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August 2019

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

“The (C)Rapture”

On Pooping in the Dark—No Lights, No Phones, No Distractions

I used to DM during every BM. Then, one afternoon a few years ago, I slipped into a poop portal. Backpacking through remote wilderness in searing heat, I felt the telltale pang. Coffee, eggs, chorizo, and water were all rushing—screamingly—to the exits. At the nearest rest stop, I dashed into a bathroom so single-mindedly I didn’t turn on the lights and collapsed onto the toilet. The immediate release, shrouded as it was in shadow, was cosmic, like waking up from a nightmare, realizing it’s Christmas, I’m 5 years old, and can fly. Though I haven’t yet been able to recreate every condition, to this day I try to dump in total darkness: no lights, no phone, the gulf between mind and body quaked shut.

Ring, Ring

Amazon Requires Police to Shill Surveillance Cameras in Secret Agreement

Amazon’s home security company Ring has enlisted local police departments around the country to advertise its surveillance cameras in exchange for free Ring products and a “portal” that allows police to request footage from these cameras, a secret agreement obtained by Motherboard shows. The agreement also requires police to “keep the terms of this program confidential.”
[…]
People often buy and use Ring doorbell cameras under the premise that they’re making their individual homes safer. But these people aren’t just making choices for themselves. They’re consenting to surveilling everyone in their neighborhood and anyone who comes in the vicinity of their home, including friends and family, delivery workers, and anyone else.

Head out on the Highway

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It

Further entrenching automobile supremacy are laws that require landowners who build housing and office space to build housing for cars as well. In large part because of parking quotas, parking lots now cover more than a third of the land area of some U.S. cities; Houston is estimated to have 30 parking spaces for every resident. As the UCLA urban-planning professor Donald Shoup has written, this mismatch flows from legal mandates rather than market demand. Every employee who brings a car to the office essentially doubles the amount of space he takes up at work, and in urban areas his employer may be required by law to build him a $50,000 garage parking space.

Around The Web

Book ‘Em

Golf Architecture: Economy in Course Construction and Green-Keeping

A good golf course is a great asset to the nation. Those who harangue against land being diverted from agriculture and used for golf have little sense of proportion. Comparing the small amount of land utilised for golf with the large amount devoted to agriculture, we get infinitely more value out of the former than the latter. We all eat too much. During the Great War the majority were all the fitter for being rationed and getting a smaller amount of food, but none of us get enough fresh air, pleasurable excitement, and exercise. Health and happiness are everything in this world.
- Dr. Alister MacKenzie

Get a copy here. Cost: $3, 1 hour - easily a worthwhile exchange.

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Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay