Monday Assorted Links

1. A guy filmed a fantastic commercial to sell his girlfriend’s 1996 Honda Accord.

Now his fiancee.

2. Fred Beckey, Conqueror of North American Peaks, Dies at 94.

“Indeed, Mr. Beckey shunned publicity and people. He lived like a hermit in Seattle, holing up to write or vanishing for months on expeditions. He looked like a scruffy hobo — a wiry, stooped nomad with a backpack, a shapeless jacket, dirty pants and sneakers. But he was all-purpose: the craggy face leathery from sun, wind and snow; powerful hands scarred with cuts; flyaway hair crushed under a woolen cap; keen eyes for the next toehold; and a toothy smile for the book signings.

He never married or had children, never had a business or sought security. Friends said he just wanted to climb mountains.

But to the fraternity of climbing enthusiasts around the world, he was a phenomenon whose exploits above clouds and tree lines at 10,000 to 20,000 feet resounded in mountaineering lore and journals: the achievements of an eccentric daredevil who took on the continent’s last unclimbed peaks and uncharted routes, who probably took more risks than anyone in history.”

3. Reinventing the hutong.

“A kitchen, dining hall and two crisply modern bathrooms on the ground floor are connected to bedroom, study, teahouse and terrace above by wooden ladders rather than space-stealing stairs. The hostel is a felicitous marriage of ancient and modern design. Zhang Ke hopes that projects like this will encourage new generations of Beijingers to think of living in remodelled hutongs rather than in tower blocks that could belong anywhere.”

4. Americans Are Officially Freaking Out.

“A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said “they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.” That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.”

Maybe we should cut one another more slack than normal.

5. Check the excellent new blog by the eldest daughter and college friend. They appear to like television. Here’s “Big Al’s” top five t.v. shows of all time. Note the overlap with Meaty’s top five. Nice that their distorted views of the modern workplace are not holding them back. I will continue reading CROSSOVER HIT even though they don’t appreciate The Wire or the Sopranos. Note to self: find a co-blogger named Meaty.

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