Dear friends,


There’s no way around it: times are tough. Even under the best of circumstances — a comfortable home office, country house, cat on your lap — there is no getting used to the gloom of social distancing. We need physical contact for survival, as do our primate ancestors. In Harry Harlow’s classic 1958 study, “The Nature of Love,” an orphaned rhesus monkey chose the company of a cloth-wrapped doll “surrogate mother” over a wire doll surrogate mother, even when the wire doll offered milk and cloth doll didn’t. Maternal warmth mattered more to the poor monkey than sustenance itself. When one human makes friendly physical contact with another human, oxytocin, a neuropeptide associated with feelings of devotion, trust and bonding, is unlocked in our brains. We could all do with a little natural oxytocin right now. In lieu of a friendly handshake or warm hug, we offer you a few good things to keep you going in this month’s Miscellaneous — Athletics’ no-frills round-up of the cultural items that inspire our team each month. From all of us at Athletics, stay well, stay smart, stay strong!


Stay tuned for more editions of Miscellaneous in the coming months.

Interested in contributing? Send us an email!


Nourish (sustenance)

French-style succotash — Native American dish with Gallic flair

Oven-roasted zucchini with collard-peanut pesto — Bryant Terry celebrates the simple pleasure of summer squash

Watermelon, lime, and tequila frozen cocktail / mocktail — freeze cubes of watermelon to blend into a nice slushie with some lime juice, simple syrup, a pinch of salt, and mint or basil (add some tequila to make it boozy)

Care (wellness)

Environments app — historic catalog of long form field recordings

How to be happy — NYT wellness guide

Spiritual Ecology — stirring conversation with author and naturalist Robin Wall Kimmerer

Consume (content)

Homegrown — Neil Young (1974 → 2020) — the lost album resurfaces

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography (dir. Errol Morris, 2017) — a master of documentary turns his lens on a master of large-format polaroid photography

The Go-Gos (dir. Alison Ellwood, 2020) — the story of the pioneering all-female rock band

Smile (positivity)

Earth from above — get some perspective

Fred Astaire @ 1970 Oscars — the guy’s got moves

Parting words from John Lewis — the truth is marching on

Poetic Fragment

“Newborn with every moment

To the complete newness of the world”


Fernando Pessoa (1925)


In solidarity,



Header Image: Valley of the Moon, Jordan, courtesy of USGS