Monday, September 30, 2019
Friday, September 27, 2019
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Saturday, September 21, 2019
New York Times – "From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea"
"The lock is part of the oldest and most traveled inland waterway in America — a 2,300-mile corridor that connects the Atlantic Ocean with all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Since deep draft navigation opened on the St. Lawrence in 1959, more than two and a half billion tons of cargo, worth around $375 billion, have traversed the seaway."
"After picking me up in Montreal, the Equinox’s captain, Ross Armstrong, told me the ship would cross Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior and drop me in Thunder Bay, Ontario — six hours north of Duluth, Minn. The trip would take six days."
"The Great Lakes basin spans 10 degrees of latitude and 18 degrees of longitude — set almost exactly between the Equator and the North Pole. The circumference of all five lakes combined is 10,500 miles, nearly half the distance around the world. An average of 200,000 cubic feet of precipitation falls somewhere on the lakes every second."
"The job is more demanding than it looks, he said. The lakes sit in a lowland between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians, creating a vortex of dangerous weather. Winds can blow 40 to 50 knots and whip up waves 25 feet tall. The slender and flexible lakers seek shelter or heave-to to survive these storms. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum estimates that 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives have been lost on the lakes. The most famous wreck, Edmund Fitzgerald, sank a few hundred miles ahead on our route."
"Seeing a Great Lake for the first time, I understood how French explorers, who discovered “the sweet seas” and essentially blazed the border with Canada, assumed that the lakes led to the Pacific — and China. Most 17th-century mapmakers estimated that North America was only 300 miles wide, and every indication on the edge of Lake Ontario suggested that the lake went on forever."
Sunday, September 15, 2019
1843 Magazine (The Economist) – "How donuts fuelled the American Dream"
"No one truly knows where donuts come from, who first brought them to California or why they remain so popular here. But you can always find a donut shop in LA, no matter which exit you take off the freeway. Donuts are the soul food of a place that is often accused of lacking a soul. They are the sticky, messy, waist-expanding ying to the yang of Southern California’s sun-kissed beaches and taut-and-tanned infatuation with wellness. They are the fruit of thousands of freeway entrance-ramp deep-fryers, eaten on the run by late-shift junkies and early risers with one hand on the steering wheel. Put your eye to the hole in a donut and you might glimpse the answer to the mystery of how Los Angeles continues to cohere, even as the languages and cultures of Angelinos multiply."
New Yorker – "Superfans: A Love Story"
Breaking: ESPN is switching away from the new Down-And-Distance graphic it debuted in the first half of Monday Night Football. ESPN heard the fans’ feedback and acted, quick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2019
USC president Carol L. Folt is asking the public to "share your thoughts and recommendations" on who should be USC's next athletic director to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to read the responses in that inbox.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 9, 2019
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Wall Street Journal – "Kevin Durant’s New Headspace"
"Producer Brian Grazer, a creative partner, says Durant is one of the most original, idiosyncratic minds you’re likely to meet in the world of sports. Grazer recalls a talk Durant gave at a Google retreat in Sicily. During the Q&A someone asked what made Durant so great. Coolly, Durant replied: “Paranoia.” "
"What matters more than continuity, more than happiness, more than titles—more than anything—is the search. Durant is one of the few NBA players who speaks of the game as a vehicle for gaining wisdom.
The rapper Q-Tip recently sent Durant an old black-and-white clip of Bruce Lee, which Durant devoured. Lee put it so beautifully, telling an interviewer about the secret of martial arts. “All types of knowledge,” Lee says, “ultimately mean self-knowledge.” The more you know about martial arts, the more you know about yourself, and the more you can then express yourself with your body—especially in “combat.” On any given night he has things to express. Angry things, scary things, joyful things, about his story. "
"Laurene Powell Jobs, who helped Durant establish a multimillion-dollar program in Prince George’s County to help college-bound kids ready themselves—scholastically, emotionally, financially—says Durant is “a deeply integrated individual,” which makes him rare among all people, let alone celebrities. Integrated people, she says, “keep all the knowledge of their experience and bring it to their current awareness.… They use it as a source of knowledge, of power, and want to effect change that’s informed by their experience.”"
"Durant says he’s decided to wear No. 7 in Brooklyn because it stands for completion in the Bible. (God rested on the seventh day after creating Heaven and Earth.) Clearly the completion of his career is on his mind. In which case, what next?
Kids, he says, maybe.
He throws out numbers. Maybe five. Maybe one.
First he needs to find a woman who can handle this crazy life.
He used to think that wasn’t such a tall order. But, as with so many things, his thinking on that has evolved.
“I thought this life was pretty simple,” he says. “But it’s not as simple as I thought it was.”"