Three Questions for Those Against Guns

After wanting one for years, I bought my first rifle — an AR-15 — a few weeks ago. I decided to assemble the weapon myself, so over the next two weeks it arrived in bits and pieces: first the charging handle, then the bolt carrier group, the upper, and the lower last. By the end of an unplanned trip to a nearby gun show I had one hundred rounds, two magazines, and a sling for my rifle; one monster of an Amazon order later I had two scopes as well. Within a few days of Christmas, I had an entire weapons system.

Institutionalized Unity

A few months ago, I came across a fantastic description of America by libertarian writer Chris Future. In his article Melting Pot vs Multiculturalism, Chris explained the difference between these two ideologies and how, in the past, America fell in line with the former. That article went live in late 2013 though, and by the time I found it in early 2015, the tables had turned.

The Immigration Agenda

Massive tech corporations Google and Facebook have fostered an impressive reputation of philanthropic leanings over the last few years. Although other giants like Microsoft pursue similar interests, both Google and Facebook’s bids to improve internet connectivity throughout developing nations better typify the strategy unfolding in today’s political landscape.

Cabin Porn Roundup

This Week in Podcasts may have ended, but I have no intention of ending my monthly Cabin Porn Roundups. For October, then, check out these neat little structures from across the world.

Thank You, Freedom. Signed, Ebola.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to make a concerted effort to stay abreast of world events going forward. Especially given the continued spread of Ebola across America, I could no longer focus solely on happenings within the tech industry as I have for the past two or three years. No sooner had I made this decision, though, than I came across a ponderous and subsequently maddening article over at NBC News titled “New Jersey Releases Nurse Quarantined for Suspected Ebola”.

Who We Are

An incredible video from a group of hunters who make no excuses for their chosen profession, but who also approach it with the extreme respect that nature deserves. I personally have never had a particularly strong desire to take up hunting, but hearing Donnie Vincent talk about nature with such reverence showed me a side of this lifestyle — for to call it a “sport” would be to do the lifestyle Donnie and his companions devoted themselves a great disservice — that I had previously never seen. There is now little doubt in my mind that there exists a more noble passion than this.

OS X Yosemite: If This Doesn't Make You An Apple Guy, Nothing Will

I’ve been moving further and further from the tech space lately, but this article still caught my eye from Aric Mitchell over at inStash. Here, Aric takes a short minute to chronicle his journey with Apple’s products, and then talk about the experiential side of the company’s latest desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite. This is by far and away the best piece of tech-focused writing I have read in quite some time.

The End of This Week in Podcasts

For just shy of the past seven months, I have written weekly roundup posts talking about my favorite medium — podcasts — and the episodes I considered the best released during that time span. Although the number of shows in each issue varied from week to week, I like to think that the quality remained constant, along with my rate of publication: with the exception of a lengthy trip to Canada’s backwoods, I have not missed a single week. It may come as a surprise, then, that today I have decided to end this series for the foreseeable future.

This Week in Podcasts

Another week has gone by, made all the better with a few great podcasts. This time around, Roderick on the Line makes another appearance, and is accompanied by a great episode of Systematic and a fantastic episode of Zac & Co. Enjoy.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Another article courtesy of the folks over at Gear Patrol, this time a photo essay after a trip to South Africa’s Sabi Sands Game Reserve. I spent three months in South Africa a number of years ago, and hours upon days trolling through an adjacent park (Kruger National Park, for those curious), but only managed to see a fraction of the sights the folks did here. Even then, though, I have no complaints: Africa was full of majesty everywhere I looked. Ben Bowers saw some of that majesty in Sabi Sands, I saw some of it elsewhere, and we both walked away changed men.

Plastc: Everything Coin Should Have Been

Although I started out confident in Coin’s eventual success, I have since made no bones about my distaste for their questionable methodologyy, business model, and apparent inability to meet deadlines. Burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, though, shame on me: I’m hesitant to get behind Plastc given the apparently insurmountable challenges of this space, but that won’t stop me from wishing them success. At this point, I just want to see someone make actual progress.

Viewfinder: Above America

In a day and age before ubiquitous personal drones roamed the skies, capturing incredible footage of active volcanoes, for example, filmmakers had no choice but to climb into planes and film those breathtaking views themselves. Harrison Sanborn found some of this footage in his father’s archives, digitized the film, and turned the result into a neat three minute video on Vimeo.

There’s a certain quality to this footage that newer, digital-first recordings courtesy or our aerial robotic minions just don’t have. Perhaps its “the celluloid warmth of the colors”, as Nick Milanes suggests in Gear Patrol’s article covering the video. Regardless of what it is, I just hope that we don’t lose it. There is always something to be said for taking the hard route, and the quality of the end-product when doing so, over that of the easier, increasingly mechanized approach.

The New American Dustbowl

An incredible, remarkably powerful story by Alan Heathcock that seeks to lay the harsh realities of drought to bear with a painful, hard-hitting story of good people who have lost everything for lack of one sample necessity: water. This article ought to be a prerequisite for forming any opinions on sustainability whatsoever.

Last Steps on the Pacific Northwest Trail

Jeff Kish, contributing editor at the excellent site GearJunkie, spent the summer hiking 1,200 miles on the Pacific Northwest Trail. I followed his journey from that first report in July all the way up to this the conclusion of his trek, and I have to say: I’m both jealous and impressed. If you had the misfortune of missing this great series, head over and check it out: it’s well-worth your time. Follow Thru-Hike Of “Pacific Northwest Trail” All Summer.

This Week in Podcasts

Another week has gone by, made all the better with a few great podcasts. This time around, we have appearances by Exponent, Back to Work, Roderick on the Line, and Defocused. Enjoy.

Typographic Design Patterns and Best Practices

A great companion to yesterday’s post, 10 Typeface Pairs for Cash-Poor Designers, for those looking to improve the design of their site through the adoption of strong design principles. Despite its original publication date of 2009, the best practices Michael Martin puts forth here have retained their value over the years in an excellent resource for aspiring designers. I have applied some of these lessons, too, in the creation of my elusive latest project. Look for more on this soon.

10 Typeface Pairs for Cash-Poor Designers

As I continue work on an as of yet unnamed and unreleased project, I came across this great article by Morgan Gilpatrick from a number of years ago that still maintains its relevance today. Here he puts forth nine different font combinations paired according to a matrix of criteria, and to great results. I plan on returning here and to other resources like it when it comes time to redesign this site once again; great advice, especially helpful to those of us on the fringe of design.

Cabin Porn Roundup

Another installment in 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.

Youth Sports are Hijacking Your Life

Reading this article from Outside Online, it reminded me of a story a family friend once told me. She explained that her son and daughter-in-law, both schoolteachers in Alaska, had decided to raise their young son without the traditional lessons society dictates a small boy learn during his formative years. As far as his dad was concerned, if he never learned to play baseball, that was just fine: instead he would learn about the outdoors, and gain skills that will benefit him for the rest of his life. Baseball simply didn’t fit the bill. That philosophy struck me as abnormal at the time, yes, but also wonderfully so: while this little boy’s peers learned to yearn for recess while a teacher droned on in the background, he would spend his time on things that actually mattered. Just because something is the status quo does not mean that it is right.

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.