FEBRUARY 7, 2020

This week had us experiencing a full range of emotions (including many of the 78 newly identified ones), but let’s start with the stuff that had us cheering:

Take that leap!

If you listened to the latest episode of Audicted, you might have heard editor Abby say that living fearlessly is her goal for this year. So it’s probably no surprise that she was all-in when Roxane Gay’s recent profile on Janelle Monae kicked off with the artist, who’ll perform at this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, talking about how a skydiving trip last year made her feel fearless and want to then skydive into other areas of her life. Gotta love those moments when you realize that yes, stars are just like us.

Bills, bills, bills

We’d call this story about a couple getting 55,000 bills from a student loan company perfect nightmare fuel for anyone living with student loan debt. Obviously it was a mistake (a $9,000 mistake) but hey, if the USPS gets it, they will mail it. You know how their motto goes: Neither snow nor rain nor enormously excessive numbers of identical envelopes stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. The best part? The statements were incorrect and the company will need to reissue the bill.

Let the sun shine in

We've been zenning out to the hypnotic new images that astronomers released last week. Captured by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, these are the most detailed pictures ever taken of the surface of the sun. It looks something akin to a boiling pot of caramel, but on a much larger scale—each of those cells is a Texas-sized pocket of hot gas rising up before falling back to the sides. Of course as audio nerds our first thought was, Gustafer Yellowgold can't live there!! But then we remembered the little sunling is so cool he can probably handle it.

Dune they or don’t they?

If geeking out over sand dunes is wrong, we don’t want to be right. In fact, one of the best science fantasy audiobooks of all time might never have been written if Frank Herbert hadn’t been assigned to write a newspaper story on sand dunes back in 1957. Instantly hooked, he conceived of a planet taken over by them, and Arrakis, sandworms, and Dune were born. So Herbert would be fascinated to learn sand dunes communicate when they move—though not being sentient, they’re more accurately transmitting information back and forth. Apparently they’re quite adept at alerting each other when they need space! Somewhere, relationship guru Esther Perel is nodding in approval.

Namaste home with my toys

While Editor Courtney’s relationship with Barbie has been complicated to say the least, she’s had a rough week of trying to parent an anxious child, so the news about a new line of wellness Barbies certainly caught her eye. The dolls cover three on-trend themes of meditation, physical well-being, and self-care—and the Breathe with Me version comes with guided meditations to help parents who, like her, might be struggling to introduce mindfulness to nervous kids.

Is everything better with a British accent?

When it’s Richard Armitage’s voice, YES! We think Netflix made a brilliant move by changing the setting of their new adaptation of Harlan Coben’s The Stranger from the US to the UK—if only to fittingly cast Richard Armitage in the lead role. Who’d dare ask him to do an US accent? Not us, and we’re sure the #ArmitageArmy (who almost broke Netflix when the show premiered last week) would agree. And now is the ideal time to binge-watch some Coben before binge-listening to his upcoming new one, The Boy from the Woods, which drops on March 17.