Saturday Morning Links

Going to try to do some links every Saturday morning. Things I’ve enjoyed reading during the week in whatever down time I have. Grab a cup of coffee and (hopefully) enjoy.

1. As The World Turns.


2. Performance vs. Health. Via GQ’s Joe Holder — Why You Should Give Up on the Idea of Living a “Balanced” Life:

Where most of us err is in thinking either that these stretches can go on indefinitely—they can’t, or else we’ll be chronically fatigued; even professional athletes get an offseason—or that, when the stressful period is finally over, we can just do nothing. In fact, when our performance is over, that’s when investing in our health becomes most important.

This is why I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. The end of the year often provides a stretch of time where work slows down, and many of us can take some time to take care of ourselves. We can eat right, exercise more, and sleep better. But, because of resolutions, many of us just put that off until the new year, when we vow to get around to being better. And I get why! We’re overworked in America. So leisure becomes a narcotic. We use this period to retreat and indulge. The problem? When the new year hits, we’re trying to balance our self-care with all of the other bullshit the new year throws at us—and then we’re even more overworked and stressed out.

We need to invest in our health in the downtime before that, so that we can deal with the stretches of unhealthy behavior that are ultimately going to come. Because they will come. We can’t avoid the responsibilities, duties, or stresses of everyday life. But that’s okay. We should—and can—be equipped to deal with that.

3. Danny MacAskill Goes to the Gym.

4. Saving the Stradivarius Sound. Via Popular Science’s Chuck Squatriglia:

Antonio De Lorenzi takes a seat onstage in the concert hall of Museo del Violino in Cremona, Italy, and carefully tucks a Stradivarius under his chin. The violin, crafted in 1727 and called Vesuvio, gleams red in the soft light of the auditorium. Through an earpiece, the ­soloist hears a metronomic beat as a voice says, “Go.”

De Lorenzi draws his bow across the lowest string and plays G for half a beat. He pauses, then follows with A-flat. Then A. He moves up the scale, never changing his pace as he works through all four strings. Once he finishes, he repeats the exercise, this time sounding each tone just a bit faster.

Clearly, this is no ordinary concert—or a typical practice. Outside, police have cordoned off the street to traffic. Inside, workers have shut down the heater despite the January chill, dimmed the lights, and unscrewed any buzzing bulbs. As each solitary note reverberates, an audience of 32 microphones ­dotted throughout the auditorium silently listens.

De Lorenzi’s performance is part of a campaign to preserve the Stradi­varius sound. Although many of the approximately 1,100 stringed masterpieces that Antonio Stradivari and his sons handcrafted in this town have endured for some 300 years, they are still mortal. Almost half have been lost to accidents, haphazard repairs, or the wear that comes with age. Of the 650 or so that survive, some have grown too fragile to play, their wood too thin or joints too weak to take the string tension or bowing pressure. Even those that still see regular use may change over the decades, as time and vibration slowly alter their mellifluous tone.

5. Bus Run Bus. Via Outside’s Martin Fritz Huber:

Within minutes of meeting the mountain runner Rickey Gates, I am asked to name my spirit animal. I don’t have a go-to answer for this particular request. Fortunately, it looks like I’ll have a moment or two to peer into my soul to determine where I fall on the spectrum from mynah bird to mastodon.

It’s a Sunday morning in early August, and there are more than 20 of us assembled for a meet and greet session in the common area of San Francisco’s Green Tortoise Hostel. We are about to embark on a weeklong journey on a sleeper bus that will shuttle us to various trail-running destinations across the American West. The itinerary is ambitious: four states, three national parks, 2,000 miles of driving, and over 100 miles of running for those who are up for it. It is not a trip for those who have strong feelings about personal space. The online brochure notes that this is a chance to spend time with “30 of your closest friends.” Most of us are meeting today for the first time. You get the idea.

“This is the first-ever Bus Run Bus trip,” Gates announces to the group, before adding wryly that it might also be the last one. “But that makes it all the more special.”

Gates is 38 years old and has the lean physique one might expect from someone who once ran across the country unsupported, which he did during the spring and summer of 2017. Bus Run Bus is his idea, the most recent addition to a growing number of multi-day running extravaganzas that he organizes throughout the year. Since 2013, he has been putting on Hut Run Hut (HRH), a six-day excursion that links up various mountain outposts from Aspen to Red Cliff, Colorado. In 2019, in addition to three separate iterations of HRH, Gates also cohosted a running trip in Oaxaca, Mexico. The day after our current trip is scheduled to conclude, he will get on a plane to Tokyo, where he will lead another group of runners on an extended excursion through the Japanese Alps.


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