Watches, Stories, & Gear: LEGO Porsche, Mushrooms, and Finding Shelley Duvall

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“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of our favorite content, watch or otherwise, from around the internet. Here, we support other creators, explore interesting content that inspires us, and put a spotlight on causes we believe in. Oh, and any gear we happen to be digging on this week. We love gear.

Share your story ideas or interesting finds with us by emailing our Managing Editor at [email protected]

This installment of “Watches, Stories, and Gear” is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop.

Astrophysics & Basketball

Image: Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Logan Weaver/Unsplash, Adrian Pelletier/Unsplash, and Markus Spiske/Unsplash.

One of the great things about the internet and contemporary journalism more broadly is the huge swath of perspectives that we’re able to sample. It’s never been easier to see the world from a different point of view if you’re the intellectually curious type, and we’re lucky to have intelligent people from a range of different disciplines contribute to the public discourse on a wide variety of topics. In that spirit, here’s a wonderful article from Slate (excerpted from an upcoming book by author Nick Greene) about how a trained astrophysicist watches basketball. There are lots of great observations here, among them the idea of “physical intuition,” or an ability to craft a narrative out of something that’s ultimately unknowable, is essential when considering the activities of stars that are thousands of light years away, just as it is when it comes to anticipating a pick and roll. If you’re a basketball fan, you’ll enjoy this. If you’re obsessed with space, you’ll enjoy this. And if you’re in the middle of that particular Venn diagram, you might find yourself pre-ordering Greene’s book when you’ve finished reading.

Mushrooms Are Weird

Image: Chris Maggio for The New York Times

Just when you thought you were all out of pandemic related activities, here comes the do-it-yourself mushroom grow movement. If you’ve been through Tiger King, baked all the sourdough bread you can handle, and moved on from TikTok, maybe it’s time to have a mushroom growing experience in the privacy of your own home? This article in the New York Times will explain how you can, and why you might actually want to consider it. It’s also a gateway to some mind boggling mushroom facts, and some eye popping photography. Among the kernels of knowledge gleaned from this piece: crops of mushrooms have been known to emerge from nothing in the span of hours, pushing up enormous weight (pavement!) in the process. Scientists, to this day, don’t fully understand how something as soft as a mushroom can move so much.

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Searching For Shelley Duvall

Credit: Warner Bros.

Not all movie stars live their lives in the Hollywood spotlight forever. For Shelley Duvall, her reasons for leaving Hollywood life are directly related to her experiences in it as a young actor, particularly in her iconic role in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, opposite Jack Nicholson. If you’ve seen The Shining, it might not be a surprise to learn that the experience of making it was a difficult one for Duvall, and it seems to have shaped much of the rest of her life. And if you have seen The Shining, there’s no way you’ll be able to watch it again without grappling with the toll it took on one if its leads. This interview with the reclusive Duvall in the Hollywood Reporter is a fascinating portrait (and goes well beyond The Shining) and is worth a read for the movie lovers among you.

LEGO Introduces Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Targa In One

Image: LEGO

LEGO has found a real soft spot for Porsche, it would seem. From the incredible Technic GT3 RS (#42056) to the latest charming set that puts two all time classics into a single package. This set (#10295) features two build options, allowing you to choose between a 930 Turbo and Targa models. There’s plenty of details to enjoy as well, as you can see being teased by LEGO right here. The set is 1,458 pieces and will cost $149.99 when it goes on sale March 1st. Members of the VIP program get first dibs next week, Feb 16th.

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Searching for Aliens By Looking For Their Pollution

Image: NASA/Jay Freidlander

The search for Alien life just got a little more interesting with the suggestion that we might make the discovery via the amount of pollution generated on other planets in the habitable zones of their stars. The study, funded by NASA, suggests that the presence of nitrogen oxide (NO2) could indicate the presence of an industrialized society. Depending on the amounts detected, natural causes could be filtered out with their model, leaving little else in the way of explanations. Of course, this assumes human-like activity within another civilization, but it represents a new line of thinking that represents another arrow in the quiver. Read more about it right here at cnet.

eBay Finds: Vintage Waltham

Credit: maxratte

Time for some desk diving this week, with this fantastic vintage Waltham diver. Seller states he is the original owner and the watch has sat in a drawer for the last few decades, and the watch looks like it. Nice sharp edges on the stainless steel case, and the aluminum diver’s bezel is super clean. Great black dial with textured horizontal stripe in the middle. Nice steel markers and hands too. I used to have one of these way back in the day, and if memory serves its about 36-38mm wide and has a manual wind movement, which the seller states runs well. Great under-the-radar diver.

View auction here.

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