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Adult summer camp with alcohol, no counselors, debuting in new cities this year

Chances are, it’s been years since you attended summer camp.

If you’re looking to relive the glory days, it’s not too late. 

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According to WILX, Camp No Counselors is the first adults-only summer camp, and it will debut in Michigan in June.

The camp will take place June 22-25 in the Manistee National Forest in Newaygo, Michigan.

Crafts, sports, ukelele lessons, sailing, tubing, friendship bracelet making, ziplining and water-skiing are among the activities included, according to the camp’s official website.

The camp also promises nightly parties, an open bar and tasty meals -- an upgrade from traditional camp food.

Accommodations, activities, food and alcohol are included in registration fees.

Camp No Counselors also has camp locations near Boston, AustinNew York, Florida, Seattle, Nashville and three Canadian cities, among other U.S. cities.

Applicants must be 21 years or older and can register as individuals or with a group.

Learn more at CampNoCounselors.com.

Deadly amoeba found at National Whitewater Center, activities suspended

The U.S. National Whitewater Center voluntarily closed its whitewater rafting activities Friday afternoon after water samples tested positive for a brain-eating amoeba, officials confirmed.

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The tests, which found Naegleria Fowleri at the Whitewater Center, are preliminary. Final results will not be ready until next week.

Visitors said a staff member blew a whistle around 4 p.m. Friday and had everyone get out of the water. The center itself, in Charlotte, North Carolina, is not closed, however, Mecklenburg County Health Department Director Dr. Marcus Plescia said officials "feel quite certain (the) amoeba is present in (the) Whitewater Center" at a news conference Friday evening.

Local, state and federal health officials are investigating after a recent high school graduate, Ohio resident Lauren Seitz, 18, died from a brain-eating amoeba days after visiting the Whitewater Center.

>> Related: Teen dies of brain-eating amoeba after whitewater rafting

The Health Department is working closely with the Center.

Naegleria Fowleri is a brain-eating amoeba found in warm freshwater, like lakes and ponds. It does not make people sick if it's swallowed, but if it goes up a nasal cavity -- where it's close to the brain -- it can be deadly. The amoeba is present in many open water sources and has been linked to 35 illnesses in the last 10 years, Plescia said.

He said the risk of getting into a car crash while driving to the Whitewater Center is higher than being infected by the amoeba at the facility.

Plescia said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was running tests Wednesday at the facility. The health organization took 11 samples from various parts of the Whitewater Center and found the amoeba in most of them. Testing will continue over the next few days.

The Center released a statement:

"The U.S. National Whitewater Center, after discussion with the Centers for Disease Control and local health officials, has decided to temporarily suspend all whitewater activities effective immediately.

This decision was made after initial test results found Naegleria Fowleri DNA was present in the whitewater system.

The USNWC is working with the CDC and local health officials to develop next steps. Only whitewater activities are suspended.

The USNWC remains open for all other operations and activities."

Watch: Video shows 10,000 sparklers lit at once

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A new video on YouTube is on fire on social media. 

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The video, uploaded by Russian YouTuber SlivkiShow, shows what happens when he sets 10,000 sparklers ablaze at once. 

The result, as you might expect, is pretty awesome, and he even attaches a GoPro camera to a long pole to get a good overhead view.

Though all three minutes of the video are in Russian, English subtitles explain each step of the process.

The most impressive part of the video is undoubtedly the spectacular visual result. But the YouTuber warns, "All that is shown in this video is very dangerous. It is forbidden to repeat, but you can enjoy it."

The video has been viewed more than 6 million times. 

X Games Austin 2015, 6.5.15

Apple to partner with Kobe Bryant and others to test IWatch

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Another drop of fuel in the Apple iWatch fire. 

9to5Mac reports sources familiar with the matter say Apple is teaming up with professional athletes to test the iWatch "in intenest training environments."  

The outlet names pro athletes such as Lakers player Kobe Bryant and Kings player Dustin Brown. They, of course, reportedly signed non-disclosure agreements to participate in the project. (Via Flickr / Keith AllisonMark H. Anbinder)

This adds yet another rumor to the long list of rumors/evidence/speculation/whatever-you-want-to-call-it pointing to an iWatch launch. At this point, several sources expect an October launch of the health-and fitness-tracking device.

Health, one of the features Apple announced at its World Wide Developers conference, will likely communicate with the wrist-mountable device, giving users the ability to track all kinds of personal health information. 

Which is likely why Apple wants to partner up with pro athletes — if it works in those high-intensity training environments, it'll work for the rest of us. 

A writer for TechnoBuffalo says despite reports the iWatch will have at least 10 different sensors, this potential partnering shows Apple's focus is mostly on fitness. "The news all but confirms that the iWatch will serve primarily as a fitness tracker."

TechCrunch says the move is a brilliant marketing technique. With the Cupertino Company looking to push between 50 million to 60 million units in the first year, an iWatch is going to need some serious street cred. Enter sports stars, stage right. 

"Sports sells gatorade, and sports sells sneakers, and sports sells clothing and hats and TV trays and bottle openers and anything that has enough surface area to hold a logo." (ViaTechCrunch)

And now sports might sell the iWatch. 

X Games Austin, 06.05.14

A look at the best sunscreen for your money

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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A May 2014 study from Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don't have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.Here's what so funny: The highest rated sunscreen that got a Best Buy recommendation turned out to be the cheapest one per ounce they tested!

Want the best sunscreen for your money? Check out these options

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a Walmart storebrand lotion, clinched the Best Buy trophy with a score of 80 from Consumer Reports. It costs only 56 cents an ounce, which represents a 9-cent increase in price since last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), and Oxybenzone (4%). The only sunblock to score higher in the lotion category was Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. This lotion got a score of 81 and costs $1.38. The active ingredient list mirrors that of Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, with the exact same concentration of active ingredients.When it comes to sprays, longtime Consumer Reports favorite UP & UP Sport SPF 50 got a 90 -- a full 10 points higher than last year's showing for this Target housebrand. Amazingly, the cost per ounces has dropped to 80 cents, down from $1.16 last year! Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (4%), and Oxybenzone (5%).

>>Company claims it has developed drinkable sunscreen

>> Special Section: Your Guide to Summer FunThe historical favorite in this annual tally has been NO-AD Sport SPF 50 with Avobenzone, Aloe, and Vitamin E SPF 45. The NO-AD lotion scored a 69 this time out -- up 20 points from last year. The cost per ounce is 63 cents. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (2.0%), Homosalate (15.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), and Oxybenzone (5.0%).I was talking with a dermatologist last week and she said the real problem is too many people apply sunscreen too sparsely. You need to put gobs of it on your kids. My kids are conditioned to know that it's a five-minute ordeal while we slather them up before they can go out into the sun. It's a necessary precaution. But don't forget yourself either.If you're like me and grew up in the generation when nobody wore sunscreen, we're a ticking time bomb for skin cancer and melanoma. In many cases, early skin cancer detected is just a little aggravation that's easily treated. But undetected, it can grow into melanoma and cost you your life.Whatever sunscreen you get, be sure it says "broad spectrum" on the label for maximum protection.

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How to host an Oscar viewing party

How will you know if you like Naomi Watts’ dress at the Academy Awards unless your friends tell you that you do?

That’s just one reason to gather people at your home, to all sit and dish as you watch the entire evening of the Oscars. This year’s televised event is next Sunday, Feb. 24.

Your gathering can be anything from simple to spectacular. And we’re here to help with ideas.

Jazz up your gathering with Oscar-themed paper goods, such as Hollywood plates, napkins, tablecloths, etc. from your favorite local party store. Bundles of black and gold balloons are a fairly inexpensive way to get pizzazz around the party room.

Decorations can include a red carpet leading to your front door or buffet table, having a friend pose as a member of the paparazzi as guests arrive, silver Mylar fringe over front door for guest to walk through, and loads of Hollywood posters around the eating and watching areas. Companies such as Entertainment Unlimited Events rent big Oscar statues, from 5-foot to 12-feet tall, as well as Hollywood signs and other show-stopping decor items.

Select the level of extravagance for your party that matches you and your friends. “You can turn it up a notch by asking people to dress as their favorite movie character from this year’s list,” says Stephanie Via-Hagar of Entertainment Unlimited Events in Centerville. “Or make it a black-tie event.”

Add to the fun by having each guest make predictions as to who-will-win-what in the big categories (best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best supportings). Award prizes for correct guesses as the awards are announced on TV or wait until the end of the evening to find who had the most correct guesses overall.

“No gathering is complete without food, and yours can be a lavish spread or yummy appetizers or anything in between,” says Christina Bender, healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market in Mason. “Potlucks are fun, especially if you have a theme to the evening.”

A French theme in homage to “Les Misérables”? Or let your imagination go wild by serving southern Louisiana fare as a bow to “Beast of the Southern Wild.”

“Remember that we’re not too far away from New Year’s Day and many people are maintaining their resolution to eat healthy in 2013,” Bender said. “Serving some healthy choices is always appropriate.”

“Offer guests a signature drink for the evening, such as a ‘Hot Hathaway,’ ‘The Golden Statue’ or another name you invent,” suggests Via-Hagar. She says the drink can be your own concoction or a cocktail recipe you find on the internet

When an evening is based around a televised event, you might want to gently suggest a code of conduct before you turn on the set. Ask guests if they like the idea of keeping talking to a minimum during the show but gabbing away during commercials. Their reaction may be yes or not, and take your cue from that, to create an evening that will have you taking a bow.

MOTION PICTURE MUSHROOM, RADISH AND HEARTS OF PALM SKEWERS

Recipe from Christina Bender, Whole Foods Market Mason.

Balsamic-marinated roasted mushrooms and hearts of palm alternated with crunchy, colorful radishes provide variety and balance on your party table.

Ingredients:

• 3 cloves garlic, chopped

• 24 small cremini or button mushrooms

• 4 tablespoons aged balsamic of Modena, divided

• 3 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, divided

• 3 teaspoons finely chopped thyme, divided

• 6 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered

• 1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, drained

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Directions:

Mash or press garlic; transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together 3 tablespoons balsamic, 2 teaspoons rosemary and 2 teaspoons thyme. Add mushrooms and radishes, toss well and set aside, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes. In another bowl toss the remaining vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Halve the largest pieces of hearts of palm so you have at least 24 pieces; add to the bowl and toss to combine. Preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer mushrooms and radishes to a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until softened and just caramelized, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, thread a mushroom, piece of radish and piece of palm heart onto 24 6-inch skewers. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional info:

Per serving: 10 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 75mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 1g protein

Fitness gifts for the athletes on your holiday list

Some folks might dream of sweater sets, cuff links or sugarplums, poor things, but we know the athletes on your holiday gift list really want stuff that makes them sweat.

We’ve rounded up a collection of goodies that’ll keep those cardio-happy hipsters moving at the speed of fitness. And unlike fruitcakes and eggnog, these suggestions will keep your loved ones healthy, too. What better gift could you ask for?

Rapha clothing

Mellow Johnny’s recently opened the only Rapha concept shop in the Southwest, where it peddles top-of-the-line, retro-themed clothing that’s more wool than Lycra. Think cyclo-cross jerseys with a single padded shoulder for carrying your bike across race fields or a fitted (not boxy) high-visibility cycling vest. Who knew cycling gear could be stylish, too? ($210 long-sleeved cyclo-cross jersey, matching $60 winter cyclo-cross hat, $160 women’s high-visibility pink vest at Mellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces St.)

Bike bag

Want to cycle to work but don’t want to sling a backpack over your shoulders? Try this old school, eco-friendly, waxed cotton bag, perfect for stashing your laptop and lunch. Attach the bag to your handlebars with Velcro straps for the ride, then sling it over your shoulder once you arrive at your destination. ($35 at www.greatusefulstuff.com)

Running shoes

We love the cushy, loopy soles and snowy good looks of the Cloudsurfer Prism model of the Swiss-made On running shoes. Drenched in white, with three pairs of colorful laces, the shoes make you feel like you’re running on soft, shock-absorbing sand — except you don’t get bogged down on the push off. ($129 at specialty running stores including RunTex, or at www.on-running.com)

Event entry

Sometimes the best gifts are the kind that don’t take up space on the shelf — like entry fees for a local bike ride or foot race. Our favorites include the Livestrong Austin Marathon on Feb. 17 ($120 full marathon or $100 half, prices increase by $15 on Nov. 28, at www.youraustinmarathon.com), the BP MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin on April 20-21 ($100; tinyurl.com/a9vepd7) and the Statesman Capitol 10,000 on April 7 ($35; www.cap10k.com).  

“The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Techniques to Hit the Trail,” by Andrew Skurka

From trekking poles to sleeping bags, portable stoves to water purification systems, this book explains what you’ll need on the trail and what to look for when you’re gearing up. (Published by National Geographic, $19.95; available at Amazon.com or bookstores)   

 

Dog-E-Glow LED collar and leash

Sometimes the best exercise partners are the four-legged kind. Make sure your pup stays visible if you’re walking after dark - and show your school colors, too - with this light-up collar and leash. Choose from University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas Christian and other major college versions. ($25.99 for collars; $29.99 for leashes at University Co-op and www.futurepets.com or www.dogeglow.com)

Nutcase bike helmet

Protect your shell with a funky bike helmet from Nutcase. We like this yellow taxi-cab number, but who wouldn’t want to swath their head in pink leopard skin, tie dye, polka dots or even a watermelon motif? (About $60 at specialty bike shops including Eastside Pedal Pushers and Ozone Bike Dept.).  

Fitness classes

How about the gift of flexibility? YogaYoga offers an array of classes, from hatha to flow to relaxation (unlimited classes for $99 per month, a year of unlimited yoga plus a massage for $995 or 5 classes for $55 at www.yogayoga.com). Rogue Running offers training classes that will help get you ready for a 10K run, including one geared toward the Statesman Capitol 10,000 ($182 at www.roguerunning.com). Or heat things up with a Brass Ovaries pole dancing fitness class that’ll knock your socks off ($35 for a group class; $150/month for unlimited classes at brass-ovaries.com/).

Cycling magazines

To call Privateer and Rouleur magazines is like calling Whole Foods Market a convenience store. These publications read more like books (and cost as much), and they’re packed with beautiful photos and in-depth articles on mountain biking and road cycling. You’ll read every bit of text and display ’em on your coffee table. ($20 at Mellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces St.)  

Timex Marathon watch

Runners can be obsessive when it comes to checking pace, distance and calories burned. This sweat-proof workout watch uses GPS to monitor both, and stores up to 30 workouts. Comes in black, turquoise or this chipper pink. ($99.95 at Hill Country Running, 9900 W. Parmer Lane or 215 S. Lamar Blvd., Amazon.com or REI.com)  

NiteRider cycling lights

Light up your commute with a Lumina headlight — it’s the size of a tamal, clips neatly to your bike handlebars and easily recharges by plugging it into a cable that attaches to the USB port on your computer. Or opt for the less-expensive, pint-sized Lightning Bug. (Lumina series starts at $89; Lightning Bug starts at $11.95 at Bicycle Sport Shop, 517 S. Lamar Boulevard, and Texas Cycle Werks, 5300 S. Mopac Blvd., No. 501) 

“Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die,” by Chris Santella

Have wheels, but need to know where to pedal? Bicyling experts including Steve Coyle, past president of the Austin Cycling Association, share their picks for the world’s greatest destinations. Among the recommendations? Through fields of tulips in the Netherlands, past giraffes in Botswana, and, yes, into the scrappy, undulating terrain of the Texas Hill Country. (Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95; available at Amazon.com and bookstores) 

Texas Chip Seal Embrocation

Slather on this Hill Country lavender-scented warming cream that acts as your skin’s protective barrier from cold and wind. As the shop says, “It may be the dead of winter, but your legs are vacationing in Cabo.” Made by Mad Alchemy. ($24.99 at Mellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces St.)

Clif bars

Can the candy canes and stuff your sweetie’s stocking with a handful of iced gingerbread, peppermint stick or spiced pumpkin pie-flavored Clif Bars instead. ($1.39 at grocery stores and sports stores)

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