Unusual Hobbies: A Reading List

Refreshingly different!

Longreads

My boyfriend and I share a love of cryptozoology and hidden places. For Valentine’s Day, he bought us matching “explorer” jackets with Nessie and Mothman patches affixed to the sleeves. We have standard hobbies, too—reading, writing, listening to music—but podcasts about Bigfoot and poring over Atlas Obscura is where things get a little weird. In this collection, you’ll meet folks who look at planes, at compasses, at building blocks and at each other (in full Civil War uniform, no less).

1. “Things Are Looking Up For Planespotters, the World’s Most Obsessive Aviation Geeks.” (Andrew McMillen, BuzzFeed, February 2015)

On Saturday mornings, when I was little, my dad played a computer game called Flight Simulator. He’d always loved planes, and flying them virtually was his way of taking to the skies without increasing his insurance payments. I thought of him immediately when I read Andrew McMillen’s reporting. Planespotters photograph, memorize, categorize and share…

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Voyager’s Valentine Turns 25 Today

The final frontier… very, very cool!

Lights in the Dark

If you’re in love with space exploration then you’ll fall for this: it’s the picture of Earth taken from the Voyager 1 spacecraft after it passed the orbit of Pluto in 1990. That image of our planet from almost 4 billion miles away inspired Carl Sagan to write his famous “Pale Blue Dot” passage, and reminds us that we are all just floating on “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

This is from a post I originally published in 2010. I’ll keep trotting it out until it’s not cool anymore. (Which I don’t think will ever happen.)

Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as seen by Voyager 1 in 1990 (Credit: NASA)

On February 14, 1990, after nearly 13 years of traveling the solar system, the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed the orbit of Pluto and turned its camera around to take a series of photos of the…

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Winter’s Wonder

I know, I know, you’re thinking “I hate winter, it’s too cold”.  Me, I love winter, it’s beautiful, harsh, cold, still, bright, and full of promise. Winter levels us, it forces all in its wake to raise our game, our tolerance for cold. I like the sound that my footsteps make as they ‘crunch’ the snow as I walk along our paths and roadway on a February day. It’s a pure sound, a definitive heads-up that nature is in control – the balance restored. Here’s a few of my favourite winter scenes from the current season.

 

 

#DarwinDay

No one inspired me more during my university career then Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Although I was in the ‘sociological’ stream, I found the Darwinian paradigm (still do) more explanatory to the world around me, both social and natural, then most of the theorists upheld as the ‘sociological pillars’ – Durkheim, Simmel, Marx, etc.  In honour of his birthday on February 12th, I wanted to take stock of what Darwin proposed – the gravity of his thoughts and how they changed the world.  If I could go back in time, Charles Darwin would be one of two historical figures I’d like to meet: the other being Mark Twain.

Never stop evolving!!