Conversation Piece I

A weekly series.

Daily Edit: Conversation Piece

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

Laughing gas. An atmospheric chemist has discovered that when humans exhale, our breath transmits particular chemicals which correspond with our emotions—meaning happiness, stress, and other feelings can be detected in the air around us. So basically, yes, your partner should know how you feel without you having to tell them. Read more.

Stale mates. Welcome to a niche community of “ration-reviewers,” folks who enthusiastically dine upon decades-old military rations, and relay their experiences online. They might not get invited to many potlucks, but the commitment these folks have to finishing up leftovers (like 71-year-old cookies) is remarkable, if not appetizing. One hopes, at least, their Pepto Bismol hasn’t expired. Read more.

“Like” this so I know I’m real. The more “liked” a post becomes on Facebook, the more visible it is in your friends’ Facebook feeds, and so, argues writer Bethlehem Shoals, the more “real” you feel. And when people don’t engage, well, it’s one of the greatest quotidian disappointments of modern life. So how’s a fed-up neurotic to self-preserve? Read more.

Vault the rainbow. Harvard University has a library that houses the world’s rarest pigments—each with its own colourful origin. Take Mummy Brown, for instance, a pigment obtained by harvesting Egyptian mummies and extracting a brown resin from their dressings—plus many more bright powders Harvard’s librarians use forensic techniques to identify the basis of. Read more.

Shrooms, dude. This photo collection of the world’s weirdest mushrooms feels like flipping through a sketchbook Tim Burton, Lewis Carroll, and Dr. Seuss collaborated on filling with fantasy alien lifeforms—except they’re all actual flora it’s possible to spot in the woods (even the Octopus Stinkhorn mushroom, which sounds like a nightmare but is 100 per cent a real thing in life). Read more.