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Scree - January 27, 2011

Jake chasing snow balls


Nashville had another dusting of snow yesterday. It was the same old routine - the stores sold out of milk and bread, all the schools closed, hundreds of wrecks, etc. However, this snow was a little different from the last in that it made great snowballs.

Jake and I took mini-play breaks during the day to play in the backyard. The game was, I'd make snowballs, throw them, and he would catch them. I would lob the snowballs and he would grab them. I would zing the snowball and he would snatch them from the sky. I would try to hit him with the snowball and he would still catch them. Snowball throwing was a good diversion; but, little did I know I was practicing a key skill in man's evolution, the art of throwing.

Time's "How Good Throwing Helped Humans Survive: A New Study" theorizes that man's ability to grip and throw objects helped humans to survive and prosper. Humans were able to hunt and protect themselves from larger and stronger animals because of their ability to throw.

If there was ever a ban on projectile shooting devices perhaps throwing would regain prominence as a necessary skill. In the meantime, throwing is relegated to athletic endeavors and snowballs. Of course Jake would be quick to show you that it is not the throwing that is important, it is the catching. Woof.

Lonnie Dupre

Lonnie Dupre is an extraordinary "polar explorer". He seems to thrive in the cold environment.

Lonnie decided he was going to attempt a solo climb of Mount McKinley (20,320 feet). 20 days ago he began his epic climb. Over the first 12 or 13 days he steadily gained altitude and finally positioned himself at 17,200 feet for the summit push. Then, the arctic weather reminded him why no one else had ever climbed the mountain, solo, in January. It stormed. At his high point, Lonnie lay for six days in a six foot by three foot trench surviving 100 mph winds and -50 degree temperatures.

Finally the weather broke and he descended. Yesterday, he was at 10,200 feet and was feeling better. He is going to continue his descent to base camp at 7,200 feet and we wish him the best, and then some.

His adventures on the mountain have been chronicled on his web site via transcribed satellite phone reports to his base manager. It has been an amazing feat of survival whether he summited or not.