Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Nachi Taisha? Me neither. It’s a Shinto temple that’s part of a UNESCO heritage site in the Kii Mountain Range of Japan. I’ll totally admit that the Shinto religion or belief system is something I know nothing about, but based on this idea of “Kami” it sounds reasonable: The term kami is “conceptually fluid”, and “vague and imprecise”. In Japanese it is often applied to the power of phenomena that inspire a sense of wonder and awe in the beholder.

Photo by Nolan Di Meo on Unsplash

2. As the Texas state fair is set to start, Texas Monthly’s Katy Vine on the long and somewhat sordid history of the Fletcher’s Corndog:

Corny dogs made their state fair debut in 1942. Neil and Carl lured passersby to the booth with their showmen’s charm and free small bites. By the end of their first fair, the brothers had made $8,000 (about $134,000 today).

The golden age of deep-fried concessions, which would bring fairgoers fried Jell-O and fried bubble gum, was still years in the future. But the era of the pioneer, the corny dog, had begun.

After Neil and Carl died, the empire passed to the next generation, and in 1988 Skip became the majority owner. He was a crooner who idolized Frank Sinatra. “The pastor would get up at church while he was singing and go, ‘Okay, ladies, this is church. We can’t be having any swooning out there,’ ” G.G. recalled. He was also a theatrical storyteller. He once explained a scar on his leg to Amber by saying he’d been “shot by a jealous husband.”

3. There’s not much here. This is a wind map and it is highly fascinating to explore.

4. The New York Times with a breakdown on a new study that details metabolism and there’s only 4 times your metabolism changes. So, if you blame/credit your weight gain on metabolism then you may not be correct:

Last month, however, a paper published in Science by Pontzer and more than 80 co-authors revealed that much of what we thought we knew about metabolism was wrong. Using previously collected data from more than 6,400 subjects who ranged in age from 8 days to 95 years, and adjusting for body size and the amount of fat and muscle present, they found that our metabolism generally goes through four distinct life phases. Newborns’ metabolism resembles that of adults. Then, when they are about a month old, their metabolic rate starts rapidly increasing, until between 9 and 15 months, it is more than 50 percent higher than an adult’s — the equivalent of a grown-up burning around 4,000 calories a day. (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that, on average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day and adult men between 2,000 and 3,000 calories.) At that point, between age 1 and 2, energy expenditure starts to decline and keeps falling until roughly age 20. From there, it holds steady for the next 40 years, even during pregnancy and menopause; you burn calories as efficiently at 55 as you do at 25. At around age 60, energy expenditure begins to drop again and continues to do so until the end of our lives. Men, the researchers observed, do not have innately faster metabolisms than women; rather, they tend to burn more calories per day for their size because they typically have a higher proportion of muscle, which uses more energy than fat does.

5. I really didn’t even think about The Saturday Evening Post still posting/publishing things, but I am happy to report that they are. The Saturday Evening Post on the complicated history of the frisbee.

It starts with Thanksgiving dinner in 1937. Walter Frederick Morrison and his girlfriend (later wife) Lucille started a game of catch with a metal lid from a popcorn container. The pair had a good time with it, but discovered that the popcorn tin lids were easy to dent, and subsequently, no longer great for flying. They started using cake pans to play; they were easier to find, and cheap to buy. Fred and Lucille would even take the pans on outings to public places so they could play. One such outing was to a beach in Santa Monica, California. People watched as they played, and someone even offered the duo a quarter for their cake pan so they could play. Morrison knew an opportunity when he heard it; at that time, cake pans themselves only cost five cents. It stood to reason that there might be a commercial market for a flying disc toy. Dubbed the Flying Cake Pan — yes, Flying Cake Pan — they began to sell them for a quarter a piece at L.A. beaches.

The business venture got derailed, as many things at the time did, by World War II. Morrison served as an Army Air Force fighter pilot. His P-47 Thunderbolt was shot down over Italy and he was held as a POW for over a month, but he survived. After the war ended and he returned home, Morrison’s thoughts turned back to his homemade flyer. Employing notions of aerodynamics he picked up as a pilot, Morrison drew a sketch for a new version of the Flying Cake Pan called the Whirlo-Way. He completed his design 75 years ago this month, on September 10, 1946.

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