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Dyatlov Pass Incident

Dyatlov Pass incident

One of our faves, Stuff You Missed In History Class, just came out with an episode about the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Listen here

In 1959, nine students ventured into the Ural mountains for a ski hiking trip, and never returned. While much speculation has swirled for more than half a century, no one knows for certain what caused them to abandon their camp to die in the cold.

October 6, 2014 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Pete Seeger

We’ll miss you, Pete Seeger.

(From the New Yorker. One of our favorite stories. Ever.)

January 28, 2014 | History, Music/Movies/Books, Politics | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Happy Birthday Woodsy Owl

Woody Owl

This Sunday, September 15th, The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service celebrates Woodsy Owl’s 42nd birthday. Woodsy has been America’s symbol for conservation since 1971 when his campaign encouraged citizens to, “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” both in the city and in the woods. Watch his 1977 PSA here and download a PDF of the history of Woodsy here.

September 12, 2013 | History, Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

John Wesley Powell

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 10.01.36 AM

This NPS-produced video about John Wesley Powell – the one-armed war vet that lead the first known expedition down the Colorado through that big ol’ Grand Canyon – is just so wonderfully cheesy. Watch it. Or just listen.

June 27, 2013 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

A Life Well Lived

Jim Whittaker

It was fifty years ago that Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mount Everest. Check out “A Life Well Lived,” a short documentary about the climber here. Inspiring guy.

May 22, 2013 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }



Thank you to the good folks at VICE for inviting us up to the Explorer’s Club (more on that place to come) last week for a private screening of the latest and greatest in their Far Out series. The VICE team found themselves in Siberia this time around, visiting a woman who has lived her entire life 160 miles from the nearest town. Read more of the fascinating story here (it’s worth your time, believe you me) and start watching Agafia’s Taiga Life.

April 2, 2013 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Explorers Club Dinners

Explorers Club

Thank you to the Village Voice‘s food blog, Fork In the Road, for posting these great Explorers Club menus from their famous dinners of yesteryear. More info:

The Explorers Club was founded in 1904 by a couple of full-time explorers and a ragtag crew of archaeologists, journalists, and professors — they finally began admitting women members in 1981, starting with the geologist Kathryn Sullivan and deep-sea diver Sylvia Earle.

Today, the club is still driven by “the instinct to explore,” especially at the dinner table. Once a year, international members gather in New York to honor “various accomplishments in exploration” and to eat extremelyadventurously, from a banquet that famously celebrates the marginalized delights of maggots, scorpions, and roaches, and offal of all sorts, from duck tongue to pig’s face. (Back in 2001, three allergy-prone diners suffered from burning, itchy mouths after eating improperly prepared tarantula tempura – the spider had been served with its urticating bristles, or poisonous leg hair, still intact.)

This year’s feast — the club’s 109th — takes place on Saturday evening at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Here’s a look back at some of the club’s menu designs over the years, starting in 1896 when it was still called the Arctic Club, through 1974.

March 13, 2013 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

The Mazamas

The Mazamas (pronounced mah zah maz) is a mountaineering club based in Portland, Oregon. The name comes from the Nahuatl word for mountain goat, mazati, which explain the logo above. And not surprisingly, Mount Mazama, the collapsed volcano that formed Oregon’s Crater Lake, is another point of reference for the club’s name.

The cool part: It was founded in July of 1894 on the summit of Mount Hood. Charter members had responded to an advertisement in the Morning Oregonian the previous month announcing a meeting at the summit. 105 men and women showed up and were all considered “founders.”

MP3: Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

November 28, 2012 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

John James Audobon

John James Audobon is best known for The Birds of America, the book that contains his illustrations of all 435 birds that were known in the United States around 1827, the year the book was first published. But – according to this PBS article – “he lived in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina and New York – traveled everywhere from Labrador to the Dry Tortugas off Florida, from the Republic of Texas to the mouth of the Yellowstone – was a merchant, salesman, teacher, hunter, itinerant portraitist and woodsman, an artist and a scientist.”

Listen to New York Public Library Curator, Michael Inman, talk about Audubon’s early life and the process of getting TBOA pusblished in a two part podcast from Stuff You Missed in History Class. It’s worth your time, I promise.

Youtube: Weather Report – Birdland

October 8, 2012 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


On the night of July 4th, I drove 30 minutes to a ranch somewhere between Marfa and Fort Davis, TX, all while staring at two West Texas agate bracelets I had made by Paul at Moonlight Gemstones for my friends’ wedding. I was listening to – no, rather blasting – John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” on Marfa Public Radio while eating Ak-Mak from a box on the passenger side seat. That moment, needless to say, has stuck with me for the last couple of days, though I suppose whenever I get back from Texas I have AGATE on my mind. Have a quick read here about where that handsome rock gets its name and how it’s formed.

And that’s all for my recent trip to Texas on this rag. Until next time…

Watch: John Coltrane – My Favorite Things

July 11, 2012 | History, Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }