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.

Saturday morning Links

1. Ever heard of Triglav National Park? Me neither. It’s a park in the Land of Luka, Slovenia, and for me there are so many countries in that former Eastern European Block that are probably absolutely amazing. Part of this park is the Juliana Trail, which is 167 miles and circles the national park.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

As the article notes, there’s no need to bring a tent because each stage ends in a village or town where you can sleep.

For history buffs, there are seven major castles and fortresses along the Juliana, with several others close by. Among the most notable are the 1,000-year-old Grad Kamen castle, north of Begunje village in stage three, and Kluze Fort, which defended against Napoleon’s army in the 18th century, en route to Log pod Mangartom on stage 14. On stage eight, at Vrh Bace, a mountain pass north of Podbrdo, the Juliana crosses the Vallo Alpino, where defensive bunkers were built along Italy’s northern border before World War II. Here hikers can explore a labyrinth of abandoned passageways and tunnels honeycombing the mountain ramparts (no fees here—just scramble off the path a bit to find the entrances). The trail also travels a large portion of the Isonzo (Soca) Front in the west, which saw a dozen bloody battles between Austro-Hungarian and Italian forces in the First World War (much of Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms is set along the Soca). As a result, a host of impressive museums dot villages and towns along the trail. Of note is the award-winning history museum in Kobarid, the stopping point after stage 12.

Photo by Ignat Arapov on Unsplash

2. This is really cool. From Good Beer Hunting, the Carillon Brewing Company in Ohio is not just your normal brewery, but basically this is a period brewery, showing how beer was made in 1850 using, “an entirely gravity-fed, wood-fired, oak-fermented brewing system, Spears and Lauro are breathing life into methods of producing beer that fell out of use a century and a half ago. And perhaps more importantly, they’re making good beer in the process.” No stainless steel. Imagine a brewery without stainless steel.

3. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to change people’s minds, or at the very least have a productive conversation. From the Harvard Business Journal’s Adam Grant and this is pretty terrific. Regardless of where you land on whatever side, we could all take a step back and probably not be so confident in our opinions because we probably don’t really know how the sausage gets made.

4. Via EW, Anthony Bourdain’s posthumous guidebook World Travel as written by Christopher Bourdain.

5. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening here, but this is Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco) and some other former NFL players. Johnson is telling this guy that he’s eating way too much healthy food, that when you eat bad food, your body rejects it. I don’t know if it’s me, or me getting older, but absolutely yes this happens to me. If I go out and eat friend food I simply don’t feel well the next day. I think I’ve heard where Johnson eats Big Macs like they are going out of style, but I’m guessing that his body and my body processing that food would have quite different results. Regardless, this doesn’t make him wrong, it makes him right on a lot of levels. My body does reject this stuff.