3 min read

Wolmania - Friday, September 24, 2021

Good morning.

I've got to start by providing an exciting update on last week's issue. You may recall we had a little fun at the expense of some cryptocurrency dorks who stupidly bought a cruise ship and immediately screwed up everything one could screw up about buying a cruise ship. What we didn't do, because I didn't even think about it as a possibility, is talk about how I and my family boarded the Satoshi back in something like 1997. That's right - in its former life as a normal cruise ship, the Satoshi (now the Ambience, then the Regal Princess) pootled around the Gulf of Alaska for Princess Cruises. The extended Wolman family joined the majestic ship for a reunion one summer.

I missed a chance last week to provide my personal recollection of the ship, so here are some things I remember from that week or so cruising from Sitka to Skagway:

  • Even on a clear summer day, it turns out it's kinda cold on open water
  • Glaciers are amazing and beautiful (I assume everything's going great on the glacier front these day- oh)
  • The molten lava cake was a revelation
  • I had a full head of hair

So that's fun. My brush with cryptohistory.

(My thanks to Wolmania reader and sibling Sophie for uncovering this shocking set of facts by looking at the boat on wikipedia.)

With that in mind, let's just get ahead of things this week and note that back in February of 2005 I went to see Christo and Jeanne-Claude's triumphant The Gates in Central Park, where I took a photo that can only be described as "mediocre, even for a flip phone". Photos can't capture that transcendent, special moment, though, any more than they can bottle the feeling of seeing one of France's most iconic Arcs wrapped in cloth.

For Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapping the Arc de Triomphe Is a Final Victory

For Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapping the Arc de Triomphe Is a Final Victory

Friend of the newsletter Kriston Capps with some on-site reporting from Paris, where Christo and Jeanne-Claude have arted from beyond the grave. As I hinted above, I'm a huge sucker for their work (and recommend the various documentaries on their epic avante garde projects, particularly Running Fence). It's good to see that years after their deaths, the artists are still making humorless scolds deeply uncomfortable.

Kriston's gimlet eye captures some interesting details, including the Arc's strange foil - Notre Dame Cathedral, currently shrouded while undergoing its own transformation. Go see if you can squeak through Bloomberg's paywall and read about it yourself.

Item 2: a list

Dewey Decimal System call numbers, ranked

  1. 800 Literature & rhetoric
  2. 000 Generalities
  3. 500 Natural sciences & mathematics
  4. 700 The arts
  5. 600 Technology (Applied sciences)
  6. 900 Geography & history
  7. 100 Philosophy & psychology
  8. 400 Language
  9. 300 Social sciences
  10. 200 Religion

(Just ranking the overarching categories, but you can check out the subcategories here. 093, 098, 113, 169, 179, 214, 236, 247, 295, 356, 389, 395, 414, 521, 527, 533, 548, 587, 624, 641, 642, 663, 711, 719, 730, 737, 750, 766, 774, 779, 780, 795, 813, 817, 902, 903, 909, 973.7 L63, and 999 are a few of my favorites.)

Item 3: a media recommendation

The Beach Boys - Shortnin' Bread (From the Adult Child album)

Click here for some fun background on this strange recording.

Item 4: a photograph

Historical view of Fiat's Lingotto building with an automotive test track on the roof. (Click through for the whole story and a bunch of amazing photos.)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for not recalling Governor Newsom, who appears to be settling all family business at this time. See you next week.