February 2024

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.

Finding Boundaries

Volunteers are Racing to Save the Crumbling Mason-Dixon Line

As Aubertin rechecks his calculations, sweat dripping from the bill of his cap, I imagine the men who first marked this place on the map more than 250 years ago. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon spent four grueling yearsdoing what we were doing now: clambering up mountains, cursing under their breath, wondering if what they had set out to do was even possible. No one in North America had ever traced a line of latitude as it curled around the earth, but the border feud between Pennsylvania and Maryland had gone on so long and gotten so bloody, there was nothing left to do but try. 

So they followed the stars across the wild and tangled land, through bitter winters and brutal summers, towing wagons of specially made equipment behind them and marking each hard-earned mile with a 500-pound limestone monument quarried and carved (P for Pennsylvania on one side, M for Maryland on the other) in England. Incredibly, Mason and Dixon were successful. The 233-mile line they drew was often accurate to within 100 feet. It was, one historian said, the 18th-century equivalent of putting a man on the moon. 

That’s why, to people like Aubertin at least, the stones are more than an interstate border; they’re a testament to one of the most important scientific accomplishments in our nation’s history. 

But in the intervening three centuries, as the line came to represent a metaphoric boundary more than a physical one, the stones, which lacked any meaningful government protection, languished. Nicked by tractors, knocked over by snowplows, stolen by bored locals. Today, few people outside the region know the Mason-Dixon Line is a tangible boundary; fewer still appreciate the technological triumph it represents.

The first time I heard about the Mason-Dixon Line

Unclaimed item in baggage area

Meet the company that sells your lost airplane luggage

Every year, 4.3B bags are checked by airlines around the world. Around 25m of them  (5.7 per 1k bags checked) end up lost or misdirected. The 0.03% of bags that are still not reunited with their owners after 90 days are sold by the airline.

Chances are, they are purchased by a company called Unclaimed Baggage.

Nestled in the small town of Scottsboro, Alabama (pop: 14.7k), Unclaimed Baggage holds the distinction of being “the nation’s only retailer of lost luggage.” Its massive 40k-sq-ft warehouse holds thousands of treasures lost in transit, ranging from rare instruments to monogrammed engagement rings.

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Thanks for reading. Have a great month,


Hi, that's me!

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A bit about me: I can be interested in anything, for better or worse. I love photography, travel, golf, and baseball. My latest pursuit is learning the guitar. I write a rad newsletter that I publish monthly.

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