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It's been a wild month for 'animals vs. adventurers' on Gadling. First, there was the antelope that tackled a cyclist harder than any NFL linebacker could, then there was the kayaker that got up close and personal with a blue whale, and finally, the South African motorcyclist that saved a calf from drowning in a canal.
Today's battle? An incredible video from Russian YouTube user Paravoffka, captured as he was paragliding high above the Indian Himalayas. Midway through his flight, a Himalayan Griffon Vulture became entangled in the slings of the main chute, causing Paravoffka to drop through the air like a rock (with an eagle clawing at it).
Luckily, Paravoffka deployed the emergency chute, which allowed him to regain enough control to crash land in a tree, breaking his fall and eventually allowing him to free the vulture. Incredible footage and a great example of another extreme situation handled well under pressure.
Have you battled any forces of nature recently? We want proof! Submit pictures to our Gadling Flickr Pool and leave video links in the comments section below. It could be our next Photo/Video of the Day!
After gaining my bearings in Ulaanbaatar and making a few friends over rocket propelled grenades, I set off for Ölgii - a dusty city of roughly 29,000 people and the capital of the remote province of Bayan-Olgii Aimag.
From Ulaanbaatar, the flight to Ölgii Airport was just 2 1/2 hours in a noisy Saab 340B. Flying over the wide expanses of the Gobi desert and Altai mountains, it was difficult to imagine that I'd be traversing everything that was passing below me in just under a week.
Joined by Mel, a journalist from an English newspaper, I arrived in Ölgii without much of a plan; to get a ride into town and hope to hitch a ride. But in order to find a team to ride with, the only thing we could do was sit by the side of the town's one main road and wait - hoping that whoever came along would be willing to pick up two outsiders carrying cameras and notepads.
Just one week ago on October 18th, an IranAir Boeing 727 landed at Tehran's Mehrabad airport without the use of its front landing gear, after the bay of the nose gear failed to open on approach.
The crew performed a landing without the nose gear on runway 29L and came to a stand still on both the main gear and the nose of the aircraft. The flight, traveling from Moscow to Iran, held 94 passengers and 19 crew members; none were injured in the landing.
Video of the landing has now surfaced on Youtube, demonstrating an incredibly skillful landing executed by the pilot and his crew.
Yesterday morning, Governor of New Mexico Susana Martinez, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, and Richard Branson welcomed guests inside Spaceport America to commemorate and christen the spaceport's main terminal hangar facility as the 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space'.
Our team on the ground was on hand to capture the festivities, from the opening press conference to the Champagne toast to a spaceport tour. Check out our exclusive video for the details.
"Traveling is for sissies, come and get stuck in a desert." The moment I first read those words, I knew that the Mongol Rally was something that I needed to experience in my lifetime.
Imagine: a 10,000 mile adventure across some of the world's most rugged terrain, in some of the most unsuitable vehicles imaginable; no GPS devices, no support crew, and no single set route from the starting line in Goodwood, England to the finish line in Mongolia's capital city of Ulaanbaatar. In the words of the Adventurists (the group responsible for the rally), the Rally is simply: "10,000 miles of adventuring bliss through deserts, mountains, and steppe".
So, when I got the opportunity to fly to Mongolia and join one of the 300 teams competing in the 2011 Mongol Rally, there wasn't a moment's hesitation. I needed to know what it was like to race across the steppe, fix major breakdowns with only duct tape, and meet the type of people that were capable of completing something so amazingly bizarre.
The Montgolfier brothers had Paris. The Wright brothers had Kill Devil Hills. Today, Richard Branson can officially call the New Mexican desert 'home' for his burgeoning commercial space line.
This morning, Governor of New Mexico Susana Martinez, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, and Richard Branson welcomed guests inside Spaceport America, to commemorate and christen the Spaceport's main Terminal Hangar Facility as the 'Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space'.
In front of a crowd of 800 journalists, future astronauts, and team members responsible for the design & construction of the VSS Enterprise, the spacecraft made a 'captive carry' fly-by with mothership White Knight II, before landing on the 10,000 ft. long runway and docking outside Spaceport America's 47,000 sq. ft hangar.
As flight tests ramp up toward a speculative launch date in 2012 or early 2013, the Spaceport will now serve as the home base of operations for those working to make Virgin Galactic a reality; a date that for some, can't come soon enough.
Gallery: Virgin Galactic's Gateway to Space
Over 400 passengers have already put down a deposit of $20,000 toward the $200,000 ticket price to be among the first tourists to venture into suborbital space. For these future astronauts, the experience is much more than just taking a trip to space.
We've all done it. Nestled up on a nice warm couch, leafing (or scrolling) through a National Geographic magazine, you suddenly notice a beautiful photograph and wonder "how did they get that shot?". Then, without pause for a second thought, you turn the page and continue browsing - for the most part taking all of the hard work that went into producing those images for granted.
If you've ever wanted to see just what goes into getting some of the incredible shots that make it into magazines like National Geographic, today's Video of the Day gives a thrilling inside look at one photographer's assignment in Yosemite. Produced by Renan Ozturk, this 6-minute piece follows climber, skier, and photographer Jimmy Chin as he captures some of the most innovative climbing happening in Yosemite today.
Do you put everything on the line to capture amazing moments? The world wants to see it! Submit to our Flickr Pool or leave a link in the comments below and it could be Gadling's next Photo/Video of the Day.
Mountain biker Evan van der Spuy earned a new nickname this weekend and it already has a trending hashtag on Twitter (#BUCKNORRIS).
Van der Spuy, a Team Jeep South Africa rider, was competing in the Time Freight MTB Express at Albert Falls Dam. Out of nowhere a red hartebeest decided to cross paths with Van der Spuy and Travis Walker, who captured the whole thing on a mounted GoPro.
So, next time you plan on riding your bike through a game reserve be sure to watch out for crossing antelope. Evan, we're glad that you're ok and... that the buck stopped there.
Don't get me wrong; there have been some wonderful movies in recent years that capture the true essence of the world of travel & the beauty of venturing on a grand journey: Lost in Translation, Into the Wild, L'Auberge Espagnole, Before Sunrise, Up in the Air, and The Beach (did you really think I wouldn't mention it?) are just a few examples of travel narratives done right.
But those successes aren't enough to stop the certain feeling of dread I get whenever I learn that Hollywood has again attempted to tackle the travel theme. Perhaps certain blasphemies like Sex & the City 2 or the recent rendition of Gulliver's Travels keep this fear alive every time I shell out $11 to go on a two-hour cinematic adventure.
That being so, when I first heard about The Way; a film directed and developed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen, I expected the worst. An adventure film produced on the magical wings of nepotism? Sounded like the perfect storm.
But Wednesday night's New York City premiere in partnership with the Walkabout Foundation promised a dazzling list of A-listers (Former President Bill Clinton, Ivanka Trump, Dhani Jones, Wyclef Jean, & the Sheens, among others) and promised to benefit a good cause, so I packed my cynicism away for a few hours and decided to see the film.
Gallery: NYC Premiere of The Way
So, is it worth the trek to the theater? Click on through to find out.
What started as a journey of self-discovery during a mid-life crisis, eventually became a mission to call attention to peace & nonviolence, especially for children around the world.
Setting off with a three-wheeled stroller that carried a "few fundamentals", Béliveau began by walking through America, Mexico, Latin America, before venturing to Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania and finishing by crossing Canada; from Vancouver to Montreal. Starting with just $4,000, he survived by receiving yearly installments of about the same sum from his wife and depended greatly on the kindness of strangers. The trip will officially come to a close when Béliveau is expected to arrive in Montreal on October 16th, where his wife & two grown sons will be awaiting his return.
Looking ahead, Béliveau says that he plans to write a book with the help of his wife although he will look back on this experience with nostalgia, is excited to have a bed forever. To learn more about his journey, visit Jean's website.