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The Signal

Inside The Unique Mind of the World's Best Solo Climber

The Strange Brain of the World’s Greatest Solo Climber

Nautilus  |  J.B. Mackinnon

Honnold is history’s greatest ever climber in the free solo style, meaning he ascends without a rope or protective equipment of any kind. Above about 50 feet, any fall would likely be lethal, which means that, on epic days of soloing, he might spend 12 or more hours in the Death Zone. On the hardest parts of some climbing routes, his fingers will have no more contact with the rock than most people have with the touchscreens of their phones, while his toes press down on edges as thin as sticks of gum. Just watching a video of Honnold climbing will trigger some degree of vertigo, heart palpitations, or nausea in most people, and that’s if they can watch them at all. Even Honnold has said that his palms sweat when he watches himself on film.

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This happiness hack from a wildly popular Stanford class can help you create a life you love

This Happiness Hack From A Wildly Popular Stanford Class Can Help You Create A Life You Love

Quartz  |  Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

To get started, we recommend thinking about the last time that you were on cloud 9—an experience that gave you a glimpse of adrenaline-induced ecstasy, if only for a moment. It could be the feeling you had when you got a great new job offer, fell in love, finished a marathon or traveled to a beautiful country. This kind of memory is called a peak experience. Examining it can help you to look at events in the future, designing a more fulfilling life in the process.

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First Impressions: Apple Watch Series 2

First Impressions: Apple Watch Series 2

Outside  |  Michael Frank

For fitness, Apple built a basic but mercifully easy-to-use native app, called Workout, to track gym workouts, runs, bike rides, and more. It tracks all that activity with a built-in gyroscopic, accelerometer, and LED heart rate monitor. These sensors remain the same in the Watch Series 2. The Watch collates and presents workout data, plus your standing and all-day movement stats, in its accompanying app, Activity.
To calibrate speed, Series 1 relies on your iPhone’s GPS. Series 2, on the other hand, uses its built-in GPS. (More on that functionality in a bit.) I should note that all Apple Watches can also learn your stride length so you don’t need a phone to get a close estimation of distance. This is nice because even a GPS watch won’t know how far you’ve gone if you’re, say, running on a treadmill. I’ve found this feature to be quite accurate: the first Watch I tested, in 2015, on a three-mile track run, was off by only 20 feet.

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Phys Ed: Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?

Phys Ed: Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?

The New York Times  |  Gretchen Reynolds

The interplay of exercise and music is fascinating and not fully understood, perhaps in part because, as a science, it edges into multiple disciplines, from physiology to biomechanics to neurology. No one doubts that people respond to music during exercise. Just look at the legions of iPod-toting exercisers on running paths and in gyms. The outcry when USA Track and Field banned headphones in 2007 at sanctioned races like marathons was loud and pained (and the edict was widely ignored until it was revised last year). The neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has talked about personally experiencing the elemental power of music after he injured his leg mountain climbing and had to push himself slowly down the slope with his elbows. He told an interviewer: “Then I found the Volga Boatmen song going through my mind. I would make a big heave and a ho on each beat in the song. In this way, it seemed to me that I was being ‘music-ed’ down the mountain.”

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