rundarkmark

agirlnamedally:

Meet Cliff Young, a 61-year-old potato farmer from Victoria, Australia, who won the Inaugural Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon, a distance of 875 kilometres (544 miles) in 1983. Young finished the race in five days, 15 hours and four minutes, which essentially means he ran 3 full marathons (42 kilometres each) every day. He ran at a slow loping pace and trailed the leaders for most of the first day, but by running while the others slept, he took the lead the first night and maintained it for the remainder of the race, eventually winning by ten hours.

Before running the race, he told the press that he had previously run for two to three days straight rounding up sheep in gumboots. He claimed afterwards that during the race, he imagined that he was running after sheep and trying to outrun a storm. His time was almost two days faster than the previous record for any run between Sydney and Melbourne. All six competitors who finished the race broke the previous record, but were unable to match Young’s relentlessness and lack of rest. When he got the check for ten thousand dollars, he told the organizers he wasn’t actually aware there was a prize for winning. Then he said he felt bad that he should get the prize money when everyone else worked just as hard as him, so he divided the ten grand equally among all the participants in the race.

Young continued running, setting six outdoor world endurance records despite the notable handicap of being basically old as hell. At the age of 63 he ran 150 miles in a 24 hour period. In 1997 he tried to circumnavigate Australia to raise money for disadvantaged homeless orphans, but the 76 year-old had to drop out after just 6250 kilometers (3,800 miles, or roughly the distance from Key West, FL to Whistler, BC) when his only crew member (a trainer who, by the way, was making this trip in a car) passed out from illness. In 2000, at age 79, he became the oldest man to finish a six-day Ultramarathon, and he did it while he was dying of cancer. He passed away in November 2003, at the age of 81, still running his family farm. He had run over 20,000 kilometers during his racing career. It is said that never kept any of his prize money, instead donating it to charities or giving it to friends as gifts.

If that’s not inspiring I don’t know what is.

I hope to be this good.

washingtonpoststyle

U.S. ambassadors who have died in attacks in the line of duty

washingtonpoststyle:

John Gordon Mein, Guatemala (Aug. 28, 1968)

Cleo A. Noel Jr., Sudan (March 1, 1973)

Rodger P. Davies, Cyprus (Aug. 19, 1974)

Francis E. Meloy Jr., Lebanon (June 16, 1976)

Adolph Dubs, Afghanistan (Feb. 14, 1979)

Christopher Stevens, Libya (Sept. 11, 2012)

Read more on these ambassadors here, and follow our live blog on the attacks that killed Stevens here.

politicalprof

politicalprof:

An excellent article from Eduardo Porter at the New York Times. This graphic is particularly useful. Some highlights:

Every developed country aspires to provide a better life for its people. The United States, among the richest of all, fails in important ways. It has the highest poverty and the highest infant mortality among developed nations. We provide among the least generous unemployment benefits in the industrial world. Not long ago one of the most educated countries in the world, the United States is slipping behind.

The reason is not difficult to figure out: rich though we are, we can’t afford the policies needed to improve our record. The politicians in Washington all know that we face a long-term fiscal crisis. By 2020, 70 million Americans are expected to be on Social Security, up from 45 million in 2000. The ranks on Medicare will swell to 64 million, up from 40 million in 2000. Virtually every economist knows that just maintaining Medicare and Medicaid benefits will require raising taxes on the middle class….

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The big exception has been the United States. In 1965, taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.7 percent of the nation’s output. In 2010, they amounted to 24.8 percent. Excluding Chile and Mexico, the United States raises less tax revenue, as a share of the economy, than every other industrial country….

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To a large extent, this is because we have chosen a tax system that raises relatively little revenue and inflicts maximum economic harm. Every other industrial country has a national consumption tax, which can be used to raise a lot of money without distorting people’s economic incentives. The United States, by contrast, relies mostly on taxes on labor and capital that damp people’s drive to work and invest, putting a drag on economic growth. And the tax code is riddled with preferences and loopholes that further distort people’s economic behavior.

It is tempting to blame the administration of George W. Bush for the tax shortfall. At the end of the administration of President Bill Clinton, tax revenue reached almost 30 percent of the nation’s economic output. The federal government ran a budget surplus. The Bush tax cuts sharply reduced the federal tax collection. Then the Great Recession further eroded tax revenue. And, of course, nobody wants to raise taxes in the middle of an economic downturn.

Yet Americans’ aversion to taxes runs deeper. We’ve been collecting less in taxes than other rich countries at least since the early 1970s, relative to size of the economy. But according to Gallup, only three times since the 1950s have more Americans said their taxes were “about right” than said they were “too high.” Scholars have resorted to cultural traits to explain our reluctance to pay for our government.

The imbalance between what we want and what we’re willing to either pay for or do without drives much of our budget woes these days. Until we square the circle of wants, demands and revenues, we’re screwed.

unconsumption
unconsumption:

T-shirt couture
Scottsdale-based designer Angela Johnson refashions vintage and “thrifted” T-shirts into one-of-a-kind ballgowns, tops, and skirts, among other wearable objects. Every item is made to order; if you own T-shirts that you’d like to have incorporated into the design your piece(s), Angela will include them.
(Makes me wish I’d kept many of my old concert T-shirts!) 

See more on Angela’s Web site here. [Thanks, Angela!]
Photo credit: Top: Juliane Berry Photography. Botttom: David H. Smith.

unconsumption:

T-shirt couture

Scottsdale-based designer Angela Johnson refashions vintage and “thrifted” T-shirts into one-of-a-kind ballgowns, tops, and skirts, among other wearable objects. Every item is made to order; if you own T-shirts that you’d like to have incorporated into the design your piece(s), Angela will include them.

(Makes me wish I’d kept many of my old concert T-shirts!) 

image

See more on Angela’s Web site here. [Thanks, Angela!]

Photo credit: Top: Juliane Berry Photography. Botttom: David H. Smith.

nypl

nypl:

We don’t have the scroll in our collection, but the New York Public Library does have a massive Jack Kerouac archive, in the Berg Collection of English and American Literature. Included are drafts of writing, notebooks, journals, and even items relating to Kerouac’s fantasy baseball team!

Right now you can see a page from a manuscript of On the Road, featuring a mention of Hector’s Cafeteria, at the NYPL’s Lunch Hour NYC exhibition.

wnycradiolab:

poetsorg:

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The poet typed on a scroll for three weeks in the spring of 1951.

Too cool.