Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of books, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week, fund a dark-sky documentary, get your om on with A Fearless Heart, and more.
A Fearless Heart
Written by a former monk and the longtime English translator to the Dalai Lama, A Fearless Heart is part autobiography, part self-help study in the Buddhist practices of mindfulness and compassion. A bawdy beach read this is not, but don’t let that dissuade you. Download Thupten Jinpa’s text to your e-reader for an insightful in-flight read, and touch down in your destination with a new outlook on the world.
As light pollution increasingly masks the stars, filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic are on a mission to document North America’s disappearing dark sky. "For a lot of people the idea of an incredible night sky is becoming more science fiction than ever before,” explains Heffernan in the Kickstarter video for Skyglow, an astrophotography book and video series. “Asking them if they’ve seen the Milky Way is like asking if they’ve seen a unicorn.” To learn more about light pollution, how you can help fund to the project, and the campaign rewards (copies of the book, photographic prints, and, for contributors who pledge $5,000, the chance to accompany on a timelapse shoot), visit kickstarter.com.
36 Hours in Mordor
The New York Times meets Middle Earth in a comedic satire from humor site “The Mighty Pen.” While waiting for your flight, take a mental tour of Sauron’s hometown from local watering hole to the trendy WoHO (West of Hell Opening) neighborhood, then peruse the rest of the site for parodies of children’s stories, Amazon.com reviews, Instagram, and the cold juice trend.
In One World, Paris-born, Toronto-raised flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook takes influence from global culture. Striving for a “Constantinople of sound,” the 11-song album transports listeners, with sitars and synthesizers used in equal measure. Stream it below to take the sonic journey.
Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.