Friday Inspiration 394

I watched this whole video without stopping, near the end asking myself, “Is this too nerdy for the newsletter?” And then I was like, you know, if it’s too nerdy for people, they don’t have to watch any of it. Anyway here’s Why Engineers Can’t Control Rivers, which will maybe blow your mind, and might at least make you wish you had one of these cool-ass stream tables for your living room. (video)

Screen capture from Why Engineers Can't Control Rivers


This is actually a pretty good illustrated basic explainer of how sampling works/worked in hip hop (although I’m pretty sure they embedded the wrong version of Run-DMC’s “It’s Like That”? I think they meant to use the 1984 version, not the 1997 Jason Nevins remix). (Also, I love it that the Washington Post and New York Times are starting to use gift links, so I can link to their stuff here and you can read it even if you don’t have a subscription)

I would try, but there’s no reason to think that I can do better than the headline “Here’s some awesome beaver ASMR.” I would just add that if you’re having an F day right now, watching 75 seconds of beavers eating vegetables will likely bring it up to at least a C-, and if you’re having an A day, this will probably bring it up to an A+. Please have the sound on, and pass it along to at least one friend.

My friend Al Humphreys, who quite literally wrote the book on Microadventures, messaged me after my film The Seven Summits of My Neighborhood came out a couple weeks ago, saying he wished he’d thought of it, and that he might just do his own version in his hometown in the UK. I cannot believe he turned it around this quickly, and I am pleased to have laughed several times while watching his video The Seven Summits of My Neighbo(u)rhood (UK Edition).

I was browsing around Substack’s Explore page and found this piece, and it’s the first time I’ve ever encountered this writer’s work, but I just really liked the voice and the rhythm, and then I got to this sentence, which is the first sentence of a paragraph that I would quote here, but if I quoted the whole thing it would kind of be a spoiler: “People love the idea of the working man because it’s someone they can use in a conversation but never have to speak to or become.” Anyway, damn, this is a piece of writing.

My friend Blake is doing a very modest Kickstarter for copies of his book, Do What You Love and Die Trying, which “offers hope, motivation, and guidance for young adults who want to author their own lives rather than follow the conventional path.” It’s already met its goal, but it’s the only way to get a copy of the book, and you have until noon on Saturday to do it.

OK if you are ever reading all the news and feeling kind of hopeless like I sometimes do, I feel like this article about tiny forests might inspire and/or just help you have a little bump in morale. Especially the final quote, which I would recommend not skipping to the end to read, as it needs the proper buildup from everything preceding it in the article, which won’t take long.