The Joy Trip Project | Reporting on the Business, Art & Culture of the Sustainable Active Lifestyle
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Adventure Activism, Climate Change, Environmental Journalism, Photography, Podcast / 10.01.2011

Any photographer will tell you, seeing is believing. But when it comes to climate change, a long slow process that occurs over time, its difficult to capture a single image that demonstrates the sheer magnitude of this global crisis. Even though the most obvious and apparent result of our warming planet is the recession of glacial ice, in some of the most remote places in the world it’s hard to truly show how relatively quickly and dramatically that ice is melting. So photographer James Balog came up with a plan to record the progress of climate change by taking a series of pictures from specific locations near glaciers over the course of several months. "We have time-lapse cameras installed permanently at these various glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Montana, Alaska and soon to be around Mount Everest," Balog said. "And these cameras shoot every half hour around the clock as long as it’s daylight and they’re looking down on these glaciers that are changing and we make this visual record of the landscape in flux." Called the Extreme Ice Survey these images around the world shot on tripods show the cascade of glacial ice as it forms and then melts. The passage of time is quickly sped up to show the pace of change and its apparent progress.
Adventure Activism, Art, Breaking News, Charitable Giving / 04.01.2011

Why does anyone do anything? That's a hard enough question to ask someone who actually works for living. But those of us who make our way through life playing at the fringes of society really have to ask ourselves: What the hell am I doing here? As a professional journalist my answer is pretty simple. My job is to ask that same question, with a little less incredulity, to other people whose work in world of adventure I deeply admire. I get to tell the stories of giants, men and women at the very top of their fields. Whether it s mountaineering, backcountry skiing, paragliding, BASE jumping, or mountain biking I get to shadow the lives of people pushing the envelope of human experience. All I have to do is be fair, honest and accurate. And with the help of new media partners like Venture There.com I get to share these stories with a broad online audience through my blog and podcast series called the Joy Trip Project. The JTP is an aggregate of news and information I collect in reporting on the business, art and culture of what I like to call the sustainable active lifestyle. Exciting people in our modern world push their bodies and minds to engage the wild places of the planet in joyful pursuit of adventure. And I tell their stories.  Venture There.com is an adventure inspired web site operated by USAToday and they've graciously allowed me to occasionally post a few the stories you'll find here to their social media content feed online. But rather than gear reviews, athlete profiles and expedition summaries I'll take a slightly deeper look into the motivation behind the accomplishments of activists as well as explorers. Adventure is not limited to what Everest climber Peter Athans once called in an interview " young kids throwing themselves off cliffs for taco money." In my reporting, at play in the shadow of giants, I look to discover those people out there who dedicate their lives in adventure to not only exploring the unknown but toward the benefit of others.
Charitable Giving, philanthropy / 31.12.2010

[caption id="attachment_4476" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="Para-Athlete Mark Wellman"][/caption] Before we all get too inebriated to make a rational decision, how about we take a few moments to think about those non-profits out there helping to make the world a better place. With less than 12 hours until the New Year time is running out. You only have until midnight tonight to make a non-profit tax-deductible contribution for 2010. I just made a cash donation to one of my favorite charities Paradox Sports. This organization provides equipment and training to make the...

Afghanistan, Charitable Giving, Interview, Mountain Film, philanthropy, Podcast / 29.12.2010

 

An interview with executive director Shannon Galpin

In her travels through Afghanistan the locals call Shannon Galpin the blond, blue-eyed infidel. At 36 this mountain bike racer from Breckenridge, Colorado makes her way through active war zones waging peace. As the executive director of her own non-governmental organization called Mountain 2 Mountain Shannon works on behalf of vulnerable women and children caught in the crossfire. “Our focus is to look at women in Afghanistan as beyond the victims but as the solutions and as the agents of change, “ Shannon said “and that these women that we are trying to work with through education and training are truly the solutions for the country.” Afghanistan has been a place of violent conflict for more than 40 years and with U.S. Troops on the ground now for almost a decade ordinary people, with no special training like Shannon are getting involved trying to find a peaceful solution. “I started traveling over there two or three years ago. I have spent time living in the middle east,” Shannon said. “I lived in Lebanon and traveled throughout the Middle East for a couple of years and I have always connected with the regions that have the worst human rights, that have the worst gender equity rights.” A single mother with a daughter at home Shannon is like many American women frustrated with the plight of people here at home and half a world away who suffer largely because of their gender. “What I realized was that I was ranting a lot and I was upset about it, and it was old adage of be the change that you want to see in the world,” Shannon said, and instead of complaining I should just get off my ass and do it.”
Charitable Giving, Gear Whore Confessions, Outdoor Retailer, philanthropy / 22.12.2010

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="269" caption="Marcial Juan"][/caption] When it comes to supporting non-profits, I’m in it for the money. I expect a worthwhile return on my investment in some form of quantifiable currency I can bank on. Same goes for gear companies who boast about their giving to charity. When I lay out cold hard cash I want the organizations that tug at my heart strings to be accountable for their claims of largess by feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, gaining some ground in the fight to cure cancer, whatever. Show me the money! Typically I’m paid lavishly in warm fuzzy feelings of satisfaction in the knowledge that I helped do some good in the world. Plus I’m rewarded by the benefits of living in a society where the needs of the most vulnerable are made secure. But when the donation I made to the Kiva Foundation through KEEN Footwear yielded up an actual cash divided I damned-near creamed my shorts.
Capital Region Business Journal, Charitable Giving, Gardening, Madison, Magazines, philanthropy / 21.12.2010

Local and sustainably produced foods are enjoying a bit of renaissance across America. Surrounded by rich farmland and endowed with a long-standing tradition of agriculture the Madison area is no exception. A new restaurant called the Underground Kitchen aims to bring the bounty of Wisconsin farms to diners Downtown while supporting Capital Region charities that encourage good nutrition.