Briefings: Firefall at Yosemite National Park, the First PGA Academy, Mind Altering Substances, Fukuyama on the Future, and the Comedy of Key & Peele

February 22, 2012 Briefings By Photo by GP

Editor’s Note: Building on the growing popularity of Briefings, we’ve decided to expand our link coverage with a weekly dose of what’s happening out there in the world of man, beyond the world of gear. More than a link drop, less than a TPS Report, look forward to 3-5 doses of culture with a spoonful of insight and irreverence. GP’s take on culture? Sure. Happy hour topics? Absolutely. Something for the road? You bet. Either way, we’ll have ’em hot and ready for you around Wednesday… depending on weather.

Smarter starts right after the jump.

1. Where to Go | Firefall at Yosemite National Park

It’s a cringe-worthy cliché to ask that you stop and smell the roses, especially right after Valentine’s Day, but here it is: We spend too much time staring slack-jawed at screens; trying to capture awesome real-life experiences on camera; checking email in the company of beautiful women. Now is a suitable time to pull the ripcord. For a few days in February Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall catches the setting sun just right, illuminating the waterfall so it looks like molten lava spilling over the cliff. While you’re there, do something old fashioned like crack a brewdog and hold someone’s hand. Most of the other people will be standing there holding their lenses.

2. Where to Golf | First International PGA Academy, Los Cabos

My short game goes in winter, and a man who isn’t pitching confidently from 70 yards is a man who isn’t breaking 80. One good solution: the first international PGA Tour academy at the One&Only resort in Los Cabos, now open at the tip of the Baja California peninsula. It sits on 27 Jack Nicklaus-designed holes and 7,000+ yards of insanely beautiful earth overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Instruction-wise, the club pros offer everything from short game help to video analysis of your swing; accommodation-wise, grab the Villa Cortez, which has its own private theater, infinity pool, fire pit, and dedicated iPhone for communicating with the butler.

One & Only

3. What to (Maybe) Ingest | Mind Altering Substances

I went on a date recently with Kayla, a woman who told me she couldn’t live without memories. I was like, yeah, I get pretty nostalgic about being captain of my high school golf team. Kayla meant actually losing her memory. We didn’t go out again, but turns out she’s on to something: The March issue of Wired has an essential read by Jonah Lehrer, “The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever.” It turns out memories are malleable—they change each time we remember them—and scientists are close to coming up with medication to change or delete them altogether. Count us out for clinical trials.

Wired, March 2012 and

4. What to Read | Fukuyama on the Future

Francis Fukuyama is author of the famous essay, “The End of History,” a former neocon, a current neocon hater, a furniture maker, and generally the Lupe Fiasco of political science. He’s got a new essay about how stagnating wages and growing inequality could threaten democracy as we know it. Still not convinced you should check this guy out? He recently told Newsweek, “These days I seem to spend as much time thinking about gear as I do analyzing politics for my day job.”

Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2012 and

5. What to Watch | Key & Peele on Comedy Central

It’s not all stagnating wages and the end of democracy around here, though. We’re watching Key & Peele, the hilarious sketch comedy show in its first season on Comedy Central. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele take on everything from slave auctions to Nazis to scrabble—with intellect and a weirdness that harkens back to the best sketch shows of yore.

Tuesdays at 10:30pm on Comedy Central

More by Jeremy Berger | Follow on Contact via Email
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