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.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Cantabria? Me neither. It is a historical autonomous community in Spain and belongs to “Green Spain”, as it sits between the Bay of Biscay, the Basque province of Biscay, the principality of Asturias, and the Cantabrian Sea. That all sounds like a fairy tale description.

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

2. Ever heard of the Azores? Well, yes, you have, especially if you’ve been reading in December of 2020, and last time I just had really great photo, but this time there’s a video, which is dubbed, but it is fantastic in terms of knowing exactly what you are looking at in terms of the island. It looks just amazing.

3. Speaking of getting to know a place through video and I long to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo with Youssouf, but until that day does happen, I just get this. The best part is that you get to meet the people to an extent and if you ever wonder if people across the world are normal and humans, they are. We’re all pulling together. I don’t know who any of these people are, but I found the words of Fredy, but be pretty terrific.

1. Put God first in your life.
2. Work as hard as you can.
3. Be a blessing to somebody.

4. A new theory on who were the first people in North American, via The Atlantic:

In 1979, the Canadian archaeologist Knut Fladmark proposed that before the inland corridor opened for the Clovis people, humans traveled along the west coast of the Americas on small watercraft. According to Fladmark, the first Americans were not the storied big-game hunters of popular culture. They were skilled mariners who Braje thinks might have gorged themselves on otters, shellfish, and strips of campfire-dried seaweed.

Fladmark’s theory remained a fringe position for decades, but in 1997 scientists gave it a second look after archaeologists excavated Monte Verde, a coastal site that is roughly 14,500 years old—a full 1,000 years more ancient than any Clovis site. Its former inhabitants did not appear to be big-game hunters. They did, however, collect nine different types of seaweed. Strangest of all, Monte Verde is in Chile. If people were living down there 14,500 years ago, their ancestors probably began their southward trip from Beringia, the region connecting Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon, well before the Clovis people speared their first American mastodon. And along the way, they may have stopped in the Channel Islands.

5. Via The Jerusalem Post, an ancient weight used by a scammer in First Temple era of Jerusalem.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Torres del Paine? I would bet that I’ve already posted this, but I’m not willing to search today. Regardless, Torres del Paine National Park is in Chile and part of the Chilean Patagonia.

Photo by Olga Stalska on Unsplash

2. Only one thing today, so technically it is a “links” with an “s”, but extenuiating circumstances mean that this isn’t as long as it normally is. This quote from the novella A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean is with me today.

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Mayotte Island? Me neither. Apparently it is a territorial collectivity of France, which is a lot of word salad to say that it was colonized by France back in the day and it’s off the east coast of Africa, east of Mozambique and north of Madagascar. Regardless, 84% of the population live under the poverty line, which is stunning and 40% of the dwellings are corrugated sheet metal shacks. Sounds like France is definitely taking care of their own.

Photo by Ben Jung on Unsplash

2. There is a fire that has been burning for 6,000 years. Via Futility Closet, a brush fire caused by a lightening strike on Australia’s Mount Wingen has been burning for 6,000 years.

3. Via Interesting Engineering, apparently the Pythagorean theory was around a thousand years before Pythagoras of Samos.

Authored by Dr. Daniel Mansfield, a researcher at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales in Australia, the study speaks about two archaeological discoveries, Plimpton 322 and Si.427. These are contemporary tablets from about 3,700 years back that contain inscriptions that are currently the oldest records of applied geometry that we currently have.

The Plimpton 322 was found earlier, and in 2017, Mansfield and his team had hypothesized that this “zoo of right-angle triangles with different shapes” was a unique kind of trigonometric table that had some practical purpose, such as constructing palaces and temples, building canals, or surveying fields. While it is believed that Greeks used trigonometry to study the sky, their predecessors, the Babylonians were using it to solve matters on the ground.

4. Mel Magazine on Adam Sandler playing pick-up basketball.

No matter where you live, so long as there is a basketball game happening somewhere in the vicinity, there’s a nonzero chance that Adam Sandler will show up. And unlike other celebrities who might call ahead to reserve the courts for themselves or make a PR event out of the appearance, Sandler, by all accounts, respects the hallowed, universal rules of pickup basketball. He just shows up, hoops and dips.

5. In the category of things that we are still discovering, via Live Science, researchers have discovered a previously unknown blood red jellyfish 2,300 feet below the surface.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Hamnøy? Me neither. It’s a really small island in Norway and its  in probably in a Volkswagen commercial. There’s nothing really on the Wikipedia page about it, but it is just really pretty.

Photo by Mischa Bachmann on Unsplash

2. This is a map of where Indigenous nations lived. I find it fascinating to scroll and dig into the details, who was here where I live. I believe I’m where the Tawakoni, Wichita, Jumanos, and Kickaapoi nations lives and there’s a Lake Tawakoni that’s about 30 miles away.

3. Carpe diem doesn’t mean “Seize the Day!” JStor Daily’s Chi Luu, but actually means “plucking the day”:

Gathering flowers as a metaphor for timely enjoyment is a far gentler, more sensual image than the rather forceful and even violent concept of seizing the moment. It is not that as a culture we can’t understand what it means to harvest something when it’s ready—we do have related metaphors like “making hay while the sun shines,” after all. But there is something in the more Hollywood phrasing “seize the day” that has clearly resonated with people in the last thirty years. We understand the phrase to be, rather than encouraging a deep enjoyment of the present moment, compelling us to snatch at time and consume it before it’s gone, or before we’re gone.

As John Keating teaches his students to value their own individuality above conforming to rules, he stands on his desk, as he says, not to feel taller, but to remind himself that we must constantly look at things in a different way. By seizing the day rather than plucking it like a flower, however, we’re actually conforming to hidden cultural values that we all share, not looking at the world in a different way from the norm, but in the same way as everyone else. These are cultural values that some argue have been co-opted by advertisers to sell us more things that we’re told will make us happier.

4. I don’t know what to tell you about this piece from The Atlantic’s Jennifer Senior, but it was the best thing I’ve read this year. the title? “WHAT BOBBY MCILVAINE LEFT BEHIND | Grief, conspiracy theories, and one family’s search for meaning in the two decades since 9/11.”

When she finally left the McIlvaines’ house for good, Jen slammed the door behind her, got into her car, and burst into tears. Shortly after, she wrote Helen a letter with her final answer: No, just no. If Helen wanted to discuss this matter any further, she’d have to do so in the presence of Jen’s therapist.

Helen and her husband never saw Jen again. “She became a nonperson to me,” Helen told me. Today, she can’t so much as recall Jen’s last name.

But for years, Helen thought about that diary. Her mind snagged on it like a nail; she needled her husband for giving it away; it became the subject of endless discussion in her “limping group,” as she calls it, a circle of six mothers in suburban Philadelphia who’d also lost children, though not on September 11. They became indignant on her behalf. A number proposed, only half jokingly, that they break into Jen’s apartment and liberate the diary. “You don’t get any more memories,” one of the women told me. “So anything written, any video, any card—you cling to that. That’s all you’re going to get for life.”

The McIlvaines would have to make do with what they already had. Eventually, they did. Three words of Bobby’s became the family motto: Life loves on. No one could quite figure out which diary or legal pad it came from, but no matter. Helen wears a silver bracelet engraved with this phrase, and her husband got it tattooed in curlicue script on his upper arm.

5. It’s only 1:35, but worth it. Don’t eat alone.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Maligne Lake? Me neither. It’s a lake in the Jasper National Park out there in Alberta, Canada. Maligne Lake is fed by the Maligne River and the river is named that way for the French word for “malignant” or wicked.

The name was used by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873) to describe the turbulent river that flows from the lake (in the spring), and soon spread to the lake, canyon, pass, mountain and range. It is also possible that early French traders applied the name to the river for its treacherous confluence with the Athabasca River.

Photo by Christopher Czermak on Unsplash

2. Tight Loops is a YouTube channel, a husband and wife team, that travel around in a van (cliched, but I wouldn’t worry about that) and fly fish. It’s just great. I don’t know anything about cinematography, but I know that what I’m looking at is absolutely incredible. They’re doing a series where they detail their efforts to attempt to catch the Arctic Char. It seems as if everyone should try to go to Maine because it looks amazing.

3. Portraits from 100 years ago, via The Guardian, Swedish photographer John Alinder takes portraits of his neighbors.

4. You can peddle an electric cart through the redwoods on the old train tracks.

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5. I started a new job on Monday and for the first time in my life I entered the corporate world. It’s strange and I feel a bit like Red in Shawshank Redemption where he gets out and starts working at the grocery store and asks if he can use the restroom. Red simply doesn’t know what to do in the free world. I feel similar and am still trying to navigate my way in a lot of ways.  Starting a new job at the ripe old age of 47 is definitely strange and I feel a bit out of place.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Kaiserstuhl? Me neither. It’s a range of hills in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Germany, the name referring to King Otto III from 994, and literally means “King’s Chair”

Photo by Claudio Testa on Unsplash

2. Via Open Culture, the world’s oldest cookbook, which was published in 1643 in Japan, which was actually translated to English.

3. Via Atlas Obscura, archaeologists from the University of Warsaw have found walls for a church, portraits of the 12 Apostles in Sudan. This is particularly important because this relates back to the Kingdom of Makuria, which was a Christian kingdom that ran along the Nile River starting in the 4th century and lasting all of the way until the 15th century. That’s sort of insane to think there’s a kingdom out there that’s lasted that long, but I’ve never known about it.

4. Via The Smithsonian Magazine, divers have discovered an 80-foot ship beneath 16 feet of clay in the Nile River in the sunken city of the Thonis-Heracleion, the ship being both Egyptian and Greek in technique:

The ship’s design reflects a mixture of ancient Egyptian and Greek techniques. Its builders used mortise-and-tenon joints and constructed the vessel partly out of reused wood, suggesting that it was made in Egypt. The ship boasted both oars and a large sail; it had a flat bottom and keel, which would have allowed it to navigate the Nile and the delta where the river meets the Mediterranean Sea.

Franck Goddio, founding president of IEASM, says in a statement that finding intact remains of such ancient, fast ships is very rare. The only comparable Greek-style ship is the Marsala Ship, dated to 235 B.C.E., which archaeologists uncovered in western Sicily in 1971.

5. Via PetaPixel, artist Michael Ranger took the reflection from the high definition picture in Buzz Aldrin’s mask from the Apollo 11 mission.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Guatape? Me neither. Guatape is a town in Columbia and can be popular with tourists. There’s also this big rock there, la piedra, and it is 200 meters above the groudn and just sticks out of the ground.

Photo by Luisa Forero on Unsplash

2. Are you kidding me. A glass octopus. This is an animal I’ve never seen before and it’s amazing, via Colossal.

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3. Texas Monthly’s Casey Gerald on the greatness of Ft. Worth’s Leon Bridges. This is one of the best things I’ve read about a human in a really long time.

4. It wouldn’t be a Saturday Morning Links witout a link about a trek. Adventure Journal’s Jeff Moag on Neal Moore’s two year trek to journey across America in a canoe.

5. The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis on the retirement of DFW sports broadcaster Dale Hanson.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Phang Nga Bay? Me neither. You’ve probably seen pictures of Phang Nga Bay because it looks amazing and probably the set to some James Bond movie. The translation to Phang Bay apparently means “heathen, pagan, primitive people” as the area was originally inhibited by aboriginal people.

Photo by Abhishek Revis on Unsplash

2. On Thursday, July 8th, we were in Port Aransas, the wind was blowing maybe 15 miles an hour and the rain was coming down in sheets. With nothing else better to do I decided to run for half an hour. My wife decided to work out in the comfort of an exercise room and I took to the mean streets to run in the rain. I thought about running on the beach, but wet sand and pouring rain didn’t sound like a good combination. 4 miles at 8’17” with an average heart rate of 141 and an average power of 241.

By the time I finished, I was drenched (because of rain)waited a bit, put on some dry clothes, waited some more for the rain to stop and went to the beach a few hours later.

The next day, deciding that running in the pouring rain wasn’t enough, I decided to run on the beach in 20 mile an hour south winds, coming straight up the coast. The overall pace was 9’10” a mile for 5.5 miles, but the mile splits were hilarious. Against the wind, I was running 10’30” miles and with the wind, I clocked two 7 minute miles and one that went 7’15”. That’s how much the wind pushed me along. My average heart rate was 149 and average power was 220. I also managed to gain 571 feet despite running at sea level.

The next day, which was Saturday, I decided to do a relatively long run and ran basically 3 miles south along the beach and ran another mile past my entry point and finished with 7.5 miles with an average pace of 9’18”. Average heart rate was 144 and power was 213. I tried to maintain a 9’00” to 9’15” mile, not too fast, but not too slow. The last mile and a half the wind picked up and my average went from 9’12” to 9’46”.

I don’t write a ton about my running because it’s usually pretty boring, but the point with these three runs was that they were all pretty difficult in their own ways and despite being on vacation, I enjoyed doing these really difficult things. The sprints in the rain and the run against 20 mile an hour winds were especially tough, but the running with the wind, I felt like I was sprinting. An absolute joy in a ton of ways, I wasn’t any more tired, but I did get to run on the beach, something I’ve never done before.

3. I’ve mentioned before that Colossal is a terrific site for art, design, etc., and these drone shots straight above the pyramids are fantastic.

4. I’d never heard of albino redwoods and had also never heard that some people thought that these albino leaves on the redwoods were leaching off of the actual redwoods, but they may suck out harmful minerals to keep the redwoods healthy.

5. If you like nostalgia, this is for you. Gotham Canoe’s Bill Grueskin tells the tell of a 1973 road trip from Colorado to Canada and back.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Duino? Me neither. Duino is in the far northeastern portion of Italy, darn near in Slovenia and Croatia. In fact, the primary language was Slovenian up until the end of World War I. You can also pretty much walk the coast on the Rilke Trail, where it connects Duino and Sistiana.

Photo by brunetto ziosi on Unsplash

2. Slate’s Jordan Ellenberg writes about the golden ratio, which is probably two things you should know about math, which is pie (3.14) and the golden ratio’s value (1.618).

3. Afar’s Ann Babe talks to Tom Turcich and his mission to circumnavigate the world by foot with his dog Savannah. Not continuous, because of a handful of things, but he sounds determined to finish. I like the idea of knowing what you’re going to do every day. Just go walk.

12/12/16 Day 612. The great thing about walking everyday is that despite being exposed to the elements I have a purpose each and every day; walk. I never fall asleep unsure what I’ll do with tomorrow. I know I’ll learn a little more and grow [a] little more with each new area I pass into.

4. Sidetracked Magazine and Project 282 as Emily Scott spent a 120 days into climbing every Munroe in Scotland. A Munro is a mountain over 3,000 ft.

5. There’s a huge fence in Australia. Huge. I think it is the longest fence in the world, intended to keep out the dingoes, but the problem with keeping a natural predator out is that you change the ecosystem. Now, farmers want the dingoes back on the property. Without the dingoes, the kangaroos were overpopulated, natural vegetation was sparse, the pastures were overgrazed, and the cattle couldn’t survive. And if you really want to go down a rabbit hole, check out the Great Emu War where the emus basically won. Possibly one of those situations where trying to control something that had developed a pretty great ecosystem was maybe already working way before that ever happened. Or maybe farming and grazing of things wasn’t what was really intended. Regardless, that fence has been up for over 100 years and maybe the thought that the fence does more harm than good is changing.