Category Archives: Pleasures


The California Dream Is Dying – The Atlantic

The once-dynamic state is closing the door on economic opportunity.

By Conor Friedersdorf, July 21, 2021

About the author: Conor Friedersdorf is a California-based staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Emily Haasch

Behold California, colossus of the West Coast: the most populous American state; the world’s fifth-largest economy; and arguably the most culturally influential, exporting Google searches and Instagram feeds and iPhones and Teslas and Netflix Originals and kimchi quesadillas.

This place inspires awe.

If I close my eyes I can see silhouettes of Joshua trees against a desert sunrise; seals playing in La Jolla’s craggy coves of sun-spangled, emerald seawater; fog rolling over the rugged Sonoma County coast at sunset into primeval groves of redwoods that John Steinbeck called “ambassadors from another time.”

–from article

This landscape is bejeweled with engineering feats: the California Aqueduct; the Golden Gate Bridge; and the ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway that stretches south of Monterey, clings to the cliffs of Big Sur, and descends the kelp-strewn Central Coast, where William Hearst built his Xanadu on a hillside where his zebras still graze.

No dreamscape better inspires dreamers. Millions still immigrate to my beloved home to improve both their prospects and ours.

Yet I fear for California’s future. The generations that reaped the benefits of the postwar era in what was the most dynamic place in the world should be striving to ensure that future generations can pursue happiness as they did. Instead, they are poised to take the California Dream to their graves by betraying a promise the state has offered from the start.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: The California Dream Is Dying – The Atlantic

5 Luxe Resorts at America’s National Parks | justluxe

By Tracie Silberberg Jul. 15th, 2021


A trip to America’s national parks once meant packing a tent or finding the nearest roadside motel.

Indeed, in the mid-century heyday of the road trip, it was part of the charm.

Chip Henderson for The Swag

But as park visitors have become more diverse, and more discerning, over the decades, so too have the surrounding accommodations. Today, travelers can choose from desert bungalows with private plunge pools, five-star hotels with room service, or chic cabins with outdoor rain showers — all in close proximity to open spaces and natural beauty.

For travelers looking to explore the Great Outdoors with full-service amenities, these luxury resorts offer front-row access…

Source: 5 Luxe Resorts at America’s National Parks

Website allows users to listen to thousands of radio stations around the world – The Washington Post

By Mark Jenkins, May 27, 2021 at 11:16 a.m. PDT


When I spent a few days in Ubud, Bali’s cultural-tourism capital, gamelan music was rarely out of earshot.

The intricate percussive music — the principal thing that drew me to the island — clanged from shops, restaurants and abundant open-air performance spaces.

I expected to experience that ubiquity again when I returned recently, some 20 years later.

Instead, as I glided over the Indonesian archipelago, I heard thumping EDM, treacly pop and whole foundries of shrieking heavy metal.

Of course, I didn’t travel to Bali in person this time. The island and the rest of Indonesia are closed to international travelers because of covid-19, according to the latest State Department advisory. Neither could I have physically floated above the South Pacific. It was my cursor that did the hovering as it navigated, a website that portrays more than 33,000 streaming radio stations as individual green dots on a spinnable virtual globe that charts oceans, deserts and mountains but not national borders.

Radio Garden is a banquet for anyone who enjoys maps, international music and travel, and self-guided cultural studies. It began in 2016 as a temporary project of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, devised by interactive design firms Studio Puckey and Moniker. The site was such a sensation that co-designer Jonathan Puckey decided to keep it in operation after its initial run. The website, also available as an app, became an independent company in 2019 — just in time for the pandemic, which boosted usage by as much as 750 percent in some periods.

Source: Website allows users to listen to thousands of radio stations around the world – The Washington Post

The best summer books, according to our readers – The Washington Post

By Stephanie Merry, May 27, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. PDT

(The Washington Post illustration)

Summer reading means different things to different people.

Case in point: The subscribers to our Book Club newsletter answered a recent call-out to share the books they’d recommend for the months ahead, and let’s just say this isn’t your typical roster of beach reads.

Gilgamesh and Herodotus were among the cerebral choices that made the cut, among an eclectic crowd of others.


Comparing unexpected major victories by Tiger and Phil |

Eric Patterson, 2d ago


Tiger Woods will always have the upper hand over Phil Mickelson in terms of career accomplishments.

Eighty-two wins and 15 major victories put Woods in rarified air only Jack Nicklaus can relate to.

Unfortunately for Mickelson, he’s been compared to him throughout his career and will be seen as second best.

In fact, barring some drastic return to elite form, Mickelson will end his career without ever reaching No. 1 in the world.

Source: Comparing unexpected major victories by Tiger and Phil |