MARCH 13, 2020

As social distancing (something our introvert-heavy editorial team has been practicing for years now) goes mainstream, Audible joined the flatten the curve efforts this week and is primarily working from home. To help smooth this transition so many staffers are currently making, our partners at Audible for Business compiled a handful of listens a handful of listens about how to acclimate to and optimize your new work environment...

...but it's definitely going to be an adjustment.

One key WFH tip from us Audible-ites is to keep your water cooler alive—virtually. New office chat groups have been springing up daily to help alleviate our social isolation. There's an Otaku group that's jamming about horror, cinema, and manga, while a Lunch Talk group is superseding Instagram as the place to share pics of beautiful, homemade lunches (also Insta-worthy: all of our Audible dogs in a chat group dedicated to the real heroes on the home front. This week there’s one especially lively discussion thread about Love Is Blind, the new escapist reality show that we can't stop buzzing about. It's teaching us a lot about how to love (and collaborate) from afar.

For those of us reciting poetry while washing our hands

Literature has a long tradition of doubting authorship. Did Shakespeare really write all of those plays? Did The Iliad and The Odyssey really begin as oral poems? According to this recent nerdydeep dive we all enjoyed, we actually have the answer to the latter question. Milman Parry, an early 20th century scholar, was able to prove that pre-literate people, like Homer, were able to recite long poems from memory. Parry dubbed it composition in performance, and that might be the loveliest term we’ve ever heard for the origins of audiobooks.

For the UFObsessed among us...

Paranormal hotspot Skinwalker Ranch may be shrouded in mystery, but at least one thing about the notorious location no longer is: Its owner, a Utah-based real estate and tech investor, has stepped out of the shadows and revealed his identity. Turns out he’s a huge sci-fi fan with a passion for hard science, too (a combination we have no choice but to stan). So while the idea of moving into a ranch known for mysterious UFO sightings, mutilated cattle, and demonic shapeshifters sounds like a great space horror premise, we’re holding out hope for findings from what the owner calls a serious scientific endeavor.

Insights from above

There’s little doubt that heightened pollution levels affect many aspects of our day-to-day lives: from the food we eat, to the air we breathe, and even the water we drink. But with more emphasis being put on sustainability, awareness, and education about our impacts on global pollution levels, it was encouraging to see a report that NASA, South Korea, and the European Space Agency were all working on an initiative to monitor pollution from space, by the hour. This environmental project will give us unprecedented insight into the complicated ties between the decisions we make as humans, and pollution.

Color us happy for some celebration

With so much noise and uncertainty in our current world, editor Abby has found particular joy in seeing others celebrating the very colorful Indian festival Holi. Also known as the ''festival of love,'' it’s a day of rejoicing that celebrates the triumph of good over bad, as well as honoring love and respect. And who couldn’t get enough of that? Time to find some South Asian stories that follow that vein and can wrap us in a similar warm and fuzzy cloak.

Other things to note: