Conversation Piece, November 18, 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.

Home, sweet (haunted) home. From Poltergeist to Paranormal Activity, stories of haunted houses have long entertained us—but what happens when you encounter one of these creepy abodes in real life? In June 2014, the Broaddus family were working on renovations on their new home in Westfield, New Jersey, when they received a strange letter. It began warmly (“Dearest new neighbor…”), but quickly turned sinister (“Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard?”). For The Cut, Reeves Wiedeman shares the story of the Broaddus family and “The Watcher” who wouldn’t leave them—or their house—alone. Read here.

Thank you, next. Pop star extraordinaire Ariana Grande’s new single “Thank U, Next” has been breaking records since it was released. It may seem like just another catchy, self-empowerment song, but The New Yorker’s Paula Mejia breaks down why the track is striking a chord with such a wide audience. In the social media age where, thanks to Facebook algorithms and suggested Instagram posts, it’s virtually impossible to truly detangle yourself from your ex, Grande’s upbeat track is the breakup anthem we need—one filled not with bitterness and anger, but gratitude, honesty, and forgiveness. Read more, here.

Creativity killers. These days, it’s cool to be creative—and not just in terms of art. Society has become focused on cultivating creativity in children in the hopes that they will in eventually become inventive leaders and entrepreneurs. But is this obsession with all things creative helping our hurting future generations? Writer and teacher Diana Senechal argues the latter in her new book, Mind Over Memes, suggesting that by attempting to instill creativity, we end up killing it. Find out why, here.

Fantastic Scholastic. Nothing incites a wave of elementary school nostalgia quite like the Scholastic book fair. With its glittery notebooks, novelty erasers, and stacks of glossy, brightly-coloured books of all shapes and sizes, the book fair was perhaps one of the most highly anticipated events of the school year. And yet, one has to wonder if, like many things from our childhood that we yearn for as adults, one has to wonder if it lives up to the nostalgia. Marina Koren explores this exact question for The Atlantic—read the story, here.

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November 18, 2018