Geocaching and Letterboxing: Treasure Hunting in Your Home Community

The summer is conducive to being outside and away from our screens, meetings, colleagues, to-do lists, deadlines, etc. But if you’re like me perhaps you’ve found yourself at home on a gorgeous Saturday or Sunday bored out of your stinkin’ mind cause you don’t want to work but are at a loss for something to do. Oh my, do I have an adventure for you!

Geocaching and letterboxing are real-life, like OUT IN THE WORLD, scavenger hunts you can do in your very own communities. Both geocaching and letterboxing have similar aims – to find the treasure – but each approach this goal differently. Geocaching uses GPS to guide you to a hidden treasure, while letterboxing relies on riddles and clues.

Geocaching.com is an arm of Groundspeak, a company specializing in “outdoor play using location-based technology.” As such, geocaching.com is the anchor point for this treasure hunting activity with a social network designed around over 2 million geocaches worldwide. For example (ATTN: Lansing area Dr. Who fans), there’s a series of geocaches hidden throughout the city commemorating the 50th anniversary of the longest running TV science fiction show, Dr. Who (The 10th Doctor – “Silence in the Library”). What treasures are in the geocache? Guess you’ll have to find one for yourself.

Letterboxing is a more artistic form of treasure hunting in that letterbox hunters are encouraged to create their own unique rubber stamp for stamping a journal included in each letterbox. Additionally, the letterbox contains its own stamp for the hunters journal, marking a location in the hunters passport of adventure. Atlastquest.com is the biggest web source of letterbox clues. This treasure hunting game requires the ability to write and interpret clues and codes. For example, in  “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” series here in the Lansing area, the F. o. R. D. Family writes, “After crossing the bridge and nibbling some grass, (You know how billy goats like grassy hills) Big headed up the path. Watch for some big rocks hiding in the tall grass on your right.”

Whether you’re bored indoors, looking for a family activity, or just love a good adventure, geocaching and letterboxing are guaranteed to bring you some good ol’ summer fun.

Let’s Dance! (no, really, lets learn how to dance)

In the ever-expanding universe that is YouTube there is a multitude of How To videos, from putting on make up and tying a bowtie, to software specific tutorials, and much much more. Included in this How To niche are also videos that can teach you how to dance.

Want to learn how to dance in a club? There’s videos for that – try this one, or this one, or maybe this one.

Or how about Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller”?

My personal favorites are reminiscent of my youth, like the roger rabbit, the Kid n’ Play, the Cabbage Patch, and of course the running man.

Maybe you’re interested in the classics. Try a waltz, a tango, or the fox trot.

Dancing, even in the privacy of our own homes, is really dang fun sometimes. Give it a try, shake shake shake your booty, or just throw your index fingers in the air and get down with your bad self.

Life Advice from Oprah Winfrey to Harvard Graduates (or anyone, for that matter)

Each year, popular and well-known colleges and universities manage to get some kind of famous celebrity to give a commencement speech about life, what to do now with your future, and all that jazz that comes with graduating and stepping off into the great unknown. This year, Harvard’s commencement speech was given by Oprah Winfrey, where she gave the graduating class of 2013 “a powerful message about failure, purpose, and the meaning of life, with a side of essential political awareness about gun control, immigration, and media ethics.”

Brain Pickings posted the video of her speech, as well as transcribed several noteworthy highlights that Ms. Winfrey addressed. The main point was the “inevitability of failure” and the growth it allows us if we approach it with the right mindset.

“It doesn’t matter how far you might rise — at some point, you are bound to stumble. Because if you’re constantly doing what we do — raising the bar — if you’re constantly pushing yourself higher, higher, the law of averages predicts that you will, at some point, fall. And when you do, I want you to know this, remember this: There is no such thing as failure — failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

I think this is incredibly important to remember, especially in today’s day and age where perfection and wanting to be “perfect” is pressed into our minds at an early age (get good grades, go to college, get a good job, work hard, etc.) many people think if they don’t have a job immediately after graduating, they’re a failure or they did something wrong along the way. As long as we’re continually striving for something more and doing more, we can never fail, and that is what Ms. Oprah Winfrey is trying to tell us.

Be sure to read the rest of her speech or watch the video for more positive and motivating insights.

From Brain Pickings: The Four People A Writer Must Be

A recently released volume of insights by writer Susan Sontag, titled Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963, include a bit of wisdom of the four qualities that compose a writer.  Sontag, 28 at the time, said:

“The writer must be four people:
The nut, the obsédé
The moron
The stylist
The critic
1 supplies the material; 2 lets it come out; 3 is taste; 4 is intelligence.
A great writer has all 4 — but you can still be a good writer with only 1 and 2; they’re most important.”

I think these four qualities makes sense for all writers. Sontag’s book also includes mediations on art, marriage, and a list of beliefs between the ages of 14 and 24.

Source: Brain Pickings