Weekend Round-Up: Scandanavian Buzzwords, Grotesque Slugs, And Space Pirates

Weekend Round-Up: Scandanavian Buzzwords, Grotesque Slugs, And Space Pirates

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.

Slug

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Meet The Sea Slugs That Chop Off Their Heads And Grow New Bodies – The New York Times

Having your head cut off is generally considered a losing strategy. After all, the head seems to need everything else, but there is one rather strange animal that appears to be ok with just being a head – wandering around for a bit, until the body grows back. The idea that a head could exist without a body for even a moment is a disturbing one, but this particular variety of marine snail seems fine shedding its body (usually, because it’s riddled with parasites) on the regular. I feel like I’d abuse this power if I had it, but according to The New York Times, for Elysia marginata being a head without a body is business as usual.

– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief

New Yorker

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Beyond Hygge – The New Yorker

Ah, hygge. With a Danish and Norwegian heritage, the word hygge means a “mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” Wildly popular in the last few years, the lifestyle trend and design aesthetic may have predicted exactly what we needed given the state of our collective lives at home through 2020. This Danish concept of coziness sure sounds nice, and in the spirit of attempting to find comfort in some of the habits we have formed in the last year, this New Yorker article introduces a few new outlandish (and made-up) Scandanavian buzzwords to the vernacular. While these aren’t real words, they sure do hit home – and a few of these just may make those of us who have accumulated a rotating collection of no fewer than six beverage glasses on our bedside table during quarantine feel a little bit less alone.

– Sarah Reid, Advertising Manager

Telescope

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Who Would Kidnap a Space Telescope? – The Atlantic

Originally intended for launch back in 2007, NASA’s James Webb space telescope will soon be deployed as something of a replacement for the Hubble telescope. But the team that created the telescope has recently highlighted an unexpected concern: pirates. Yes, pirates. Due to the telescope’s considerable size, it will need to be shipped by boat through the Panama Canal en route to the launch site in French Guiana. Factor in that the James Webb telescope is worth some $ 10 billion, and that is a shipment that is all but prepped for possible piracy. In this fascinating piece from The Atlantic, uncover the perils of shipping something like a space telescope, the history of high seas specialized telescope piracy, and some of the other challenges facing the team charged with getting the device safely into orbit. 

– James Stacey, Senior Writer

Tree

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The Demise And Potential Revival Of The American Chestnut – Sierra Club

“By almost any metric, the American chestnut was a perfect tree,” Kate Morgan tells us in a recent dispatch for the Sierra Club. “It was massive, fast-growing, and rot-resistant,” and it helped fuel a multibillion-dollar timber industry along North America’s Eastern seaboard during the 19th century. How, then, did it all disappear? Morgan breaks down the fungal blight that led to the American Chestnut’s disappearance and spotlights the ongoing hard work of a team of biologists, ecologists, foresters, and activists who plan to bring the tree back through genetic engineering.

– Logan Baker, Editor, HODINKEE Shop

Books

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50 Very Bad Book Covers For Literary Classics – Lit Hub

If I’m honest, I judge nearly every book I encounter by its cover. The old saw arguing against it has proven to be wrong almost every time I’ve tried to follow it. As far as I can tell, the quality of the book tends to be heavily correlated with the quality of the cover – perhaps demonstrating that the publisher took the work seriously enough to shell out a couple of bucks for a real graphic designer. This article from Lit Hub, however, points out a rather glaringly large loophole to my theory: the public domain. You see, any work that enters the public domain may be repackaged and resold by just about anyone, usually with a new and original cover. And, in the haste to rake in the dough while standing on the shoulders of Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde, who has the time to design a nice cover? Since it’s the weekend, I can’t wait to brew a nice cup of coffee, relax in my leather easy chair, and get lost in that beloved and patriotic tale of American romance, Pride and Prejudice.

– Dakota Gardner, Managing Editor

Lead image by Bryan Goff

HODINKEE

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