The average home size in every U.S. state. There are some suprises here.
Is this really the only portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime?
The figure portrayed is a bearded, balding man in shirt and doublet, with the top left and right of the canvas helpfully inscribed 1608 and AE (aged) 44 – the correct age for the playwright at the time.
A Courtauld Institute examination of the picture in 2016 concluded the pigments were consistent with the period, while its well-preserved state pointed to it having remained in the same location for a lengthy period, possibly centuries.
In the future you will live on Mars and arrive with your dogs for an alfresco Thanksgiving dinner being prepared by a personal chef.
How to run your own Mastodon server.
A high level explanation of the FTX debacle:
Imagine that I own a house and I create a million coins representing the value of the house. I give half of the coins to my wife. I then sell one of my coins to my wife for $10. Now the house has a nominal value of $10 million dollars and my wife and I each have assets worth $5 million.
At the top of the list of most regretted college majors: Journalism. I don’t regret my journalism degree at all. Though I always intended to use it to work in journalism and did so for decades. It’s even paying dividends now paired with an MBA.
But I know a good number of journalism majors never work in the field and for those, I’m sure it might have felt like a mistake.
Truths your mother didn’t tell you: If you have a cupcake for breakfast you can call it a muffin. And pumpkin pie is a fruit quiche.
One of these photos of a Poodle at the beach was generated by artificial intelligence. The other is the real thing.
Envy, the Happiness Killer: “As the essayist Joseph Epstein has written, ‘Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all.'”
Good News, the World Is Getting Better: “The fact is that while problems remain, the world is, in fact, getting better. We just rarely hear it.”
Letters to Jeb Bush: “I had never e-mailed Jeb Bush before, but, earlier that week, he’d told the residents of New Hampshire to contact him if they had problems that they felt he could help with—a generous invitation that I had read about online.”
We spent a long weekend RV camping at Alabama’s Gulf State Park nestled between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Here are a few notes from the trip:
- The park is more like a private resort than a state park. It offers free bike rentals and a free tram service to park restaurants and the beach.
- It’s a short trip into Gulf Shores or Orange Beach for additional dining options. But while in the park you do feel like you’re in nature, tucked away from civilization.
- There are 28 miles of paved or boardwalk trails in the park.
- A dog park sits on Shelby Lake with open access to the water for your pet. One of the better dog parks we’ve visited, with plenty of shade.
- The lodge is run by Hilton and sits directly behind the dunes on the Gulf of Mexico and has a mid-century vibe. It’s worth a visit and the restaurants are great, with water views. Because it’s in the park, you’re not sitting in the shadows of condominums.
- If you only ever visit this state park in Alabama, don’t be fooled into thinking they are all this nice. While many have beautiful natural features, no other park in the state is even close on amenities. This is the flagship and it looks like it.
- If you want to go, book early. The park is popular with snow birds and families and books fills up about a year in advance. 🗺
K.Flay at The Basement East in Nashville. February 12, 2022.
In early September singer K.Flay announced on social media she has a rare medical condition that left her totally deaf in one ear and with severe vertigo. She’s been forthcoming about the difficulties this has posed for normal life, not to mention her career:
i think the most unexpected challenge has been the impact of the hearing loss on my balance and orientation, which makes basic things (like walking or driving) really difficult. i’m in physical therapy to work on that, and i’m getting a little better each day. i can now do a jumping jack :))))) my goal is to be moving pretty freely by the end of october
I would describe the Grammy nominated singer-songwriter as alternative, indie-pop rap. In February she released the deluxe album Inside Voices / Outside Voices that combines two of her previous works and is a good introduction to her music. Here’s wishing her a quick and full recovery. 🎵
I have two jobs now and I’m trying to decide which is my side hustle. I can make a good case for either. One offers a creative outlet and the other offers benefits.
American Gothicdoodle. (DALL-E 2)
I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.
It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.
– William Shatner, writing about his flight to space 💬
As we get some cooler fall weather it’s time for cocktails with a little spiceness. But because I live in the south, except on the coldest of days, I drink most cocktails chilled. This ginger old fashioned is a nice drink to enjoy through Christmas. It relies on homemade ginger simple syrup, so I’ve included that recipe first.
Ginger Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger
Bring the ginger, sugar, and water to a boil over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Reduce to simmer and remove from heat. Steep covered for 30 minutes. Double strain the syrup through a fine mesh into an airtight container. Discard ginger and store syrup for up to a month in the refrigerator.
Ginger Old Fashioned
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 1/4 oz ginger simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 2 Luxardo cherries
Add simple syrup, bitters and cherries to cocktail glass and lightly muddle cherries. Add a few cubes of ice and stir about 30 seconds or until cold. Top glass with ice, garnish with an orange and enjoy.
Note: The rich, fruitiness of the Luxardo cherries pairs well with the spiciness of the ginger syrup and rye whiskey. So don’t skip this ingredient. 🍸
Sir Primp-a-Lot. (DALL-E 2)
I set up DNS today so this blog officially lives at https://dailymiscellany.com.
Stay in the game: A story with a happy ending.
At the darkest point, he almost called it. And there was nothing we could do about it. Even if we weren’t 5,000 miles away there was nothing we could do about it.
But, for some reason, he decided not to. Max decided to stay in the game.
A free prompt book for using DALL-E 2.
Dogs at a music festival (Dall-E 2).
Along with Spotify’s Release Radar playlist (which is based on artists you follow), listening to the New Music Friday episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast is a good way to discover new albums and a fun way to end the week. My picks from this week: Shygirl’s “Nymph” and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s “Cool It Down.” 🎵
I was at a cocktail bar tonight and had fond memories of an old coworker who used to go weekly with his wife to a hotel bar in Winter Park, Florida. They would meet friends and he would always have a Rob Roy cocktail. So I had one tonight, too.
Rob Roy Cocktail
- 2 ounces scotch
- 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Brandied cherries
Add the scotch, sweet vermouth and bitters to a cocktail shake filled with ice. Shake until icy cold and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherries. 🍸
I’ve managed online news coverage of hurricanes while working with newspapers in two states and my recommendation is to hit the local sites for the most up to date and accurate coverage. The local reporters know the area, have the best contacts and have a better understanding of the storm’s impact. Even the best national news sites get the details wrong and lack perspective.
Here is the Tampa Bay Times, the Fort Myers News-Press and the Orlando Sentinel. I also recommend searching Google for local TV stations in the area you are interested in. They’ll have better human interest stories that are missed by the national media.
Finished reading: Fairy Tale by Stephen King.
This is a bit of a concept novel. What would happen if you ventured into the world where fairy tales come from? The truth would turn out to be much more horrible than the stories. King pulls it off in this fantasy novel about a teenager who passess through a portal to a parallel world where he finds himself in the middle of a battle between good and evil. 📚