Each week our editors gather their favorite finds from around the internet and recommend them to you right here. These are not articles about watches, but rather outstanding examples of journalism and storytelling covering topics from fashion and art to technology and travel. So go ahead, pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and settle in.
The first time I read Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, I was in between terms and staying at friend’s house in Berkeley, no parents around, for two months (which, without elaborating on legally proscribed pharmaceuticals, was an ideal time and place to read the book). I found out afterwards that a lot of the book was based in fact, but one episode to me seemed sheer fantasy: This was the tale of Byron The Bulb – an immortal, sentient lightbulb which refused to burn out when its time came, and which was chased across continents as a renegade by the shadowy international light-bulb cartel known as Phoebus, whose members decreed early death for all bulbs as a means to swell profits. It was only recently that I found out that, incredibly, the Phoebus cartel existed; they met in Geneva (where else) in 1924 and essentially invented planned obsolescence. My first clue was a six-year-old story from the Paris Review, which led to the mother lode: an article in the journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which exposes the Phoebus Cartel’s machinations in all their intricate, unholy glory. As Thomas Pynchon himself doubtless would have said, you can’t make this stuff up.
– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief
There are many interesting events happening on our planet currently, but let’s not forget the beauty of the planet itself and the universe we live in. So, if you’re interested in stargazing or following moon patterns, check out this article to stay up with the celestial events. On Friday, June 5, the strawberry moon appeared at 3:12 PM Eastern Time and 8:12 PM in the United Kingdom, but it should last until around Sunday. Why not sit down, have a cup of tea, and relax while looking at the moon? You never know: You may end up buying a telescope and adopting a new hobby.
– Tiffany Wade, Photographer
We may not realize it, but film scores leave lasting impressions on us that live on far past the experience of viewing the films themselves. Many people immediately think of John Williams when the topic of film composers comes up in conversation, and deservedly so. But years before Williams became a household name, there was Max Steiner, the composer behind such classics as King Kong, Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, The Big Sleep, and The Searchers. His biographer, Steven C. Smith (who penned the book on another famed composer, Bernard Hermann) sat down for an interview with Variety for his new book “Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer.” This interview is a great look at the life of a man who arguably invented the movie score as we know it today.
– Danny Milton, Editor
I’ve highlighted a few of Jason Tochinsky’s posts in the past, but his recent delivery of the world’s cheapest electric car may well be my favorite thing he’s made for Jalopnik to date. The car is called a Changli, and Jason bought it on Alibaba for $ 930. All told, it totals out at more like $ 1200 with the batteries, and from the moment he announced that he was planning to buy one for review, I was exceedingly curious. He has posted a few pieces about this car that costs less than a modern high-spec smartphone (and looks like a Paw Patrol vehicle), but this post features actual seat time in the oddly well-equipped Changli. While I implore you to watch the video and read the post, I’ll give you a few tidbits: It’s made of metal, it has Bluetooth and a backup camera, it seats ~3 people, and you’d better live in a flat area. What a thing.
– James Stacey, Senior Writer
It goes without saying that this past week has been challenging. People, myself included, have been turning to all social media platforms for updates, opinions, and (most importantly) education. I naively and incorrectly assumed that “anti-racism” was talked about openly and thoroughly in school curriculums here in the U.S. Having attended K-12 at an international school in South East Asia, diversity was a given, native languages were aplenty, and anti-racist work was drilled regularly. Still, I know there is so much more work to be done, and what drives me to learn more is a challenge from poet and activist Gil Scott-Heron: “The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move.” Here’s hoping that minds continue to change.
– Aileen McBride, Director of E-Commerce
Lead image by Kym MacKinnon.