The Good Stuff: A Cowboy Cartographer, Moonlists, and How to Listen to Trees

I have so many goodies for you today. So sorry it’s been a while, life can really get ahead of you, ya know?!

I hope you’re all doing well and had a splendid fall. Does anyone else feel like it was far too brief? I need more “chill” and less “freeze”, if you know what I mean.

Happy Humpday, we’re halfway there!

Enjoy :)

What is Miljøkajakken ?? (One of Copenhagen's smartest initiatives, that's what!)

Growing up I hated gym class. I felt like a failure because running is and always has been a painful endeavor for me. It wasn't until I was an adult that I recognized my strength is, literally, my strength. This article struck a chord with me.  How would my relationship with exercise be different as an adult if I hadn't dreaded gym class so much as a kid?

The cowboy cartographer who lovingly detailed a place's dogs.

Izzy Wheels, a company founded by two sisters to empower those bound to wheelchairs, has the greatest business model.

How to stay positive and productive, as told by photographer extraordinaire Jeff Mindell.

I am newly intrigued by the idea of moonlists.  

These tiny embroidered scenes by Vera Shimunia have me swooning. Those clouds! <3

A lost narwhal has been adopted….by a pod of belugas.

These towns are worth visiting for their adventures, and their bookstores.

Looks like I’ll be adding the country of Georgia to my list of places to visit!

How (and why) to listen to a tree.

“Not always useful, but not altogether useless” is the mantra behind Chindōgu, a Japanese art form I’m a little obsessed with currently.

The double standard of work email exclamation points. (!)

This artist creates maps of Argentinean landscapes through hand-tufted rugs and they. are. GORGEOUS.

This artist is turning abandoned basketball courts into art.

How skim-reading is inferior to READING.

Drawing is the best way to learn.

A stunning 3-D street mural in Santarcangelo.

Way to go Austin! The city has now passed legislation that bans restaurants from throwing away food that can be donated or composted.

This baby may become the youngest person to travel to all 50 states. I’m jealous!

Maps of mountains.

An opinionated (but correct) rant about flannel.

An illustrated field guide to the art, science, and joy of tea.

Maps and books, two of my favorite things!

How a groundbreaking female cartographer (go girl!) charted the evolution of the United States….and the subsequent dispossession of Native Peoples from their lands. Keep this in mind when you carve into your Thanksgiving turkey.

Newly discovered! The largest cluster of deep-sea octopuses ever found. So. Cool.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good DeathFrom Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me far too long to read this book (damn you, life, always getting in the way!). But it's an excellent read and I highly recommend it. Written conversationally, it is still extremely informative about the plethora burial traditions one can find across the globe, and it touches on what we consider culturally "acceptable" and how that varies from place to place. Truthfully, America has burial and mourning all wrong, in my opinion. We never look death square in the face. We fight it, we try to avoid it with all means necessary, and then when it comes we are absolutely ill-equipped to process and manage it. The author writes from the same point of view, and I was pleased to learn of growing mortuary movements in the U.S. that veer away from multi-thousand dollar locked steel crypts to methods that return the body to the earth, where it originates from (get me my mushroom suit!).
If you're a little squeamish this book not particularly graphic, in case you were wondering. It does include some skeletal illustrations, though.
Loved the book, and it's fitting that I finished it right when I'm feeling like fall is beginning and my excitement for Halloween is growing and my inner goth that I keep (mostly) suppressed is appearing more and more.
A very refreshing book.

View all my reviews

xoxo Britta

The Good Stuff: The Ultimate Guide to Shower Beer, Why Mister Rogers is Good For Your Health, and On Leading With Joy

It's almost the end of the summer. Holy hell how did that happen??!  The last two months have been the most insane, but all in good ways (okay, mostly). 

I accepted a new job with a super cool company. 


I start my grad classes THIS MONTH. 

I'm seriously adulting so hard, you guys. Someone get me a medal.

In case you were wondering why the Bert+Lou shop has been on a vacation, now you know!  I am still keeping it on a hiatus until I can get fully settled into my new digs, but when it reopens it's going to be better than ever (think slight revamp). Thanks for your patience, ya'll are the best :)

The myth (and truths) of finding your purpose

The 4-year old using his allowance to feed the homeless gives me hope in humanity. 

Abby Wambach FTW (her commencement speech went super viral, you've gotta see it).

Why Mister Rogers is good for your health

The definitive summer guide to shower beer

On leading with joy. 

Homebuyers would rather live close to their favorite coffee shop than family and, well.... relatable? 

What the heck is going on with the plastic straw ban??? Here are some thoughts. Oh, and here, too. Okay, and I'll admit I totally didn't even consider this

I'm definitely behind the mohair and angora ban.  Poor little buns. 

Realistic ways to go low waste and lower your carbon footprint (trust me). 

I've dug my heels in against 'goop' because I just can't deal with Gwenyth Paltrow (sorry not sorry), but they finally got me with this article on how we erroneously define our potential

This wall is an awesome monument to Tajikistan's great writers

Not to get ahead of myself or anything, but I would totally consider Romania as a honeymoon location

Super cool maps!!!

I'm a big supporter of STEM, but don't forget the humanities

A neat article on the problems with hypocognition

Below is one of my biggest girl crushes, Indrid Fetell Lee. I've followed her for probably close to a decade at this point from her bare bones blog The Aesthetics of Joy all the way to now with the release of her book.  Mad props to her and her success. She's a total beautiful badass. 


The Good Stuff: The Best Cinnamon, A Boy and His Dogs, and What Your Dialect Says About You

What an insane month May has been!  It's been a true whirlwind, but life is suddenly looking so much sunnier for me, both literally and metaphorically.  I'm all sunshine and smiles. 

I'm looking forward to a whole two days (decadent, I know) off this coming Memorial Day weekend.  I can't wait to relax.  Perhaps I will sunbathe.  Maybe I'll go on a picnic.  Or possibly I will just let myself sleep in and enjoy some tea and a book on the balcony!  It's truly the little things in life, isn't it?  

What do you have planned for the long weekend?

Feel like you're stuck on a nonlinear career path? (SAME!) Well it turns out it could actually be a good thing in the long run.  I'll cheers to that. 

This eyeliner can literally withstand a car accident, and well....I'm SOLD. 

The Lord of the Forest brings people to tears.

The taste test reviews of these different cinnamons had me laughing out loud. 

How to be kind to yourself

A new type of exploding ant has been discovered and it is awesome and terrifying. 

Take this dialect quiz

Next time I head to Oslo I'm checking out this floating sauna!

Truthfully, not going to Disney for my birthday again this year is a bummer.  But I found a recipe for homemade dole whip, so at least I can pretend!!!

Arborists rejoice, this man is chronicling America's Champion Trees

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dag Hammarskjöld on love, failure, and what it means to be yourself.

This art exhibit literally decays as you view it. 

This artist fills up sketchbooks with some of the most beautiful, whimsical sketches and hand-lettering I've ever seen.  His instagram account is a new favorite for sure.

This former U.S. poet laureate wants poetry to be joyful. 

Some of America's greatest artists are women (duhh). So why don't we know who they are?

The coolest maps ever are 3-dimensional, fit in your hand, and were created by the Tunumiit people of Greenland.

More maps!  This one spans the entire Mississippi River and can fit in your pocket! Let's hear it for genius design!

I've always been passionate about green spaces, in particular those in urban settings. I'm even planning on basing my mater's thesis off of the correlation between green areas and positive health trends.  So of course this book on secret urban gardens appeals to me!

The retirement home that Giuseppe Verdi created for elderly musicians

This boy documents every dog he has ever petted and well, he's totally winning at life. 

If you do one things this week, watch this video:

I hope the sun is shining on you, too!


The Good Stuff: Implicit Bias, Birds That Glow, and The World's Most Beautiful Toilet

Happy Friday, folks! Any fun plans for the weekend? This last month or so has been a whirlwind/absolute nightmare, so I'm planning on some much-needed catch up time with friends.

I've compiled a list of all the best links from the web for ya.  Because you need a break.  Because it's Friday.  Enjoy.  ;)

How to design your home based upon your zodiac sign (mine is pretty much already dead on!)

What is an "untouchable day" and why do you need one?

Speak up!  "Your silence serves no one."

This photo-series of forgotten places makes me want to go off the grid.

The wild stories behind the world's rarest colors. 

This astronaut brought her son to a photoshoot and it's absolutely adorable. 

A tribute to girl scout roots

A cat bed to beat all cat beds.

I just finished So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and while that book was hard AF (see my review on goodreads here), it did get me thinking more about implicit bias

A new typeface that merges braille with visible letters might make braille more accessible for all readers. 

This Phantom of the Opera beatbox is insane. 

The tea lover's guide to Hong Kong. Alright....take me back! 

A patient at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic during the 1890s embroidered her straight jacket, creating a powerful item and a unique piece of art. 

Take me to the colorful village of Guatape! 

If you're like me you talk about food guilt as a way to bond with other people.  Here's why we need to stop doing that. 

Nature is reclaiming this abandoned Chinese fishing village and it is beautiful. 

Why do some birds glow under black light?

Let's hear it for good sportsmanship. 

Hardcore porridge. How to eat breakfast like a 17th century Swedish satanist. 

This Thai treat is so smooth it's name translates as "I forgot I swallowed" and well, let's just say my interest in piqued. 

Of course Norway has the most beautiful public toilet


The Good Stuff: Maps on Maps on Maps, an Aurora Named Steve, and Some Radically Unusual Caterpillars

It's not often that I sit down long enough to watch anything on TV and when I do it's usually just something quick on Netflix, but this week I got hooked on a new show called Abstract: The Art of Design (I can't recommend it enough!). The episode that really hooked me was about architect Bjarke Ingels and the work he's done, but the episode that made me have an absolute moment of joy featured Paula Scher, a graphic designer who also paints .....MAPS.  The inspiration I felt from her episode could not have come at a more perfect time as I wait to hear back about whether I got into the grad school I have applied for. I'm hoping to get in so I can get my Master's in GIS (geographic information systems) and then who knows! Maybe one day I'll be making maps, too!

Now, enjoy some good stuff to get you over the hump into the weekend!

Veinous Blood Red. Broccoli Brown. Smoke Grey.  The forgotten color language of 19th-century naturalists.  

Your brain on plants: Amazon's new corporate biodome

I just love that this book features an illustrated blob fish

In praise of the mundane, unquantifiable, impractical activities that feed creative work and fill life with meaning.

Mapping literary worlds

Some thoughts on work-life balance

Studies link intellectual humility with openness to other viewpoints. 

This article really sums up why I struggle with text messages (and other contextless forms of communication). 

Radically unusual caterpillars

I just discovered Tea.O.Graphy and I'm quite smitten with it. 

More reasons to get outside: What working in a dark office may do to your brain

A meteorite encrusted with diamonds. 

Eastern Europe's Walt Disney

The art of Kip Omolade is completely blowing my mind....

....Even more mind-blowing: this photo of a single atom

Sign me up for one of each of these après-ski cocktails (Lake Tahoe I'm looking at you!)

Awesome flora and fauna street art murals by Amok Island.

The coolest (and weirdest) things people have found tucked between the pages of books.

A-frame cabins, be still my heart. 

These women are breaking traveling stereotypes and setting world records.

You have to check out these 37 Native American artists

A pilgrimage to an ancient......penis monastery

This photographer is capturing the last remaining Muslim women with facial tattoos.

Amateur scientists discovered a new type of Aurora.  It's purple and they named it Steve.