Bernd Heinrich, Robert Mitchum, Mathematics, Parenting, Noodles

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The Lost Art Of Growing Old

Bill Donahue | Outside | 17th December 2017

Admiring profile of naturalist and ultramarathon runner Bernd Heinrich, 77, more productive than ever in his New England cabin without mains water, phone or fridge. “When I began adding up Bernd’s septuagenarian streak, I realized that here was a rare man — a throwback. We live in an age that affords little time and space for communing with nature. But Bernd has dug in his heels against this collective drift. He has recognized where he wants to be in old age and settled in, with purpose” (4,500 words)

The Last Celluloid Desperado

Grover Lewis | Rolling Stone | 15th March 1973

Epic profile of Robert Mitchum from 1973. Of its time, which is to say that Mitchum’s swearing, drinking and womanising are treated indulgently, even admiringly. “A sleek black limo driven by a bullet-headed Teamster named Harry docks at the curb, and Mitchum alights, wearing pitch-black shades and a dark topcoat. There’s a hush as he walks leisurely down the grassy glade toward the camera setup, moving in the loose, powerful stride that’s known in the trade as the Mitchum Ramble” (13,100 words)

On This Day In Math

Pat Ballew | 16th January 2018

There is no such thing as a boring number. January 16th is the 16th day of the year. 16 is the only number that can be written as (a to the power b) = (b to the power a) when a and b are not equal. 16 and its next smaller square, 9, form a square when added or multiplied: 16+9=25, 16×9=144. 16 is the smallest number which is the sum of two distinct primes in two ways, 16 = 3 + 13 = 5 + 11. Jim Wilder pointed out that 16 to the power 16 ends in 1616, 18446744073709551616 (3,500 words)

The Diabolical Genius Of The Baby Advice Industry

Oliver Burkeman | Guardian | 16th January 2018

Books on parenting offer contradictory advice with equal assurance. How can this be? Because it’s all fantasy. There are no right answers about how best to bring up a child. Methods vary wildly across time and place. Nuances make little or no difference. “There is very little evidence that conscious decisions about co-sleeping or not, forcing them to do extra homework or letting them play have reliable and predictable long-term effects. From an empirical perspective, parenting is a mug’s game” (5,700 words)

Profit And Sauce

Laura Hayes | Washington City Paper | 17th January 2018

Restaurants in Washington, DC break down the cost of providing their signature dishes. Ingredients typically account for 25-30% of the sticker price. Baan Thai near Logan Circle clears just 71 cents net on its $15 rice noodles with chicken and shrimp after paying wages, rent, utilities and taxes. The restaurant makes its profit on the drinks. Spirits are marked up to 14 times the trade price. “Liquor is everything. The best thing you can do for a restaurant is order a vodka soda” (1,750 words)

Video of the day Log Cabin

What to expect:

Timelapse video. How to build a log cabin single-handed, from first tree cut to last floor-board laid (4’57”)

Thought for the day

No man was ever wise by chance

Podcast of the day Bill Kristol | Slate

Isaac Chotiner talks to Bill Kristol about conservatism and Republican politics from Reagan to Trump

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