mountain ranges. Additionally, since the finish-line is 11 miles  from the nearest trailhead, anyone who competes over the 146-mile  race-distance must be capable of a total physical effort of 157 miles. Due to the two mountain ranges that must be crossed between Badwater and Whitney, the course's cumulative elevation gain exceeds 19,000 feet.
   In later years, as the United States Forest Service required summit permits to climb Mt. Whitney, the official course was shortened to end at Whitney Portal. The Badwater-to-Portal course is 135 miles  long, with 13,000 feet  of cumulative elevation gain. Forest Service regulations do not allow competitive events in the John Muir Wilderness; however, many runners choose to continue tradition and complete the ascent to Mount Whitney's summit on their own.







 

   Early History

   The hike between Badwater and Mount Whitney (via the treacherous salt flats in Death Valley) was first made in 1969 by Stan Rodefer and Jim Burnworth of San Diego.
   Al Arnold first attempted running the route in 1974 but was pulled off the course after eighteen miles with severe dehydration. After vigorous sauna-training and desert-acclimatization, he attempted the run again in 1975. This time, a knee injury aborted the run at fifty miles. In 1976, training injuries kept him from even beginning his annual attempt on the course.
   In 1977 he successfully pioneered running the course, summiting Whitney eighty hours after his start at Badwater. Arnold has never returned to the course, except to receive the Badwater Hall of Fame Award.
   The second Badwater-to-Whitney running was completed in 1981, by Jay Birmingham.









 


   In 1987, the crossing became an official, organized footrace. Five runners competed the first year. During the early years of the race, no particular route between Badwater and Whitney was specified and runners attempted various "shortcuts" between the start and finish. Adrian Crane, one of the competitors in the inaugural race, even used cross-country skis to cross the salt-flats at Badwater.
   AdventureCORPS manages the competitive race from Badwater to Whitney Portal. The course route is specified, and the race is held annually. The field is invitation-only and limited in size. Demand to participate in the race usually far exceeds available spots. Rules have changed somewhat over the years: afternoon starts have been discontinued; the use of intravenous fluids now disqualifies a runner.









 

   Course support is not provided. Each runner must arrange for his or her own support crew and vehicle. The crew provides their runner with his or her needs, including water, ice, food, gear, pacing, and first aid.
   Runners who complete the course in sixty hours receive a commemorative medal; runners who complete the course in forty-eight hours receive a belt buckle. No prize money is awarded.
   The record for the 146-mile  race was set in 1991 by Marshall Ulrich: 33 hours and 54 minutes. Records for the current 135-mile course are 22 hours 51 minutes 29 seconds (men), set by Valmir Nunes, and 26 hours 51 minutes 33 seconds (women), set by Jamie Donaldson.
   In the last few years, 70 to 80 people have competed in each race, with 20–40% failing to reach the finish line. There have been no fatalities.








 

   Multiple Crossings

   In 1989, Tom Crawford and Richard Benyo completed the first double crossing (which became known as the "Death Valley 300"), running from Badwater to Mount Whitney's summit and back to Badwater again.
   In 1994, Scott Weber completed the first Triple Crossing going from the Mount Whitney Summit to Badwater, then returning from Badwater to the Mount Whitney summit, then going from the Mount Whitney summit back to Badwater in 10 days. The first leg of the Triple was also done solo unassisted with Weber pushing an unmodified "baby jogger" cart with his supplies from oasis to oasis spaced from 20 to 30 miles  apart. Weber completed the majority of the triple unassisted and solo being met once or twice a day by Ben on the second leg and for 100 miles of the third leg. Faced with the necessity of completing the Triple before August ended, Weber abandoned his cart at mile 390 to be fully crewed by Denise Jones. Completing this Triple and adding the Badwater race from the previous month made Weber the first runner to complete four full crossings of the Badwater-Mount Whitney summit course in a single July-August window. He remains the only runner to have done a multiple crossing with a solo unassisted section of 146 miles or greater.








 

   In 2001, Marshall Ulrich was the first runner to complete the "Badwater Quad", consisting of two back-to-back Death Valley 300s for a total of four consecutive Badwater/Whitney transits. He completed the course, a distance in excess of twenty-two marathons, in ten days.
   In 2003, Sawyer Manuj became the first Asian-American to complete the Badwater duo.
    Unassisted solo crossingsIn 1994, Scott Weber became the first runner to cross from the summit of Mount Whitney to Badwater course solo without a crew. He did so by pushing a 'baby-jogger' cart with his supplies going oasis to oasis (20-30 miles  apart). Weber then continued on to complete 2 additional crossing with minimal support until being crewed full-time for the final 45 miles of this 438+ mile journey.









 

   Unassisted "self-contained" Solo Crossings

   In July 1999, Marshall Ulrich became the first and only runner to complete the 146-mile  Badwater-to-Summit course without a crew or resupply, denying himself the use of artificial shade or outside aid of any kind. Starting with 225 lbs of gear and water loaded in a modified baby jogger, he pushed and pulled the cart to the Whitney trail head, then continued on to the summit with a pack. He reached Whitney's summit in seventy seven hours and forty six minutes.








 

   Badwater Solo Ultra Marathon 135/146

   In 2005, in response to the desire of local and non-elite runners to test themselves against the course, Hugh Murphy initiated the Badwater Solo Ultra 135/146.  Runners attempt the course during the months of July and August and have their completion verified and published by Murphy. Runners are encouraged to include the Whitney summit as part of their transit, but credit is given for either distance. In compliance with National Park and Forest Service permitting rules, this is not a competitive race but a "solo" crossing with a support crew (as in, "not a part of the official race", which is not to be confused with Weber or Ulrich's use of "solo" to designate an unassisted crossing).
    In  2007, then-19 year old Ben Eakin completed his first solo crossing, having only finished 2 marathons and 1 50K prior to doing so. Eakin completed the solo from Badwater to the summit of Mount Whitney, to become the youngest male to complete the lowest to highest course, as well as the first type-1 diabetic.
      In   2005, Barbara Szeprethy, then 24, is the youngest woman to finish the course, 3 times total, in consecutive years.








 

Death Valley Cup

   Any competitor who completes both the Badwater Ultramarathon and the Furnace Creek 508 bicycle race (also held in Death Valley) during the same calendar year is awarded the Death Valley Cup.











 Badwater World Cup BWWCBadwater World Cup (BWWC) consists of:
  • Badwater ( race in the desert)
  • Brazil 135 Ultramarathon ( race in the mountains)
  • Arrowhead ( race in the snow)
  • Europe 135

          .

TOP 10 HIGHEST GROSSING HORROR FRANCHISES!











   Horror films have been a part of American (and international) culture since the very beginning of cinema. In the last 40 years alone, we have seen so many new icons of horror; from Freddy to Jigsaw, and Jason to Pinhead. But are these nightmarish juggernauts also the stuff money is made of?  We’ll see, as I present to you the top 10 most financially successful (highest-grossing) horror film franchises (Note: Many of these films are 15+ years old, so the amounts of money shown are in 2007-2011 U.S. dollars, and the amounts of money are only the profits of films (not TV shows, video games, etc.); also, there are some spoilers!):








 

1.  “Friday the 13th” Series


 Main Villain(s): Pamela Voorhees; Jason Voorhees; a crazed ambulance-driver; Freddy Kreuger
 Number of movies, etc.: 12 (including the remake, and “Freddy vs. Jason”); 1 TV show; 1 video game
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $380,637,525 (not counting the TV show and video game)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $31,719,793.75

   Neither Jason–nor this franchise–can be stopped! With 12 films (2 of which, don’t even feature Jason as the villain), a relatively unrelated television show, and a mask that will never leave the memories of camp-counselors everywhere, Jason isn’t just a fierce, unrelenting killer: He’s also a very wealthy, fierce, unrelenting killer!









2. “Saw” Series

  Main Villain(s): John “Jigsaw” Kramer; Jill Tuck; Detective Mark Hoffman; Dr. Lawrence Gordon; Amanda Young; and…well…technically, many of their victims (considering how many of the victims were given a choice as to kill or be killed…if you haven’t seen the film(s), it’s kind of complicated…)
 Number of Movies, etc.: 10 (including a direct-to-DVD release, the short film the first “Saw” was inspired by, and a fan-made film); 1 video game
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $342,510,598 (not counting the fan-made film, short film, direct-to-DVD release, and video game)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $34,251,059.80

   The most recent horror film franchise in American cinema is also one of the most successful! “Saw” turned horror cinema on its ear, by creating a horror movie icon who doesn’t kill his victims directly, but rather gets them to kill each other! Brilliant!








 

3.  “The Exorcist” Series

 Main Villain(s): Pazuzu (the demon that possesses Reagan); several others (I have not seen “The Exorcist II: The Heretic” in a while, and I haven’t seen “The Exorcist III” yet)
 Number of Movies, etc.: 7 films (4 of the original films, 1 prequel, 1 director’s cut, and 1 hardcore porno called, “The XXXorcist” (no joke))
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $331,592,458 (not counting the porno)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $47,370,351.14

   “The Exorcist” is unique, in that the villain of the story actually possesses the heroes/heroines. It is by far one of the most terrifying series of films in history; so terrifying was the original “Exorcist”, that famous Christian Billy Graham claimed that the reels of film themselves were possessed by demons!










4.   Halloween” Series

 Main Villain(s): Michael Myers (although, his father was also a villain in the remake, if you think about it…); a creepy old guy who makes killer masks; a satanic cult; the orderlies who raped that poor girl in the remake; the guy who bails Michael out of prison
 Number of Movies, etc.: 10 films; 1 video game
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $307,729,650 (not counting the video game)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $30,772,965

   Michael Myers is one of the oldest–and most recognized–horror movie icons in American history. Whether it was John Carpenter, or a suddenly competent Rob Zombie, “Halloween” has always been the deadliest–and one of the most profitable–of holidays!












5.  “A Nightmare on Elm Street” Series

 Main Villain(s): Freddy Kreuger; Jason Voorhees; the dream-demons
 Number of Movies, etc.: 8 films; 1 TV show; 1 video game; a 900-number that you could call to get scared over the phone (no, I am not joking)
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $307,420,075 (not counting the video game, TV show, and 1-900 number-profits)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $38,427,509.38

   Freddy is one of the most recognizable faces (or lack thereof) in cinema history; he is also one of the most creative, twisting dreams to suit his needs. His terror spread from Elm Street, to Hollywood (“Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”), and then to Crystal Lake. If those numbers are any indication, his reign of terror will continue to be very well funded








 

6.   “Scream” Series

 Main Villain(s): Stuart; Billy; Mickey; Debbie Salt; several others (I haven’t seen “Scream 3″ in a while, and I have yet to see “Scream 4″)
 Number of Movies, etc.: 4 films
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $293,553,139 (not including Scream 4)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $97,851,046.33 (not including Scream 4).

   “Scream” is one of the few horror-film franchises that is satiric in nature. It is also one of the few in which each film has a completely different killer(s). While it’s only #6 on this list in amount of money grossed (to date), it has one of the highest amounts of money grossed (per film)!










 

7.  Paranormal Activity” Series

 Main Villain(s): An unnamed demon/spirit
 Number of Movies, etc.: 2 films
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $192,671,717
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $96,335,858.50

   While many may say that “Paranormal Activity” is not quite a franchise yet, it has certainly earned the same amount of money as one! These revolutionary films–inspired by classics, such as “Cannibal Holocaust”, “[Rec]“, and “The Blair Witch Project”–have already proven themselves as a contender in the league of horror cinema!








 

8.  “Amityville Horror” Series

 Main Villain(s): Well…a house; a doll-house…yes, a doll-house; the people who originally lived in the Amityville house, before the Lutzs; several others (I haven’t seen all of the movies yet)
 Number of Movies, etc.: 9 films (including 3 original movies, 1 remake, 4 direct-to-video films, and 1 made-for-TV movie)
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $170,533,321 (not including the sequels not shown in theaters (.i.e.: the made-for-TV movie)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $42,633,330.25

   The “Amityville Horror” anthology is one of the most underrated, under-appreciated horror film franchises on this list. Spanning over 30 years, this exercise in terror is truly for the ages!




 



9.  “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” Series

 Main Villain(s): Leatherface and his family; some shady organization (from part 4…I really don’t know how to explain them)
 Number of Movies, etc.: 6 films (including 1 remake and 1 prequel; also, “The Texas  Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” was released into theaters twice); 1 video game
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $164,925,750 (not counting the video game)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per movie: $27,487,625

   One might think that such a classic sequence of horror films would be higher on this list; however, due to financial issues with the first “Massacre”, and the terrible 4th film (which was released a second time to cash in on the new-found fame of Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger), Leatherface will have to settle for 9th place. I sure hope he doesn’t have a bone to pick with me…






10.  “The Omen” Series

 Main Villain(s): Damien Thorn; Damien’s followers (AKA: Thorn Industries); Satan; Satan’s followers
 Number of Movies: 5 (including 3 original films, 1 made-for-TV movie, and 1 remake)
 Amount of Money Grossed, to date: $162,520,100 (not counting the made-for-TV movie)
 Average Amount of Money Grossed, per film: $40,630,025

   Ah, the Anti-Christ, born from an evil as old as time. What better horror film icon than one who has been over 10,000 years in the making?

FOOD HOLIDAYS IN MAY!







Image result for may food holidays





    May is well known for Memorial Day, but what about other holidays? There is actually a holiday for every single day of the month. These national food holidays are not only fun to celebrate, but a great excuse to make delicious foods. Read on to get ideas on how to celebrate these fantastic food holidays.





Image result for chocolate parfait






  • National Chocolate Parfait Day May 1: This food holiday is very easy to celebrate. Just make a parfait using pieces of brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.
  • National Truffles Day May 2: On this food holiday, you can either prepare homemade truffles or visit your local candy shop.
  • National Raspberry Tart Day May 3: This food holiday is perfect for summer. Just use a pre-baked tart shell and fill it with a sweetened cream cheese, raspberry jam, and fresh raspberries.
  • National Homebrew Day May 4: If you love beer, why not make your own? You can find kits and recipe online.
  • National Chocolate Custard Day May 5: While pudding mixes are delicious, why not take the time to make homemade chocolate custard?




    Image result for NO DIET
     
     
     
     
  • International No Diet Day May 6: After all those days of being on your best behavior, why not celebrate this food holiday to its fullest? The best way to do this is to create a dessert buffet.
  • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day May 7: While Memorial Day revolves around barbeque's; you can still enjoy a large holiday meal. Just serve roast leg of lamb and all those great side dishes.
  • National EmpaƱada Day May 8: On this delightful food holiday, why not visit an authentic Mexican restaurant?
  • National Butterscotch Brownie Day May 9: Everyone loves brownies. On this food holiday, shake things up with butterscotch brownies.
  • National Shrimp Day May 10: The warm summer months are the perfect time for seafood. Fry up some shrimp and serve with homemade hushpuppies and French fries.





Image result for eat what you want day
 
 


  • Eat What You Want Day May 11: Okay, this month does go a little overboard. But, this is still a fun food holiday to celebrate.
  • National Nutty Fudge Day May 12: This is another great reason to visit your local candy shop.
  • National Fruit Cocktail Day May 13: Finally, a food holiday that is healthy. Enjoy it to its fullest.
  • National Buttermilk Biscuit Day May 14: Get up early and prepare a large breakfast on this food holiday.
  • National Chocolate Chip Day May 15: What could be better than chocolate chip cookies? Or chocolate chip ice cream?





Image result for Coquilles St. Jacques





  • National Coquilles St. Jacques Day May 16: A delightful combination of scallops, mushrooms, and a creamy sauce. Find great recipes online.
  • National Cherry Cobbler Day May 17: Visit your local farmer's market and make a homemade cherry cobbler. Just don't forget the vanilla ice cream.
  • National Cheese Souffle Day May 18: On this food holiday, why not prepare a gourmet blue cheese souffle.
  • National Devil's Food Cake Day May 19: Don't have time to bake? Enjoy a devil's food snack cake instead.
  • Pick Strawberries Day May 20: This is the perfect food holiday for summer. Visit a local farm and pick your own strawberries for a delicious pie.




Image result for strawberries and cream





  • National Strawberries and Cream Day May 21: Enjoy some of the strawberries you picked with a bit of cream.
  • National Vanilla Pudding Day May 22: This is another easy food holiday to celebrate. Just pack a vanilla pudding cup in your lunch.
  • National Taffy Day May 23: Laffy Taffy. Need I say more? Of course, you can always make your own.
  • National Escargot Day May 24: I'm sorry, but I can't recommend celebrating this food holiday. But, I'm sure you can find great recipes online.
  • National Wine Day May 25: Why not enjoy a sunset with your sweetie and a nice glass of wine? Make the day even more special by creating a romantic picnic.





Image result for CHERRY DESSERT




  • National Cherry Dessert Day May 26: Why not try your hand at homemade cherry ice cream?
  • National Grape Popsicle Day May 27: Make homemade Popsicles using 100% grape juice. Not only will they taste better, but they'll be healthier as well.
  • National Brisket Day May 28: Breakout the grill and make some barbecue on the fine food holiday. Just don't forget all those great sides.
  • National Coq Au Vin Day May 29: Find a great recipe for this dish at Food Network's website.
  • National Mint Julip Day May 30: On this food holiday, kick back and enjoy summer.





Image result for MACAROON





  • National Macaroon Day May 31: Visit your local bakery and enjoy some macaroons and ice cream.