The finalists in the Smithsonian's annual photo contest have been announced, and they are stunning. My favorite took a while to choose, but it's this teeny Caracolara snake, perfectly posed to get its entire body in the shot:
After a long day of mushing in perfect conditions, Aaron Burmeister, the #Iditarod 2015 leader, has just reached Huslia, the approximate halfway checkpoint of this year's race. He's there for his 24-hour rest, and looks to have a decent lead. Nearing Huslia are last year's champion Dallas Seavey, 6 miles out, and Thomas Waerner, at 14 miles. Behind them Martin Buser and Hugh Neff are 50 miles back, and presently camped at "Shelter Cabin".
Meanwhile there's about 30 (!) mushers resting at the Galena checkpoint, most of whom are probably taking their 24-hour there. First in was Jeff King, who almost won last year; he'll be leaving at 4:37 - (2*59) = 2:39. It took Aaron 15 hours to reach Huslia from Galena, so that means Jeff might well reach Huslia before Aaron can leave. After that is Aliy Zirkle, who can leave at 5:54 - (2*32) = 4:50; she might well be in second. You'll recall she has finished second the last three years ...
Our favorite DeeDee Jonrowe is presently in 20th place, amid a whole pack who are closely bunched. A lot of racing left!
Quick blogomatic spin before heading off to bed (tomorrow I'm riding a century for the first time in ... a long time ... :)
Hmmm... Facebook acquires social shopping site TheFind. I'm not sure what to think about "social shopping"; I get that your friends' recommendations are important and could see this helping with task-based shopping, but ... are you going to spend much time with these services? Not sure.
PS Facebook are big enough they can experiment; I don't think this means they're convinced, either.
Esquire: the escalating scale of drunkenness, explained. "The thing about one drink — a glass of liquor we're talking about, hopefully a stiff pour — is that it doesn't involve enough alcohol to make anything stop working. Your eyesight, your natural grace, your moral compass — they're all left intact. Because one drink doesn't compromise anything. It enhances. You have one drink and your world becomes slightly better. The bar is a slightly better bar. Your dog is a slightly better dog. Your work is slightly more brilliant. And for that, you pay no price." Absolutely true, I'll drink to that.
The fifth day of the 2015 #Iditarod - which has been pretty "easy" do far, despite constant way-sub-zero temperatures - and we're starting to see a shakeout. Most of the top mushers are in Huslia hunkered down for their 24-hour breaks. Aliy Zirkle is off - she likes to camp along the trail - along with Mich Seavey and Jeff King. Those three are definite contenders to win. Neither Aliy nor Mitch have yet taken their 8-hour breaks, so Jeff will gain some time. Also in the mix are Dallas Seavey and Aaron Burmeister. I think the winner will come from those five.
Tomorrow will see the action really heat up as the teams start down the river headed for the coast. The faster teams are going to gain a lot of ground on the slower teams, and the winner will probably be the first team to Unalakleet.
Here's the scene in the dogyard at Huslia (can you spot DeeDee's team?):
And here's a blast from the past, the finishers of the 1994 Iditarod. That's DeeDee in the center :)