Excerpt That Obsessed Me – by Anthony Bourdain. “I wanted adventures. I wanted to go up the Nung river to the heart of darkness in Cambodia. I wanted to ride out into a desert on camelback, sand and dunes in every direction, eat whole roasted lamb with my fingers. I wanted to kick snow off my boots in a Mafiya nightclub in Russia. I wanted to play with automatic weapons in Phnom Penh, recapture the past in a small oyster village in France, step into a seedy neon-lit pulqueria in rural Mexico. I wanted to run roadblocks in the middle of the night, blowing past angry militia with a handful of hurled Marlboro packs, experience fear, excitement, wonder. I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books. I wanted to see the world – and I wanted the world to be just like the movies”. From A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines.
So far, in my life, I have rarely felt a complete connection to anything. That passage however, it describes my heart. Well, if I’m honest, I related more to it about two years ago. I’ve been going in a bit of a different direction since then, but I sometimes wonder if I am not a coward for having lived such a comparatively safe life.
Even when exploring was my objective, I never fell into the adventures I hoped for. I’m very proud of my travels, and some of them definitely deserve to be called adventures, but I wonder if I’ll ever manage to live up to these strange, reckless, youthful goals. It’s a ridiculous notion, I know that, but like Bourdain said, I wanted the world to be just like the movies, and I still feel dissapointed that it’s not. These aspirations still hold a grip within me now, but with every year that passes, I have more to loose, and consequently, I feel less inclined to put myself into the kind of situations conducive to these kinds of adventures.
But that’s only one way to phrase it. Every year I have more to lose can easily be turned into back then I had more to gain! But, what did I have to gain from seeking adventure?
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Old Picture I Want to Share – Vertical Cuzco, taken in February 2016. I took this photo on a particularly foggy morning while I was in Cuzco with a friend, Nicolas Comeford (seen in the picture). We had arrived in the city late the previous night. Tired, and following my friend’s travel book recommendation, we made our way to one of the city’s most famous hostels. It seemed promising. It had been a conquistador’s mansion once upon a time, and now it was the city’s largest hostel. Incidentally, it moonlighted as one of the cities most important clubs, a fact we somehow missed while reading the travel book. Having travelled from very far to get to Cuzco, we were completely exhausted, and not in the mood for a night of partying, but we were nevertheless kept up all night by the raging beats emanating through the walls. If that was not bad enough, we had taken two beds in a dorm room, and the club goers constantly came in and out of our room to take drugs and have sex. So much for sleep.
Even more exhausted than when we arrived, we left the hostel at first light. This picture shows our first sight of the city in the light of day, and it was beautiful. Though we were tired, we were grateful for the opportunity to be up before everyone else, to appreciate the city in its silent waking hours. We walked another hour or so with our heavy backpacks, down Cuzco’s crazy steep, staircase sidewalks, until we found a quieter hostel where we could finally sleep.
Science News I’ve been Following Closely – The return of the Hayabusa2 space craft to Earth. Launched by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA in 2010, the Hayabusa2 is establishing itself as one of humanity’s most impressive technological achievements in space. The space craft was sent from earth in 2014. Since then, it has orbited the sun with us, deviating it’s course ever so slightly from ours, so that it could catch up to an asteroid. The asteroid is named 162173 Ryugu, and it is of special interest to researches since it is expected to be an exceedingly old piece of rock, remaining unchanged since the formation of our solar system.
Hayabusa2 followed the asteroid for over a year. In that time, it mapped every corner of the asteroid with impressively clear photography, it dropped an incredibly engineered box on the surface of the asteroid, which collected all manner of data, from information on the asteroids magnetic field, to close up photos, such as the one bellow. This box even had a mechanism by which, with a swinging weight inside of it, the box could hop around the surface of the asteroid to collected data from a variety of locations.
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