From the category archives:


Obstacle races and mud runs like the Warrior Dash and the Tough Mudder are becoming increasingly popular. And for good reason: they’re challenging and a ton a fun.

AoM reader Devon Anderson is starting a new obstacle race with a great twist. Anderson did the Tough Guy Challenge in Wolverhampton, England three times and worked as a facilitator at a ropes course while in high school, and he got the inspiration to combine those two experiences together. The result is the Cahoots Duo Challenge. The Cahoots Duo Challenge is a race series where you and a friend combine wits, strength, strategy, and stamina to negotiate a barrage of nearly two dozen unique obstacles and challenges. All Cahoots courses have been specifically and creatively designed to prove the resolve and test the limits of even the toughest of twosomes. You’ll carry, push, pull and roll one another over and through a variety of perils and hazards. You’ll swing over energy sapping bogs on the Siamese Trapeze, build precarious bridges, and scale 10′ walls. You’ll have to rely on each other, trust each other, and work together or you can’t progress through the course. Basically, it’s an obstacle course that’s specifically designed to be done as a pair.

I think it’s an awesome idea!

The first three Cahoots events are scheduled for the following times and places:

  • Phoenix, AZ, Saturday April 28, 2012
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday August 11, 2012
  • Dallas, Texas, Saturday October 27, 2012

Cahoots is giving away two free registrations (for you and your partner) for each location. To enter to win, leave a comment telling us 1) Which race location you’ll enter if you win, and 2) The location closest to you where you’d like to see a Cahoots race come next.

Cahoots will be expanding across the country, so follow them on Facebook to get the latest event venue updates.



Every man should have a few good ties in his wardrobe. The problem is, it’s hard to find a quality, stylish tie that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Enter Jack Franklin. Jack Franklin produces hand sewn ties from the finest silk on the market. I like my ties with a bit of heft and texture. Jack Franklin ties have both of these qualities thanks to the wool interlining in all their ties and fabrics woven by Italian weavers. I love how these ties feel. Most of their ties sell for about $30.

One of the things I like about Jack Franklin ties are their designs. They have a nice mix of modern and retro-inspired looks. The ties have fun names like 70s School Teacher, Blues Brothers, Bryant Gumble, and Tetris. I own The Connery, Used Car Salesman, and Gordon Gecko. Funny man Stephen Colbert is a fan of the Admiral.

The Jack Franklin Tie Giveaway

The gents at Jack Franklin have 25 ties to giveaway to 25 lucky AoM readers. You have to like those odds.

How to Enter

Entering is easy. Just follow these two simple steps:

1. Visit the Jack Franklin website and pick out the tie you would like if you’re lucky enough to be selected as the winner.

2. Share your selection with us in the comments section of this post. You don’t have to post the link–just a description. (Posting the link may cause your comment to be filtered as spam).

Everyone who enters the contest will be emailed a code for a  50% discount on Jack Franklin ties at the conclusion of the contest. You read that right: 50%!

A winner will be drawn randomly from the entries. The deadline for entry into the contest is Friday, October 28 at 10 PM ET.

What are you waiting for? Enter today!


Cynric Whitaker recently put up a piece on the blog in the Art of Manliness Community that I wanted to re-post here on the Trunk. One of the questions I see pop up from time to time in the Community, and something I’ve pondered myself, is the question of when a man should step into a situation where he sees something wrong going on. There’s a big spectrum here, from incidents where most men would step in (a man is assaulting a woman), to those where some men would do or say something and some wouldn’t (you’re at a baseball game with your young son and the fan next to you is using foul language).

Anyway, so I’ll post Cynric’s piece, and then I invite everyone to discuss the question of when and where a man should step into a situation and where you draw the line.


I recently published an article on my website ( about an incident that occurred while I was at the zoo with my little brother. Basically I happened upon a 13 year old kid spitting into the ponds and streams of several exhibits.

Even as I write this, almost a week later, it strikes me how many people were there who saw the same thing I did, but did nothing. It seemed a classic example of the Bystander Effect, a social phenomenon where a person does not offer any assistance or do anything to intervene in a crisis situation because of the presence of others. It seems strange to think that we are less inclined to take action when there are other people around, but studies have proven this to be true. The more ‘other people’ are present the less likely an individual is to take personal responsibility for doing something.

This wasn’t a crisis by any means. But I imagine people were shaking their heads and grumbling about what they saw. “Where are his parents?”. “Somebody should do something.”.

In my mind “somebody” should have been any adult who noticed. And this incident highlighted one of the failings of our society. Nobody wants to get involved. Nobody wants to take responsibility. If no one intervenes now when his crimes are relatively small, what will happen if this kind of behavior escalates to vandalism or something else? Where will he learn that society will hold him accountable for what he does, which can reinforce one of the foundations of manhood in a boy who is just beginning to discover his strength and power: respect.

It reminds me of the scene in The Dark Knight where Harvey Dent holds a press conference to announce that the Batman has offered to turn himself in. The citizens, even the police officers are scared and they’re willing to trade their liberty, their right to a peaceful and just society for a promise of safety. In the bargain is nothing to end crime; and by allowing this they shackle themselves like a woman facing a mugger. “Take what you want,” they say. “Just don’t hurt me.”

A man can’t be a bystander and consider himself a man. When others whisper ‘someone should do something’ he must be the one to spring into action, whether it be alone or with a dozen like minded men at his side. In times of calamity or relative calm, whether fighting for a cause or defending the public trust, a man must act. To do otherwise is to betray all of us.


Business idea. Who wants to partner up?


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