Welcome to 28th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (Honora, A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Sky Pulse Media), and – since Gini’s on vacation – me, Lindsay Bell!
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t suscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
This week we have thoughts on telling better stories with your life, the decline of real news, and an ancient addition to the illegal ivory trade.
Michael on Story: Here’s something you probably wouldn’t expect… an agnostic Jewish New Yorker is about to suggest that you read a book from a Christian spirituality writer… Yeah… that just happened…
I’ve loved A Million Miles in a Thousand Years ever since Chris Brogan posted about it back in 2010. The book chronicles author Donald Miller’s experiences as he adapts his book Blue Like Jazz into a movie. As Miller learns what makes for a good movie, he is inspired to tell a better story with his life.
I’ve been rereading it this week and nothing else I’ve come across comes close. There’s a slight religious slant to the book, which may not appeal to some, but I’m as non-religious as they come and it is one of my favorites. If you’re looking to tell a better story with your life, start by reading this book. No matter what you believe, you’ll want to do better.
Howie on the News Media: This article is really a wake up call. Our Fourth Estate is in trouble but maybe finally figuring out how to rebound. When Cable TV exploded and viewers fragmented, TV production companies did less orginal big budget shows and more reality due to the new economics.
Who cares if instead of X-Files they made Super Nanny or Celebrity Rehab. This didn’t affect me. But without the resources for our news companies to keep government and business in check, our democracy could be in danger.
The most shocking part is the explosion of PR infiltrating the news creation process. This didn’t have to happen had digital agencies not falsely promoted online ads as a revenue replacement for subscriptions and paid content.
Sometimes people are suckers. Sometimes whole industries.
Lindsay on Science: Anyone who knows me know I’m a total science geek. Like, spends Friday nights watching documentaries, subscribes to National Geographic science geek. While archeology fascinates me, what truly blows my tiny mind is our more recent past. How herds of prehistoric animals were still roaming this earth as recently as ten thousand years ago. Like mammoths, for example.
While scientists and others have discovered incredibly preserved mammoth specimens in the far north before, there’s a new breed of hunter trolling the frozen northern wastelands. And while they’re looking for mammoth remains, they have one goal in mind: Profit.
The trade in mammoth tusk ivory is brisk, with an estimated 60 tons a year being hauled out of Siberia. I’m not sure how I feel about this. If it saves one elephant from poachers it’s a good thing. But how many potential archeological sites are plundered for this ancient ivory? How many ancient secrets will we never discover? Read about Siberian mammoth tusk hunter Karl Gorokhov, and the five months a year he spends 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?