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curb cuts, david goggins, and bullshit diamonds

Listening to

99% Invisible 308: Curb Cuts. Genuinely one of my favourite episodes of 99pi.. ever. Who knew that an episode about those little slopes you can roll down at crossings would be so great(?) I had no idea about the history of them, and just sort of assumed they were a default part of building curbs but turns out that they didn’t get built until the 60’s when activists like Ed Roberts – a disabled student at Berkeley – really raised the profile of why they’re needed.

“If you’re trying to get across the street and there are no curb cuts, six inches might as well be Mount Everest,” says Lawrence Carter Long. “Six inches makes all the difference in the world if you can’t get over that curb.”

It’s a fantastic episode. The epilogue is great too, and one I want to come back to when I’ve got time.. Curb-cut effects. Watch this space.

The Joe Rogan Experience #1080 – David Goggins. The first comment on the reddit thread for this episode is “Had no idea who he was. After 10 minutes I was completely drawn in. This dude is awesome.” which sums it up nicely. Essentially, he’s an ex Navy SEAL who became an ultra-marathon runner and also broke the world record for pull-ups (4,025 in 17 hours).. all of that after having a torrid childhood, being hugely overweight and having a heart defect. I’m not usually into ‘motivational’ talks and that type of thing, but I listened to this during a 17 mile walk and I swear, I could’ve carried on walking all day. The man is a beast and for 2 hours I really wanted to be a beast too. It wore off though, and I’m back to my slovenly ways. But really though, ridiculous physical exertion aside, there’s a lot to take from his attitude and I for one definitely intend to DO something soon.

This American Life 339: Break-Up. It’s a really old episode (from 2007) which bizarrely has actual Phil Collins giving advice to someone who is trying to write a break-up song. Mildly interesting, but it’s the brief bit about a child trying to understand her parents divorce that made this episode worth listening to.

Reading

Diamonds are Bullshit. A great breakdown on why diamonds on engagement rings is a massive con. In a nutshell: “Diamonds are not actually scarce, make a terrible investment, and are purely valuable as a status symbol.