Magical aural moment: Slowdive’s “Star Roving”

If you’re not listening to new music, your old faves might move you or groove you, but you won’t get that goosebumps effect when a song, a chord, a chorus, a solo . . . it could be anything at all . . . transfixes you. “Holy shit,” you mutter and you know you’ll play that track again and again and again.

Over halfway through “Star Roving,” apparently the single from Slowdive’s self-titled album, its first in 27 years, the chugging riff quietens to background chugging with a cooing vocal reprise, it slows, it calms, it slows . . . then wham, we’re back in the thick of the muddy, reverberating riff. It feels like the holding of breath, then a sighing release.

Future climate change big year: A hotter world means higher seas, now quickening

Another clearly written article from Chris Mooney in the Washington Post, this time on a sobering technical article (Mooney’s article can point you to the source but it is behind a pay wall) by eight researchers, five of them from Hobart or Sydney. Before the 90s, sea level was creeping up at one millimeter a year but now, mainly due to the Greenland ice sheet beginning its inexorable meltdown, the annual global sea rise is over three millimeters a year. We’re talking over 3 cms a decade, which might not sound like much, but ally that to more hot wet air slopping around the world and bringing extreme weather events, and suddenly (so it seems) we know we’ll witness towns washing away in our lifetimes. Chris Harig, one of the coauthors of this study (Mooney says this is the third independent study confirming the same thing already this year), puts it baldly: “We understand why the sea level is accelerating . . . It’s no longer a projection, it’s now an observation.”

(Image from the article.)

Fitness Big Year: Legacy of James Fixx

Does anyone remember this 1977 book? I was in my early twenties and had just commenced working. A geeky non-athlete, I had some experience with jogging but more as a curative for my funny feet than as a real pastime. I played tennis, badly, and wished to improve, so I bought The Complete Book of Running. What a revelation! He sang the praises of pounding the pavements, he wrote about a “runner’s high,” he told stories, he provided guidance. He sold jogging to the masses when the masses had never heard of it, and the masses listened. I was one of those masses and never looked back.

“Yep, it still sells,” says Amazon.

Don’t hide from the cold

Amidst all this struggle, struggle, struggle between the forces pulling away at me, winter settles onto Melbourne. My Writing Big Year stipulates that I don’t exercise in the morning but I decide to fudge a bit and do my post-hamstring-injury recovery runs in the wee hours. And, once more, I’m reminded how beneficial it is to exercise in the dark. Jog in the coldest part of your twenty-four hours and suddenly winter no longer threatens old bones. Confronting the chill reminds you that weather is just weather and we humans thrive in all climes.

If we let the climate best us, it surely will. But we don’t.