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.
We all know (or we should) that in every cell in our bodies (with some exceptions; erythrocytes, I’m looking at you) is a structure called the nucleus, and in that nucleus are genes made up of deoxyribonucleic acid – DNA. In highly simplistic terms, DNA is an instruction manual: it tells cells how to build proteins, which are, to drag out the tiredest cliché in the life sciences, the building blocks of life. What most of us don’t know, is that quite a lot of our DNA is legacy material left over from, shocking as this may sound, viral infections. Viruses work by getting into cells and changing the DNA instruction manual so that it tells the cell how to make more viruses. This little shell game has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, and between humans and our ancestors on the tree of life, quite a lot of virus DNA has gotten passed down and is with us – inside you and I – today. Interestingly enough, this is not a bad thing at all, and it turns out that the ability to form long-term memories relies heavily on relic viral DNA. The Arc gene, as it is called, actually helps neurons to communicate by passing RNA (the messenger form of RNA) from one neuron in the brain to another, in tiny packages that are essentially ready-made viruses. Nature has the story – a reminder of the interconnectedness, and surprising consequences, of the various webs of life on Earth.
– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief
If you search the name “Bob Ross” on Etsy, it yields roughly 4,000 results of brightly colored landscaped canvases and memorabilia. From stickers to clothing to remakes of his paintings, there is a veritable trove of materials dedicated to the man and his body of work. But where did all of Bob Ross’ paintings actually end up? A small team from The New York Times cracked the case in this 10-minute video that documents the charming and ebullient world of Bob Ross, Inc.
– Jeff Hilliard, Retail Director
Years and years ago, I drove a Volkswagen GTI Mark 5. It had a grey exterior and the cloth “tartan”-style seats – the red, white, and grey crosshatch pattern. It was a car that I grew attached to, a car that was with me for a long time. The better part of my developing life occurred while driving that car: High school, college, love, heartbreak, the whole nine. I recall the glow of the blue lights in the interior (a feature VW has since abandoned) and the absolute power of the turbo engine. I think about that car a lot, and, to be honest, wish I still had it. When I saw this piece from Forbes highlighting the history of the GTI – the OG “Hot-Hatch” – I was immediately interested. The article details the car “mark” by “mark,” model by model, illustrating the technical and design difference between the cars. If, like me, you are into the sort of left-of-center charm that the GTI brings, you’ll certainly enjoy the read and the photos.
– Danny Milton, Editor
One of the best things about the internet is how often I can go from learning something exists to being utterly and deeply flabbergasted by the amount of work and effort that went into its creation. One example that struck me recently was this investigation by The Verge into how the epochal TV series Seinfeld was translated into German, in its entirety, for broadcast overseas. As an English speaker, it’s very easy to take for granted just how much content is produced in my native language. Not only that, but the challenges present in translating something so specific to an era (1980s-90s New York City) are so wildly complex that it’s a wonder anyone even thought to try at all. But, try Sabine Sebastian did, and the result is a baffling and fascinating look at what unites us, what separates us, and what makes things funny in the first place.
– Dakota Gardner, Web Editor
As you get older, you realize the rumors that swirled around elementary school classrooms that stemmed from local lore were totally blown out of proportion, or simply untrue. But the rumors about horrific incidents that happened at Mountain Creek Waterpark, formerly Action Park, where we took elementary school field trips, weren’t even blown out of proportion – they were a downplayed version of the truth. The truth was even worse. Watch this documentary to find out why.
– Cole Pennington, Editor
Lead image by Pablo Hermoso