2012 Kia Rio Geocache Challenge
Kia recently sponsored a Dash to Los Angeles Geocache Challenge and they now are helping keep this site going by paying me to tell you about it. 😉
For those who’ve never heard of it, geocaching is an outdoor hobby where people use GPS devices to help them find “caches” placed by other people in various locations, sometimes places that are hard to get to or where it’s difficult to find the cache, which is usually hidden and you often need clues to find it once you’re near it. To date, people have placed about 2 million of these caches in over 100 countries and you can even find some in Antarctica, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. It’s estimated that around 5 million people in the world actively participate in the “sport”.
In any event, Kia selected two sets of contestants, Brad and Britney, and Leonard and Gina to take part in their geocaching challenge. Each team were given a brand new 2012 Kia Rio to use during the race, not just for transportation, but also to use some of the more snazzy features to help in the event, such as KIA’s UVO Technology. This system is powered by Microsoft software and allows you to issue various commands to your car through your voice, such as stereo controls via the Digital Jukebox, and calling people via UVO’s Bluetooth connection to your phone. UVO also has a 4.3 inch touch screen for manually adjusting things, as well as viewing the rear camera display for helping when you’re backing up.
In the race, the two teams traveled to historic Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, Amoeba Records, Rodeo Drive, Pink’s Hot Dogs, and finally to the Roosevelt Hotel where they met up with singer/actress Christine Flores. Check out the video of the challenge below and the Rio Explorer Page:
- The first known geocache located was on May 3, 2000, just one day after Selective Availability was removed from GPS, making it much more accurate for civilians and useable for such a game/sport as geocaching. This first cache was located by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. Inside the cache were videos, books, food, money, a slingshot, and some software.
- Even though there’s nothing illegal about it, geocaching occasionally gets people in trouble with the law, with people snooping around and looking “suspicious” as they search for a cache. The containers themselves have also several times been mistaken as bombs and bomb squads have been called in, sometimes blowing up the cache.
- Devices like your wireless router, GPS satellites, any Bluetooth device, and your phone also likely operate using the 2.4 GHz band, just like your microwave oven. So you are actually constantly being bombarded with the same type of microwaves as your microwave oven is using, albeit at lower levels so it doesn’t cook your insides. This is also why when you run your microwave, you may notice those wireless devices stop working well when you get too close to the running microwave. Some of the microwaves from the magnetron are escaping and interfering with the signal your devices are using.
- Contrary to popular belief, a microwave oven’s radiation does not cause cancer. The reason being is that it is not ionizing radiation (if it was, the GPS satellites, Bluetooth, and the myriad of other things that use microwave signals, would also up our chances of cancer). The worst it can do his heat up the water/fats/etc in your insides, which of course can cause damage if allowed to get too hot, but nothing compared to being exposed to high levels of ionizing radiation, such as x-rays and various types of cosmic radiation like ultraviolet light. Even mice that spent their whole lives exposed to low levels of microwaves at around the same frequency as a microwave oven (2.45 GHz), showed no adverse effects from the microwaves.
- In the beginning, geocaching was called “GPS stash hunt” and gpsstashing for short. It was renamed about a month later to geocaching as some members of the Usenet group formed for this new sport didn’t like the term “stashing”.
- A spin-off of geocaching is geodashing, where participants try to go to as many way points as possible, as fast as possible, generally trying to beat some time. The KIA challenge was something of a hybrid of geocaching and geodashing.
- Kia Motors is currently the second largest automobile company in South Korea, behind Hyundai Motor Company, which actually owns about 49% of the stock of Kia. Its headquarters are in South Korea, though they have plants elsewhere, such as a $1 billion plant in Georgia, United States. Kia produces around 1.5 million cars per year. They also employ about 42,000 people world-wide, with a gross revenue of $21 billion and a net profit of about $2 billion.
- According to Kia, the word “Kia” derives from a Sino-Korean word, “ki”, meaning “to come out”. The “a” then stands for Asia. Thus, Kia more or less was meant to mean “to come out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”.
- The company was founded in 1944 as a steel tubing and bicycle parts manufacturer. They didn’t start making cars until 1974, though began making trucks in 1962 and motorcycles in 1957.
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