This Week in Podcasts

At first I attributed my absence of enthusiasm in a medium that I previously enjoyed so immensely a by-product of the increased demands on my time as of late. However, upon further consideration, and after yet another week of but one entry here in a list that previously contained double-digit items, I realized the true reason behind this unfortunate change: my interests had shifted. Just as I no longer derive the same pleasure in reading about technology and writing in speculation of Apple’s next announcement, I no longer take the same pleasure in the podcasts of the same genre. Do not look at the decline of this series as a step towards its demise, then, but rather the prelude to a massive shift that — at its end — will see both this series and this website stronger than it ever was before. And so, enjoy.  

Mendel Epstein and the Orthodox Hit Squad

Incredible to think that today, in our modern society, things like this still happen. Not only do these sorts of things happen though, but they fly under the radar as well. Harrowing, to say the least.  

Death by Idiotic Purchases

I happened across Expedition Portal the other day after the same tangent led me to Triple Aught Design. Already more than an hour down this rabbit hole of outdoor expeditions and the gear enthusiasts use on such trips, I started clicking — and clicking, and then I clicked some more until I had filled my entire Safari tab bar. And then, I began reading this humorous article by Mathew Scott from March of last year: Death by Idiotic Purchases. If the only thing you, like me, love more than actually spending time outdoors is buying the gear to make that experience more enjoyable, and you’re looking for a laugh, this is a great place to start.  

The Ultimate Sacrifice

During September of last year I saw this incredible story pass by, but I let it go without comment. This time, however, I refused to make the same mistake.

It’s so easy for us to sit in our homes decrying America’s defense budget, and say things like, “I look forward to the day the Air Force has a bake sale in order to raise money.” America’s military is not some faceless organization used to enforce the will of politicians, though: these are real people who put their lives on the line every single day so that you do not have to; these are real people who willingly fly to their death for their fellow Americans. Yet so many have the audacity, the gall, to stand up and criticize those whom they have no right to call into question — their motivations, lifestyle, and everyday choices. And this infuriates me. Render respect where it is due.

For those of you still confused, it is due here.  

This Week in Podcasts

Lots of John Roderick this time around, not that that’s a bad thing, interrupted only by a fantastic episode of Exponent with Ben Thompson and James Allworth. As always, enjoy.  

The Real Comprehensive Terminal Guide

Quite some time ago, in a life before this one, I wrote an article that gained quite a bit of attention titled, “The Comprehensive Terminal Guide”. Someday, I hope to update and re-release that piece here. Meanwhile, Craig Hockenberry wrote and published an even longer, even more in-depth, and undoubtedly much better article than mine simply titled, “The Terminal”. Although he geared his more towards power users, users of all skill levels will find value in this monster of a piece. I consider myself fairly competent when it comes to the UNIX terminal, but Craig had already taught me a thing or two within the first few sections. If you have ever wanted to take better control of your computer, this is a great jumping-off point.  

Diving into an Active Volcano

This is just incredible.

We as a species have a tendency to hold ourselves above all things both animate and inanimate in this world. Humans place themselves above nature, animals, and even one another. The trope of an invincible teenager is not exclusive to that age group, for at some level we all consider ourselves untouchable. And then, in the midst of this mis-placed mixture of entitlement and pride, videos like this appear to put us in our place — to exhibit our insignificance and utter frailty in the face of the majesty belonging to that which we so often disregard.  

A Bionic Fan Surprises Matt Alexander

I don’t link to these kinds of things often, but this time I just couldn’t resist: for all you Bionic fans out there, a true fan surprised Matt Alexander at XOXO this year. Hilarious.  

This Week in Podcasts

This week we see the return of my favorite podcast, Roderick on the Line, to this list with an even better episode than usual. Also making an appearance we have The Campfire Project, Exponent, and Grit; a fantastic roster, if I do say so myself.  

Pokemon Black

I came across this story thanks to Polygon’s refutation of the mod’s existence, but fortunately thought to read the original article over at Tiny Cartridge first — as I would recommend you do as well. “Creepy” barely scratches the surface of this haunting tale. Especially if you, like me, grew up loving Pokemon, I encourage you to take a few minutes and read this story; it’s remarkably well-done.  

Legitimate Text Processing

As usual, a great post by Joe Steel over at Unauthoritative Pronouncements where he tackles the now-inflammatory issue of Markdown and its numerous variants, and goes on to explain why he cannot get behind Jeff Atwood’s “Standard Markdown" — later renamed to “Common Markdown”, and then finally “CommonMark" — play. I completely agree with every point Joe made. However, I will say that although I do agree with Joe, I cannot get behind the undertone vilifying Jeff Atwood running beneath a number of the articles I have read on this topic. If Jeff’s latest blog post is anything to go by, he meant no offense in the first place. In fact, Jeff gave John Gruber multiple opportunities to express any issues with any aspect of his project, but John could not be bothered to respond. As Carl Holscher pointed out, adults should have acted like adults to begin with, aired their grievances promptly and privately, and then proceeded with an interesting project sans the drama. Act your age, and not your font size.  

A Tale of Two Markdowns

Possible the only impartial take on the recent Markdown flareup you will find anywhere, Sid O’Neill took this opportunity to make a great work of prose rather than a declaration of support in favor of one side or the other. Take this opportunity to enjoy an article for the excellent craft it contains, rather than the point it attempts to make.  

The Great Facade

Every day like clockwork, I copy a small text file out of a staging directory. Shortly thereafter, a Python script pulls the contents of that file out, parses it, and then places each line into a webpage that then gets pushed up to a server managed by a good friend of mine. Within a few seconds of that page going live, the handy Bitly bookmarklet gives me a shortened URL that I then send out to the world thanks to the magic of Tweetbot.  

I Ghostwrite Chinese Students' Ivy League Admissions Essays

The idea that one could survive and prosper based on their merits alone is a comforting idea. If this story teaches us anything though, it teaches us that increasingly, it is nothing more than that — little more than a comforting notion in a world where mom and dad can open their wallets to make any door spring open before their baby. I signed eight years of my life away in exchange for a four-year education, and while I don’t regret that decision in the least, it’s remarkably disheartening to see others reap similar rewards in exchange for their father’s signature and a brief “Thanks."  

An idealistic notion

I first came across Rohan Anderson and his writing through a video titled “The Smokehouse”, where he talked about and demonstrated his efforts to construct a smokehouse completely by hand. Since that cool winter night almost a year ago now, I have continued following Rohan’s activities through his excellent blog, Whole Larder Love, and have linked to a number of his articles in the weeks and months since then. If my implicit endorsement of everything he says and stands for has not been enough to warrant your attention, though, let me come out and say it once more, this time explicitly: if you have any interest whatsoever in the outdoors, farming, sustainability, independence, health, cooking, photography, or alternative lifestyles, I implore you to spend some time learning about Rohan’s lifestyle choices and the reasons he made those decisions. And this post, An idealistic notion, is a great place to start.  

How to Unschool Your Kids at Any Age

After Ben Hewitt’s recent essay on his approach to and the benefits of unschooling, Outside Online has another great article on the subject, this time offering some helpful suggestions to those looking to differ from the norm. Again, not the time to share my thoughts on this subject quite yet, but keep this one, too, in the back of your mind when I do.  

Cabin Porn Roundup

This is a continuation of my ongoing Cabin Porn Roundup series, where I collect interesting pictures of cabins and cool stories about the outdoors from across the world and present them in a single location. Much like my “This Week in Podcasts” series, I feature only the best of the best here. Enjoy.  

This Week Without Podcasts

For the past five months I have continued publishing a series of articles dubbed “This Week in Podcasts”. Born of my love for the medium, I have curated these lists to great results, and to my great enjoyment. However, this week I find myself in an unfortunate position: although I have worked diligently to get through my growing queue of unplayed podcast episodes over the past week, I have yet to find anything that merits inclusion in this list. I have had the privilege of listening to some great shows, but nothing struck me as particularly excellent and worthy of mention, unfortunately. And so, I have nothing to share with you today. I apologize, and look forward to something more next week.  

Conjecture Regarding Larger iPhone Displays

John Gruber with the one article you ought to read before Apple announces its new iPhones in a few weeks, and the single article you ought to read afterwards as well when searching for the reasons Apple chose these dimensions. Minus the somewhat unimaginative title, a great piece, albeit somewhat hard to follow at times given the complexity of the topic at hand and the factors playing into his assumptions.  

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