Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Veikko Venemies on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of the Aulanko Nature Reserve​? Me neither. It’s in Finland, and the park was established in 1883, in region of Häme, the property originally purchased by colonel Hugo Standertskjöld, who had made his money manufacturing arms in Russia.

2. This is right up my alley. Outdoor Life through Popular Science, Christine Peterson writes about ultra marathoner Mike Wolfe, who hunts pronghorn by trying to outlast them. Running after them to exhaustion. Persistence hunting.

Fawns, bucks, and does jockey back and forth in their quick race across the prairie, legs blurred, bodies flowing forward with effortless efficiency. Wolfe turns toward them and keeps a steady pace, his lanky body draped in a threadbare button-down shirt, hands relaxed, legs light, back barely shifting. It’s the tortoise and the hare—two species that both evolved for loco­motion: one for sprinting, the other for endurance. But in this case, if the tortoise wins the race, he kills the hare.

This isn’t some sort of experiment for Wolfe. It’s not even really an athletic pursuit, at least not in the way we think of marathons or big mountain races. This is a personal quest. It’s his way of tapping into some deeper predator-prey relationship.

“I’ve run various antelope long enough to where there was­—it’s like there was a switch. Something changed and the animal and I were suddenly on different terms. I’m not flinging a compound bow at 80 yards. This is the original fight. Who’s going to outlast the other one? It feels primal, but not just to me, also to the antelope.”

3. SideTracked Magazine is one of those sites I always go back to, mainly for the terrific photography and this link is no different, hiking in the woods of the Wilderness of Scotland.

4. From Bitter Southerner’s Shane Mitchell, the history of cane sugar in the United States.

5. You might think that you might not learn a whole bunch from the Craft Brewers of Boise regarding the IPA (which is my favorite beer even though that’s an absolute cliche), but you’d be absolutely wrong. Picking up with the complete history of the IPA: Part 2, British Bitters.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Med J on Unsplash

1. Can we talk about Zanzibar? Zanzibar is one of those places that sounds like it is completely made up, but it’s not. It’s a real place. The name Zanzibar almost sounds completely made up. It’s not. It is real. Zanzibar is an archipelago, which is a series of islands off the eastern coast of Africa and most of it belongs to Tanzania. Another super-cool name. Unguja Island is home to 896,721 humans and Pemba Island is home to 406,808. that’s a lot of people. Humans on Zanzibar go back as far as 20,000 years ago and have even found glass beads, which means that it was maybe part of the Indian Ocean trade network. It was known for its spice trade and slave trade, apparently it was horrific, up to 50,000 slaves a year went through Zanzibar. A lot of people end up vacationing in Zanzibar. The beaches are amazing, but it’s darn near on the other side of the glove if you’re in the U.S.

2. Herding hundreds of sheep in New Zealand. Dogs are amazing.

3. I wish I could tell you where or when I found out about The Morning News, but they do headlines and they do, every year, The Tournament of Books which is a bracket style elimination of the best fiction. The link is from the 2021 list of 77 books. And yes, it’s all fiction and you should read fiction. Fiction helps us as humans empathize with other humans. You literally sit in the place of others, something that you normally cannot do without a book. If you haven’t read fiction in a handful of years, I’d encourage you to do so and this is a good list of highly read and supposedly good books (I haven’t read them, but I will read a handful of them in 2021 for sure.).

4. Some young runners decided to run the length of the Berlin Wall. I was a sophomore in high school in 1989 when the wall came down and I really don’t remember that much about it and that makes me a bit sad that I was this unaware. Maybe I should feel happy that I was this unaware, especially compared to the youth today who maybe know too much what’s happening and can’t get away from it. These people ran 1,400 km on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

5. Bitter Southerner’s Hadassah Patterson writes about Indian Corn.

For Roberts, it was difficult to talk about the horrific and enduring effect wrought by the destructive manner of American colonization. “So, we went from 100,000 distinct varieties of Native maize at first contact, down to less than 20,000. It’s been disastrous, and then there’s just a massive amount of condensation hybrids.” These commercial hybridizers combined them to make number two yellow dent corn, which, according to Roberts, has “no redeeming qualities whatsoever except its production value, which we have weaponized worldwide and disseminated to everybody.” This is the primary cheap corn variety for food manufacturing. It is in the cornmeal, tortilla chips, and corn chips in most grocery aisles.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash

1. Need to be uplifted a bit? Me too. If you have never heard of the story of Chancellor Lee Adams, then please read Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler’s account. Chancellor is the son of Rae Carruth. Carruth hired a hitman to kill Chancellor’s mother, but Chancellor survived.

And the boy they couldn’t kill has become a young man who will celebrate his 21st birthday Monday.

“The 21st birthday is significant in any young man’s life, because that’s the transition from a boy to manhood,” said Saundra Adams, who has raised her grandson, Chancellor Lee, in Charlotte since his birth. “And I’m especially grateful. Because if I had listened to the prognosis of those doctors early on, we never would have been here today.”

This is a story that I’ve followed for a handful of years and it’s one of those stories that really never disappoints. Chancellor’s grandmother has been an absolute angel for Chancellor and Chancellor’s smile is breathtaking for me. Chancellor will graduate from high school this year and I cannot think of a more incredible accomplishment for this young man.

2. Maine is on my bucket list. OutsideOnline’s Luna Soley recounts her summer on a Maine lobster boat.

3. For me, it is good to catch up with Zach Braff. From Mr. Porter’s Lili Goksenin talks to the former star of Scrubs.

4. New York Magazine’s Benjamin Wallace on the search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure. This is one man’s quest or obsession to find the treasure.

5. OutsideOnline’s Tom Sohn on the Pebble Mine, a massive deposit of copper, gold, and molybdenum (a silvery-white metal) right in the middle of a salmon run and potential pit mine, and how politics work in something like this.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Coromandel? Me neither. It’s in New Zealand and is actually the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island and provides an barrier from the island itself. I think I could spend a week on the peninsula itself.

Photo by Ferntech DJI on Unsplash

2. This has made the rounds quite a bit this week, via Wired’s Nicholas Thompson on the nameless hiker with the trail name “Mostly Harmless” was found dead in Florida and no one knows who he is. Imagine no one. No one. Knowing who you are.

3. The Ringer’s Daniel Harris on a piece of history I didn’t know anything about, the story is set in 1954 and Hungary meets West Germany in the World Cup Final, Hungary was the dominant team at the time and West Germany being admitted after, well, the Holocaust.

4. Ever heard of those individuals who worked for the CIA or some other state department who end up injured as a result of some sort of sonic device? GQ’s Julia Ioffe has the story of these agents (not sure if this is the right word) where this has happened in Cuba and Russia and China. It was thought that it was some sort of sonic device but maybe now it’s microwaves?

In September 2018, a California physician and scientist named Beatrice Golomb published a paper that tried to link the suffering of American diplomats to directed microwaves. She connected what came to be known as the Frey effect—using microwaves to create the false sensation of sound—with the fact that some, but not all, of the diplomats in Havana reported hearing the kinds of noise described by Allan Frey. This would suggest that these symptoms were not the result of sonic attacks, as some had speculated. She also offered an insight that could explain Polymeropoulos’s persistent migraines. “Brain injury may be a predisposing factor for…[microwave] injury,” she wrote. That is, people like Polymeropoulos, who was frequently around explosions in his time in Middle Eastern war zones, may be especially vulnerable to brain injury from directed microwave weapons.

5. The Conversation’s Elizabeth Drayson on how 700 years of Muslim rule ended in Spain. Good history lesson. I remember learning about this, but tood to re-read something.