The Checkup: Michael Phelps Sleeps in a Mysterious Box

A high-altitude sleeping chamber is supposed to help the Olympic swimmer get ready for London this summer.

For the uninitiated, this is Foreverware.

• Okay, I’m going waaaaay back in the Obscure TV Archives here, but did anybody else ever watch that show, Eerie, Indiana, when they were kids? It was sort of like the Twilight Zone and took place in this town called Eerie, Indiana (duh) where all this cooky, made-for-kiddie-sci-fi stuff happens. Wikipedia informs me that Eerie lasted for only 13 episodes in the early ’90s, so chances are you missed it (in which case you really missed out because it was awesome). There was this one episode with this creepy family that never ages, and it turns out (spoiler alert!) that they sleep in these containers every night called Foreverware, sort of like giant Tupperware containers that keep them fresh and young, well, forever. I couldn’t help but think about Foreverware today when I heard about Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’s bizarre high-altitude sleeping pod. He talks about it in a recent 60 Minutes interview (skip to 7:13), but declines to let the contraption be shown on video, adding another layer of Eerie-like mystery to the whole thing. The chamber is supposed to simulate high altitude in order to improve his endurance. Phelps describes it thusly: “Once I’m already in my room, I still have to open a door to get into my bed … It’s like a giant box. It’s like a boy in the bubble kind of thing.” So … yes. Michael Phelps is sleeping in Foreverware. You heard it here first, folks.

• If you’ve seen our May Top Doctors issue (it’s awesome, thankyouverymuch), you read about MossRehab patient Dan Webb, a paraplegic who uses robotic legs called the ReWalk to stand upright and move around. It’s a pretty amazing piece of technology, and one that a paralyzed British woman recently used to walk the London Marathon. Her finish time? 16 days.

• Ever wonder what the most popular outdoor activities are? Wonder no more! The Outdoor Foundation conducted a survey to unearth the most popular outdoor activities in 2011. Topping the list is kayaking, bow-hunting (Hunger Games!), stand-up paddling, telemark skiing and trail running. Skateboarding and BMX biking were among the least popular, proving, officially, that the ’90s are over.