Weekend Reading

Five articles to take you far from home this weekend:

The Last Stop for Greyhound by Derek Shapton
– How they managed that Thai cave rescue: Miracle At Tham Luang by Sean Flynn
– Commuting to work on a Zimbabwean train
A terrific interactive trip along the nine-hour, 2,439km journey across eight stations from West Kowloon to Beijing
– A long and absorbing look at the region around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor

Black Panther Photos, Mission Accomplished

It really just has to be the most exciting thing ever for photographer Will Burrard-Lucas. Big congratulations to him for getting photos of the exceedingly rare black panther at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya, sort of between and to the north of Nakuru and Mt. Kenya.

His story and the photos are on his website.

Quotes: In the Service of the Public

Anne Applebaum writes that both the American Republicans and the British Conservatives are unable to govern just now.

In the U.S. the government has been shut down by the grandstanding of the leader of the Republican party and is only provisionally back open for the moment, pending his desire to revisit his deathwish. In the U.K., as Applebaum puts it,

“The government cannot pass the Brexit deal it has negotiated. The opposition cannot unseat the government.”

She writes that they all “have stopped thinking about the good of the nation and can focus only on what’s good for the party — or for themselves.”

In this light, a company that prominent Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg helped to found just happens to have recently established an investment fund in Ireland – outside the City of London financial district – ahead of the UK leaving the European Union. According to Mr. Rees-Mogg,

“The decision to launch the fund was nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit.”

Quotes: Carry That Weight

My due diligence for a trip to southeast Asia has taken me down an obscure path. Exploring French efforts to regain their Indochinese colony after WWII has led me to Theodore White’s Fire in the Ashes: Europe in Mid Century. Teddy White went on to write the Making of the President series of books starting with the 1960 Kennedy election, books that made his career.

He started his book with a lengthy description of intercontinental air travel because then, few people had had that experience. He wrote, “in our years almost as many men cross the great ocean by wings as travel it by boat,” revealing not only a no longer acceptable sexism (“men” cross the ocean) but also that when the book came out in 1953, more people still traveled across the Atlantic by ship.

But the quote I mean to highlight comes a few pages later:

“It is obvious that new leadership in both America and Russia is now wrenching the whole course of world affairs into new patterns and perspectives. What is less obvious is that in this wrenching process Europe, forgotten through the postwar years as a factor in power, must contribute as greatly as either of the two new titans.”

The Americans have urged the Europeans to take more responsibility for their own defense for as long as I’ve been grown up. Here is an exhortation to Europe to rise up and carry its weight in world affairs that is sixty-six years old.

Weekend Reading

It’s still winter but the daffodils are pushing up out of the not quite frozen ground here in southern Appalachia. The end of winter is in sight, but between now and then we have at least a few more indoor weekends to come. This weekend I suggest a few politics-free articles, all at least vaguely related to traveling around this big old world.

These young lions in the photo are about nine months old, our guide in Amboseli thought. My next 3QD article will be about lions in a couple weeks. And you can see bunches more lions and tigers and bears (actually, I’m not sure there are bears) among the 691 photos currently in the Animals and Wildlife Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. For now, happy reading and a good weekend to you. On to the reading:

– Get a great tour of Tibet in Travels in Geology: Lhasa, Tibet: Journey to the roof of the world from Earth Magazine.
– And a photo essay of Russia’s far north.
– Peter Frankopan argues we’re too Europe-centric around here: Don’t let the rise of Europe steal world history.
– I enjoyed this discussion of Imperial Exceptionalism.
– Interesting article here written by Geoffrey Clarfield: Understanding Modern African Horrors by Way of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade
– It’s really hot again this summer in Australia.
– See Russia’s Las Vegas
Life in pursuit of science on Lake Baikal in winter and in the remote Chilean Atacama desert.

Politics-free except for this: Let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on in Thai politics. Yellows and reds and kings and princesses and military men and elections. Oh my.