Thru-Hiking and Biking, From LA to WA

(Photo courtesy of Julie Hotz)

Meet Julie Hotz.

(Photo courtesy of Julie Hotz)

This summer she’ll be thru-hiking the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, which runs from Glacier National Park, Montana, to Cape Alva, on Washington’s Olympic Coast. To get to the trailhead in Glacier, she walked out her front door in Los Angeles, climbed aboard her bike, and began pedaling.

Recently, she sent in this dispatch from the road about her work with the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation’s roadkill project.

By Julie Hotz

The only tool I need is my smartphone, but part of the task includes photographing all the roadkill I come across. I’m not the sort that gets squeamish—you can talk about splintered bones at the dinner table or ask me to watch an open heart surgery and I won’t flinch.

So, my head handles the process of documenting roadkill well, but I didn’t realize how my heart would be affected by doing more than just passing by and shaking my head mournfully. The act of stopping, getting off my bike, observing and photographing all adds up to some sort of intimate interaction with the deceased.

(Photo by Julie Hotz)
Owl hit by a vehicle on on the side of 1-40 (Photo by Julie Hotz)

I find myself saying, “Oh little buddy, I’m so sorry.” Or in the case of this owl, I just stood and admired its beauty even though there was no life left.

Though my sympathy pours out like a puddle onto the roadside next to these animals, I also find that it adds more gravity to the need to understand how we all affect wildlife via our speeding cars and trucks. Just today, I spoke to a highway patrol officer who had to put a freshly hit deer out of its misery. He said it happens all the —> Read More

Biking With Fresh Air, the Open Road, and an Awful Lot of Roadkill

(Photo courtesy of Julie Hotz)

Meet Julie Hotz.

I was brought up being taught that we are to be good stewards of the land that is given to us for the time that we spend on this Earth. (Photo courtesy of Julie Hotz)

This summer she’ll be thru-hiking the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, which runs from Glacier National Park, Montana, to Cape Alva, on Washington’s Olympic Coast. To get to the trailhead in Glacier, she’s walked out her front door in Los Angeles, climbed aboard her bike, and begun pedaling.

Recently, she sent in this dispatch from the road about her work with the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation’s roadkill project.

By Julie Hotz

The only tool I need is my smartphone, but part of the task includes photographing all the roadkill I come across. I’m not the sort that gets squeamish—you can talk about splintered bones at the dinner table or ask me to watch an open heart surgery and I won’t flinch.

So, my head handles the process of documenting roadkill well, but I didn’t realize how my heart would be affected by doing more than just passing by and shaking my head mournfully. The act of stopping, getting off my bike, observing and photographing all adds up to some sort of intimate interaction with the deceased.

(Photo by Julie Hotz)
In the case of this owl, hit by a vehicle on on the side of 1-40, I just stood and admired its beauty even though there was no life left. (Photo by Julie Hotz)

I find myself saying, “Oh little buddy, I’m so sorry.” Or in the case of this owl, I just stood and admired its beauty even though there was no life left.

Though my sympathy pours out like a puddle onto the roadside next to these animals, I also —> Read More

Science Finds Yet Another Reason Men Need Feminism

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
Traditional masculinity — you know, being tall, athletic and hyper-sexual — seems to lack a lot of the nuance that make all kinds of men great. Unfortunately, guys receive pretty limiting cues from society telling them to how to act, look and feel (sound familiar, ladies?), which doesn’t always bode well for the psyche. Previous studies have even suggested that men react to masculinity threats by exhibiting homophobia and increased aggression. Oy.

On a smaller level, though, how do men handle being told that they’re less masculine and — gasp — more feminine than their male peers? Let’s put it this way: They don’t “take it like a man.”

The Setup
Researchers from the University of Washington and Stanford University conducted two studies to see how men dealt with threats to their masculinity. Before diving into the studies, however, they asked men to rate activities (like “Shopping at Home Depot” or “Shopping at Banana Republic”) as masculine or feminine and then turned those activities into products (like “a $25 gift certificate to Home Depot” or “a $25 gift certificate to Banana Republic”) that would be used as gift options in the two studies.

For the first study, researchers asked 36 college-aged men to fill out a questionnaire that would “measure the level of [their] masculinity compared to those of other men” on a 100-point scale. The questionnaire, however, was completely arbitrary and by no means set up to gauge true masculinity (which really isn’t even a thing). In keeping with the ruse, each man was given one of two scores randomly —> Read More

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