The Weekly Roundup: 5.14.2010

Least-Visited Monuments
Continuing my lists promoting the National Parks System, this week the LA Times published a list of the 20 least-visited national monuments. A lot of the included monuments feature ruins, petroglyphs, and fossils, which I think is pretty exciting. Despite taking several real anthropology classes in college, all archeologists still look like Indiana Jones in my mind, and all archeological work still involves escaping booby trapped tombs. Success! Here are five from the twenty that caught my interest.
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve: raft through a dead volcano in Alaska only accessible by boat or plane with no facilities or campgrounds, and consistently life-threatening weather conditions.
Fossil Butte National Monument: located in beautiful Wyoming, visit on Friday or Saturday in summer to hike to some of the richest fossil deposits in the world, and help excavate and collect fossils for research.
Hovenweep National Monument: explore six ancestral Puebloans villages that were abandoned almost a thousand years ago making a prehistoric ghost town on the border of Colorado and Utah.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: in New Mexico's Gila National Forest hike to the site of the cliff dwellings that were built over 700 years ago by the Mogollon people, followed by a dip in a wilderness hot spring.
Chiricahua National Monument: nicknamed "Wonderland of Rocks", see bizarre rock formations and a diverse ecosystem created by "sky islands" of the Chiricahua Mountains that rise sharply above the surrounding grasslands.

See the complete list of the 20 least-visited national monuments along with photos and tips in the original article from the LA Times.
Hidden gems: America's 20 least-visited National Monuments by Kelsey Ramos and Deborah Netburn

A friend-of-a-friend, Rob Reed is a photographer, who recently documented his cross country roadtrip. I've never met the man, but I like his work and style. The places he picked to visit are the kinds of places I'd pick to visit, and his friends clearly know how to have fun.

Feats of Strength
In a singular act fans of Titus Andronicus have demonstrated that they truly are one of the most resourceful and dedicated fanbases around right now. The Titus Andronicus fan site released Feats of Strength, a full-length album of demos, b-sides, and live tracks online this week, and made it available as a free download. This could be the most definitive demonstration of dedication to the DIY ethic of the band they adore. As The Monitor, Titus Andronicus's 2010 album, has inspired a certain fanatical fervor in my heart, I can entirely sympathize. Mad, mad props and thankyous to everyone who helped put Feats of Strength together, as well as everyone behind!
Download Feats of Strength by Titus Andronicus

Ladies Thirst
I came across a pretty amazing magazine this week while researching one of my idols, Calamity Jane. I found some of her tall tales in a series of articles entitled Ladies Thirst from Modern Drunkard Magazine. This is one of the finest publications I have ever had the privilege of reading. It dispenses witty humor and adroit commentary on a subject that is near and dear to many an upstanding citizen's heart: alcohol. They've published many a quality article, such as The Roommate Situation: When is a house not a home? When you're buying all the goddamn hooch, that's when, and Boozing Through Bad Times: Just because the economy is depressed doesn't mean you have to be. However, Ladies Thirst is still my favorite. In a three part series, editor Rich English details the heroic feats, sordid tales, and favorite drinks of a number of famous females who've made history. Now, that's some good journalism.
Ladies Thirst (Part 1) by Rich English
Ladies Thirst (Part 2) by Rich English
Ladies Thirst (Part 3) by Rich English

Johnny Rotten on All Songs Considered
Sorry John Lydon, The Sex Pistols made too much of a good impression on me as a teenager for me to call you anything besides Johnny Rotten. If you've ever enjoyed Johnny Rotten's work as much as me, you'll be delighted to know that the frequently reclusive rocker recently guest DJed an All Songs Considered session with host Bob Boilen. Ah, two of my favorite greats coming together to geek out about music and harass each other. This might be radio at its best. You can stream the interview and playlist online thanks to NPR Music.
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, Plays DJ And Skewers Bob Boilen