in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: September 1, 2023

Benchmade Bugout Knife. I’m always on the lookout for new pocket knives. I recently picked up the Benchmade Bugout based on reviews that I’ve read about it, and I’m digging everything about this simple folding knife. It’s a great EDC knife — slim and lightweight but incredibly sturdy and strong. You can open the blade easily with one hand, and holding the knife feels great. The length of the blade is perfect too. 

“How Chuck Norris Facts Gave Birth to the Modern Meme.” If you’ve been on the internet for more than 15 years, you remember Chuck Norris Facts. Notable examples:

  • When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he’s pushing the Earth down.
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
  • Chuck Norris drinks napalm to fight his heartburn.

This article from ESPN takes a deep dive into the history of Chuck Norris Facts and makes the case that they gave birth to the modern-day meme. Make sure to check out our podcast episode about 1980s action heroes, including Chuck Norris. 

Concluding Unscientific Postscripts by Søren Kierkegaard. My deep dive into Kierkegaard this year continues. I just finished his beast of a book entitled Concluding Unscientific Postscripts. It’s been on my to-read list ever since Jacob Howland mentioned the book in our podcast episode about Kierkegaard’s The Present Age. Kierkegaard’s big idea in this book is the distinction between objective and subjective truth. Objective truth consists of facts about the world that we can all agree on. The world is round, 2+2=4, etc. Subjective truth consists of personal, religious, and existential experiences that can only be experienced by a person individually. Feeling passion about life, love for a child, or faith in God are examples of subjective truths. For Kierkegaard, life is about cultivating those inner subjective truths. To be clear, Kierkegaard’s idea of subjectivity isn’t that truth is relative or whatever you want it to be; rather, it’s about experiencing life with vitality and passion. Concluding Unscientific Postscripts is a long book and hard to read, but packed with some great insights about life, faith, and being a human being.

Did People Look Older? If you’ve ever looked through your parents’ high school yearbooks, you probably felt like the 17-year-olds in 1962 looked like they were 30. I’ve got some magazines from the 1940s called Pic: The Magazine for Young Men. They feature “young men” on the make, and the guy will look like he’s 45, but the caption says he’s only 29. What gives? Did people actually look older in the past or do our brains think they look older because we’re looking at old pictures? YouTuber Vsauce investigates in this fascinating video. 

Quote of the Week

Labor is one of the great elements of society, the great substantial interest on which we all stand; not feudal service, or predial toil, or the irksome drudgery by one race of mankind subjected on account of their color, to another; but labor, intelligent, manly, independent, thinking and acting for itself, earning its own wages, accumulating those wages into capital, educating childhood, maintaining worship, claiming the right of the elective franchise, and helping to uphold the great fabric of the State—that is American labor; and all my sympathies are with it, and my voice, till I am dumb, will be for it.

—Daniel Webster

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