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 Schrödinger’s Cat Paradox was conceived by Erwin Schrödinger to demonstrate his view that, despite his having come up with the idea, he was acutely uncomfortable with the idea of interpreting the wave function as a probability. In the paradox, a cat is locked inside a sealed box, with a vial of cyanide and a radioactive atom. If the atom decays, the vial is broken and the cat dies; if not, the cat lives. The problem is that atomic decay is a quantum process, meaning that there is at any moment, not a certainty, but a probability, of the atom decaying. Quantum mechanics, unfortunately, seems to say that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time, in what is called a quantum superposition. What exactly the hell that means is something physicists and philosophers have been wondering ever since, and a new very sensitive experiment seems to both confirm many weird aspects of quantum theory as well as leave open the possibility of such apparent absurdities as causality traveling backwards in time. This is done by simulating the heir to the Cat: Wigner’s Friend, who is observing a quantum process and who is, in turn, being observed. Things get very strange when the observer is observed in turn. A mind-bending story with a lot of twists and turns, but well worth the effort if you were, you know, getting too complacent about the basic nature of reality.
– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief
My longtime friend, co-host, compatriot, and colleague Jason Heaton has launched a personal newsletter for all sorts of his writing that exists beyond the topics he commonly covers here on HODINKEE. Titled “Swimpruf,” this is a more personal platform in which Jason hopes to return to his roots in a wider sphere of topics, including, “a keen eye for the history of exploration and diving, travel, accessible adventures, gear, good whisky, and an old Land Rover.” Swimpruf is hosted by Substack and offers a mix of weekly free content and additional posts that are only for subscribers. Check it out – you can have each post delivered directly to your inbox, and so far, I’ve enjoyed each and every one. If you dig it, subscribe. I did.
– James Stacey, Senior Writer
“Mom, are we theerrrreee yet?” your whiny teenager screeches from the back seat of your slightly-too-long road trip. It’s a well-known intonation, the whiny teen. If you yourself fell into that cohort during the 1990s or early Aughts, you know it not only from yourself, but from your music: think Blink 182, New Found Glory, or Good Charlotte. But, why? Surely there must be a reason an entire subgenre adopted this cartoonish affect beyond suburban angst. In this Atlas Obscura deep-dive from 2015, linguists try to parse the cultural and musical influences that resulted in Tom Delonge’s accent being such a distinctive “vooyce insuide muhy yeead.”
– Brad Slavin, Advertising Manager
If someone commits a theft or a robbery, you probably feel bad that it happened. No one likes their stuff being taken. And yet, if we were to call the same act a “heist,” suddenly, it seems at least a little bit cool, right? For whatever reason, the word “heist” will always conjure up slick images of Marky Mark and a Mini Cooper or George Clooney and the Bellagio – even when the heist is about something less obviously glamorous than gold bars or casino cash. This story in Smithsonian Magazine takes a deep dive into the Carnegie Library’s Oliver Room Heist, a 25-year con job put together by a man on the inside, stealing high-value items from the library’s collection. It’s not quite the same level of luxury as the heists from Hollywood, but its perpetrators and aftermath are no less fascinating.
– Dakota Gardner, Web Editor
In 2011, Arcade Fire won the Album of the Year Grammy for The Suburbs, an introspective concept album about growing up. That’s not particularly newsworthy, or shocking today, but when you look at who they were up against in the category (Lady A, Eminem, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga), it’s actually preposterous. This article in The Ringer gives a historical retrospective of that night at the Grammys in 2011, and how it ushered in a new age of indie-rock music going forward. If you have no idea what I am talking about, let this at least be an introduction to a wonderful album that pairs great with the fall weather that’s just a mere month away. Happy reading and listening.
– Danny Milton, Editor
Lead image by 毛 祥