Odds & Ends: June 7, 2024

Society of the Snow. Based on the true story of the crash of a Uruguayan plane carrying a rugby team in the Andes in 1972, this intense and disturbing film (I’m not kidding, it’s not for the faint of heart . . . or stomach), is a real-life survival story at its most unromantic. While the thing that most people know about the story is that survivors of the crash had to turn to eating the bodies of dead passengers to sustain themselves, it’s really about much more than that — finding meaning in hardship, the bonds and brotherhood formed in adversity, and the infinite human capacity to endure. (The film was made in Spanish; watch the original with English subtitles rather than the overdubbed verision.)

Huckberry’s Father’s Day Shop. Father’s Day is next Sunday, and if you’re looking for a gift for dear old dad (or looking for ideas for others to gift you), check out Huckberry’s online shop, where they’ve curated a collection of gift ideas for all types of dads. A few standouts:

  • Flint and Tinder Cotton Hemp Polo Shirt. I’m wearing one right now as I write this. It’s been my go-to polo shirt for the past few months. Lightweight, breathable, and casually cool.
  • Bellroy Hide and Seek Wallet. My wallet for the past few years. It’s thin, but allows you to cram a lot of stuff in it. It’s still going strong. See my full review here.
  • Skeletool CX. I’m always on the lookout for new pocket knives and multi-tools. The Skeletool from Leatherman is going to be my next acquisition. It’s a lightweight, stripped-to-the-bone version of their iconic multi-tool.

Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli. I enjoyed this short book about why you should stop reading the news and following the news on social media. A few of the reasons: keeping up with the news destroys your attention span, you can’t act on 95% of it so it just makes you anxious, and it can suck up all your time. Dobelli also responds to potential objections people have about ditching the news, such as the idea that keeping up with current events is an obligation of a responsible citizen. We’ve made similar points to Dobelli’s in this article and Sunday Fireside and have been spare consumers of news for a long time now. But the book’s inspired me to ditch X/Twitter (again!). I fell off my don’t-read-X bandwagon a few months ago, and I have definitely felt myself getting dumber.

Every Day Do Something That Won’t Compute. In a commencement address given at a prep school, Jeffrey Bilbro encouraged the young grads to prepare for failure by having things in their life that they do that are “beautiful and totally useless.” He quotes a line from a Wendell Berry poem that can help you make sure you’re not living your life only in achievement/productivity mode: “friends, every day do something / that won’t compute.” It’s made me think of things I do or could start doing that don’t compute: reading a good book for the sake of reading a good book, playing basketball with my kids, catching up with an old friend. Do more things that don’t compute.

Quote of the Week

A light supper, a good night’s sleepand a fine morning, have sometimes made a hero of the same man, who by an indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning, would have proved a coward.

—Lord Chesterfield


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