in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: February 2, 2024

Huckberry’s Valentine’s Day Shop. Valentine’s Day is coming up. If you’re looking to get something for your gal, check out Huckberry’s Valentine’s Day Shop for some one-of-a-kind gifts that go beyond Walgreens’ plush teddy bear holding a heart. A few stand-out items: Flint and Tinder Women’s Waxed Trucker Jacket, Redstone Pocket Knife, Turquoise pendant from j.bee.

Glaucon’s Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato’s Republic. I read this book several years ago in preparation for my interview with the author, Jacob Howland, and still think about it today. Howland’s argument is that in the Republic, Socrates was attempting to save the soul of Plato’s politically ambitious brother, Glaucon, but ultimately failed.  Throughout the book, Howland provides insights about Greek notions of manliness, or andreia, and how cultivating the virtue of manliness can help you seek after the Good. 

The Great British Baking Show. Thanks to our daughter, Scout, our family has become big fans of the Great British Baking Show. We’re slowly working our way through some past seasons. The BBC-produced reality competition show pits at-home bakers from the United Kingdom against each other in a series of baking challenges to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. The show is refreshingly charming and wholesome. I think the appeal comes down to the fact that the contestants are actual amateurs (and don’t even get any money if they win!), and unlike most reality competitions that play up conflict and rivalry for drama, the bakers support and root for each other. It’s just so pure. 

Getting the Pump: On the Resurrection of the Body. Author Jordan Castro has penned one of the best and most lyrical odes to weightlifting I’ve come across. He describes how he once ignored physical training, feeling that the cerebral life of the mind was superior and more meaningful, but came to discover that it was something that imparted a new kind of knowledge and a transformative connection to the true, humbling verve of reality. “Thus lifting,” he writes, “which is commonly thought of as the activity of the egotistical and vain, is in reality the opposite—it is a corrective for those things.” When we lift, we go through a bit of suffering so that we can become a new creature and become who we are — it allows us to pass through “little deaths and resurrections every day.” 

Quote of the Week

Look in the face of the person to whom you are speaking if you wish to know his real sentiments, for he can command his words more easily than his countenance.

—Lord Chesterfield

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