Conversation Piece VII

A weekly series.

Daily Edit: Conversation Piece

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

Dystopia is now. Well, depending on how you look at it. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, 48, has channeled millions of dollars into researching parabiosis—the practice of transfusing a young person’s blood into an older subject’s body, a.k.a. the closest thing science has found to a fountain of youth. Trials by a Californian company called Ambrosia have recently commenced—and rumour has it, Silicon Valley’s billionaires have already begun practicing parabiosis to stay forever young. Read.

A surrealist and a cartoonist walk into a bar. Directed by Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí, the long-unrealized six-minute animated film Destino, released in 2003 (58 years after work began on the project), tells the story of Chronos, the personification of time, and his ill-fated love for a mortal woman, in a mashup of stylistic devices. Watch.

Stranger than fiction. Beijing-based novelist Ning Ken has created a new literary genre capable of conveying the oddities of modern Chinese life. He calls it “chaohuan,” or the “ultra-unreal”: a philosophically speculative take on contemporary China presented with the quality of a fable or allegory—think South American “magic realism” with a sinister, urban inflection.  The “ultra-unreal” hinges on the paradox that the more true Chinese fiction is to the country’s reality, the more avant-garde it seems. Read.

I know a great little place. When Singaporean chef Chan Hon Meng was asked to attend a gala for Singapore’s Michelin Guide inductees, he thought it was a joke. That’s because Meng works 17 hours a day preparing two-dollar plates of soy sauce chicken, rice, and noodles in his hawker stand—a far cry from the fancy establishments conventionally associated with the Michelin Guide. But the quality of his meals impressed judges nonetheless. Now, Meng holds the record for cheapest Michelin-starred food you can eat. Drool