Further Reading is a monthly tangent of definitely-not-bike-related reads that have nothing to do with riding but are just too good not to share. While there aren't any 'hard-hitting' stem reviews below, you will find long-form reads, thought-provoking stories, interesting videos, and other non-bike content that we've been following from across our network and beyond. This one's a bit late, but we'll blame it on the holidays.
Found something interesting that's worth sharing and has nothing to do with bikes? Post it in the comments below.
The Giza Project / Harvard University
"The Giza Project is a non-profit international initiative based at Harvard University. Through digital archaeology, we assemble, curate, and present archaeological records about one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, the Giza Pyramids and surrounding cemeteries and settlements. The Project manages arguably the world’s largest digital archive of Giza material. We use this data to build immersive 3D model reconstructions and other media as we develop powerful new teaching technologies and research tools.
What year do we live in again? Thanks to the folks at the Giza Project, you can take a virtual walk through the Great Pyramid of Giza while sitting on your couch, which you should absolutely do right now. You can go through the Grand Gallery up to the King's Chamber, back down to the Queen's Chamber, and even down the narrow tunnel to the strange pit dug deep beneath Khufu's purported tomb.
Oh, and have you heard about the void discovered in the Great Pyramid by measuring cosmic rays
? Unfortunately, the anything-but-straightforward nature of Egyptian archeology means that it'll likely be many years or even decades before we know more, but I can hardly wait.
Tim Weiner / Penguin Random House
"With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.
If you're looking for some IRL reading, Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes tells the frightening and very real story of the Central Intelligence Agency, from its strangely timed beginnings to its many failures and outright crimes that have been mostly ignored. The list includes murder, of course, as well as the usual domestic wiretapping, torture on US soil and abroad, plenty of poisonings, decades of outright lies to Congress, covertly steering public opinion on everything from politics and voting to the news you watch, literal drug trafficking, and so much more.
If you think that sounds crazy, you should hear about the stuff they planned that didn't end up happening. And don't forget that the CIA is the same outfit that's supposed to be providing intelligence and information that US leaders use to make important decisions, which makes Weiner's book even scarier. I'm nearly through Legacy of Ashes and can't recommend it enough, especially if you're still trusting a system (and the news) that depends on organizations like the CIA to get things done.
Tim Neville / Outsideonline.com
"Born on an island off the coast of Virginia, home to a wild herd that inspired the classic children’s novel ‘Misty of Chincoteague,’ this gentle, blue-eyed gelding enjoyed an adventurous life with a family in New Mexico. After his death, a mother and daughter went on a mission: to lay him to rest amid the sand and the waves.
Possibly the descendant of a group of shipwrecked Spanish horses, Legend lived up to his name in life and death. You might want to have the tissues close for this one.
"In 2020, the journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International gained access to a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers. They suspected it contained numbers selected for potential surveillance with Pegasus. The Pegasus Project reporting consortium — which was led by Forbidden Stories and included 16 other media organizations, FRONTLINE among them — found that the spyware had been used on journalists, human rights activists, the wife and fiancée of the murdered Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and others.
Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO built and sells their Pegasus Spyware to governments around the world where it's used to monitor citizens' phones without them knowing. It can access keystrokes, text messages, e-mails, and even private messaging apps like Signal and Whatsapp.
Tim Zimmermann / Outsideonline.com
"At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.
Bushman’s Hole is one of the deepest freshwater caves in the world, and diver Dave Shaw was 800 feet below the surface when he spotted Deon Dreyer's body stuck in its muddy bottom.
Maria Gallucci / IEEE Spectrum
"A vast supply of heat lies beneath our feet. Yet today's drilling methods can barely push through dense rocks and high-pressure conditions to reach it. A new generation of “enhanced" drilling systems aims to obliterate those barriers and unlock unprecedented supplies of geothermal energy.
Today, the fastest tunnel-boring machines can munch through roughly thirty-seven meters of rock over twenty-four hours, which is pretty impressive when you think about it. But imagine a device that could bore through twenty meters of rock in just a single hour, turning it into plasma and vitrifying the walls to seal and stabilize the tunnel in the process. Spectrum's linked article explains how the technology could be used to access geothermal energy, but it also seems like a clever way to build a bunch of secret tunnels
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