The view from the street


I ventured into DC this weekend which I often do to whet my appetite for street photography. Little did I know, two events were happening: the Juggalo March and a Latino Festival which ran down Constitution Avenue.

While I snapped many pictures of those folks, what struck me most was this skateboarder flying down 15th street with the entire street to himself. Since the streets were closed off, he had the freedom to ride wherever he wanted. You can also see the newly opened African American museum layered in the backdrop.

gif and photos by Wells Baum

I only skateboarded a few times growing up, but the sport comes with valuable life lessons if you can keep up with it. As Jerry Seinfeld put it:

To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times do you get something wrong until you get something right? If you learn to do that trick, now you’ve got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think those kids will be alright.

Skateboarding is a life’s sport. The skateboard culture ushered in by Tony Hawk and brands like Vans introduced an element of coolness and creativity forever.

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Newsletter: ‘Find the torture you’re comfortable with’


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Harper’s: July Edward Penfield (1866–1925): The MET

web gems

1

Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination

Procrastination is the purest form of idleness. Our brain’s neurons ultimately dictate what we decide to do. “Who you are depends on what your neurons are up to, moment by moment,” writes David Eagleman in his book The Brain: The Story of You.

We are stuck between thinking and action, for which we have little choice but to finish what we conjure up in our minds or actualize in real life. “The procrastinator is both contemplator and man of action, which is the worst thing to be, and which is tearing him apart.” Humanities professor and author Costica Bradatan explains why procrastination is more than doing nothing.

nytimes.com

2

From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps

One of the oldest surviving maps (the Babylonian Map of the World) is “about the size and shape of an early iPhone.” While maps continue to guide us, they also exploited to drive conquest, gentrification, taxes, and voting polls.also have always lied. To quote the author Mark Monmonier of How to Lie With Map, “No map entirely tells the truth. There’s always some distortion, some point of view.”

Smithsonianmag.com

3

How to Live With Critics (Whether You’re an Artist or the President)

Criticism is democratic, integral to an informed democracy. Argues literary critic and poet Adam Kirsch: “Everyone brings his or her own values and standards to the work of judging. This means that it is also, essentially, democratic. No canon of taste or critical authority can compel people to like what they don’t like.”

nytimes.com

4

Schedule Nothing

“We like lists because we don’t want to die,” said Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco. But in the age of digital distraction, we make records of things we’ll simply never complete. This cartoon explains why.

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wellsbaum.blog

5

Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘The End of Advertising’

“Devoid of advertising, television was elevated to arguably the world’s most relevant mass art form.” Former advertising executive Andrew Essex tells the story about the dual nature of today’s ads, following the example of Bayer which developed both aspirin and heroin in 1898.

nytimes.com

quote of the week

“Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you’re comfortable with.”

Jerry Seinfeld


digging in the crates

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  1. Laurence Guy – Wichita Falls
  2. Laurence Guy – Drum Is A Woman (feat. Steve Spacek)
  3. Rothadam – I Was Born To Be A Rebel
  4. Bruce – Before You Sleep
  5. Sudan Archives – Come Meh Way

LISTEN


I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing it here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

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via giphy

Satisfying a Commuter


I used to commute from Connecticut into Grand Central Station and walk all the way from 42nd and Lex to 57th and Broadway for work. I probably took the subway fifteen times in four years. For me, walking is a non-negotiable. If I can walk to work, I’ll do it so I can get my ten thousand steps for the day. I also love taking photos on the way.

Now I live in Virgina and commute into DC. The train ride is 30 minutes. I get off a couple stops earlier so I can walk to work and get my steps in. I’ve been taking tons of DC photos too.

The entire trip door to door is about 45 minutes. I reach 10,000 steps by the time I get home.

Shaving my commute 30 minutes means more time to see my wife and dog which means more happiness.

The commute is an important part of our day and has an impact on our well being. For me, walking is a huge part of it.

“If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that’s just about the coolest thing that there is.” – Jerry Seinfeld

I exercise by walking. I think by walking. I write by walking. Locomotion fuels creativity. A commute should never be about work but what you get to do and see on the way.

I enjoy my commute. It’s a pursuit of interestiness.


You don’t even really need a place. But you feel like you’re doing something. That is what coffee is. And that is one of the geniuses of the new coffee culture.

Jerry Seinfeld talks coffee on NPR

To which he adds: 

“You have coffee and for some reason it makes you talk a lot.”

Coffee creates conversation.  It’s a social object.  

And if you don’t have anyone to talk to but yourself, coffee inspires you to do stuff like write, draw, read, or just think. Or it could be used as a good reason to take a break.