It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look—I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring—caring deeply and passionately, really caring—which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naïveté—the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball—seems a small price to pay for such a gift.
The Internet obviously will become embedded in so many things that people won’t be aware of it in the days to come. Kind of the way that people aren’t aware of electricity now; the only time they think about it is when it’s denied to them.
Many of the evolutionary advantages in the future will be to people who don’t necessarily have lots of facts in their head but have a lot of capacity to do critical thinking and are discerning searchers. They can figure out relatively quickly and well the difference between highly credible information and highly suspect information.
Miles traveled: 431
Feet climbed: 11,316
Pieces of pie savored: 25 (9 a la mode)
Flat tires: 4*
Other repairs: 1 new brake lever**
Pork chops eaten: 18
Friendly, welcoming Iowans met: 1,276
Guys who told us to get off their lawn: 1
I “Heart” NPR buttons distributed: 1 gallon Zip-lock baggie full
Pairs of bike shorts ripped: 1***
People Who Told Us They Rode RAGBRAI for the First Time After Hearing About It On NPR last year: 25
People Who Told Us They’d Ridden All 42 RAGBRAIs: 1
Coolest Detour: Buddy Holly crash memorial
Un-coolest Detour: 2 am kybo search
Times Cheating Death due to Unexpected Rumble Strip Encounter: 1
Weeks till Next RAGBRAI: 51
*all Horsley’s. Thanks to the mechanics in Rockford for the new rim tape. Smooth sailing ever since.
**ask Arnie about the cool high school kid in Independence who patched him up in time for those big descents on the last day.
***ask Gonyea, but he probably won’t tell you.
At age 7, Gideon Gidori knew exactly what he wanted to be: a rocket ship pilot.
The only thing was, he was living in a tiny Tanzanian village where schools only went through grade six and books about space (or, for that matter, any books) were scarce.
But that didn’t stop him. Now 15, Gidori is determined to become Tanzania’s very first astronaut.
Gidori has always been fascinated with stars and spent his boyhood nights staring at the clear skies above his hometown. “I think there is much more up there than there is down here, and I want to know what that is,” he says. When he becomes an astronaut, he hopes his first stop will be the moon — one of Jupiter’s moons, that is.
"They say that on Europa, there’s life," he says. "I want to be part of the crew that investigates it."