Previously: Bridges, meat, diamonds (w/e 11 June)

11.52, Friday 11 Jun 2021

Some blog posts this week from years gone by.

1 year ago

Singing bridges (8 June 2020).

I’m also pretty taken with the idea that we don’t know what the Golden Gate Bridge is singing about, other than it being windy. It tickles me that the bridge has its own internal life that leads it to sing, but it’s no more speaking to us than a blackbird. Why should the bridge want to tell us anything? And why would we be able to understand it if it did?

What is the song of our cities?

2 years ago

Meat and gratitude (6 June 2019).

For me, I do continue to eat meat (although less than I used). But I think a lot of my discomfort around it - environmentally, the agro-industry, health - is displacement from the hard-to-digest fact that, when I’ve met a cow, they’re super nice to hang out with, and I could see us being friends. And that feeling isn’t going to go away.

We should say “thank you” to meat. Or stop eating it, I suppose.

13 years ago

The source of a diamond (10 June 2008).

“The source of a diamond is a kimberlite pipe, a form of diatreme–a relatively small hole bored through the crust of the earth by an expanding combination of carbon dioxide and water which rises from within the earth’s mantle and moves so fast driving magma to the surface that is breaks into the atmosphere at supersonic speeds.”

This is simply an extended quote from John McPhee’s monumental Annals of the Former World, and these two things are equally extraordinary: (a) how diamonds come to be; (b) McPhee’s command of the written word.

Read the whole thing.

(Another quote. Swoon.)

Some favourite posts selected from this week’s On This Day archive spelunking page. This is an experiment to see how to best surface older ideas in the current feed in a meaningful way, possibly as a regular Friday feature.

More posts tagged:

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it by email or on social media. Here’s the link. Thanks, —Matt.