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You Can Pedal Through The Redwood Forest On Rail Bikes In Northern California

There are currently about 50 rail trails in the USA, which are disused railway tracks that have been converted into multi-use paths.

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(TMU) – From the glory days of train travel to forgotten, overgrown rail tracks and abandoned stations, many unused and forgotten railways have been resurrected to take their place in the 21st century.

To the delight of those who enjoy time in nature, rail biking provides a new opportunity to explore the outdoors in a unique way for an awesome adventure definitely worth the experience.

There are currently about 50 rail trails in the USA, which are disused railway tracks that have been converted into multi-use paths, mostly for walking, cycling, horse riding and snowmobiling.

The historic Skunk Train railroad has run in the North Coast since 1885 and up until March 2019. At one stage it was the only way used by visitors to visit the majestic ancient redwood forest.

Generations of young and old took the Skunk Train to enjoy and admire the beauty of the trees.

We added some last-minute railbikes to the schedule for Valentine's Day! Join us out of Fort Bragg at 10:30am or 12:30pm on February 14th for the best couple's outing you could wish for!

Posted by Skunk Train on Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Redwood Forests are located just 3 hours north of San Francisco along the Pacific coast and offers something for every nature explorer and it offers a fabulous Skunk Train railbike route through the redwoods.

Each custom-made rail bike seats two per bike and literally whispers through the forest with pedal power. The bikes are safe on the tracks with no trains or other traffic to disrupt the journey, guaranteed! Low noise electric motors fitted to the bikes give tired legs running low on ‘steam’ to take a recharge break, without disrupting the peaceful surroundings.

Spend your Saturday exploring the wild beauty of Fort Bragg via a rail bike from the Skunk Train Depot. These open-air,…

Posted by Visit Fort Bragg, California on Saturday, March 2, 2019

It’s a gloriously tranquil 1.5 to 2 hour round trip which starts at Fort Bragg, from where the tracks wind along the scenic Pudding Creek then cross over the wooden trestle bridges and continues into Mendocino County, heart of the magnificent ancient redwoods, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, some reaching as high as 300ft into the sky.

The freedom rail peddling provides to survey the beautiful surroundings is amazing. It’s that exuberant feeling of ‘look Ma, no hands!’, leaving you free to look, slow down, take pictures and notice and discover so much more than any other mode of transport allows. Naturally, there’s plenty of birds, including blue herons and osprey, as well as deer, otters and turtles around the rivers – and perhaps, during peak berry season, you might even spot a bear enjoying a berry feast.

Good news for our local Fans! In accordance with the updated Shelter in Place order allowing certain activities for…

Posted by Skunk Train on Monday, May 11, 2020

You’ve reached the halfway mark one you reach the Glen Blair Junction, which is a great spot to stretch your legs, enjoy a picnic and a walk into the forest to pay homage to the giant redwoods. With all that pure, clean air in your blood, the short trip back to Fort Bragg will be over far too quickly, albeit with plenty of beautiful photos and memories, it’s a sure bet you’ll be wanting to do it again, soon.

For bookings and rules safety, visit: www.skunktrain.com as well as www.railexplorers.net and www.themanual.com for other railbike adventures.

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Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings

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People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.

However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.

In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.

“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”

The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.

In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.

Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.

The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.

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In World First, Man Receives Heart Transplanted From Gene-Hacked Pig

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In a groundbreaking world first, a 57-year-old man in the U.S. has become the first person in the world to receive a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

The revolutionary procedure’s apparent success offers hope to hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling with failing vital organs amid scarce supplies of human organs.

The patient, David Bennett of Maryland, is in good shape days after the experimental seven-hour operation took place in Baltimore on Friday, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The surgical procedure is the result of years of fervent efforts by researchers to develop pigs whose organs would be compatible with the human body, and was made possible by recent advances in gene editing and cloning technology. The heart transplant was preceded months ago by a successful kidney transplant in New York which also used an organ harvested from a genetically engineered pig.

“This is a watershed event,” said David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing, reports New York Times. “Doors are starting to open that will lead, I believe, to major changes in how we treat organ failure.”

The University of Maryland doctors received a special dispensation from regulators to carry out the procedure due to the fact that Bennett’s death was certain in the absence of a transplant.

Surgeon Bartley Griffith, who took part in the transplant, expressed pride in taking part in bringing the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis,” reports BBC. Roughly 17 people die every day in the U.S. while awaiting transplants, which are in extremely short supply.

“People die all the time on the waiting list, waiting for organs. If we could use genetically engineered pig organs they’d never have to wait, they could basically get an organ as they needed it,” said Christine Lau, Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“Plus, we wouldn’t have to fly all over the country at night-time to recover organs to put them into recipients.”

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