May 23, 2019

Life in a California Ghost Town

“Ranger Taylor Jackson points his shovel to a speck in the blanket of white that covers the ghost town of Bodie, California.

The 100 wooden structures in the middle of nowhere that make up this long-dead community seem pristine. The cloudless March sunlight blasts from above and bounces off the snow’s surface, giving the buildings the angular, distorted shadows of a Surrealist painting. It looks like a mushroom trip is supposed to feel.

And yet Jackson is ignoring all of that—he’s used to it by now. All he cares right about at this moment is that tiny, distant object peeking from the snow. He begins to trudge to it.

As we get closer, I can see that it’s the top of a small roof, the base of its structure buried beneath nearly five feet of snow. Jackson bends over, shovels out a small hole, crawls onto his knees, and peers inside. Hidden behind the white crystals that had formed during the night’s snowstorm are two mercury temperature gauges. One had the previous day’s high: 29. The other had its low: -5.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."

"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."

"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."

"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."

"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."

"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."

"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."

"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."

"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."

"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."

"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."

"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."