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.

Saturday morning links

1. Ever heard of Mpumalanga? Me neither. It’s a province in South Africa that means means, “where the sun rises” which is awesome. Mpumalanga (/əmˌpuːməˈlɑːŋɡə/) borders Eswatini and Mozambique and we’ve talked about the Drakensberg and that’s part of that as well.

Photo by Nadine Venter on Unsplash

2. The always entertaining and through provoking Beau Miles on his 4-day paddle to work. What usually takes 40 minutes takes significantly longer and Miles pondering that river he grew up on. Miles has started exploring the area around his home with significant intensity as the pandemic started, which includes him walking to work and now, paddling to work. What starts out as Miles enjoying pushing himself through some uncomfortable situations turns into a bit of disgust at what we’ve done to a river (this is the collective “we”). Comparing the river to a digestive tract and then to watch Miles paddle through the muck is about as accurate a thing as you’ll watch.

3. Ever wanted to know where all the lighthouses in the world are? Well, you are in luck because here’s a lighthouse map from Geodienst and it is super cool (dated reference, but don’t care).Europe is covered with lighthouses, but North America? Not so much.

4. This is terrific. From Texas Monthly’s Christian Wallace, the story of Bass Reeves, a legendary U.S. Marshal and is widely believed to be the origin of the Lone Ranger. Reeves was also African-American and one of the first African-Americans to wear that badge.

Reeves is just shy of his forty-sixth birthday and has worked as a deputy marshal in the Indian Territory for nine years. He knows this sprawling territory, as he likes to say, “like a cook knows her kitchen.” As he and his posseman, John Cantrell, draw nearer to their destination—Jim Bywater’s general store, near the town of Woodford—Reeves slows the pace. With luck, this is where they’ll find their man.

The fugitive, Jim Webb, is no stranger to Reeves. The year before, Webb had drifted north from Texas to the Chickasaw Nation, where he’d found work as foreman of the sprawling Washington-McLish ranch. Webb was hotheaded and mean, a tyrant who rode herd over some 45 cowboys. One day that spring, a reverend named William Steward was performing a controlled burn on his property when the fire accidentally spread to the neighboring Washington-McLish ranch and scorched some of its grazing pastures. A fuming Webb rode over to confront the circuit preacher and left having murdered him.

A few days after the killing, Reeves and a posseman arrived at the Washington-McLish ranch disguised as trail-driving cowboys. As was custom at the time, they asked for breakfast, and Webb allowed the men to come inside and eat. But the foreman was suspicious of the strangers; Webb and his right-hand man, Frank Smith, drew their sidearms and kept a close eye on them. Reeves kept up the charade until, for a moment, something else caught Webb’s attention. Reeves sprang up, gripped Webb by the throat with one hand, and pulled his six-shooter on him with the other. Smith wheeled around and fired two shots at Reeves. Both went wide. Reeves answered with a single report from his Colt. He did not miss. Webb gurgled a surrender, while his gut-shot compatriot bled on the floor. Webb was put in irons, and the men started the long trip back to the Fort Smith jail, known as “Hell on the Border.” Smith died of his wounds by the time the posse reached the Chickasaw capitol of Tishomingo. His bones lie there still.

5. With the Fourth of July right around the corner, I had never heard of the Serapis flag.

This flag was thrown in 1779 in the Battle of Flamborough Head with U.S. Navy Captain John Paul Jones as he captured the Serapis and was flown from that ship. Benjamin Franklin had described the flag and so this flag is also known as the Franklin Flag

It is with pleasure that we acquaint your excellency that the flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen stripes, alternately red, white, and blue; a small square in the upper angle, next the flagstaff, is a blue field, with thirteen white stars, denoting a new constellation.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Flamborough Head? Me neither. Flamborough Head is in Yorkshire, England and one of those cliffs with pure white cliffs. Flamborough Head is also famous for a battle in September of 1779 where John Paul Jones, fighting for the Continental Navy, and a few British escort vessels. Jones is the father of the U.S. Navy.

Photo by 43 Clicks North on Unsplash

2. Colossal is a really fun website. It’s got a ton of photos of interesting things. You could scroll for hours I think. So there’s this building in Reno, a brewery of all things, that has an enclave and so an artist drew a stack of records and it’s a great use of space that would have probably otherwise been wasted. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t get “art” checking out Colossal is a good way to take something in that’s not really far out there.

3. Via Narratively, the story of Sandy Gray, a bus driver who was fishing in Scotland in August of 1930, and is the person for reporting the Loch Ness monster.

4. A group of French national team fans arrived in Bucharest and were supposed to be in Budapest. Of course Bucharest is in Romania and Budapest is in Hungary and it’s about a 9 hour drive from the other. The French fans stayed in Bucharest and hung out.

5. The best thing I’ve read all week. From the New York Times, a New Jersey Catholic school brought back a mandatory hike across the Appalachian Trail, the hike is for freshmen who finished their first year and they hike 50 miles over 5 days (this year they only did 40 miles over 4 days). Most of the students are people of color, but that’s not what this is about, this is about a rite of passage. Great photos and great story-telling.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Passy National Nature Reserve? Me neither, but it is a 4,240 acre park in eastern France. Actually, if you travel to Samoens, which is a commune in the French alps, an has a large number of limestone quarries and this area of the world is known for their stonemasons, and is only 70 kilometers from Geneva and is somewhat sandwiched in-between Switzerland and Italy.

Photo by Baptiste Gousset on Unsplash

2. From the New York Times, Marty Bluewater has been the only person who has been allowed to live on Protection Island, consisting of approximately 370 acres and 2 miles long, for the past 50 years. The pictures alone are worth click.

3. Via Narratively’s Brent Crane, Lamar Marshall is single-handedly re-mapping the Cherokee trails that had previously been wiped off maps.

4. These are three stories from Good Beer Hunting and all three stories are from different places in the world. All are about brewing something and what I love is that despite the distances, we all pretty well do the same thing: Copenhagen, Denmark; Kesennuma, Japan; and Kittery, Maine. I also love the photos, they’re all terrific and so even if you don’t read the article, the photos are worth the click over as well.

5. The Ringer’s Brian Phillips and Den of Geek’s David Crow with two terrific deep dives on Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. This is a movie we’ve watched with the boys and it definitely holds up. Both links are terrific essays that deep-dive into the movie. What was great to me about this movie is that the Ark of the Covenant was real and that is something that had never once occurred to me as a kid watching this movie in the theaters. I had never conceptualized the Ark that’s what struck me and what I love about that movie.