4 min read

N.86 / That good life

THIS WEEK → Happiness zones ⊗ Ascending the mountain ⊗ Projects to save Venice ⊗ The Four Hour Rule ⊗ The act of finding silence in a noisy world.
N.86 / That good life

What the what? If you’re new here — HELLO, I’m Sammy Haywood and you’ve signed up for the Making Hay weekly newsletter at one of my websites, sammyhaywood.com /.email / .work, which primarily features an curious, creative, and considered look at the world in internet form.

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Trusting in life is something that will at times be difficult for each and everyone of us. That is a known quantity. Life is hard. It comes at us from every conceivable angle.

Yet, life the one that will go beyond the ending of our days is something that we can most definitely trust in. It is one of the few certainties that exist and what a great relief it is that life will continue without any input from our own inner world.

It may not be our life, but life will always find a way.

— Sammy


This week has been filled with lots of questions and very little in regard to answers, but there is something interesting in that. Wondering aloud by asking those questions including:

"Why is your best friend, your best friend?"

I've decided to practise the art of publishing these questions here, as it might prompt a good conversation for yourself or someone that you love or are yet to love.


The Blue Zones of Happiness

World Economic Forum | Youtube | 7th August 2017

I heard about The Blue Zones of Happiness – research on the key ingredients for a good life – in a podcast a few years ago, but only now got around to watching the video presentation: “Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones of Happiness, explains how he researched exceptionally happy people and found common denominators among them – and compares the ingredients of happiness in Singapore, Costa Rica and Denmark.” (Watch).

One step beyond: the ascent of mountain runner Kílian Jornet

Alex Moshakis | The Guardian | 6th September 2020

Kílian Jornet is more machine than runner, living a reclusive outdoor life in remote Norway. “He is the fastest man to have run up and down various big peaks, including Mont Blanc (normal time: two days; Jornet time: four hours, 57 minutes). ... At one point he went five days straight without consuming anything: running, sleeping, running, sleeping. At a party a couple of days later, he fainted drinking a glass of orange juice. ‘My body was still recovering’, he says. He never went to another party again.” (Read).

The $7BN Megaproject to Save Venice

Tomorrow’s Build | Youtube | 25th May 2021

Tomorrow’s Build takes a look at the $7 billion flood defense system that was built to protect Venice, Italy from increased flooding due to climate change. They detail how the system was built, how well it works, how it compares with other defense systems, the challenges associated with keeping it working. (Watch)

The Four Hours Rule

Oliver Burkeman | 29th July 2021

How to manage your time like Darwin or Dickens. Use the control you have over your schedule not to "maximise your time" or "optimise your day" in some vague way but "specifically to ringfence three or four hours of undisturbed focus" each day to do your best work. "Just focus on protecting four hours – and don't worry if the rest of the day is characterised by the usual scattered chaos" (Read).

How to Find Silence in a Noisy World

The New York Times | Youtube | 2nd April 2018

Adam Loften and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee follow acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton as he explores the mossy, green heart of silence. In “Sanctuaries of Silence,” the threat is not so much to a place, as to our very ability to encounter the natural world on its own terms. As Hempton puts it, “Silence isn’t the absence of something, but the presence of everything.” (Watch)


"Simplicity is the hallmark of truth, but complexity continues to have a morbid attraction"
— E.W. Dijkstra

Thanks for your time, energy and presence in making it all the way to the bottom.

Spelling mistakes, glaring omissions, furious rants or grudging tips of the hat, I welcome it all.

Till next time,

<3 Sammy
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