Greetings Webtaculators! Writing this issue is giving me flashbacks to pulling all nighters in college – as of this sentence, it is currently 5:10 AM Paris time, and considering all of Saturday plus some was spent traveling, I definitely need some sleep.
The rest of my European vacation was a way too quick five days in Paris. We spent most of Monday traveling from Lyon to Paris. On Tuesday, after a quick in-room visit from a doctor in order to get a prescription for meds to deal with the rusty nail, and an impromptu discovery that Meagan is actually pretty good at giving shots, we spent the day at Les Invalides, which is both a French historical military museum and the final resting place of one Napoleon Bonaparte. French military history is especially interesting because not many other still existing nations have experienced such success and failure and are still around to discuss it from a winners perspective – this is especially true regarding both World Wars, which drastically changed France’s image of itself.
On Wednesday, we went to the Louvre. As one of the largest museums in the world, it is overwhelming. There are so many noteworthy pieces of art, the Mona Lisa included, that any one of their significance is almost diminished. Why bother crowding around the Venus de Milo when there are dozens of other (better) examples of Greek sculpting? We managed to spend six or so hours and ten or so miles exploring the majority of it, and it still feels like we didn’t see everything.
On Thursday we woke up early to venture outside of Paris to Versailles, the fancy digs of the (in)famous King Louises. One of the things that French rulers seem to understand better than anyone is true grandeur – not only is the main palace at Versailles ridiculously massive (to the point where there are too many rooms to know what to do with, or even what their purpose should be), but the grounds themselves are at a scale that really needs to be experienced to get the full effect. Aside from the main palace, there at least three other “minor” palaces, a fully functioning fake village so Marie Antoinette could play farmer, and an orange grove, all of which sits on 3 square miles of manicured lawns, gardens, trees, fountains surrounding a central cross shaped canal that is 1670 meters long. Spend a day there on constant move and you can cover about a third of it.
On Friday, our final day, we did a self guided walking tour after a leisurely breakfast of most of the rest of Paris that we hadn’t checked off yet, including the Latin Quarter, the Arc de Triomphe, the Palais Garnier, and, of course, the remains of Notre Dame. We capped the night with a dinner cruise along the Seine to be able to take the city in one last time.
One of the things I will miss most about the trip is just how good it feels to be able to cover a ton of ground with nothing but your own two feet. We averaged over 6 miles of walking a day over two weeks, but my daily life doesn’t really allow for getting that much distance in unless make an explicit effort. Instead, my desk is patiently waiting my return so I can stay safely seated at it for a solid 8 hours a day to quickly undo all that healthy meandering.
On to the news.
STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Donald Trump Finally Shouts Out The Quiet Part
Why: Because we already knew he was racist – but most racists are not stupid enough to cap a week of anti immigrant fervor and and callousness with telling a bunch of brown congresswomen to go back to countries they aren’t even from.
ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Prime Day Starts Tomorrow
Why: Because the biggest retailer in the US is going to put a bunch of things on sale. Maybe we shouldn’t indulge ourselves this year?
LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Worst And Dumbest
Why: Because Acosta is out as Labor Secretary for his role in giving an insane plea deal to a known rapist.
INFRASTRUCTURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: We Shouldn’t Need Cars
Why: Because the fact that we need cars in modernity means we have failed at properly designing daily life for humans.
SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Tennis Greats
Why: Because the battle between Nadal, Federer and Djokovic over the last decade is a historical anomaly that we probably won’t get to see the likes of again.
MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Good Movie Remains Good
Why: Because this is yet another Disney remake that somehow strips all of the art of the original away and still will be a huge success. Oh I just can’t wait to [see the Lion] King!
TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Strangererer Things
Why: Because 1980’s people are still living in Hawkins Indiana even after they’ve almost been destroyed by monsters twice – this time, with more mall. I can’t get enough.
MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. listen)
What: Lion Royalty
Why: Because two of the biggest current musical acts re-sing one of the biggest songs of my childhood. With Seth Rogen.
ART THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: This Is America
Why: Because the detention centers, used for detaining people who are following US law for seeking asylum into the US, are concentration camps by another name.
THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Plane Ticket To Europe
Why: Because Brian deserves it.
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