Inquiring Minds

Harvard’s Glass Flowers collection.

The avocado looks good enough to eat, as do the banana, six figs on a stem, mango, papaya, and cashew nuts. There is one catch though: they are all made of glass. These, together with 4,434 other exquisite botanical pieces, form Glass Flowers, a permanent collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Handmade in Germany.

History may not repeat itself with the regularity of clockwork, but watch manufacturer Moritz Grossmann edges it closer to the mark. Christine Hutter, CEO, looked first to the past before founding the modern iteration of the company.

Retail therapy.

“People tend to think of Los Angeles style as either red carpet or Uggs and sweatpants,” says Brooke Taylor Corcia, founder of the Dreslyn. “But there’s a fantastic, creative scene out here, and it wasn’t being represented in the online marketplace.”

Blame game.

Whoever thought up the “war is good for business” thing might want to check out the action on the Moscow Exchange this year. As the crisis in Ukraine came to a boil at the end of February, investor appetite for Russian equities went into a deep freeze, and the country’s benchmark Russian Trading System (RTS) stock-market index lost 19 per cent in a matter of weeks.

Rodez retreat.

Journey deep into southwest France and you’ll reach the town of Rodez, two hours north of Toulouse, the final stretch of the road winding across storybook farmland to the base of a hill climbed by looping curves and crowned by a cathedral.

Death on display.

The smallest mummy in the world is an almost perfectly preserved, six-month-old fetus. It’s on display at the Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato, a UNESCO-listed Mexican colonial town.

How to deal with the inevitable.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Depending on your route and destination, you can find yourself mired in a twilight-zone feeling of bewilderment as you arrive in a new time zone a full day behind or ahead of when you left, or like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, driving a rental car through a looking-glass world of traffic on the “wrong” side of the road.

Great expectorations.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: It was at a wine festival, with over 700 wines being poured at various booths, and it was my job to taste through as many as possible in a planned, methodical manner. And survive to tell about it.

No one cares.

Call it an epidemic. With the rise in airport muddles, and travel travails, it’s become the customary thing, I’ve noticed, to kvetch—at length, and often to mere acquaintances—about one’s aisle-or-window woes.