Mundaú, Brazil

When a man is exposed to different modes of life, his sense of understanding and sympathy is correspondingly activated.  Preconceptions and prejudices begin to recede into the mist, and steps are made, perhaps still hesitatingly, towards a feeling of human commonalities.  And things that may once have seemed to be so important in our own lives take on a much more diminished aspect.

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Monstrous And Inconceivable: Jack London Builds His Ship To Sail Around The World

“Monstrous and inconceivable” was how Jack London described the conception and construction of his yacht Snark, the vessel on which he planned to sail around the world. The construction was beset by delays, cost overruns, and incompetence.  London fought through the obstacles, even teaching himself celestial navigation while en route to Hawaii.  This podcast describes his thoughts on building it, his problems and obstacles, and the true spirit of discovery. We then close with some tweet readings from the G Manifesto.

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Coming Full Circle

As a man hopefully grows in experience and knowledge, he will begin to notice a curious thing.  The knowledge that he continues to acquire, and the sights that he continues to see here and there, subtly redirect him back to where he first departed.  It is almost as if some grand cosmic joke is at work.  Now when I say we return to where we first started, I do not mean that we return as ignorant as when we first left.  We have grown, matured, and become more complete; there is no going back to the old ways and old days.  And yet, as knowledge grows, we begin to long for the places of our youth:  the sights and sounds of our younger days, and the pleasant connections to eras past.  Wisdom reduces all things to their essentials.

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Ibn Qalaqis On The Importance Of Travel

The poet Nasrallah Ibn Abdallah Al-Qalaqis (نصر اللّه بن عبد اللّه القاضي الأعزّ ابن قلاقس) was born near Alexandria, Egypt in 1137.  He was a master of language and a composer of many exquisite verses, and was also an intrepid traveler.  The name by which he is generally known (Ibn Qalaqis) is derived from the Arabic word for colocasia, a plant cultivated in his day for its medicinal qualities.  His biographer tells us (with a twinkle in his eye) that “He had so little beard that his face was quite bare and, for that reason, verses were composed against him, which I abstain from mentioning on account of their indelicacy.”  One wishes that these lampoons might have been preserved, if only to see how little insults have changed over the centuries.

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