Podcasts of the Week Ending May 11


More or Less :: Avengers: Should We Reverse the Snap?

The economic impact of losing half the earth’s population, and possible negative impact of restoring 4 billion lost souls.

Memory Palace :: This Story Climbed Mount Washington

The history of Mt. Washington’s Cog Railway and early tourism potential.

Radiolab :: Dinopacolypse Redux

How did the dinosaurs die, and more to the point, how quickly did the dinosaurs die after the earth was hit by an asteroid?  Newly discovered evidence is updating the theory of what happened and when in surprising ways.

30 for 30 Podcasts :: Back Pass

Building on the US Women’s National Team’s success at drawing crowds to the 1999 Women’s World Cup, a new professional soccer league was born.  WUSA folded after three seasons, but this documentary shows that the league was far more sucessful than we’ve been lead to believe.


Running tally of Podcast of the Week appearances:

Photopost: White Mountain Weekend


My wonderful family gifted me a weekend at a cabin in the White Mountains near Jackson, New Hampshire to celebrate my 45th birthday.  In addition to some cozy time in a cabin by a stream in a wintry wonderland, we went to Jackson Cross Country to do some snowshoeing (with our lovely guide, Rob) and rode the Santaland Express on the Conway Scenic Railroad.  It was absolutely sunny and gorgeous on Saturday for snowshoeing and rainy and miserable for our rail trip, which is ideal compared to the opposite.

Here are some of my scenic photos:

 

 

Beer Review: Throwback Seasonal Spicy Bohemian


Beer: Spicy Bohemian
Brewer: Throwback Brewery
Source: Draft
Rating: *** (7.5 of 10)
Comments: A straw-yellow, cloudy body, a thin head, and the scent of mellow malts offer no warning of what’s to come.  This beer is SPICY!!! hot with jalapeno goodness.  This is the Tabasco sauce of beer!  Good stuff, and more than a novelty.  It pairs well with food.

Book Review: Up : a mother and daughter’s peakbagging adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr


Author: Patricia Ellis Herr
TitleUp : a mother and daughter’s peakbagging adventure
Publication Info: New York : Broadway Paperbacks, c2012.
Summary/Review:

This book is the author’s story of taking up hiking with her 5-year-old daughter Alex and deciding to hike to the top of all 48 4000-foot peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Herr relates some of her early mistakes and some unexpected dangers (a sudden thunderstorm on an exposed peak or a violent bird on a trail).  On and off the trail, Herr must face the judgment of others who think that Alex is too young to be participating in White Mountain Hikes. But she also receives a lot of support, including from a kilted hiker who goes by the name MadRiver, who becomes their greatest ally despite claiming not to like children. Alex troops onwards and upwards and in less than two years becomes one of the youngest people to ever summit all 48 peaks (although Herr is never specific about whether Alex is the actual youngest).  The message is that anyone can do it, although in my most cynical moments reading this book I’d have to append that anyone can do it if they’re prosperous enough to home school, buy a second home in New Hampshire, and acquire thousands of dollars of hiking gear and clothing (the author is positively steeped in privilege and doesn’t seem to be aware of it).  That being said, the heart of this book is the story of a mother and a daughter enjoying themselves outdoors in one of my favorite places, and the blessings of experiencing things through young eyes.

Recommended booksGrandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery, The Appalachian Trail Reader by David Emblidge, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Rating: **1/2

Beer Reviews: Smuttynose Hayseed


BeerSmuttynose Hayseed
BrewerSmuttynose Brewing Company
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: ** (6.7 of 10)
Comments: This beer is a trip to the farm in a bottle.  The beer pours out golden with a matrix of tiny bubbles.  The aroma is sweet timothy and the flavor is a subtle blend of grass and pepper.  There’s minimal lacing on the glass and a light mouthfeel.

Beer Review: Smuttynose Vunderbar!


BeerSmuttynose Vunderbar
Brewer: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7 of 10)
Comments: Vunderbar! pours out a cloudy straw color with a lot of bubbly carbonation and a thin but solid head.  Both the bubbles and head persisted even after quaffing a lot of the beer.  The aroma is grassy with a hint of spice.  The flavor is grainy with a nice balance and a bit of spice, the classic pilsner flavor.  The taste was consistent through the emptying glass.  This is a beer I could easily drink a lot of.  Watch out for it on a warm summer’s evening!

 

Beer Review: Portsmouth Brewery Schwarzbier with Samoas


Beer: Schwarzbier (with Samoas)
BrewerPortsmouth Brewery
Source: Draft
Rating: ***(7.5 of 10)
Comments: So I’ve been abstaining from beer for Lent, and thus I’ve been posting reviews of beers that I took notes about last year but never got around to writing up.  I had to make an exception last week when I traveled to Portsmouth, NH on business, to pay a visit to the Portsmouth Brewery.  They had two cask-conditioned beers available that amusingly had been brewed with Girl Scout cookies.  I had a taste test of the Thin Mint beer, which was too sweet, but got a full pint of the schwarzbier with Samoas.  The beer is black with a thick head, and the Samoa-influence is subtle but you can definitely smell and taste chocolate and cocoanut.  This was a fun twist on a German standard.

Beer Review: Smuttynose Rhye IPA


Beer: Rhye IPA
BrewerSmuttynose Brewing Company
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: ** (6.4 of 10)
Comments: A golden beer with a thick head, the nose is kind of musty, citrus and malt.  The initial sip is heavy on hop bitterness, but offers a crisper, pleasant aftertaste.  The head sticks around a long time and even settles down on the bottom.  Not my style, but I expect those who like hoppy beers would find it interesting.

 

Photopost: New Hampshire


A selection of photographs from our family vacation in New Hampshire which includes stops at Canobie Lake Park, Franconia Notch State Park, Littleton, and  the Kancamagus Highway.

The Untamed roller coaster has a drop I only thought possible in my childhood drawings.
Tree roots seeks sustenance around any obstacle
Sentinel Pine Bridge
A selection of the 700-800 jars of candy on the 112 long candy counter at Chutter’s in Littleton
The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram
Sabbaday Falls

Many more photos in my online album.