A travelogue to the frigid climes of Canada to see the northern lights, drawing inspiration from the polar explorations, but finding the reality of modernity can create a comparatively comfortable existence in the cold.
An account of a week-long stay in the Estonian island of Saaremaa, in order to collect data on the medieval churches there, built from the 1220s to the 1290s. The author rooms in a remote cabin with no electricity or running water, but finds solace not just with the echoes of history around but with the solitude of the island.
There were an unusual number of prominent political elections in 2017 throughout the world, but this article was inspired from a relatively smaller one during the year: Liberia’s presidential election. The article begins by offering a broad overview of Liberian history and of the bloody civil war that culminated in the 1997 election. The second part builds from this to cover Liberia’s peculiar and uneven turn to democratic order, particularly the elections of 2005 and 2017.
We all have something that we do to help clear our mind. All the great thinkers had some activity that provided them a means to gather their thoughts. Nietzsche went for walks, Freud smoked cigars, and Kerouac played pool (while drinking excessively). Today we are here to discuss such an activity that has propelled many a mind and soul: fishing.
This collage essay begins with a culinary kernel: I begin with a modest dish from the region of Catalonia in Spain, and I end with its recipe. In between, I piece together fragmented thoughts on its gastronomic history, history of the Catalans more generally, stories of their culture, impressions from travel, musings on art, detours on linguistics, questions of identity, and a long political excoriation.
The Curio series in the Fortweekly will dig into curious snippets of history and culture. The more odd and obscure the subject, the better. This first Curio comes from the twelfth century in the Holy Roman Empire (but what is now Germany) with the Erfurter Latrinensturz.
The Vexilla Tantum series is solely devoted to the niche world of vexillology—the study of flags. Flags serve an interesting role in cultures, often encompassing history, heraldry, identity, and pride. Some are beautiful and some much less so, but each has an interesting story behind it. The first flag in the series will be that of the Arctic island of Greenland.
“Another day has offered me less than the wanted amount, but it is not over yet. I arrive to my apartment with a book in hand and a thousand disheveled thoughts in head. I pace the living space for a few moments, a quick walk through the kitchen then a stroll to the bathroom.”
Wherein the author explains the artifice of a once-awesome Arctic idol.
This poem was part of the inaugural “Framsjaa” issue, a weekly newsletter started by the polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his crew aboard their ship, the “Fram”, in the winter of 1894.
A requiem for the rambler’s muse, John Barleycorn, that spirit of distilled spirits, sacrificed so the weary may be merry.
The spirit of choice for this issue’s inebriant is aquavit, a traditional spirit from Scandinavia. Aquavit is very similar to vodka and gin in that it is distilled from a potato or grain mash and then infused with spices. Whereas in gin juniper berries are the dominant spice, in aquavit it is caraway or dill.