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Takeaways from Warriors’ morning shootaround before season opener

first_imgOAKLAND – Below are some takeaways from the Warriors’ morning shootaround before their season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday at Oracle Arena.Draymond Green thinks he’ll improve his conditioning soon.Warriors coach Steve Kerr has no idea how many minutes he will play Green after missing three out of five exhibition games because of a sore left knee. Kerr only knows that Green will play in shorter bursts and will log lower than last year’s season average (32.7 minutes …last_img

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Jewellery to disarm Africa

first_imgMen’s steel encrusted custom rings, designed by Philip Crangi. The purchase of one ring enables the destruction of 75 assault rifles in Africa. (Image: Michael Kraus) The purchase of a set of mechanical cufflinks destroys 100 assault rifles in Africa (Image: Fonderie 47) Fonderie 47 steel fused earrings with 18-Karat yellow gold. The earrings have a polished antique mirror finish. The purchase of one pair removes 70 assault rifles from Africa. (Image: Joanna Kelly) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jen Hirsch   Group SJRRELATED ARTICLES • SA jewellery design students excel • Turning jobless into jewellers • Finding SA’s most beautiful object • Take a diamond tour in Cape Town • Bright future for Rwanda’s women Wilma den HartighAn international project has pledged its support to bring an end to the destruction caused by illegal assault rifles in Africa’s war zones – and they are using jewellery made from AK-47 rifle parts to achieve this.Who would have thought that the parts of AK-47 assault rifles, synonymous with fear and violence, could be transformed into beautiful high-end jewellery?A New York-based jewellery manufacture project is doing just this. Fonderie 47 is removing AK-47s from war-torn countries in Africa and transforming the metal nuts and bolts into individually-designed watches, accessories and earrings.Fonderie 47 is more than just a jewellery manufacturer with a clever idea – its main goal is African disarmament.It was founded in November last year by businessman and philanthropist Peter Thum, as well as entrepreneur, designer and educator John Zapolski, in response to what they saw on their extensive travels throughout Africa.For years, the illegal use of assault rifles has caused devastation in Africa’s war zones and seeing weapons in the hands of children was a great concern for the two entrepreneurs.Throughout the world, the USSR-developed AK and its variants are the most commonly smuggled small arms sold to governments, rebels, criminals and civilians.In Africa, access to rifles is easy and the going rate is low. In countries such as Somalia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Congo and Tanzania, prices for AK-47s range between $30 (R226) and $125 (R943) per rifle. These prices have fallen further in the past few decades because of mass counterfeiting.“A transformation is needed to break the cycle of violence in Africa. To this end, we are turning the power of the AK-47 against itself,” Thum says. “Not only do we destroy these weapons, but we invert what they stand for by remaking them into wearable art.”Thum explains that the AK-47 weapons that are used to produce their jewellery all come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Disarming AfricaThe venture has been very successful – both in removing arms from Africa and making luxury jewellery.In partnership with the Mines Advisory Group, a non profit organisation that works to clear landmines and other remnants of conflict, Fonderie 47 has funded the destruction of over 10 000 assault rifles in the DRC, and they plan to expand the reach of these programs.To date, they have also funded weapon destruction programs in the DRC, even though their materials are not sourced from these programmes. “That material is recycled by the government of the DRC locally,” he says.Fonderie 47’s material comes from weapons that were confiscated from poachers in the Virunga National Forest in the DRC’s North Kivu Province. The forests are part of the Virunga National Park, a world heritage site, which was established as Africa’s first national park in 1925.“We destroy the weapons there locally with the assistance of local craftsmen and then transport the material back to the United States,” says Thum.Jewellery with meaningFonderie 47’s range includes a limited series of men’s cufflinks, custom-made men’s rings, and hand-made earrings for women.The items are sold at private events around the world and the sale of each item, along with donations from individuals and foundations, fund programmes to destroy more assault rifles in Africa.“We have not yet sold any pieces in South Africa, or Africa, but we very much would like to,” he says.The items all have a common theme of bold, angular design. The colours vary from brushed amber and silver to shades of yellow, creamy brown and marbled patterns.Some of the pieces such as the cufflinks look almost mechanical, and you can image its previous function as an important lever or joint in the rifle.Creating jewellery of this nature is a challenge because the material has to undergo many steps of preparation, before it is ready to be used.“In comparison with softer metals such as gold, which we also use, it requires much more planning, experimentation and effort,” Thum says.The founders had to find designers with the skill to work with a difficult medium.They spent months searching for the right designers.“Now we’re working with designers who have a natural affinity for Fonderie 47’s mission, vision, skill in design, craftsmanship, persona, and aesthetics,” he explains.Today, leading international jewellery designers such as New York- based jeweller Philip Crangi and Swiss designer Roland Iten are creating the limited edition pieces.“While we create rare objects, their true value emanates from the principles, purpose, ideas, and skill that go into them,” Thum says. “The pieces are not merely beautiful – they have real impact on the world.”Unexpected responseThum and Zapolski never expected the project to draw so much attention.“The response has been a little overwhelming,” Thum says.Each piece of jewellery that is created and sold is a visible reminder that the removal of weapons in Africa is gaining momentum.last_img read more

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SA’s Top 50 Corporate Brands critical to the image of the country

first_imgJohannesburg, Tuesday 15 September 2015 – Brand South Africa and Brand Finance Africa today announced the country’s top 50 corporate brands in Houghton, Johannesburg.• Download the reportIn the third annual study, Brand Africa Finance found that the Top 50 corporate brands in the country are valued at approximately R1.5 trillion with many of these companies also contributing to national priorities including uplifting identified and targeted communities.Woolworths and FNB emerged as the top performers for the 2014/15 year.Significantly, an analysis of the top 10 corporate brands is that nine of these operate in knowledge intensive sectors – in the telecommunications, banking and oil and gas sectors. This suggests that South Africa must begin to make the necessary investments in our human capital development to ensure that government, working with the corporate sector, develop skilled citizens in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to drive these sectors and move the country in its entirety towards a knowledge based economy. This will be critical to ensuring the successful implementation of the National Development Plan as well towards the sustainability of the South African economy.Speaking about the 2015 results, Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela said, “While developing, strengthening and maintaining a nation’s brand is a multifaceted task, there are a range of factors which can assist in positioning the nation positively. These factors, if based on a solid foundation, can help the nation brand weather the storms posed by the global political and economic environment. One of these factors are national corporate entities.”“It is for this reason that Brand South Africa and Brand Finance Africa congratulates South Africa’s Top 50 brands. Your excellence in the corporate field contributes immensely to the strength and positive reputation of the South African nation brand. Your brands are sometimes the first point of contact between consumers and the South African nation, especially where corporate brands have an international footprint. Your product quality, customer service and ethical framework contribute to perceptions about our spirit of Ubuntu, our innovation, and the values that drive South Africa. South Africa’s corporate sector is therefore critical to enabling Brand South Africa to position the country as an attractive inward destination of choice.”This sentiment was echoed by the CEO of Brand Africa Finance Mr Thebe Ikalafeng who said, “Brands have therefore become more than just a logo or slogan. They are now seen as corporate assets which are amongst the most valuable that an organisation can have. By extension, national corporate brands also contribute to a nation’s assets in terms of the value they add to the country – both in terms of GDP as well as reputational impact. The brand managers and executives who oversee and manage these brands therefore play their part to contribute to corporate profitability and visibility and we at Brand South Africa and Brand Africa Finance salute you.”Follow the conversation on #Top50SABrandslast_img read more

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Twitter-based Social Game Echo Bazaar Comes to Facebook. Players Balk.

first_imgTags:#Analysis#start#startups Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… When we profiled UK startup Failbetter Games in May, it was in part because the company exemplified Fred Wilson’s call to build “killer apps” using the Twitter platform. (That, and their award-winning browser-based game Echo Bazaar is pretty darn fun.)Yesterday, Failbetter Games announced via its blog that “Echo Bazaar is coming to Facebook around the end of July.” And chaos ensued.OK, not chaos, but certainly a fairly angry response from a small number of the game’s players, many of whom said they played Echo Bazaar because it wasn’t a Facebook game. They were “horrified.” “Incensed.” “Dismayed.” “Angered.” Many players invoked the privacy concerns associated with Facebook. Others pointed out the “spam” that Facebook social games can cause.Alexis Kennedy, the “Chief Narrative Officer” of Failbetter Games, addressed the concerns one-by-one in comments on the post and clarified: the game is simply adding Facebook Connect as an authentication method for the game. Players will not be forced to add their Facebook information. The game will remain browser-based. With the problems Twitter has experienced over the last month of so, the startup’s decision to add another authentication method is not surprising. When Twitter is down, you cannot play Echo Bazaar. Plans for a Facebook expansion have been in the work for some time, says Kennedy, as the company knows it’s been missing out on potential players who don’t have and don’t want Twitter accounts. Kennedy adds, “the outages last month were quite alarming and pushed the plans forward by several weeks. When every outage cuts off your revenue for the duration, dear me it focuses your attention. If the majority of our users auth via both services, we’re covered against outages unless both suffer simultaneously.”Players’ response to the addition of Facebook Connect surprised Kennedy, and as one commenter noted, “Good GRAVY, you would think the EB team just burned an orphanage!”There are pros and cons for building your startup on other people’s platforms. And there are certainly pros and cons to each of the platforms you might choose, as well. Failbetter Games’ experiences navigating its users’ concerns with one platform, another platform’s continued instability, and the desire to expand its player-base demonstrate just a few of the complexities. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Priyanka Chopra starrer Mary Kom postponed

first_imgPriyanka Chopra starrer Mary Kom has been postponed. The film is now apparently being revamped into a much larger sports biopic than before.The film was earlier supposed to release on October 2 along with Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif’s Bang Bang and Shahid Kapoor starrer Haider.Makers of the film want to give global appeal to the film as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.Priyanka Chopra and Mary Kom”The producers Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom 18 took a joint decision last month to postpone the release date so that Mary Kom could be further developed into another Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Viacom had unexpectedly massive global success with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. They are now looking Mary Kom as the female counterpart of Milka Singh’s bio-pic. The global appeal of Mary Kom is much more contemporary than Milkha. While Milkha Singh’s biopic was retrospective in structure, Mary Kom is being made even as the real-life Mary Kom prepares for the next Olympics,” an online portal quoted its source.The project is now being formatted into two different versions, one for the Indian and the other for the international market.There is a lot more being added to the film now. Director Omang Kumar has asked Priyanka to spend a lot more time with the real Mary Kom.We hope the wait is worth it!last_img read more

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10 months agoLazio table 5-year contract offer to Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanye

first_imgLazio table 5-year contract offer to Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanyeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazio have tabled a five-year contract offer to Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanye.Corriere dello Sport says the 19-year-old has been talking to the Rome club for the last month.If he can agree terms, he will leave Anfield next summer.Adekanye has trained with the first team this season but has been unable to break into the side.The Nigerian, who represents the Netherlands, joined Liverpool from Barcelona three years ago.He has also previously played for Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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12 days agoWolves, West Ham eyeing Galatasaray defender Christian Luyindama

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wolves, West Ham eyeing Galatasaray defender Christian Luyindamaby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves are eyeing Galatasaray defender Christian Luyindama.Luyindama joined the Turkish Super Lig team from Standard Liege in the summer, for a reported fee of €6m euros.Aston Villa were said to be interested in a move for the DR Congo international.Fanatik says Wolves and Premier League rivals West Ham United are now eyeing a January deal for the 25-year-old.Scouts from both clubs having reportedly watched him in recent Champions League games against Paris St Germain and Club Brugge. last_img

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13 hours agoTierney insists Vitoria win proved fight and desire within Arsenal squad

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Tierney insists Vitoria win proved fight and desire in Arsenal squadby Freddie Taylor13 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveKieran Tierney says the 3-2 comeback win over Vitoria on Thursday shows Arenal have “fight and desire”.The Gunners looked destined to lose their second consecutive match until substitute Nicolas Pepe stepped up to score a free-kick.The Ivorian repeated that feat in the final minutes to clinch the victory for Unai Emery’s side.Tierney said: “It showed the other side of our game. The Standard Liege game was different, we scored four goals and it was comfortable. It shows we’ve got fight and desire.”When teams come here the pressure is on us, so it gives them more freedom, the expectation is on us, but we got the three points and that’s the main thing.” last_img read more

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Kirby Smart Intends To Platoon Nick Chubb, Sony Michel At Running Back

first_imgNick Chubb sprints on a treadmill.nick chubb sprints on treadmillWhen healthy, Nick Chubb is one of the best running backs in all of college football. While his rehab from last season’s knee injury is reportedly going well, and he’s already taking part in practice, new head coach Kirby Smart does not expect his star to be 100-percent to start the season. Luckily, Georgia has another ridiculously-talented running back in Sony Michel, and Smart wants to platoon the two to start the year.Kirby Smart told me today Georgia would ideally platoon Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, while developing another… https://t.co/XZiFz0Svrs— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) March 21, 2016 More from Smart, via ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg:…We’ve got a couple young pups, we signed a guy, but that’s the scariest position because even with Nick at 100 percent, which I don’t think he’s going to be 100 percent right away, we’ve only got two. We want to platoon them. There’s just too much unknown right now on Nick to feel certain.”Michel is a dynamic runner in his own right, but we hope to see Chubb back at full strength at some point this fall.[ESPN]More: Vote In Our “Most Annoying People In Sports Media” Bracket >>>last_img read more

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Meet The Maniac Who Scaled 58 Peaks In Less Than 10 Days

Darkness had fallen over Longs Peak in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, and Andrew Hamilton was struggling to find his way. He wasn’t entirely alone. A handful of people trailed close behind him, and fans in places like London, Atlanta and Kansas City were following the progress of the 40-year-old stay-at-home dad and preternatural hiker online as his tracking beacon mapped his location in real time. Hamilton was on pace to break the speed record for climbing all 58 of Colorado’s “fourteeners”1There are 53 ranked fourteeners in Colorado, but this list does not include minor summits that rise less than 300 feet above their saddles with another fourteener. If these other peaks are included (as they are on the Colorado Geological Survey’s official count), the list expands to 58 peaks. Most of these other summits are easily and sometimes necessarily climbed en route to the main summit. Hamilton topped all 58 summits; the previous record-holder had done 55. Hamilton told me that none of the extras he included added much time, and he thinks that 58 will be the recognized number going forward. — mountains at least 14,000 feet above sea level — but first he needed to find the keyhole. Named for its shape, the giant rock notch serves as a waypoint on the standard route up Longs Peak, and it’s usually hard to miss. He’d had better conditions on this peak the first time he’d set the record, back in 1999. But on this night, the only light was from his headlamp, and this final peak he needed for the record was shrouded in fog. Hamilton had gone nine days without more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time. And now the wind was blasting, and the rain was turning to snow.The five hikers following him could offer moral support, but to secure the record, Hamilton had to do the route-finding himself. After some bumbling around, he finally located the keyhole, and from there, he was looking for bull’s-eyes — route markers painted on the rocks along the final mile and a half to the summit. Each time he found one, the crew behind him cheered. Meanwhile, his Internet fans discussed the blow-by-blow of his attempt on the 14ers.com forum. As Hamilton navigated the exposed section leading to the summit — a place where people regularly fall and die, even in good weather — the markers became obscured by snow. He was down to wits alone.With the help of crampons and an ice ax, Hamilton finally reached the summit. Longs Peak had put up a fierce battle, but he’d made it. Descending would be hazardous too, but at least he’d have his tracks to follow. Hamilton reached the finish of his Longs Peak climb at 2:21 a.m. on July 9 — nine days, 21 hours, 51 minutes and 264.5 miles after he’d embarked on the 58-peak adventure. His time set a new record, slicing nearly 24 hours off the previous one. Never mind that it was the middle of the night — a crowd of more than 40 people was waiting to congratulate him.One of the people there to greet Hamilton was Teddy Keizer, who’d held the record for 15 years. It was his 44th birthday, and he’d flown in from Oregon. “It felt fantastic to be there,” he told me later. “You don’t get to see history in the making very often, and there couldn’t be a more deserving person to hold the record.”Such sportsmanship is a hallmark of the pursuit. The Colorado fourteeners record has no organizing body or official regulations. “It’s a gentleman’s sport,” said ultra-marathoner Buzz Burrell, who helped popularize the notion of FKTs or “fastest known times” on mountain trails. “It’s unofficial,” he said. “It’s always been for personal achievement and the respect of your peers.” The event isn’t just for gentlemen, however. Danelle Ballengee, an accomplished runner and adventure racer, set the women’s record in 2000 and had been on track to break the men’s record until a lightning storm turned her around on Mount Lindsey. (She drove away from the mountain intending to drop out, but after a six-hour nap decided she couldn’t quit.)Cleve McCarty pioneered the speed record by climbing all of Colorado’s fourteeners (then recognized as 52) in 52 days in 1960. It wasn’t until runners started going after the record in the 1990s that the event became more like a race — the Mighty Mountain Megamarathon — than a recreational goal.Trying to set the fourteener record is more than just a test of human endurance; it’s also a data optimization problem. Colorado’s 58 fourteeners are scattered over approximately a third of the state. The clock begins with the first climb and stops with the last, so it’s not enough to hike fast. If you want the record, you need to find the most efficient route and minimize the time wasted getting from one climb to the next.Keizer, known as “Cave Dog” on the trail, understood this better than anyone. Before making his successful record attempt in 2000, the then-29-year-old spent four and a half years researching the problem, scouting routes and planning every detail. This was before GPS driving instructions were ubiquitous, and he drove all over Colorado to construct a 30-page book of directions — “every tenth of a mile, every turn” — for his crew. Before Keizer, most record-seekers tried to mix and match easy peaks with more difficult ones, which meant lots of extra travel time. “That’s crazy,” Keizer said. “I wanted to find the most efficient route.”Keizer also changed the approach to recovery. Hamilton told me that previous record-holders Rick Trujillo and Ricky Denesik, renowned Colorado mountain runners, blasted up and down the peaks as fast as they could but then would grab a meal at a Mexican food joint and go sleep six or eight hours. “Teddy took away all the sleep and took two days off the record,” Hamilton said.Keizer’s optimized routing and decision to sleep while in transit allowed him to shave more than 25 hours off the time that Hamilton spent in transition from one climb to the next during his 1999 record. Even though Keizer’s hiking pace was significantly slower than Denesik’s in his 1997 record, his transition time was almost 100 hours faster.Keizer’s many years of preparation had left few details to tweak, but Hamilton found some places for improvement. Keizer’s order of operations forced him to travel from Pikes Peak, just outside of Colorado Springs, to Longs Peak, northwest of Denver, during rush hour, and he lost valuable time stuck in traffic. Hamilton reworked the route so that those two peaks weren’t back-to-back, and he also linked some peaks in the Elk range into a single outing. Hiking those peaks in a single push took him 24 hours, Hamilton said: “But it was an entire day I took off of Teddy.”For future challengers, Keizer wrote down the informal rules already in place and added a few of his own. The most long-standing one is the 3,000-foot rule, also called the Colorado rule, which requires record-seekers to ascend at least 3,000 feet in absolute elevation from a start of a climb to the first summit and descend at least 3,000 feet before leaving the series of peaks.One thing that Keizer’s rules don’t explicitly address is the Culebra question. Culebra Peak is privately owned, part of an 80,000-acre ranch in southern Colorado, and right now, the only way to climb it is to pay $150 and show up on a pre-arranged weekend day and time. That obviously throws a wrench into the planning of a record attempt, and one of Hamilton’s crew members arranged for him to have less restricted access. A few commenters on the fourteener forums questioned the fairness of this. While hesitating to call it unfair, Peter Bakwin, the owner of the Fastest Known Time website, told me: “I don’t real like that he did it, because it’s not available to everyone.” Hamilton stands by his decision, which Keizer supports. Of course Hamilton should set up access, Keizer told me: “Part of the logistics is getting that special permission.”Yet logistics are only part of the equation. Fitness and mountaineering skills are also necessary, but nothing’s more crucial than winning the mental game. “You’re out there in the dark, you’re tired, you want to quit,” Hamilton said. Muscle fatigue and sore joints were only the beginning. He also fought the “sleep demons” — the sometimes overwhelming urge to fall asleep. He coped by downing 5-Hour Energy shots and listening to a repeating playlist of Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor and other “pump” songs he’d preloaded on his iPhone.Hamilton’s low point came on day four. He had six peaks on the agenda, and after ticking off the first one, Culebra, and summiting and traversing the Crestones, he headed toward Kit Carson Peak. But first, he had to get around Obstruction Peak. “It’s sort of just in the way,” Hamilton said. It was raining, he was surrounded by fog, and an irritated tendon in his ankle was killing him. With no trail along this route, he was blazing his own way, and lightning was moving in. “I started thinking it would be better to get struck than to have to drop out,” he recalled.Lightning is no idle threat. Several days after Hamilton set his record, a honeymooner was struck and killed on Mount Yale. The element of risk involved in seeking the fourteener record makes it more than a gauge of fitness and logistics; it’s also a test of decision-making under pressure. “This is a mountaineering adventure, not a running adventure,” Keizer said, which is why he proposed that the record-setter must always do the route-finding. “You’re down to the elements, and you have to be able to survive by your own wits.” The mental game is far more difficult than the physical one, he said. “When it’s 2 a.m., on a technical rock face and the hail starts hitting you, and you’re strapped on some rock, trying not to fall off the peak, you have to posses the serenity that allows you to withstand the elements,” Keizer said.When Keizer set his record, he climbed 50 of the peaks solo. But when Hamilton made his attempt last month, he had people watching at every turn. The advent of the Internet and satellite tracking devices has turned things like fourteener record attempts into spectator sports. Hamilton’s satellite tracker uploaded his whereabouts on a topo map in real time. As he went, many of his online supporters showed up in person to follow him and cheer. “There were times when it felt like that scene from ‘Forrest Gump’ where he’s running across the country and a pack of people are just following behind him,” Hamilton said.Hamilton was pleased to break the fourteener record by what he called a “satisfying” margin. “It’s going to be under attack, and I’m OK with that,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to see.” Given how badly it was handicapped by weather, Ballengee’s women’s record seems even more ripe for the picking, and although she doesn’t intend to try again, she told me that she’d love to see someone go after it. “I think there’s a chance that a woman could go and break the men’s record,” she said, pointing out that until Scott Jurek broke it by a narrow margin on July 12, Jennifer Pharr Davis held the speed record on the Appalachian Trail. Who’s next is anybody’s guess, but what’s almost certain is that the next challenger will have a posse of fans watching it all unfold in real time from the comfort of somewhere else.CORRECTION (Aug. 5, 8:34 p.m.): An earlier version of this post listed the wrong source for the chart that shows the time record-seekers spent hiking vs. transitioning between peaks. It comes from Andrew Hamilton, not Charles Komanoff. read more

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