So usually for this newsletter, I try to find a video that’s a) under 10 minutes in length, b) interesting, thought-provoking, or at least fun in some way, and c) not negative. This one may not be that thought-provoking, but it is only 54 seconds, and if you don’t think it’s fun, I apologize. Also: it’s a few months old, but it just popped up on the r/powerwashingporn subreddit last week and was then deleted. (video)
I love Doug Mack’s Snack Stack newsletter. This week’s, A brief history of extra mild salsa, is extremely interesting on several fronts. I especially enjoyed knowing that my friend Mike, who is not much for spicy food, is not as rare as I thought (apparently 1 out of 20 Americans prefer “no spice”). And that you can increase your tolerance to capsaicin by eating more of it.
This is coming together fast (but is still a year away): I will be doing my writing and creativity workshop IN THE GRAND CANYON next April (2025), jumping on the second half of a river trip (Phantom Ranch to Diamond Creek) to co-instruct with Dr. Len Necefer. If you’re interested in joining, we are looking for 16 people to commit by March 5th, 2024. Oh, and if you’d prefer, the first half of the trip will be Craig Childs (!) and Rebecca Solnit (!!). (Of course you can do the entire 18-day trip if that’s better for you.) Here’s our “soft launch” page, where you can apply/contact Freeflow with questions: https://freeflowinstitute.com/product/freeflow-grand-canyon-2025/
I follow Anton Krupicka on Instagram and Strava, so I have been able to read a lot of his writing over the past few years, but I was very excited to find out he just started a Substack, and is writing about some of his adventures there. What’s really funny (to me) about this one is how calm and casual the writing is while he’s talking about running + climbing up a mountain literally faster than any other human.
Ben Polley found a severed mountain lion leg on a frozen leg in Glacier National Park a few years ago, wondered what happened, wrote a story about it, and now I know a lot more about mountain lions (and wolves).
I used to not love these “100 Greatest ______ of All Time” lists that Rolling Stone puts out, because I thought they were kind of click-bait-y, you know, let’s make a list ranking guitarists or rappers or whatever, start some arguments, get some traffic. But now I kind of enjoy them because I imagine all the discussions the staff had when they were trying to come up with a list, and maybe this one swelled from 100 movies to The 150 Greatest Science Fiction Movies of All Time because they had like 175 and they were like “NO WAY we can cut this down to 100.” Anyway, it’s a giant list of great science fiction movies.
This is a really fun look inside Eminem’s boxes of handwritten notes, including the seemingly chaotic writing process of the lyrics to “Lose Yourself.”
If I could sum up this article by Maris Kreizman in one much less eloquently worded run-on sentence, that sentence might be “YES YES YES why do people think books need fixing I love books the way they are goddammit!” (via Kottke.org)