Mar 11, 2013

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In Praise of the Cheesy Ski Movie

In the classic South Park episode “Asspen”, Stan and his friends unwittingly stumble upon the tropes of a hallowed movie genre. They go for a weekend ski trip in Aspen, where unbeknownst to them a rich developer is trying to buy the area’s slopes and turn it into a swanky resort. Stan, from a humble background, becomes romantically entangled with a rich girl. There are practical jokes on skis. The orphanage needs to be saved. There will be an epic ski race to determine the fates of the characters and resolve any loose threads.

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Jan 16, 2013

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10 Things to do While Stuck in a Tent

10 Things to do While Stuck in a Tent

Greetings friends! I write to you from a tent in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. A raging tempest has kept my climbing partner, John, and me bound to our two-person tent. For three days we’ve hardly left our cold and cramped nylon kingdom. T

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Jan 3, 2013

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How Safe Are Safety Breaks?

How Safe Are Safety Breaks?

A “safety break” is climber slang for smoking marijuana. As in, “This next pitch looks pretty hard – let’s take a quick safety break first.” How this came to be called a “safety break” is a mystery. At some point, someone must have made an ironical joke – the activity we’re about to partake in is anything but safe – and it stuck.

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Jan 2, 2013

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An Anthropological Analysis of the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder

An Anthropological Analysis of the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder

Cultural rituals always bewilder those on the outside. We should just accept that we can never understand some things in this world. But there is one cultural ritual in the world that astonishes me with its uselessness,ergo, tantalizing my desire to understand it:

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Dec 31, 2012

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Backpacking v. Playing Video Games: Pros and Cons

Backpacking v. Playing Video Games: Pros and Cons

I don’t know what to do this weekend. Some of my friends want me to go backpacking with them, but I’m kind of tired. Maybe I should just stay home, where it’s safe and dry

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