It is axiomatic — even for those of us unsure exactly what axiomatic means — that Whistler is among the best places to live in the civilized world. That being said, none of us are so naive as to completely ignore Tiny Town's failings, those areas, small in number though looming large, in which the quest for world classiness has fallen somewhat short.
They say we live in a bubble. Actually, we say we live in a bubble. We say it with pride. And why not? Given what passes for humanity and civilization outside our bubble, who wouldn't choose to remain bubbled?
One problem with living in a bubble is, well, bubbleheadedness, which is to say we often tend to pay little attention to what goes on in the world outside... the Bubbleless World (BW). While it's much easier to find out what's going on in the BW than it used to be, the coefficient of ease of knowing has vastly outstripped our standard deviation of indifference. We can find out; we just don't care. Unless, of course, we're talking about keeping up with the latest cute kitten videos. We're all over that.
For the most part, our indifference serves us well. I mean, how much do you really want to know about our Supreme Leader's efforts to dismantle the country we thought we lived in? I thought not. Do we really care if another Canadian gets radicalized and trots off to Syria to fight for ISHOLE? Better he or she die like a dog there than try to blow something up in the Great White North, eh?
But it gets pretty scary when we miss out on important developments that may actually be of interest to us. Witness these tidbits you may have missed had I not sacrificed precious time watching cute kitten videos to seek them out.
Your Life, Your Movie; Live It, Watch It! Taking the international stage at the recent SkiTech convention in Las Vegas, GoPro stunned the assembled masses with their newest, and many say greatest, GoPro Hero5.1++! "The Hero5.1++! transcends anything we've put out there before," said a company press release. In addition to the usual features — Super View setting, zillions of pixels, slow-mo, no-mo, still capture, infrared and nano-capture settings — the Hero5.1++! can record every aspect of your life in 4K-3D, a feature GoPro calls Touch Me mode.
But the really exciting news about the Hero5.1++! is the synergy created by the partnership between GoPro, Giro and Google — G-Cubed, as they've come to call the joint venture. Using proprietary Google Glass, Giro — which, after all, is the Greek spelling of hero — has created a Giro Hero Google Glass Goggle which, when paired with the Hero5.1++! lets the user see what's being captured... in real time!
But, as they say on late-night TV, that's not all. The Hero5.1++! has 4G cellular capability. Users can live stream 4K-3D video over 4G directly to their YouTube channel or Facebook profile. "Finally," said a GoPro spokesperson, "users can capture, watch and stream what they would see if they weren't watching it live in their Giro Hero Google Glass Goggles and share it with the entire world... AS IT HAPPENS!"
Volcom Introduces New Stop-Yer-Bitchin' Board. In the seemingly never-ending quest to strike a peaceful balance between skiers and snowboarders, Volcom has come out with a new line of rad boards. "Groundbreaking," declared a company rep. "The S-Y-B boards may finally bring peace to the slopes in our lifetimes.
Offered camber, rocker, flat or double-reverse camber, the S-Y-B lineup looks like every other snowboard with great, if misogynistic, graphics. But the boards have banks of brightly-coloured LED lights laid into the topsheet around the front and tail perimeters. Piezo-electric sensors on the outer edges of the boards measure changes in pressure and trigger the lights — much like directional signals on cars — thus warning skiers and other boarders approaching from the rear the "most likely direction" the rider will go next. "We put lights on the front and back 'cuz some dudes ride goofy and 'cuz when you hit features on the side of runs or spin around a lot, they all light up and look rad," read a press release.
Skiing Fast Is Good For Your Skin. It was reported in the January 2015 edition of the medical journal, Skin Deep, that skiing fast more than offsets the damaging effects of cold, wind and sun on exposed facial skin.
The department of Dermatology and Reconstructive Surgery at John Hoppins University reported the results of a three-year study of skin damage among skiers. The fast-skiing group not only showed none of the negative effects of prolonged exposure to alpine winter elements the slow-skiing group displayed — advanced melanoma, a unique pattern of wrinkles dubbed "saddle skin," frozen wattle and others — but actually had tighter, more youthful looking facial skin than even the control group who didn't ski at all and used what footnotes referred to as "gobs" of creamy facial products. "It is believed the pull of the wind when you ski fast more than offsets the exposure to extreme weather conditions," read the report. "By our estimates, a week of fast skiing has roughly the same skin-tightening benefits as a facelift."
Whistler Blackcomb Freezes Rates. With his tongue planted only slightly in his cheek, Sloof Lirpa, Whistler Blackcomb's new Director of Guests' Good Times — Dr. Feelgood, as he prefers to be called — announced next season's Pass and Edge Card rates earlier this week. "Obviously we can't control the weather," he said, "but there is one thing we can freeze on these mountains — the price of passes!"
For those willing to take a leap of faith, season passes will cost the same for the 2015-16 season that they did this season, assuming you purchase them before the pay-me-now deadline of May 4.
"But wait, there's more," Lirpa added. "We'll toss in two, yes two, bring-a-friend tickets. We'll even add two tickets for night skiing on Grouse. But that's not all. Our 50-per-cent off food for passholders has been so popular we're going to roll that one out again next year... all year. Oh, and for all you folks complaining you weren't able to use up all your Edge Card days, no problema. You can use them next year. Your concerns are our concerns."
News, it's everywhere. Happy April Fools, er, yesterday.