Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Mostar? Me neither. It’s a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina and sits on the Neretva River and was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who guarded the famous bridge above and below. That bridge was built in the 16th century by the Ottomans.

I’m always pretty well amazed by places that I’ve never heard of and at some point I keep thinking that I’m going to run out of opening places to ask if you’ve ever heard of a place, but when you find places like Mostar then the answer is probably “no, I’ll never run out of places”.

Photo by Yu Siang Teo on Unsplash

Photo by Zac Wolff on Unsplash

2. This isn’t going to hit with everyone, but my favorite radio station is 91.7, KXT, which is a non-profit radio station in Dallas. You can listen online if you don’t live in the DFW area. The reason why this station is so great is because you’ll hear something new, something terrible, something great, something depressing, something that makes you want to change the station. They’ll play Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Lorde, The Killers, Charley Crockett, Dua Lipe, Prince, The Beatles, Jon Batiste, and hundreds of different things inbetween. It’s difficult to give a general idea as to what they play because there’s no algorithm telling them what to play. There are actual humans picking records, so some DJ’s you like and others you don’t. In a world where you get to pick whatever you want whenever you want, it’s sometimes nice not to do that and also nice to just sit through something you may not like knowing there’s something on the other end that you may like.

3. Via Business Insider, the oral history of Trading Places, the greatest Christmas movie ever made.

The script was developed for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. And when I was sent the script, Richard Pryor, unfortunately, had his accident where he burnt himself rather badly, and they sent it to me and said, ‘What do you think?’

‘48 Hours’ hadn’t come out yet, but they’d previewed it, and Eddie Murphy had previewed very well, and they thought, ‘Ah this kid’s going to be a star,’ So they said, ‘What do you think about Eddie Murphy playing the Billy Ray Valentine part?’ And I of course said, ‘Who’s Eddie Murphy?’

Because I didn’t watch Saturday Night Live since John [Belushi] had died.

So I read the script, and I saw Eddie’s tapes, and went to New York and met with Eddie. And they wanted — I won’t tell you who they wanted me to cast — but the studio was very unhappy with almost everybody they wanted me to cast.

John Belushi had died, and [Dan Aykroyd’s] movie without John was called ‘Dr. Detroit,’ which was a failure, so conventional wisdom was that Aykroyd without Belushi was like Abbott without Costello, and that his career was over.

Now I knew Danny well, having worked with him, and I knew Danny was a fine actor, and he could easily play this guy. Danny, he’s an actor: You tell him what you want, and he delivers. And I thought he’d be wonderful. So he reduced his price quite a bit, and I got him, so I had Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, and they were upset because Danny hadn’t — his last couple of pictures hadn’t done well, and Eddie was still an unknown really. ‘48 Hours’ came out while we were shooting…

4. While we’re doing Christmas movies, via Rolling Stone, the untold story of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Chechik: Both Chevy and Johnny have the gift of comic timing without the gloss of it. There was an odd flatness to it that was super funny.

Galecki: One day John Hughes, Jeremiah, Chevy and I were sitting around waiting for a scene to be set up, and Chevy said, “There’s always been kind of a man-to-man scene between Clark and Russ in the previous films — a coming-of-age scene. But there isn’t in this one.” John mentioned that he had something like that in an initial draft, and Chevy said, “We should consider putting that back in.” So they asked what I thought and I said, “I don’t think there’s any point. Somebody thought it was worth taking out at some point, so even if we shoot it, it’ll probably get taken out again.” I literally talked myself out of what could have been a classic scene with Chevy Chase. Now that I’m a jaded Hollywood fuck, I realize the error of my ways. I still kick myself in the ass for this everyday.

Chase: Now Galecki’s making 100 million a year and I’m sitting here.

Galecki: Chevy worked like a puppet master for me in some scenes since I was was young and had never done comedy before. He’d almost cue me for my timing. He would nod, point, or wave a finger. He was so supportive, teaching me comic timing. That took a patience and consideration because the movie would have been funny enough without Rusty having that specific timing. He was terribly generous with me.

Latzen: At one point between takes, Chevy turns and looks at me and says in a very dry way, “Hey Ellen, why do dogs lick their balls?” And I said, “I don’t know.” He said, “Because they can.” As a kid I didn’t get it, but as an adult I can totally appreciate the humor of it. With us kids, he was great. That was his way. He was very dry.

5. Earth.

EARTH from Michael König on Vimeo.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Sandwich Harbour? It’s in Namibia and this is the kind of place that looks amazing, but is probably also absolutely unforgiving.

Photo by Sergi Ferrete on Unsplash

2. This guy travels to countries and he doesn’t do a 20 minute video about an entire country, he does nearly an hour on a country and it’s pretty specific and informative. It’s also dubbed in English, so other than getting used to that, it’s great.

3. Would you like to see some fall colors of Yosemite Valley? California Fall Color has some beautiful pictures.

4. Alistair Humprheys bought a bit map near his home, divided it by 52 squares and explored each and every square for 52 weeks. This last post, Parakeets is the culmination of that project. Humprheys also wrote about the idea of adventure being a self-indulgent pursuit without value to society. This is something I think about but had never been able to internalize. Going and doing things was something that I love to do, but it also meant leaving my family and doing things that really no one else participated in because I’d go run for a few hours and the only one that this benefits is me. Regardless, these things still benefit me greatly, or at least I get a tremendous amount of benefit from doing these things. This is fun for me so from a societal standpoint, there may not be a huge benefit, but from a personal standpoint, yes it is benefit.

5. Absolutely terrific. Texas Monthly’s Wes Ferguson spends a day with the squirrel hawkers of East Texas.

Of  all the red-tailed hawks that have ever soared on a Texas breeze, only one gets to live in Charlie Alvis’s house, at least during the winter hunting season. “My bird has its own bedroom,” said Alvis, a falconer who’s based in the unincorporated community of Porter, just beyond the northern outskirts of Houston. “When I come home at night, that bird comes in the living room with me. We socialize for hours at a time.”

The 43-year-old Alvis, who’s temporarily living in Brownwood, in Central Texas, for work, is long and lean and sports a gray beard. His five-year-old hawk has a golden chest, dark wings, a fan of reddish tail feathers, and, often, a murderous glare in her eyes. Alvis acquired the bird from a falconer in Georgia more than two years ago. He named her Calypso but doesn’t use it. There’s no point, he told me. Hawks respond to whistles and bloody snacks, not noms de guerre.

Human and hawk share a certain understanding, though. Alvis can sense any change in the bird’s demeanor. “I can open the door to her room and tell if she’s ready to hunt,” he said—her normally fluffy feathers become slicked back like a solid suit of body armor. In such moments, she answers an unspoken question: Do you want to kill some squirrels? “You know I do,” the hawk seems to tell Alvis. “Where are we going?”

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Wistman’s Wood? If you’ve never been to a rainfoest, you should. Or just a place where a rain forest exists, which can be in a place in the Pacific Northwest or near the equator, but it’s pretty amazing nonetheless. I didn’t know that there is a temperate rainforest in Britain, Wales near starting in Gwynedd (pictured above) and includes a place called Wistman’s Wood (which I could find no pictures that were free to post, but that link has a ton of them).

Photo by Craig Davis on Unsplash

2. Via The Atlantic, there’s a dog in Istanbul there’s a dog named Boji that’s been microchipped and just walks around Istanbul, riding trains, ferries, taking naps, etc. That’s 29 photographs of Boji. That’s a good name for a dog as well.

3. I’m about to start cycling as my brother is building me a bike so this link is just for him. We are in the year 2021 and Bitter Southerner profiles the very first competitive cycling team at a historically Black college at Saint Augustine University.

4. Some professor sat down and thought about the laws of stupidity and this third law is something I recognize way too much.

Law 3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

5. Reasons to be Cheerful the story of Kristine Tompkins and her late husband, Doug, who spent $345 million to buy land in Chile and Argentina consisting of five million hectares to create the Tompkins Conservation.