the north face arctic parka ‘Clean’ urine bought online for drug screenings tested in ASSIGNMENT 13 investigation

“You can see that we have lines going across the top and that’s the control, the one below it is the test. And they tell me they’re all negative. So your sample is negative,” Olson said.

Yep, it passed.

But not all that glitters is gold.

After one hour on the heating pad, the fake stuff failed getting to a normal body temperature and that blew the entire test.

“The specimen would be rejected due to low temperature. So we wouldn’t have gone any further in the testing at this point,” Olson said.

The tester said when screeners find urine that’s not the right temperature; they make people do the test again.

“It’s unconscionable to me that there would be a cottage industry out there, but there is, on how to defeat a urine based drug test,” said Don Osterberg, Senior Vice President of Safety and Security for Schneider National.

Schneider National is a trucking company headquartered in Green Bay.

Their trucks roll through the Chippewa valley and all over the country. It’s just one of many transportation companies to require hair tests for drug screenings.

Urine tests only show drug use that goes back 30 days but hair tests go back 90.

Since starting hair tests in March, 2008, Osterberg said Schneider has done 43,000 pre employment screenings.

The company said 1,525 potential drivers tested positive for drugs using a hair test.

From that 1,525,
the north face all terrain jacket 'Clean' urine bought online for drug screenings tested in ASSIGNMENT 13 investigation
the urine test caught only 127.

“The good news is there’s commercial drivers who are drug abusers who aren’t driving an organge Schneider truck today, but in all likelihood they’re driving a commercial truck, and they’re on the highways with our families,” Osterberg said.

Osterberg said he’d like the federal government to mandate hair tests for truck drivers.

“The day has come for hair testing for drugs. It’s a better test, it’s a more effective, reliable test,” Osterberg said.

But urine testing remains the gold standard.

Olson said until we transition to hair tests, screeners know how to weed out fakers by watching for suspicious behavior, checking IDs, making them empty pockets, and listening closely.

“People’s behavior shows their true colors over time. So you might be able to fool a test once and a while. But in the long run it’s pretty tough to fool an employer or whoever you’re testing for,” Olson said.

We reached out to Spectrum Labs to see what they had to say about our test but never heard back.

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the north face all terrain jacket 'Clean' urine bought online for drug screenings tested in ASSIGNMENT 13 investigation

the north face clearance ‘Black’ grade mountain bike trail launched in Grizedale

The first purpose built ‘black’ grade mountain bike trail in Cumbria has been launched with a special ceremony at the Forestry Commission’s Grizedale Forest.

The downhill trail, which is more than a kilometre long, was built by a small team of passionate and dedicated volunteers who are mountain biking enthusiasts, supported by the Grizedale Mountain Bikes team and the Forestry Commission’s recreation ranger.

The volunteers behind building the trail were presented with an annual car parking pass for Grizedale Forest in appreciation of their work, at the event on Friday, 30th March. There were also speeches at the ceremony which saw the first riders test out the latest addition to Grizedale’s excellent mountain biking infrastructure.

Mountain bike trails are graded by colour in a similar way to ski runs green, blue, red and black with black being the most difficult and suited only to experienced riders.

The black trail adds to the existing mountain biking and cycling trail network at Grizedale, which includes the 16km long red grade North Face Trail, a plethora of exciting bridleways, several way marked family bike trails on the forest road system, and the Grizedale Mountain Bikes’ bike hire and shop.

Katie Jarvis, Forestry Commission recreation ranger at Grizedale Forest, said: “It is great to be able to launch a new mountain biking trail at Grizedale. We already have a strong reputation within the sport as being a great destination for mountain biking and this trail offers something different to the trails already in the forest.

“We are now able to offer great trails to suit all levels of riders, from families with children on our forest road routes, the cross country mountain bikers with the North Face Trail and bridleways, and now the more experienced riders and downhill adrenaline junkies with the new black route.

“We would like to say a huge thanks to all the volunteers who have given up their free time to create this trail and I hope they and other bikers have great fun riding it now and over many years into the future.”

Lee Rayton, of Grizedale Mountain Bikes, said: “Everyone has put a tremendous amount of work in over many months into creating the new trail. It is great to see it finally finished and it adds a new dimension to the riding available here at Grizedale Forest and the Lake District.”.
the north face base camp flip flops 'Black' grade mountain bike trail launched in Grizedale

the north face size chart ‘Birds of East Africa’ has world premiere at Kitchen Theatre

Jeremiah Porter, Lena Kaminsky and Jeremy Swift star in “Birds of East Africa” at the Kitchen Theatre.(Photo: Photo by Dave Burbank)The Kitchen Theatre Company kicks off 2017 with the world premiere of Wendy Dann’s poignant and poetic “Birds of East Africa,” running Jan. 29 to Feb. 12. Previews begin Sunday, with opening night on Feb. 2.

Following the unexpected death of her husband, Marion, an accomplished ornithologist, finds herself without a place that feels like home. Not knowing where to land, she arrives on the doorstep of her college friend Stephen and his husband Nick, but is quickly caught in the middle of their unraveling marriage.

Stephen’s career is all consuming, leaving little room for Nick, who has a chronic illness with symptoms that have begun to accelerate. The three mid 40s friends discover they are standing at a crossroads, and that what once seemed permanent and secure in their lives is now fragile and vulnerable.

In a series of tightly wrought scenes moving back and forth in time, with dancers transforming into the birds so central to Marion’s life, Dann’s new play explores how we heal, find hope and move on.

“I am fascinated by playwright Wendy Dann’s ability to so truthfully capture life’s tiny, intimate moments of communication. The play is packed with those seconds in time when we observe something seemingly minor that transforms into a revelation,” says Rachel Lampert, artistic director of Kitchen Theatre Company and director of “Birds of East Africa.” “Wendy has written an exquisite piece that offers honesty and hope amidst sorrow and loss. I am excited to see this world premiere come to life with our wonderfully talented cast.”

Kitchen Theatre Company’s “Birds of East Africa” cast includes just one Kitchen Theatre Company veteran: Lena Kaminsky (Marion), who played Donna in the 2014 2015 production “Swimming in the Shallows.” Joining her are New York City based actors Daniel Pettrow (Stephen), Gabriel Marin (Nick), and Jacob Goodhart (Daniel). Ithaca College student Jeremiah Porter and New York City based Jeremy Swift are actor dancers who round out the cast playing various roles, including the birds that Marion has spent her professional life studying.

Daniel Pettrow and Gabriel Marin star in “Birds of East Africa” at the Kitchen Theatre. Her play “The Strangest Thing” was a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and her short play “Brother Love” was a finalist for the Arts Letters Prize in Drama and was published in Stone Canoe. Her work has been developed and produced by the Hangar Theatre Pilot Series,
the north face etip gloves 'Birds of East Africa' has world premiere at Kitchen Theatre
the Civic Ensemble and Cherry Arts.

Dann is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. Regional directing work includes Dallas Theater Center, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Capitol Repertory Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company (including last season’s “Buyer Cellar”), and seven seasons as associate artistic director at the Hangar Theatre. Post show talkbacks with the playwright, director and design team are scheduled for the preview performances on Sunday, Jan. 29; Tuesday, Jan. 31; and Wednesday, Feb. 1.

On Friday, Feb. 3, and Friday, Feb. 10, there will be a post show talkback moderated by Lee Rayburn from WHCU radio with the cast, director and playwright. There is also a free pre show talk on Wednesday, Feb. by John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University.

“Pay What You Can Night” will be Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Friday, Feb. 10,
the north face etip gloves 'Birds of East Africa' has world premiere at Kitchen Theatre
performance is Under 40 Night and includes a free wine tasting and a post show event.

the north face tent mules ‘Better’ DNA out of fossil bones

Improved technologies for extracting genetic material from fossils may help us find out more about our ancient ancestors.

Scientists in Israel have just developed a new technique to retrieve better quality, less contaminated DNA from very old remains, including human bones.

It could aid the study of the evolution and migration of early modern humans, as well as extinct populations such as our close relatives, the Neanderthals.

Many researchers would dearly love to get their hands on DNA samples from hominids further back in time from those that lived 100,000 years ago or more to find out how they were related to people alive today.

But fossil studies this far back in time have long been hindered by contamination with foreign genetic material and the problem of recovering long, intact DNA sequences.

The new method provides hope, however.

“DNA gets everywhere. So when we’re dealing with a sample and you find it’s got human DNA in it is that DNA from the fossil, or is it actually DNA from the person who unearthed it?” says Professor Chris Stringer, the head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

It is wound up in bundles known as chromosomes that are found in the cell nucleus (nuclear DNA); DNA also lies within mitochondria outside of the nucleus (mtDNA)

mtDNA is inherited only through females via the egg and can be used to trace backwards through evolution; the male sex chromosome (Y) similarly tracks male evolution

DNA breaks down over time making recovery difficult from ancient specimens. Fossils are often contaminated with modern human DNA during handling, and it is difficult to tell this apart from ancient DNA

Also, DNA falls apart over the course of time.

“It breaks up into very small fragments so it is quite technically complicated to put it all back together again,” explains Dr Robert Foley, the director of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Freezing provides the ideal preservation conditions. The most widely accepted oldest DNA yet isolated comes from 400,000 year old plants found in ice in Siberia. But most specimens are not excavated from such places.

An improved technique for retrieving DNA from fossil bone, just published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may help.

Dr Michal Salamon, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues, showed that “crystal aggregates”, small mineral pockets formed during fossilisation, can preserve DNA better than the rest of the bone.

They compared DNA extracted from these crystal aggregates with genetic material taken from untreated, whole bone powder. The samples were taken from eight different modern and fossil bones.

They found better preserved, less contaminated DNA could be recovered from the isolated crystals.

This approach, “significantly improves the chances of obtaining authentic ancient DNA sequences, especially from human bones”, they told PNAS.

Commenting on the latest research, Dr Michael Hofreiter, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who helped decode 40,000 year old nuclear DNA from a cave bear earlier this year, said: “It’s possible; but there need to be more studies on more samples, and they need to show that you don’t get human contamination of animal bones.

“Then I would believe that it is a breakthrough for ancient DNA research.”

Scientists are hopeful the new technique will help them get at the DNA in the chromosomes of a cell the nuclear DNA.

Ancient DNA research has so far mainly focused on mitochondria, the tiny “power stations” of the cell. These exist outside of the nucleus and have their own DNA. And, although this information is very useful, it is more limited in its scope than that which could be obtained from nuclear DNA.

It is partly a question of sensitivity.

“There’s about 1,000 times more mitochondrial DNA than nuclear DNA in our cells, so it’s much easier to pick up,” explains Professor Stringer.

The mitochondrial DNA is inherited only through the egg through females. This means it is a useful marker for tracing a line back into the past, as it has never been mixed with DNA from males.

“One of the most important discoveries from studying ancient mitochondrial DNA is the estimate of when humans diverged in evolution from the Neanderthals around half a million years ago,” according to Dr Foley.

Professor Stringer adds: “We’ve now got about 10 Neanderthal specimens of around 40 50,000 years old that have yielded DNA that is clearly distinct from anyone alive today.”
the north face upland jacket 'Better' DNA out of fossil bones

the north face point five jacket ‘Best In Show’ from the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show

From ski gear to winter jackets, companies congregate each winter in Utah to launch new products at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. I spent last week evaluating hundreds of products at the massive event in search of the best to be released gear for 2017. Here are five top picks.

Foam snowshoes: Crescent Moon Eva

Crescent Moon redefined the category with the Eva, a rockered snowshoe made of EVA foam. (This is the soft kind of foam used in shoe midsoles.) Because of the rocker, no hinge is required underfoot. The result is a maneuverable snowshoe made for moving fast in moderate snow depths.

Avalanche assessor: Mountain Hub Snow Probe

Insert the Scope probe into snow and it measures the hardness of layers to create a profile. The info is transmitted by Bluetooth to a phone and then used to assess avalanche risk of the slope. The digital info can then be shared to the Mountain Hub website for crowd sourced avalanche forecasting.

Mechanically breathable: TNF Ventrix

The North Face took its breathable insulation and poked holes in it, literally. The Summit L3 Ventrix Hoodie has laser perforations where athletes sweat so the jacket vents as the body moves. That’s the concept behind Hydra Light, a unique power generation system that creates electricity from a reaction between water and a magnesium coil. In a world of solar, the power by saltwater solution turns heads.

Synthetic warmth: Patagonia Hyper Puff

Patagonia employs a new kind of synthetic insulation for its Hyper Puff Hoody. The HyperDAS insulation is layered like an accordion, so it lofts outward. This creates huge dead air space, adding significant insulation from the cold. It also packs small, fitting into a stuff sack the size of a one quart jug.
the north face overhead luggage 'Best In Show' from the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show