OutInUnder Winter 2016 Newsletter 
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OutInUnder Winter 2016 Newsletter
Swapping Stories from the Great Outdoors.
(Be sure and display images!)
SlingFin's Wefunder round is closing 12/19. See Founder's Notes below for more.

Drugs: Threat or Meance

So, pot is now legal in California and a long strange trip it's been. Not surprisng in an 'industry' that took flight in Berkeley in the 60's, drugs played a role: sometimes positive, sometimes postively baleful, mostly in between. The thing is, positive or negative... from Alan Foster building down machines while hiding from the law to minor wobbly weed consumption...the stories are typically very colorful.Here's a good one in honor of pot's new status: Reba McWhorter's Green Thumb.

I once considered putting out a call for Outdoor Biz drug stories but was discouraged when I had trouble getting folks to feel comfortable with the even more misdemeanor-ish stories of food fights. What do you think? Do you have a story you dare to tell:-)?
Speaking of the 60's, I continue to be fascinated with the story of the Oval Intention, a great product created at the intersection of hippie inventors, Bucky Fuller inspired visionaries, TNF designers' chops and the gear revolution that defined the outdoor biz of that era. We're digging deep into the history of the OI as Bruce Hamiliton continues the story.
Dear Mr. Hamilton:  
I would love to meet with you in California and 
see the beautiful North Face backpack geodesic tent
The story continues in The North Face and R. Buckminster Fuller Special Connection - Part 2. by Bruce Hamilton
 In loving memory of Bob Swanson, we offer George Mark's In Memoriam to his long term design partner, Big Agnes's tribute to Bob, and contributed stories from a bunch of us. Please share yours!
That expression on Bob's face in the thumbnail? Bob was acting grumpy at the founders' photo shoot so George goosed him.
"Phil stood out like a beacon: a large rugby shirt wearing kinda-jock-looking guy in a sea of pale small skaggy looking punks." Those who knew him are urged to contribute memories of the much loved Phil Brown. Here's a start.

Also, see photos, etc, from Phil's Memorial Service. Thanks to of his wife, Carol!
 Last we have alarming stories from Victor Ichioka and Woody Woodward. Also, we're mopping up discovered gaps in previous stories. If you were at Sierra Designs in 1993, see if you can help identify the last few missing names in this photo. 
Founder's Notes:  

If you've been meaning to kick in a bit on the SlingFin crowdfunding equity thing, here's the link. It closes 12/19 at 11PM. There are a couple of things that have tripped folks up: confusion about whether you need a Facebook login (no!) and confusion about payment (no credit cards or PayPal). There is a walk-thru here that makes all this easy.

Note, even though this isn't a Kickstarter type project, there are premiums that give you a discount on gear equal to your investment. SlingFin lowered the $250 threshold for folks in the family. Just let them know.

I'm afraid I'm becoming one of those tiresome folks who bombards their friends with political links on social media. Can't help myself, sorry. The implications for wilderness, outdoor recreation and, most seriously, the health of the planet are severe. Early indications were scary. The risks and the way things were shaping up looked grim.

I'm a little less freaked out by news this week...at least on this front.
  1. The Secretary of the Interior nominee, Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke, received OIA's endorsement for Congress and he has their support.
  2. Exxon's Tillerson, our future Secretary of State, has deigned to admit that climate change might be real. His position is still pretty brain-damaged.
Climate change is your classic "long fuse, big boom" problem where the feedback between causes and observable impact is measured in decades. If you wait until you're truly into the shit, you've waited too long.

My opinion: our kids will live to see Memphis as beach front and recent Exxon execs declared criminals for knowing obfuscation during a critical 25 years. But, hey, as Donald Trump sez, "Nobody knows for sure." Unlike Trump, I don't find that comforting.

If you're trying to explain the whole thing to skeptical relatives or just want a deep understanding yourself, this is a great article that graphs predictions and comments on methodology. Note there are close to 30 different research groups fighting it out in peer review journals for most accurate model to "backcast" the previous 100 years. Doing that is the best indicator for predicting the next 100. There are unknowns that might help or hurt us but, as a lifelong forecasting nerd, I've found the best predictor of the future is a thorough analysis of the past. Analysis and evidence. It's not perfect but it's all we've got.

Hail Xaos,

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