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’ve been treated to some very unusual and pretty extreme weather in the USA this week, but of course, in four billion or more years, the Earth has seen extremes of truly epic proportions. It rained asteroids during the Late Heavy Bombardment (albeit including space rocks under the definition of weather is being pretty generous with the definition), and then there’s my personal favorite, the Huronian Glaciation, which was kick-started by anaerobic organisms polluting the Earth’s atmosphere with that horrible corrosive poison, oxygen, over two billion years ago. (‘Snowball Earth’ has such a nice ring to it, no?) More recently, about 42,000 years ago, the Earth’s magnetic field hiccuped, and as The New York Times reports, “Ice sheets surged across North America, Australasia and the Andes. Wind belts shifted across the Pacific and Southern Oceans. Prolonged drought hit Australia; that continent’s biggest mammals went extinct. Humans took to caves to make ochre-color art. Neanderthals died off for good.” A fascinating account of how something we almost never think about – the Earth’s magnetic field – is, in many respects, indispensable to life.
– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief
There’d be no comic book movies without comic books, and no Marvel Cinematic Universe (or “MCU”, for short) without Marvel. For that, we can thank Stan Lee – the engine that made Marvel Comics run for so many years. In a time when it seems like every year inundates us with a string of new superhero films, it helps to look back to where it all originated. The serialized storytelling that the MCU has adopted – on an unfathomably massive scale – came from Lee’s vision to make comic writing, and character creation, collaborative. No one person was responsible for any one comic. Writers and artists worked together and bounced ideas around, and only then, could a new hero spring to life. The New Yorker just published a piece around a new book on Stan Lee called True Believer. In it, you get a taste for how Marvel’s comics – and later its movies – transcended popular culture with a variety of heroes, superpowers, and thought bubbles.
– Danny Milton, Editor
In so many ways, hand-dyed indigo takes on a life of its own. I mean it. Indigo vats are literally alive, thanks to the complex fermentation process that takes place within each pot and transforms an unassuming green leaf into vibrant shades of blue that are unmatched by synthetic dyes. The art of dying with indigo was introduced to Japan by way of China more than 1,500 years ago, but today is synonymous with Japanese denim and an entire world of covetable re-dyed vintage. This article chronicles the traditional industry in Kojima, Japan as creators such as Buaisou – a name that may be familiar to our audience given their collaborations with Drake’s and Blue Bottle Coffee – turn fields of indigo plants into garments the deepest of blues.
– Sarah Reid, Advertising Manager
When I was writing the story on Michael Crichton’s Flightmaster, I became interested in the astral plane after reading his musings on the subject in his 1988 book Travels. Now it looks like Gen Z is discovering the concept through the “Gateway Experience” trend that’s getting popular on TikTok. The CIA came up with a technique in the ’80s to “escape spacetime,” and some documents declassified in 2003 roughly outline how it’s done. This Motherboard piece explains how you can actually try it yourself. If you do, please let me know how it goes in the comments.
– Cole Pennington, Editor
About a week and a half ago, I purchased a short video clip of Charlotte Hornets wing Gordon Hayward hitting a jump shot. While I am a Hornets supporter, I’m not a particularly passionate Hayward fan and mostly bought it as a goof. You see, the internet finally has its sights on collectible trading cards, only instead of small pieces of cardboard, sports fans can now amass individually authenticated clips online that commemorate their favorite players and plays. Built on the blockchain, the same technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, NBA Top Shot moments are tiny pieces of digital ephemera that belong to you, and you alone. And, much like trading cards, they’ve become strangely lucrative, particularly for a small subset of gamblers, cryptocurrency speculators, and super-collectors, about whom Bleacher Report has written. As for my Hayward highlight, I paid $ 14 for it. As of this writing, it’s worth about $ 40 on the Top Shot marketplace. I guess one person’s gag gift is another’s grail.
– Dakota Gardner, Managing Editor
Lead image by NOAA