Why did they try to live far off the grid in the winter?

From Outside magazine: "Talon Vance, 13, lived in an apartment complex in suburban Colorado Springs with his mom and Aunt. Other relatives lived nearby. Typically, he spent much of the week with his father, half brother, half sister, and grandparents, all of whom lived together not far away in a different town. All of that would change in August 2022: Talon’s mother, Rebecca Vance, had hatched a plan to disappear from Colorado Springs and go permanently off-grid. Christine said to their stepsister that they would be heading into the wilderness to live off the grid. Rebecca had spent much of the pandemic glued to her computer, growing increasingly obsessed with conspiracy theories and the end of the world. She feared vaccines, technology, and the power of global elites, and thought the only escape was to get far away."

She spent a week rescuing food from the trash and here's what she ate

From the NYT: "A childhood memory, from the family table in Mumbai, still plays on a loop in my mind: “Don’t waste your food,” my mother would admonish daily. “Too many starving children everywhere,” my father would chime in. Decades later, now living in New York City, I still can’t toss those leftovers. At least not like some of my friends do, with cool nonchalance, or like restaurants and shops regularly do when they’ve prepared too much. So, I decided to try Too Good To Go, one of several apps that connect eaters with unsold restaurant food. It claims to have 155,000 businesses, like restaurants and markets, that offer surplus meals, often discounted, to about 85 million users."

The Antikythera Mechanism was the world's first computer

From Classical Wisdom: "For more than 100 years of scientific investigations, it was an artefact that kept most of its secrets. That was until 2005, when scientists from Greece, England, Germany, and the United States brought the latest imaging technologies designed to decode the secrets of the mysterious Greek gadget. It was first salvaged in 1900 from a sunken ship in the waters of the tiny Greek island of Antikythera. The Greek scientists that first examined it in early twentieth century were completely perplexed by its complexity and appearance. They called it the Antikythera Mechanism. Its bronze toothed gears shocked modern scientists who were under the illusion that gears were a modern invention. But it was also the world’s first computer."

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Women in prison are finding hope through supporting a struggling butterfly

Taylor's checkerspot butterfly

From Hakai magazine: "Heather wears her dark hair in braids. She’s also wearing a bright red sweater marked DOC for Department of Corrections, identifying her as an inmate of Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women, a minimum security prison located near Belfair, Washington. Heather is not her real name. She says she feels lucky to be participating in this work while she serves her sentence here. She shows me around with a proud, almost parental smile. Along with eight other incarcerated women, Heather is entrusted with the care and feeding of nearly 4,000 members of an endangered species, the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. With this trust comes the privilege of working just beyond the razor-wire fence during the day before returning to the prison."

If there's a little triangle on the wall above your airplane seat, here's what it means

From Travel and Leisure: "Airplanes have their own unique system of cuneiform that passengers may have noticed but never really understood. The inside of the cabin is marked with little triangles that can be either red or black. An especially astute passenger will notice that these little triangles throughout the cabin line up with the wings outside the plane. If flight crew need to check the wings, these triangles let them know the best vantage points to check the status of the wings, including making sure they are properly de-iced. The seats that are under the triangles are also sometimes be referred to as "William Shatner's seat," a reference to an episode of the TV show The Twilight Zone in which a character played by Shatner sees a goblin out on the wing of his airplane."

Merriam-Webster says you can end a sentence with a preposition now

From NPR: ""It is permissible in English for a preposition to be what you end a sentence with," the dictionary publisher said in a post shared on Instagram last week. "The idea that it should be avoided came from writers who were trying to align the language with Latin, but there is no reason to suggest ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong." Merriam-Webster had touched on a stubborn taboo that was drilled into many of us in grade school, and it ignited an emphatic debate in the comment section. The response to the post doesn't surprise Ellen Jovin, who travels the country with her "grammar table" fielding questions about Oxford commas and other hot-button linguistic topics."

Watch this osprey catch a fish almost as big as he is

Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as "serendipty engines," such as The Morning News from Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack, Jodi Ettenberg's Curious About Everything, Dan Lewis's Now I Know, Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton's The Browser, Clive Thompson's Linkfest, Noah Brier and Colin Nagy's Why Is This Interesting, Maria Popova's The Marginalian, Sheehan Quirke AKA The Cultural Tutor, the Smithsonian magazine, and JSTOR Daily. If you come across something interesting that you think should be included here, please feel free to email me.