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To everything, there is a season,
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to break down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
…and a time for your questions and my answers on this episode of Everything Everywhere Daily.
Let’s start with some travel-related questions.
Glenn Folau asks, “Have you visited The Diomedes, or St Lawrence Island?”
No, I have not, nor are they high on my list of places to visit. The Diomedes are interesting because they are located so close to Russia and the International Date Line, but other than that, there isn’t much about them that is interesting.
Likewise, St. Lawrence Island is interesting in that it is closer to Asia than mainland Alaska, but that’s about it.
Both of these places are very difficult to get to, and there are other Alaskan islands and parts of Alaska which I think are more interesting. For example, Round Island is a sanctuary for walruses, which I think would make for great photography and would actually be something to go and see.
I have planned a trip to Western Alaska in my head which would involve flying to Nome and visiting the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument.
Mark Hyman asks, “Have you visited North Korea, Bouvet Island, or the Crozet Islands?”
The answer to this is also, no, no, and no.
I almost technically set foot in North Korea at the DMZ. If you visit the DMZ, you can step inside the building where the cease-fire was signed, and you can technically step over the line into North Korea. However, the day I was scheduled to go, there was an ice storm, and they closed it to tourist access.
I’ve also looked into doing a proper trip to North Korea, but I’ve just never pulled the trigger on it.
As for Bouvet and Crozet islands, they are extremely hard to visit. Extremely.
I know some extreme travelers who have tried to visit Bouvet on a ship, on a trip that cost well over $10,000 per person and weren’t able to land because of weather.
No one lives there, and there are no regular ships that visit.
Crozet is similar, except there is a small French scientific outpost on the island.
These islands, along with Herd and Macdonald islands in the Southern Indian Ocean, are some of the hardest places on Earth to visit. A ship might only visit some of these islands once every five years if even that.
To visit these islands is an incredible undertaking in time and money, and not something I have any plans to do.
Will Murphy asks, “Hi Gary do you think that rugby union is better the American football, and have you ever seen the All Blacks play?”
As all of you know, I am an American and a big fan of the Green Bay Packers NFL team.
Other than just watching scores online, it is difficult to follow rugby from the United States.
There is a big streaming service in the US, Peacock TV, which now offers Rugby League matches from English Premier League as well as some rugby sevens tournaments.
However, I’m not sure how to watch Rugby Union games. It would probably involve using a VPN to watch it from another country.
As for the All Blacks, I have, in fact, watched the All Blacks. In fact, I was in the stands at Eden Park in 2011 to watch New Zealand beat France to win the World Cup.
A fact that makes Kiwis envious every time I mention it ?
Jason Scott asks, “Do you really love ScotteVest?”
Yeah. I’ve been wearing Scottevest gear for years. If you go look at some of my photos, you’ll see photos of me in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle wearing Scottevest jackets. There are lots of other photos of me wearing Scottevest shirts and pants.
I’ve been wearing their stuff for years before I started this podcast.
I’m friends with the owner of the company Scott Jordan, and I’ve visited their headquarters in Sun Valley, Idaho. Scott is also a fan of the podcast and is probably listening to this right now.
Sergio Ortiz Orendain asks, “Hi Gary Arndt, given your background in math, is there a specific branch in math you are interested in?”
If I had continued to pursue math, I probably would have focused on number theory. I did a project in my senior year of Fermat’s Little Theorem and pseudoprimes.
This branch of mathematics has become relevant with the increased importance of cryptography.
But I also don’t think I’d make a good researcher or academic. My interests are too varied to focus on a single subject.
Graham McIntosh asks “Who in your opinion was the best James Bond? What was the best James Bond Theme Tune? Your favorite Bond film?”
I think that you have to go with Sean Connery as the best Bond, but I would also think that Daniel Craig is a close second. I think the quality of Bond movies has been a U-shaped curve with the best movies being the earliest and the most recent.
The best song is probably You Only Live Twice by Nacy Sinatra.
As for the best movie, that is easy. Goldfinger. I’m not even sure there is any debate on that subject.
Bairbre N’Cinneide (kin-ade-ah)asks, “As a Northern American citizen can you explain why Americans associate leprechauns with the Irish. Our traditions have the “little people” which are closer to fairies. Leprechauns look more like German traditions. Love the podcast, and I’m telling all my fellow artists about it ??”
The answer is that leprechauns are Irish, and they were originally considered fairies.
In particular, leprechauns were considered solitary fairies, as opposed to fairies that lived in a fairy tree or a fairy mound. Over time they were ignored in Irish folklore until they were repopularized by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats in the 19th century.
The leprechauns were traditionally portrayed as wearing red clothing.
The portrayal of leprechauns wearing green was a function of the Irish diaspora in the United States. Green was the traditional Irish color, so leprechauns started wearing green.
From there, leprechauns just became a symbol of Ireland, along with shamrocks.
Ayo Abíólá asks, “Tell us more about EE-Weekly. Why did you decide to do a weekly podcast. Why a different format (has a co-host? How long will it be? Will EED eventually become EEW or will both co-exist. Any overlap????”
For those of you not on the Facebook group, I’m launching a new weekly podcast called Everything Everywhere Weekly, which will be available to supporters over on Patreon.com
The weekly show will be a guest and me talking about the previous week’s episodes in a rapid-fire format, plus a few more from the back catalog.
This show will not change at all, and the weekly show is designed purely as an extra bonus for all the show’s supporters.
I’ve already recorded the first episode with Chris Christensen, the host of the Amateur Traveler Podcast.
Robyn Lingard asks, “Some time ago, you mentioned attending a podcast conference. Without giving away the secrets for creating your daily magic, what were some tips you picked up?”
Well, I’ve been to lots of conferences over the years, and you learn almost nothing at conferences. Pretty much anything you need to know you can learn quicker, easier, and better, online.
The reason to go to conferences is to meet people and network.
That being said, I can and have talked about the subject of podcasting for hours. Basically, you have to put in the work. Most podcasts never make it to episode seven because they give up.
You can do a podcast for fun. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to take it seriously, you need to put in the work and treat it like a business and a media property.
Kyle Kenyon asks, “Can you recommend any books or resources that give a good (high level) overview of ancient cultures?”
There are a lot of books, but there are two which come to mind off the top of my head that I really like.
The first book is 1491 by Charles Mann. The book covers the latest research on what we know about native peoples who lived in the Americas before European contact. My of my episode on the Great Dying of the Americas was based on his book.
The second is SPQR by Mary Beard. In it, she gives a good overview of the rise of the Roman Republic from a single city to the leading force in the Mediterranean.
Even though I have a pretty good basic understanding, I’m personally looking for recommendations for books about Carthage and Phoenicians, and Ancient China. Feel free to leave them in the Facebook group if you have any.
Dave Bitschy asks, “Do you listen to podcasts? I’ve always wondered if podcasters listen to others. Maybe they are too busy producing their own they have no time. My other favourite is Dan Carlins hardcore history. It’s the complete opposite format to yours.”
I certainly do listen to podcasts. I’ve listened to Hardcore History since it first came out. In fact, when I came up with the idea for the format for this show, I purposely did the opposite of what most other podcasts were doing with long-format shows.
There are a lot of shows which go in-depth on single topics, and I figured there was room for a show which was more frequent, covering a wider variety of topics.
I don’t listen to as many podcasts as I used to because I can’t listen to podcasts while I’m working on a show.
I do listen to podcasts when I’m doing other things.
Most of what I listen to nowadays are either history podcasts or podcasts about podcasting.
The last question comes from Evan Byrne. He asks, “Out of all the places you have been in the world, if you had to choose one place to “retire” for the rest of your days, where would you choose and why?”
I get this question a lot. The truth is that there are a lot of great cities in the world. Places like Vancouver, Singapore, London, and Rome are all great places that I enjoy visiting.
Narrowing things down to a single city is difficult because it depends on where you live in any particular city. There are also many cities which are nice but are incredibly expensive.
So, I don’t know if I have an answer to that question.
There are certain spots I’ve found around the world which I felt would be a great places to build a house. There is one spot I found in Montenegro near Lake Skadar that has an incredible view.
There is another spot I found on a rather remote corner of a remote island in the Pacific. I visited a beach that had close to no visitors, even locals, in the last ten years because you had to walk down a long flight of stairs down a cliff to get to the beach.
Getting shipments of anything there would be difficult, but it is an amazing place.
That is it for this installment of questions and answers.
If you want to ask a question next month, or if I didn’t get to your question this month, just join the Facebook group. I’ll put up a call for questions a day or two before the 6th of the month, which is the day I do the Q&A shows.
We are getting close to 1000 members in the group.