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Do spoons make you fat?

UTAH

If you want to watch the latest death-defying sport in the red-rock outback of southeastern Utah, check out "World's largest rope swing" on YouTube, which has racked up more than 17 million views, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The video shows roped climbers leaping off the top of an arch and then swinging back and forth in a huge arc. Although the camera-equipped swingers and their watching friends gasp with awe and laugh throughout the wild ride, the sight can give you the creeps: What if there's a miscalculation and a swinger smashes into the side of the arch instead of blowing through? Something like that just claimed the life of 22-year-old Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, Utah, who jumped off Corona Arch near Moab in March. He didn't hit the arch itself, but unfortunately used a rope that was longer than the 140-foot fall. Stocking plummeted to the ground and died from the impact.

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Ewe got any snacks? Price Chambers/Jackson Hole News and Guide

ARIZONA

Shaun McClusky, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Tucson, believes in a do-it-yourself police force. Because the city's cops aren't adequately funded, he told the Arizona Daily Star, he and his supporters have raised $12,000 to buy shotguns and provide firearms training for anyone who lives in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Asked whether his vigilante move might cause legal problems, McClusky said, "Saying guns are responsible for killing people is like saying spoons are responsible for making people fat. If someone wants to bring me the publicity for free and sue me, bring it on." Meanwhile, City Councilman Steve Kozachik found McClusky's logic difficult to follow: "To suggest that giving away ... loaded shotguns in high-crime areas will make anybody safer is pure idiocy. This is coming from a purported leader in the local Republican Party, the same group who last year auctioned off a Glock and rifle as fundraisers. ... They're totally out of touch with the values of this city."

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HCN in the outhouses of the West

From my Alaska trip: I flew into a small town that is not reachable by road, then hopped on a motorboat and drove across lakes and rivers for 2.5 hours to reach the scientists' camp way out in the boondocks -- out there they have a few rough cabins and a generator that makes electricity only in the evening and two outhouses -- and lo and behold, for reading material in the outhouses they have issues of the Economist magazines and HCN -- amazing to discover HCN readers way out there!

Ray Ring, HCN Senior Editor