The Only Things You Should Read, Watch, and Do This Week: Oct 3
The books, movies, music, podcasts, and other happenings on our radar
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We apologize in advance for the seasonal whiplash in our lineup, from snowboard porn to fall TV to Lindsey Vonn. We won't apologize for not digging our heels in and waiting to get excited for snow season—once summer's gone, it's never too early.
How do you make the most ambitious snowboarding film ever? Send talented riders chasing snow across the world, ground it with a stronger narrative arc than snowboard porn usually gets, add in a score from indie artist (and violin virtuoso) Kishi Bashi—and throw in a ghillie suit for good measure. Available to watch here on Sunday. Until then, we've got behind-the-scenes intel to whet your appetite.
Everyone is getting excited about Westworld, and we are too—even more so when we realized that much of HBO's ambitious new sci-fi show was shot in Moab. It's known as a favorite backdrop of westerns, and as Grayson Schaffer wrote in our June issue, a real-life hangout for outdoor outlaws. On Sunday we'll find out how the robots and gunslingers of Westworld fare in Utah.
'Strong Is the New Beautiful' by Lindsey Vonn and Sarah Toland
Alex Honnold did it. So did Hans Florine. Now Lindsey Vonn is releasing a book of her own, Strong Is the New Beautiful, in which she teams up with writer and editor Sarah Toland to dispense advice on nutrition and training. It's more healthy-living manual than memoir, but you can be sure we're picking it up (and hoping it'll give us a little extra edge this ski season).
The Brood: “Let Them Eat Dirt”
Microbiologist B. Brett Finlay explains why being precious about germs does nothing for kids' gut health. That's the thesis of the new book he co-wrote, Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World. Our recommendation: Spend 10 minutes with this podcast episode rather than diving into the book's lengthier scientific treatment of children's immune systems (unless you are really conflicted about whether or not to give them that pacifier that's just fallen on the floor). Then smugly add it to the list of justifications for letting the kids run wild.
Understanding Lance Mackey
We were sad to hear that Lance Mackey's health problems have forced him to withdraw from the 2017 Iditarod. To understand just how intimidating a force he is in the event (and just how tough he is overall), revisit Josh Dean's 2014 profile.
In short order, a surgeon removed a fistful of tissue from Mackey's face and neck, as well as his interior carotid artery, his salivary glands, and most of a large muscle that supported his right arm, causing it to go partially limp.
The massive extraction left only a thin layer of skin covering one of the main arteries to Mackey's brain. Just being around dogs could be perilous, he was told. “If you were standing in the ER with a team of physicians, and a dog jumped up and scratched your neck,” one doctor said, “we would not be able to save you.” What's more, without salivary glands, Mackey would have to carry water at all times just so he could swallow.
And yet, only six months after surgery, Mackey made plans to enter the 2002 Iditarod. He shouldn't have been anywhere near the race, but he endured 440 excruciating miles before bowing out, mainly because the Ensure he carried to pour into his feeding tube kept freezing, making it almost impossible for him to eat.
Teju Cole in the Alps
In this excerpt from Cole's new book, Known and Strange Things, the photography-obsessed writer explores some relatable feelings about traveling to a new place and making your own sense of things.
The question I confronted in Switzerland is similar to that confronted by any camera-toting visitor in a great landscape: Can my photograph convey an experience that others have already captured so well? The answer is almost always no, but you try anyway. I might feel myself to be a singular traveler, but I am in fact part of a great endless horde. In the 1870s, Mark Twain was already complaining: “Now everybody goes everywhere; and Switzerland, and many other regions which were unvisited and unknown remotenesses a hundred years ago, are in our days a buzzing hive of restless strangers.”