Rock Climbing in the Park

Sharing a post from Smartparks…


A theme for this blog is expecting more out of your park. Purpose-built climbing boulders are a great addition to parks and can even work as “functional art.” They meet most playground height requirements, do not require one to use ropes, harnesses, or climbing gear, fill a small footprint, and can be value designed towards a budget. They require a rubber mulch or other soft material of sufficient depth to cushion falls; however, as they are not very high, serious injury is unlikely.

One fun thing I like to do is try to work across the wall, rather than always try different problems to the top. A problem is a term used in bouldering to describe a particular path that a climber takes in order to complete the climb – much the same as a route in roped climbing. In climbing/bouldering gyms these different paths/routes are marked with different colors…

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Reed versus Gilbert

The finding in this case has turned the world of municipal sign regulations upside down! The Supreme Court reaffirmed broad prohibition on content-based speech restrictions. The following is an interesting article on the case from the Washington Post:


Time to drop the Roma myths

Being part Roma, I thought this was interesting…

Global Public Square

By Eva Cosse, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Eva Cossé is the Western Europe research assistant at Human Rights Watch. The views expressed are her own.

When I was growing up in Greece, my grandparents often told me that if I didn’t eat my food, they would call the Gypsies to take me away. Sadly, the old myths about Roma snatching babies were revived after police took a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl named Maria into custody in a Roma settlement in Farsala, central Greece, on October 16.

The headlines in the Greek newspapers said it all: “Roma snatch babies!” “The DNA ‘spoke’: The 4-year-old found in a Romani settlement is not a Gypsy,” “Amber Alert: Dangerous Roma circuit snatch babies!!!” But the media have not been alone in using stigmatizing language against Roma. Politicians have joined in too.

Roma face persistent discrimination across Europe. A European Union Fundamental Rights…

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It’s a Rainy October in Austin

October 2013 went down as Austin’s wettest October on record, ending in major flooding on Halloween morning that forced the evacuation of more than a thousand homes in Southeast Austin and Travis County. Onion Creek had its all-time record flood – going back to the mid 1800s. Many parts of Austin received over 13 inches of rain last month! Wow. Unfortunately, most of it fell too far east of the highland lakes to positively impact the region’s dwindling water reserves. Let us hope for some more rain further west in the Texas Hill Country!

Moon Roof

The view was great through the moon roof of my Accord tonight. Stars, rain-cooled air, humidity, it felt positively vernal. I remember the undergraduate nights, flying down ranch roads into the Texas Hill Country, lightning flickering all around, jamming Radiohead or Moby Play, driving just to drive. Since our climate has been warming, there have been fewer and fewer of those experiences – still, tonight was nice!

Bad Planning Leads to Half the Rivers in China Vanishing

Bad Planning Leads to Half the Rivers in China Vanishing

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The Austrailian

ABOUT 28,000 rivers have disappeared from China’s state maps, an absence seized upon by environmentalists as evidence of the irreversible natural cost of developmental excesses.

More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to the 800,000 surveyors who compiled the first national water census, leaving Beijing fumbling to explain the cause.

Only 22,909 rivers covering an area of 100sq km were located by surveyors, compared with the more than 50,000 in the 1990s, a three-year study by the Ministry of Water Resources and the National Bureau of Statistics found.

Officials blame the apparent loss on climate change, arguing that it has caused waterways to vanish, and on mistakes by earlier cartographers. But environmental experts say the disappearance of the rivers is a real and direct manifestation of headlong, ill-conceived development, where projects are often imposed without public consultation.


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