Friday Inspiration 409

Many weeks, I spend a couple hours clicking around YouTube and Vimeo looking for The Most Compelling Short Film Ever Created to share in this newsletter. And then some weeks, I just start watching something and go, “Hey, two minutes of beautiful footage of Iceland? That’ll do just fine.” (video)


I’m not saying that I, or anyone else in my 2022 Freeflow Institute Writers workshop had anything to do with this great essay on lobster diving/surfing/falling in love with the ocean, but I will say we were all lucky to get to read an early version of it that Bela shared last year, and now it’s on Outside Online, so you get to read it too.

Do you open this newsletter every Friday to be intellectually stimulated, and/or to collect bits of art that you can bring up in conversation with friends, who you may or may not want to impress? That’s fine. Maybe you also have some friends who will enjoy this video of a custodian dumbing a giant bin of soapy water down an enormous flight of stairs?

By sharing this piece by David Sedaris, I am not at all saying you should hit your kids—and honestly, I don’t know if he’s saying that either. But if you get nothing else from this essay, it’s worth it for the line “Children now are like animals who have no natural predators left.”

I don’t know what rabbit hole led me to this essay, but I hope it makes you feel good: From Crip to Crochet Artist: How an Unlikely Hobby Changed My Life in Prison

Look, you and I both know that the intense, brief, here-one-second-gone-the-next nasal burn we get from wasabi is different from the mouth burn from chile peppers that just won’t go away. But here’s the science behind it.

I read The Right Stuff almost 20 years ago now, on a bit of a Tom Wolfe binge after a “New Journalism” unit in one of my grad school classes. I’ve watched the movie at least three times since then, and I don’t think I really knew it wasn’t viewed as a quote-unquote classic, because it just felt like a legendary piece of cinema. It just turned 40 years old, and this interview with writer-director Philip Kaufman was a joy to read, if for nothing else, his take on the film being “probably the longest movie ever made without a plot.”

One more thing: Today is THE LAST DAY to order calendars if you want them by Dec. 24th. As of me writing this, there were 45 2024 Semi-Rad Dog Calendars left (for people who like dogs), and only 15 2024 Grand Canyon Groovers Calendars left (for people who like, um, photos of toilets in beautiful places?).