Saturday morning links

1. Ever heard of Val Gardena? Me neither. Val Gardena is a valley in the Dolomites of the Tyrol region in Italy. This scene is fairly iconic I think, it’s one that I’ve seen a handful of times, the sheer of that mountain that just drops off is quite the scene. There’s a heavy German influence despite the valley being in Italy.

Photo by Warre Vyncke on Unsplash

There’s a great Rick Steves episode on that region.

2. From GQ’s David Alm on a group of elite Ethiopian runners who can’t go home, largely because of the conflict (really ethnic cleansing as the article states) of the Tigray Region. I have read a ton about this, largely because my son is from Ethiopia, but to say that I understand this would not be true. Maybe that’s the thing, you’re not supposed to understand the “why” of an ethnic cleansing. While they are here, they live together and make the best of a situation as they seek asylum.

In addition to supporting his roommates, Fikadu sends money each month to his wife and five brothers back in Ethiopia. With whatever he has left, he treats himself: He likes designer clothes and wears a new Apple watch. An energetic 28-year-old with a steadfast gaze and the charisma of an actor, Fikadu is committed to living with his roommates, despite his healthy income. “In Ethiopia,” he says, “we have a saying: ‘A house is not yours. A house is God’s house.’ You can live in it, but when you die the house will stay there. The house is not going to die with you. So in my culture we say a house is God’s house. Everybody can come and you can live together.”

3. Outside Online’s David Kushner on a young diver who finds a prosthetic leg at the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico and the boy’s journey to find the owner.

4. Longread’s Paul Brown on how four Americans robbed the Bank of england in Victorian London.

On April 18, 1872, Austin Bidwell walked into Green & Son tailors on London’s renowned Savile Row and ordered eight bespoke suits, two topcoats, and a luxurious dressing gown. Bidwell was 26 years old, 6ft tall, and handsomely groomed with a waxed mustache and bushy side-whiskers. If the accent didn’t give it away, his eye-catching western hat marked him out as an American — a rich American. London tradesmen called Americans with bulges of money in their pockets “Silver Kings,” and they were most welcome in upmarket establishments like Green & Son, which charged as much for the strength of their reputations as for the quality of their goods.

5. I am here for this. Capture Atlas with the best Milky Way photographs of the year. One of my favorite things to look at, especially because I follow NASA on Insta, is the Milky Way and stars and galaxies and find the prospect of “that” entirely amazing.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of the Lofoten Islands? Me neither. But I’d guess you’ve seen commercials or pictures of this place. Lofoten is in Norway and inside the Arctic Circle, and they are a small archipelago surrounded by these huge mountains. I think there’s a Volkswagon commercial or something that shows how you can get around on these islands.

Photo by Ivan Bertona on Unsplash

2. I always hear that clock of mine ticking away when I write these things, but this is definitely one of those dreams of mine, to hike the Sentiero Italia (Trail Italy), 7,000 kilometers across the entire country of Italy and it looks absolutely amazing. I also love the mountains of Italy, especially in the northern region. I realize I can’t hike for 3 months to accomplish this, but I could take a week at one point.

3. It’s time we think about death, especially if you haven’t already. I’ve mentioned this a lot, but being an estate planning attorney, I’ve thought quite a bit about death, it actually is a huge part of my life because I deal with people dying all of the time. Outside Online’s Michael Easter writes about his trip to Bhutan:

“You Americans are usually ignorant,” he said, using a word often seen as an insult in the United States, but that by definition means “lacking awareness.” In Bhutan and other Buddhist countries, “ignorance” is the rough English translation of “Avidyā.” That’s a Sanskrit word that means having a misunderstanding of the true nature of your reality and the truth of your impermanence. “Most Americans are unaware of how good you have it, and so many of you are miserable and chasing the wrong things.

“You act like life is fulfilling a checklist. ‘I need to get a good wife or husband, then I get a good car, then I get a good house, then I get a promotion, then I get a better car and a better house and I make a name for myself and then …’” he rattled off more accomplishments that fulfill the American Dream. “But this plan will never materialize perfectly. And even if it does, then what? You don’t settle, you add more items to the checklist. It is the nature of desire to get one thing and immediately want the next thing, and this cycle of accomplishment and acquisitions won’t necessarily make you happy—if you have ten pairs of shoes you want 11 pairs.”

The problem with this checklist of things (which I’m completely guilty of as well) is that we’re always filling our lives with things, things to do or things in general and that’s maybe not contemplative for a fulfilled life. I know for me, the further I get away from that idea, the better my life seems to be, or the more appreciative my life seems. And Easter further explores this idea that death is a cliff that we’re all headed towards, no matter who you are, and facing that reality is a good thing.

4. I totally had crushes on the girls from “A Different World” and I am almost positive that I may have been one of the few people that I grew up with that had that thought and I am sure I never expressed that to anyone. That was appointment television for me and via Vanity Fair, an oral history of that show brings back a handful of memories. The other thing that this introduced to me was the idea of a historically black college, something I had no idea about and am not even sure that this was something that was intended, but it certainly registered in my brain. I also wanted Dwayne Wayne’s glasses.

5. Via Eater’s Kieran Dahl, she visits Monowi, Nebraska, a one-person and one-restaurant town (yes, 87-year old Elsie Eiler lives there and has a restaurant). I remember growing up and in my town I felt like there was only one restaurant option, Moon’s Cafe, where it was basically a cafeteria style restaurant. Moon’s is still there in my town and there are now more restaurants. I also tend to think that my parents never ate out and when we did, it was 7 of us so a place like Moon’s where there was hardly ever anyone there, made it easy. My town also always had a Dairy Queen, so that sort of counts too, but for whatever reason we never ate there.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Na Pali? Me neither. It’s part of the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. According to the state park website, the “pali” are cliffs that run along the coastline. Breathtaking to say the least.

2. This Twitter thread about Bulgarian soccer is a terrific look at what soccer means to communities. And you get to look at Bulgaria, a place that you probably hardly ever think about.

3. I can’t say that I was a huge Charles Grodin fan, but knew that he was really talented and funny. I had no idea that he wrote this first person account of his one-night affair with Miss Piggy. The writing is terrific.

4. From Outside Online’s Brendan Leonard, a pictorial on the type of people that run laps in parking lots in order to have a round number of miles is: a) “That’s the dumbest fucking thing ever”; b) “oh, I do that too”; c) (both of the above). I do this all of the time and relate to Leonard on a handful of levels.

5. This is one of my favorite websites, Cool Tools, and the owner of the site oftentimes gives unsolicited advice and here are 99 bits of unsolicited advice:

• Assume anyone asking for your account information for any reason is guilty of scamming you, unless proven innocent. The way to prove innocence is to call them back, or login to your account using numbers or a website that you provide, not them. Don’t release any identifying information while they are contacting you via phone, message or email. You must control the channel.

• Sustained outrage makes you stupid.

• Be strict with yourself and forgiving of others. The reverse is hell for everyone.

• Your best response to an insult is “You’re probably right.” Often they are.

• The worst evils in history have always been committed by those who truly believed they were combating evil. Beware of combating evil.

• If you can avoid seeking approval of others, your power is limitless.

• When a child asks an endless string of “why?” questions, the smartest reply is, “I don’t know, what do you think?”

• To be wealthy, accumulate all those things that money can’t buy.

• Be the change you wish to see.

• When brainstorming, improvising, jamming with others, you’ll go much further and deeper if you build upon each contribution with a playful “yes — and” example instead of a deflating “no — but” reply.

• Work to become, not to acquire.

• Don’t loan money to a friend unless you are ready to make it a gift.

• On the way to a grand goal, celebrate the smallest victories as if each one were the final goal. No matter where it ends you are victorious.

• Calm is contagious.

• Even a foolish person can still be right about most things. Most conventional wisdom is true.

• Always cut away from yourself.

• Show me your calendar and I will tell you your priorities. Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you where you’re going.

• When hitchhiking, look like the person you want to pick you up.

• Contemplating the weaknesses of others is easy; contemplating the weaknesses in yourself is hard, but it pays a much higher reward.

• Worth repeating: measure twice, cut once.

• Your passion in life should fit you exactly; but your purpose in life should exceed you. Work for something much larger than yourself.

• If you can’t tell what you desperately need, it’s probably sleep.

• When playing Monopoly, spend all you have to buy, barter, or trade for the Orange properties. Don’t bother with Utilities.

• If you borrow something, try to return it in better shape than you received it. Clean it, sharpen it, fill it up.

• Even in the tropics it gets colder at night than you think. Pack warmly.

• To quiet a crowd or a drunk, just whisper.

• Writing down one thing you are grateful for each day is the cheapest possible therapy ever.

• When someone tells you something is wrong, they’re usually right. When someone tells you how to fix it, they’re usually wrong.

• If you think you saw a mouse, you did. And, if there is one, there are more.

• Money is overrated. Truly new things rarely need an abundance of money. If that was so, billionaires would have a monopoly on inventing new things, and they don’t. Instead almost all breakthroughs are made by those who lack money, because they are forced to rely on their passion, persistence and ingenuity to figure out new ways. Being poor is an advantage in innovation.

• Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.

• Avoid hitting the snooze button. That’s just training you to oversleep.

• Always say less than necessary.

• You are given the gift of life in order to discover what your gift *in* life is. You will complete your mission when you figure out what your mission is. This is not a paradox. This is the way.

• Don’t treat people as bad as they are. Treat them as good as you are.

Saturday morning Links

1. Ever heard of Maroon Bells? Me neither. Well, maybe you have. The Maroon Bells are near Aspen, both fourteeners, and this shot, the one in the header, is one of the more photographed shots of the Maroon Bells peaks. It’s so popular, that I think that you have to make reservations if you intend on visiting by vehicle, but I’m not sure. Seems like a good hike would be the way to go.

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

2. Ever heard of Zoroastrianism? Me neither, but it is one of the world’s oldest continually practiced religions, known for the prophet Zoraster, who is both good and evil, predicted ultimately that good would win over evil, and essentially dates back to the 5th century, BCE, which is insane that there’s a religion out there that I’ve never heard of that’s so old. There’s only around 110,000 Zoroastrians who are still living and I think you have to be born into it. The text of the religion is found in the Avesta. The religion is still mainly practiced in Indiana, Iran, and a small number in North America.

The core teachings?

1. Follow the threefold Path of Asha: Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. –> I can do these things.
2. Charity is a way to maintain one’s soul being aligned to Asha and to spread happiness. –> Yes, charity is good.
3. The spiritual equality and duty of men and women. –> Yes, equality, totally into that.
4. Being good for the sake of goodness without the hope of reward. –> Yes, I can dig it.

3. This was a fun read. Nautilus’ Jesse Singal wrote about what “grit” isn’t. You know how people talk about “grit” as the undefinable thing where we attack problems, but the problem with “grit” is that it’s really not a way to measure success:

As it turns out, there was never much in the literature to support either of the two ideas that launched grit on its way: that it was more useful than conscientiousness and that it seriously outperformed “traditional” measures of cognitive or, in the context of military training, physical performance. It is difficult to justify Duckworth’s statement that grit “beats the pants” off older, more established measures. Many of the examples she gives consisted of studies in which the predictive usefulness of grit wasn’t compared with its most obvious competitor, conscientiousness, in which grit simply didn’t perform as well as traditional measures, or both.

Which leaves the concept where, exactly? The most comprehensive answer came in the form of a 2017 meta-analysis published by Marcus Crede and his colleagues titled “Much Ado About Grit.”5 Crede is a reform-minded psychologist who has a keen sense of how statistics can be misused to prop up half-baked ideas. He’s made it his mission to critique what he views as questionable findings in his field and has a particularly keen interest in education and workplace performance.

Both grit and conscientiousness seem to be measuring the same underlying concept, argue Crede and his coauthors. Therefore, they suggest, grit’s popularity might be the result of the jangle fallacy in which people believe that two things that are actually the same are different simply because they have different names. That is, if Duckworth had published research showing that conscientiousness can, to a certain extent, predict academic success, other researchers would have rolled their eyes and said, “Of course, we already knew that.” But by presenting a seemingly new concept with a catchy name, Duckworth might have gotten a great deal of mileage out of an idea that had been part of the literature all along (which is not to suggest that this was some sort of intentional obfuscation on her part). NPR reported in 2016 that Duckworth, responding to this critique, said “she would prefer to think of grit as ‘a member of the conscientiousness family,’ but one with independent predictive powers.

4. Eater’s Farley Elliott on the resorts in the middle of Death Valley where summer temperatures reach 130 degrees. I don’t even know how/why this was made hospitable.

5. Me and the lads when we go back into the pubs.

Saturday morning Links

1. Ever heard of Aitutaki? Me neither. It is one of the islands in the Cook Islands chain and is the second most populous of the Cook Islands with about 2,000 people. It’s a bit weird in that the island has an atoll that basically goes around the island like a triangle, and although I’m not a sailor it would seem difficult to get to the populous portion of the island.

Photo by Christoph Burgdorfer on Unsplash

2. The reference to the Cook Islands make me think about the Mutiny on the Bounty and generally speaking, it sounds like it was an absolute shit-show in every possible way, even from the idea for the sailing of the Bounty in the first place. The Bounty was set to sail to to Tahiti to acquire breadfruit, which was to be utilized for the slaves in the Caribbean. In case you are curious, breadfruit is the same thing as jackfruit, which people make vegetarian barbeque.

3. I ran across this quote recently and thought it was terrific.

“Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That’s the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don’t grow up. Not really. They get older. But to grow up costs the earth, the earth. It means you take responsibility for the time you take up, for the space you occupy. It’s serious business. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed.”

— Maya Angelou

Despite the fact that I’m nearly 50, there are time where I feel as if I haven’t completely grown up, but I feel like I have for the most part. I have invested and realized my cost to the earth, the earth. It is serious business. I know lots of people who just got older, there’s no investment. I do feel like I’ve made that investment and I’ve taken responsibility for the space I occupy.

4. From GQ’s Adam Leith Gollner, the story of Redoine Faid, complete with escapes from prison with a helicopter and so much more.

5. Things I did not think I would ever write, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus, Hernando Colon’s lost index of books. This index essentially summarizes books, some of which have been lost over time.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Michael Fruehmann on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of Salzkammergut? Me neither. It’s a region of mountain and lakes near Salzburg, Austria. And Austria is really a funny country, it stretches from Switzerland to Hungary and it borders those two countries along with Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia (home of Luka).

Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

2. This is pretty fantastic, via Maptia, a pictorial of a journey through the Sahara, and really this is train hopping through the Sahara to the ocean.

3. My dream vacation, walking among the red woods in California, via OM.

4. Via NPR, the discovery of Harriet Tubman’s childhood home in Maryland. Tubman’s father was Ben Ross and owned the home.

According to Rutherford, historians believe Ross harvested and sold timber along the property to free Black mariners, who built ships in Baltimore. As Tubman grew up working alongside her father, she learned the roadways and waterways, which later helped her lead dozens of enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad — including some of her own family.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the search in 2020, when it acquired 2,600 acres of land near Blackwater to preserve the habitat, according to Marcia Pradines, a refuge manager with service. But before stepping onto the property, Pradines said she knew that Ben’s Ten could be located within the 2,600 acres, and initiated plans to search the parcel.

The most inspiring thing to me is that history is all around us and still being discovered. I post things nearly weekly where archeologists are discovering things from hundreds or thousands of years ago and it’s inspiring to know that we’re still earning, that what we know can change and that history is currently being written.

5. Another Beau Miles production, Miles walks around his paddock with his daughter fixing things, picking up trash, eating fruit, and doing nothing.

Saturday Morning links

Photo by Bob Raymakers on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of Sligachan? Me neither. Sligachan is a small settlement on Skye, Scotland, and this is the Sligachan Old Bridge and dates to 1810. Sligachan is also the location of a famous battle, where the Lord of the Isles attacked Skye in 1395, but “William MaLeod met the MacDonalds at Sligachan and drove them back to Loch Eynort.” If you go there there, it’s close to the Bblack Cuillin mountains and there’s a hotel and a microbrewery. That sounds pretty awesome.

Photo by Agnieszka Mordaunt on Unsplash

2. Via Outside Online’s Paul Kvinta, the story of a type of falcon that appeared to be incredibly intelligent and picked on the crew of Charles Darwin while visiting the Falkland Islands.

The book is most compelling with Meiburg on the ground in these difficult places, discovering consistently fascinating caracara behavior. Deep in the rainforest of Guyana, he finds red-throated caracaras who survive primarily by eating wasp larva. The birds have deduced that if they dive-bomb wasp nests as aggressively as possible, the shocked residents will choose flight over fight. In the Chilean altiplano above 12,000 feet, Meiburg spends one of the coldest nights of his life in a sleeping bag on the edge of a salt lagoon, staking out mountain caracaras known for working in groups to flip over heavy flat stones in search of edible creatures.

3. The story of a couple who found a baby on a subway and ended up adopting that baby. The interesting thing about all of this is that the couple is two men, Danny and Pete, Danny found the baby wrapped in a sweatshirt with the umbilical cord still intact. It is amazing how life happens in front of us and how things happen to us.

“I had not had thoughts of adopting,” says Danny, “but at the same time, I could not stop thinking that… I did feel connected, I felt like this was not even an opportunity, it was a gift, and how can you say no to this gift.”

That baby is named Kevin and Kevin is in college studying computer science and mathematics.

4. Via the Associated Press, a handful of coins in Rhode Island led the the story of the very first worldwide manhunt, Captain Henry Every.

A handful of coins unearthed from a pick-your-own-fruit orchard in rural Rhode Island and other random corners of New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases.

The villain in this tale: a murderous English pirate who became the world’s most-wanted criminal after plundering a ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home to India from Mecca, then eluded capture by posing as a slave trader.

“It’s a new history of a nearly perfect crime,” said Jim Bailey, an amateur historian and metal detectorist who found the first intact 17th-century Arabian coin in a meadow in Middletown.

That ancient pocket change — among the oldest ever found in North America — could explain how pirate Capt. Henry Every vanished into the wind.

On Sept. 7, 1695, the pirate ship Fancy, commanded by Every, ambushed and captured the Ganj-i-Sawai, a royal vessel owned by Indian emperor Aurangzeb, then one of the world’s most powerful men. Aboard were not only the worshipers returning from their pilgrimage, but tens of millions of dollars’ worth of gold and silver.

What followed was one of the most lucrative and heinous robberies of all time.

5. This New York Times article about these tiny subatomic particles that are disobeying the laws of physics is getting a ton of play this week because they’ve just discovered it. I’m reading this while finishing up the 5th book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Mostly Harmless, and the Whole Sort of General Mish Mash.

The Whole Sort of General Mish Mash (WSOGMM) is the sum total of all the different ways that exists of looking at things, or more specifically, all the different probabilities that exist through which you could look at things.

The Whole Sort of General Mish Mash is a metaphor created to help people better understand a part of the complex concepts presented by the complicated web of probabilities and possibilities (parallel universes, one could say) presented by creation.

The Whole Sort of General Mish Mash, one could say, should be viewed as a plate of pie, or as a large tank of water. You could slice it and divide it up any way you’d like, and you’ll almost always find a way of looking at things somewhere in probability (a parallel universe) that somebody will find familiar.

It should be noted that the idea of the Whole Sort of General Mish Mash supersedes the very idea of parallel universes, and that the term is used in the above article only because it provides a comfortable thing with which one can equate, and better understand, the WSOGMM.

Saturday morning Links

Photo by Javier Rincón on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of Picos de Europa? Me neither. Affectionately known as the Peaks of Europe, this is a mountain range in the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain. In fact, it is the northern most part of Spain, basically the ocean on the other side.

Photo by Antonio Rull on Unsplash

2. Hakai Magazine on the Indegenous women of the Pacific Northwest who had a pack of small white cogs that they would use the fur basically as a wool. Not once in my life would I have ever thought about using dog’s fur as a wool. As an aside, the dogs were basically large Pomeranians

3. Via The Radavist, a father and his daughter take a trip bikepacking the Monumental Loop in New Mexico, the daughter old enough to about to begin graduate school. This link is for my brother who is a new father and will hopefully look forward to a similar trip with his daughter 20 some odd years from now.

4. One of my favorite YouTubers, Beau Miles, walked 90 kilometers to work to give a speech. Just the clothes on his back and a pair of shoes. I run on the highway sometimes and am always amazed by what I see. A few weeks ago, I saw a pair of sunglasses, money, lots of trash, and a dead goat in an old feedbag that someone didn’t want to take the time to bury.

5. Well, I’ve signed up for another ultramarathon, set to be raced on April 17h. I don’t know if I’m ready for it, but I signed up nonetheless. I figure I only have so many of these left in me. In the spirit of that, via SB Nation the story of the original marathoner Pheidippides.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Sacre Bleu on Unsplash
1. Ever heard of Morskie Oko? Me neither. It’s a lake in Poland and it means “Eye of the Sea” and it is the largest and 4th deepest lake in the Tatra Mountain range (we’re saving the Tatra Mountains for another day). Morskie Oko is nearly at the most southern end of Poland, almost right on the Slovakia border. It has honestly been a while since I’ve looked at a map of Eastern Europe and it’s good to look at how Czechia, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and Poland are all settled.

Photo by Greg Trowman on Unsplash

2. Via the Guardian, Douglas Adams’ note to himself about writing and this hits close to home because I’m about 100 pages from finishing all 5 of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I know how people can sometimes feel about sci-fy, but I wouldn’t classify these books as that, but they are, and they are absolutely foreshadowing of the world that we live in today and will likely be in 100 years. The imagination involved with writing these books are just on another level.

Forget about the worry, just press on. Don’t be embarrassed about the bad bits. Don’t grain at them. Give yourself time you can come back and do it again in the light.

3. This is my annual reminder to give your old running shoes, or really just any shoes, to Soles 4 Souls. You can print off a UPS packing slip and ship them for free. These shoes are given to impoverished people who then sell them and make a living. I’ve bookmarked Soles 4 Souls and send off shoes regularly because I’ve got kids and I tend to go through running shoes. It’s such an easy way to make someone’s life better.

4. The New Yorker on a small bookstore’s fight against the price of books and why buying books locally helps a community so much (the jobs, the business, and everything else).

5. Via Outside Online, when Covid hit, the Galapagos Island’s shifted to bartering when the tourism dollars dried up.

During the strict 11-week lockdown that began in March, the majority of the 30,000 residents entered into a barter system. Fruit was traded for meat; milk for English lessons. Clothes were handed down, not just within families but through the community. At one point, Solís swapped 50 oranges for some dental work. Elsewhere, Brett and Maria Peters, the affable owners of Galápagos Deli in Puerto Ayora, traded produce they couldn’t use in their restaurant for houseplants to decorate their new home. Nature guide Lola Villacreses, realizing she wasn’t going to be aboard any cruise ships for the foreseeable future, did a crash course online and began growing fruits and vegetables on her smallholding in the fertile Santa Cruz Highlands. During my two-month stay, whenever I bumped into her around Puerto Ayora, she gave me a bucket of tomatoes. 

“Things have been changing very fast. All the money used to be in the town,” said Matias Espinosa, a dive master and naturalist on Santa Cruz whose businesses had been crippled by the pandemic. “Covid froze all our enterprise. Instead, we have this trading now, so these farmers are the kings of the island.”

Saturday Morning Links

1. I’m pretty sure that I’ve featured Snowdonia before, but this was a fun video, a son who said that he wanted to run his very own ultra marathon in a way with his father, invented an ultra by running up and down 12 Hewitts, which are essentially mountains in England, Wales, and Ireland.

Photo by Josh Kirk on Unsplash

2. Things I’ve never heard of –> the Spiro Mounds of Oklahoma. The Spir Mounds of Oklahoma and Arkansas were part of a city from 800 A.D. to 1450 A.D with a population of 10,000 of the Spiro people and was “the single most powerful group ever to exist” in the U.S.

“What truly makes Spiro so unique is that not only is it the most object-laden mound ever discovered in North America, but it also included objects from around the known world [in North America],” says Eric Singleton, a National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum curator who spearheaded the new exhibit.

“There is copper from Lake Superior, engraved shell cups from the Florida Keys, beads from the Sea of Cortez, items from the Valley of Mexico, and those are just a few of the items,” continues Singleton. “They invited people from around the known world to bring their holy objects to Spiro to be ritualistically acted upon.”

3. Runner’s World’s Keith Eckert as told to Andrew Dawson on Eckert attempting to run the Iditarod Trail, running 350 or 1,000 miles in zero degree temperature.

4. One of the things I read weekly is something called Farnum Street and Shane Parrish wrote about the 5 ways we make bad decisions, and this has really stuck with me.

  1. We’re unintentionally stupid.
  2. We solve the wrong problem.
  3. We use incorrect or insufficient information.
  4. We fail to learn.
  5. We focus on optics over outcomes.

I have kind of take these with me because I’m wrong often and I think about what category I’ve fallen into, if one at all.

5. I can’t remember where I saw this term, but it was something that I had not considered, “witness trees”. Trees that are in famous places that witness history and their importance. The Smithsonian has 5 witness trees. I’d also add that I’ve got five oak trees on my lot that are no less than 100 years old. They are massive and they won’t be here some day, but I cannot fathom the history that they’ve seen, even if that history is not necessarily significant.

Bonus: I ran across this phrase from a Good Beer Hunting article, but the phrasing of it is fantastic. This is from the Simpsons, Marge is telling Homer something about getting drunk and says, “drunk as a poet on payday”. I’d tell you that the phrasing of that is beautiful to me and I don’t even know why. Feel free to use that as needed.