Dear friends,

Welcome back to Miscellaneous – our no-frills round-up of the cultural items inspiring our team. Featuring exhibits, concerts, experiences, reading material, music, and more, we’ve been sharing the media that moves us since 2017.

In this edition, Senior Strategist Zander Abranowicz kicks things off with a few ways to start 2022 on the right foot.

Story Club with George Saunders
George Saunders’ Creative Writing seminar at Syracuse is famously selective. His latest book, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, dissects the stories of masters like Chekhov and Gogol, opening his teachings to a global audience. With the launch of his newsletter, Saunders’ classroom got a whole lot larger. In a scrum of great Substacks to choose from, Story Club stands out.

Merlin ID App Birdsong Feature
I was in the backyard and heard an unfamiliar birdsong. Opening the Merlin Bird ID app, I clicked “Sound ID” and recorded a few seconds of audio. In an instant, Merlin identified the source: a Carolina Wren. As if that wasn’t magic enough, I replayed the recording over my speaker, and the little songster flew to the grass near my feet, thinking its call had been returned.

Windswept Adan by Ichiko Aoba
Like a Miyazaki movie for the ears, Windswept Adan soundtracks a fictional film set on two islands. One is the home of the central character, and the other is the island she’s “spirited away” to, a wonderland of lush coastline and fantastical creatures. This is less a series of songs than a sonic field guide to a complex ambient ecosystem. Pack binoculars, amphibious footwear, and good headphones.



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Tiger and Cheetahs by Frannie Wise