Watches, Stories, & Gear: Tardigrades, Shrek, & LEGO

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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.

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

Pushing Tardigrades To Their Limits, For Science

Credit: Steve Gschmeissner / Getty

The tardigrade is basically the G-Shock of lifeforms on earth. The microscopic organisms are essentially indestructible, and over time it’s been proven that they can survive both boiling and ultra cold temps, an outer space environment, and water pressure equivalent to what you’d find at the bottom of the ocean. Their resilience to all things has led scientists to wonder whether tardigrades could survive interplanetary travel via an asteroid impact (this tests the principle of panspermia, or the idea that life could naturally cross-pollinate from planet to planet). How to test this? Obviously, you fire tardigrades from a gun, and see if they survive. It’s a crazy experiment, but what’s crazier is that the mighty but tiny tardigrades seem to do just fine as long as the speed didn’t literally rip them apart. Much more over at Vice right here.

Microsoft Is Finally 86ing Internet Explorer

TimZillion / Getty Images

It seems that at long last, Internet Explorer is finally dead. Microsoft’s iconic but extremely outdated web browser has been on its last legs for years (although, it feels like we all know someone who still uses it, right?) but has stuck around largely due to the multitude of websites that still run based on IE compatibility. This week saw news that Microsoft’s modern Edge browser has essentially solved those compatibility issues, allowing Explorer to finally fade away. Though a version of Explorer will still exist for some mobile applications, the days of it shipping on Windows based PCs appear to finally be behind us. Time to give fair warning to that last person in your office who insists on browsing with Explorer that it’s time to let go. More at Ars Technica here.

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A Look Back At The Soundtrack Of… Shrek

Credit: Dan Evans for The Ringer

Let’s get this out of the way: Shrek is twenty years old. Twenty! How this is possible, beyond the earth continuing to rotate on its axis and make regular trips around the sun, is mind boggling, but here we are. In addition to introducing a generation of young moviegoers to Eddie Murphy and creating some serious pop culture currency in the early aughts, the Shrek soundtrack had a massive impact, as discussed in this recent piece in the Ringer. Was that impact positive? The fact that “All Star” is currently stuck in my head as I write this would indicate the answer is “no.” But then again, if Shrek got even a few people to conduct an Alta Vista search that sent them down a Tom Waits rabbit hole, it couldn’t be all bad. In any case, there are probably some tunes beyond the surprisingly (regrettably?) durable Smash Mouth hit that everyone associates with this movie on the soundtrack that you may have forgotten about, and it’s a fun walk down memory lane.

LEGO Reveals New ‘Everyone Is Awesome’ Set, And It’s Awesome

LEGO is rolling into Pride month with a new set focused on inclusion. The set, which is adequately dubbed “Everyone Is Awesome” features 11 unique minifigs, each in a different color reminiscent of the Pride flag. The set was designed by Matthew Ashton, who is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, hoping to send a message that we should be doing more to love and support one another in appreciating our differences. The set includes a unique display for the minifigs and will be priced at $34.99. You can read a full explanation of his thought process behind the set right here, and head over to LEGO.com to nab a set when they go on sale June 1st.

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Celebrating 89 Years Of Dieter Rams 

Credit: Gary Hustwit

This week marked the 89th birthday of legendary designer, Dieter Rams. The man behind some of the most iconic designs of the past century was profiled by filmmaker Gary Hustwit in a lovely documentary titled simply, Rams. The film, which was released in 2018, gives intimate insight to his philosophy and process, and along with his 10 Principles of Good Design, is a reminder to be a bit more conscious of our consumption patterns. If you haven’t seen it, take this opportunity to check it out and take a moment to appreciate how his work has inevitably influenced the products you use day in and day out.

eBay Finds: Vintage Wakmann

Credit: watchesnew2you

Watches come with all kinds of complications, some more useful than others. An alarm complication is definitely one of the useful ones in my opinion. True, your cellphone has an alarm, but isn’t it waaaay cooler to have your vintage mechanical watch chime at the desired time?? This vintage 1960’s Wakmann Alarm is as functionally handy as it is cool. The 34mm steel case is unpolished and has nice sharp lugs. The silver dial features killer Art Deco style numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9, with arrows at the remaining hours. Fortunately, they opted to have no date, preserving the precious symmetry. Steel dauphine hour and minute hands, plus the classic ‘wiggly’ alarm hand round out the look. As an added bonus, it comes with a vintage JB Champion bracelet that looks as if it were made for this watch. Seller states the watch was serviced so it should be ready to go! FYI, this auction ends Sunday so don’t sleep on it…

View auction here.

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