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 International Space Station has been circling the Earth for an astonishing 20 years, and in that time, it has played host to dozens of visitors from around the world and done innumerable experiments – including giving us invaluable information on how human physiology adapts to microgravity; essential info for long-haul Mars missions. But what goes up, must come down. The station is currently certified to operate through 2028, but eventually, a combination of age, radiation and micrometeorite damage, and orbital decay will mean it must succumb to a fiery demise in the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientific American has the story on the ongoing problem of how to do this safely. Oddly enough, nobody really thought about this when they were building the thing – one researcher, interviewed for the story, has said, “But my sense is that they didn’t actually think through the details until about five years ago … Until then it was like, ‘La la la, it’s in orbit, we’re still building it, we’re not going to worry about how to get rid of it.’ Which maybe isn’t quite the way you should do things.” It’s a fascinating look at how we’re trying, with the benefit of hindsight, to keep the sky from falling.
– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief
For many of us, “home” has become the place we rest, eat, work, sleep, teach, learn, and quarantine. This New York Times article breaks down the theory behind why we may be beginning to crave a little bit more color in our personal spaces – namely warm, cozy, earthy tones that inadvertently provide us with a little bit more comfort in these challenging times. So long boring gray walls, hello “dead salmon” everything.
– Sarah Reid, Advertising Manager
They Might Be Giants were once the “left of the dial” darlings of college radio and MTV in the 1980s and 90s. While they still put out albums to this day – and good ones at that – they have also taken to creating more educational music for kids. Albums like No, Here Come the ABCs (and the companions Here Come the 123s and Here Comes Science) and Why? take their songwriting panache to a different, younger-skewing audience. I’ll admit, I listen to those albums too. Since we are in the throes of a long election season, with our eyes glued to Steve Kornacki and his Khakis, I thought it would be fun to share something that TMBG did a few months back. CNN tasked the band – on very short notice – to create a Schoolhouse Rock-style song (and video) about the Electoral College, and boy did they deliver. This article literally only contains the lyrics to the song, which is all you really need. So, as election season – eventually – comes to a close, take a few minutes to enjoy another great song from Brooklyn’s own, They Might Be Giants.
– Danny Milton, Editor
One of the reasons Jeopardy has been such a lasting force in television history is that its format encourages you to play along at home. There’s a split second of silence after host Alex Trebek finishes reading the questions (or, I suppose, the answers) but before a contestant can ring-in – giving you a window to shout your best guess at the television before the correct response is revealed. Do this enough and, eventually, you may find yourself acing the Jeopardy casting quiz and standing on the famous stage yourself. However, even among those lucky enough to appear on the show, there can be a fate far worse than flubbing a Daily Double: Preemption. Occasionally, due to major news events or natural disasters, Jeopardy does not air in a particular TV market on a specific day. For those hoping for 15 minutes of trivia fame, it can be a real drag. Claire McNear of The Ringer chats with some contestants who suffered this ignominious fate – including one whose episode was scheduled to air on November 3 aka Election Day. What is… unfortunate?
– Dakota Gardner, Web Editor
Lurking in roughly 300 feet of water off the coast of Poland, divers have recently found the wreckage of the Nazi steamship Karlsruhe. Now located deep (very, very deep for diving) in the Baltic Sea, the Karlsruhe was sunk in April of 1945, along with cargo that includes vehicles, china, and many more untold treasures – all now left to the divers brave enough to dive into the deep, dark, and cold waters in which the ship rests. While those treasures are still yet to be seen, there is speculation that the ship may hold valuable Russian artifacts that the Nazis claimed as their own. The results may take time as diving at this depth is incredibly difficult, and even a short dive requires hours of decompression before the diver can return to the surface. Only time will tell what the Nazis packed on this boat as they planned to flee westward from Prussia. Pro tip: If you want a (literally) in-depth look at what it takes to salvage Nazi history from the cold and dangerous floor of the ocean, pick up a copy of Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers. It’s one of my favorite books.
– James Stacey, Senior Writer
Lead image by Kai Dahms