Conversation Piece, February 4, 2018

A weekly series.

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Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO–curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

Nigel no mates. A tragic love story came to its bittersweet conclusion this week when Mana Island park rangers discovered the body of Nigel—who was a large seabird known as a gannet—supine in death beside his partner, a concrete gannet statue Nigel had courted for over four years and cohabited with in a nest of his own construction. About 80 fake gannets had been planted on the island to encourage the birds to re-colonize an abandoned habitat, but for years, Nigel was the only living gannet on Mana. The day of his death, three new settlers arrived. R.I.P., Nigel. Read more, here.

Data on death. Prevailing wisdom suggests that for most, an ideal death occurs peacefully, in one’s own home. Yet the majority of North Americans die in hospital, likely while undergoing aggressive medical treatment. A new technology could allow palliative care experts the opportunity to offer patients a gentler death, and a chance to record a living will—which sounds good. What it entails, however, is a robot predicting your death date. Still comfortable? Read more, here.

Bedside reading. If you can’t quiet your troubled mind down long enough to sink into sleep, or jolt yourself awake with anxiety, this interview with six sleep experts is for you. These suggestions—be they for new coping mechanisms for stress, an approach to analyzing your own anxieties, or practical tips on relaxing the brain—offer far more than beginning basics (no lavender oil, here). Read more.

Gay Bob, tight pants. Gather ‘round for the story of Bob, the world’s first out-and-proud doll, who was debuted in the seventies, modeled to look like Paul Newman, outfitted in slim jeans and an earring, and sold in a box styled like a closet (get it?). Bob was certainly controversial among the socially conservative, but was also widely seen as a sign of changing times. Learn more about this vintage toy, here.

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February 4, 2018