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This & That: A Miscellany of Links and Ideas
Happy Tuesday, readers!
After a lovely, exhausting-in-the-best-way vacation, I’m back with a bunch of great links to share. With school and daycare starting this week for our kiddos, I’m staring down the barrel of more uninterrupted time than I’ve had in years. I don’t know what that means for these newsletters or my writing in general, but I’m excited to find out.
For now, let’s jump right into the good stuff.
The fire that devastated Lahaina last week — which is now the deadliest fire in modern US history — is not an aberration. This type of urban conflagration has been happening annually since Fort McMurray was torched in 2016. What’s truly surprising about the blaze in Maui is its ocean-side location; Inside Climate News explores how climate change is allowing wildfires to proliferate in unexpected places. One more related piece: “Hawaii is a Warning.” We don’t really need more evidence of climate change, but we’re going to keep getting it regardless. It’s what a planet in the midst of climate chaos will do.
On a much, much lighter note: A couple of weekends ago I watched, for the very first time, Top Gun and Top Gun 2. They were both awesome. The immediate nostalgia of the original, the killer action scenes of the sequel — top-notch stuff. I wouldn’t hesitate to watch either again.
If you’re visiting San Francisco with kids, here are a few things we did that went over really well:
Exploratorium — Can’t recommend this waterfront museum enough. It’s unlike any other science center we’ve been to. Everything is kinetic and touchable. This and the cruise below were part of the City Pass, which worked out great for our family.
San Fran Bay Cruise — This 60-minute tour of the bay brings you underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. For squirmy kids, it’s the perfect amount of time on a boat.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park — Muir Woods, just north of San Fran, gets way more attention, but this small park about an hour south is just as impressive and way less crowded. Plus, you get to have lunch in Santa Cruz afterward.
Another California rec: if you find yourself in Sunnyvale, Leigh’s is a great little bookstore. I bought a collection of George Orwell essays, which, of course, had me digging into the canon of great essay collections.
Here’s an anxiety-reducing tip for your week (or month or year or life): treat your lists more like menus than step-by-step to-dos. This methodology isn’t always possible, but when it is, you won’t ever think of your lists in the same way.
Want to feel better about your book-hoarding habits? Read this piece: “Why do I hoard more books than I could possibly read? An investigation.”
Here are my latest editor’s picks for Longreads:
How Athletic Beer Won Over America — Millennials and Gen Z-ers are drinking less than previous generations; here’s the beverage company that’s filled the gap.
The Struggle Is Awesome — how did a 39-year-old mother of three take the running world by storm?
The Secret Life of the 500+ Cables That Run the Internet — a profile on the surprisingly low-tech ocean-spanning underground cables that route 95% of all internet traffic.
Don’t miss last Tuesday’s great discussion about your favorite books of summer — you might just find your next great read.
Also be sure to check out Chirp’s latest deals on action and adventure audiobooks.
Thanks so much for reading! I deeply appreciate it.