Once driven to near-extinction by cordwainers, Shoebills have made a considerable comeback and are now listed as Vulnerable. Hunted for the upper portion of their beaks, these birds can credit their remarkable recovery to the adoption of HDPE as the material of choice for lasts. While they are still occasionally hunted by bespoke shoe artisans, this practice is now rare enough to have a negligible impact on population levels.
The Animal Alphabets Fairy Tale Edition continues on. This week was N for Nutcracker. Interesting to learn that the original story is a bit darker than the
ballet that everyone knows. In the original story, a princess is cursed
by the Rat Queen to turn into a nutcracker doll. To break the curse,
the most handsomest man in the kingdom must find the hardest nut and
crack it open with his teeth and must feed it to the princess before her
transformation is complete. However the curse is transferred to the
handsome man and he takes her place as a nutcracker doll. No one tells
him he would inherit the curse and is banished from the kingdom. Its so
“ Good (and difficult) question, so let’s start with this one!I learned a ton from my time at GB—I cannot begin to overstate the wisdom that was imparted on by everyone there. Really, really hard to push So here’s a lesson I from everyone:
-Vinny taught me the value of of a backup plan—and how to face the fact that sometimes, even your backup’s backup fails. I remember when Vinny told me that our quick look system had three redundancies. I laughed at how surreal that was. Less than a week later, the initial recording and two of those three backups totally failed. I was very grateful for that third one.
-Alex taught me how to push forward on a shitty day. Alex and I both have a great deal in common in terms of our, uh, cloudy demeanors, let’s say. But Alex was an incredible professional, and even on the days where things were rough as hell, he managed to put his nose to the stone
-Jeff taught me that it’s less about perfection, and it’s more about cadence. Every swing you take will not be a home run—both as a creator and journalist and also as a person—but if you can consistently, reliably do solid work, people will follow you.
-Rorie taught me the value of prioritization. Matt is just… super busy over there, and he constantly has to decide what challenges are things he needs to address immediately and which things need to be saved for tomorrow.
-Drew showed me the courage (and the deftness) it takes to bring really, really esoteric interests to a wide audience. Things like the Crusader Kings 2 stream or the Twilight Struggle Quick Look (which I did with Drew) never would’ve happened if he didn’t prove that if you bring a fun personality and a lot of patience, you can share your weirdest interests with people.
-Jason is a living example of grit. Long nights of setup were worth it, because tomorrow it meant that things would be that much easier. And longer nights of breakdown were worth it because hey, you were done. If I’m every a tenth of the professional Jason is, I’ll be able to get a ton done even on the hardest nights
-Dan and I bonded over our social anxiety. His ability to step out into a crowd—but also to know that it’s okay to step away when you need to was a very important lesson for me.
-Brad taught me how to deal with criticism. That’s not a joke, either. There were weeks where I saw fans of ours pile onto him unfairly—unaware of whatever really difficult task he was hard at work at accomplishing—and he was just fucking head down on what had to get done. But he also listened when people had real, important, constructive critique. Super important lesson
-While I was there, I also worked with a dude named Stan who you probably don’t know, but Stan absolutely taught me the value of working with people who understand the big picture. I’m a humanities dude, you know? I resist stats and charts and all that. Stan showed me how those things could inform my work without forcing it to change in a way I wasn’t happy with.
-Patrick was obviously gone by the time I arrived, but watching his whole career (and now being lucky enough to work with him on a daily basis), he’s taught me a ton about the value of being curious. Dig deeper. The story isn’t the obvious thing, it’s the next level down. Always take that next step.
-And while I was never lucky enough to know Ryan, as a fan, I was keenly aware of his amazing way of bringing a room of people together. In prepping for our huge 72 hour livestream, I thought a lot about how well Ryan was able to find common ground between people who had very little to do with each other. He was a master MC, and I aspire to bring even a fraction of the joy he brought others.”