Conversation Piece VIII

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.

Food gets real. America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated founder Chris Kimball isn’t interested in the foodie lifestyle, but rather the science of cooking, making him a rarity in today’s narrative-first food culture. In this long-read interview, Kimball elucidates why he created a food magazine that patently rejects the idea of getting creative in the kitchen.

Just desserts. Sandy Jenkins was a mild-mannered bakery accountant in Corsicana, Texas, whose quiet appreciation for the finer things and longing for social status incited him to, little by little, embezzle his way to a giddily ostentatious fortune. This is the outrageous tale of indulged temptation, and $17-million spent on status symbols just to feel seen.

Looking up. As public awareness of the negative impact of light pollution increases, more natural sites are being designated as international dark-sky sanctuaries. The consequence is a rise in astro-tourism, a burgeoning industry that helps tourists see stars.

Tomb full of secrets. One of the largest burial chambers ever discovered in Belize has been unearthed at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan River that once served as a ceremonial center in the final centuries of Maya dominance, around 600–800 A.D. Architecturally similar to Egyptian tombs, the site may hold ground-breaking secrets of the ancient snake dynasty’s fall and the decline of ancient Maya civilization.

Sky-high investments. According to Quartz, a slump in oil and gas prices over the past two years has resulted in the price of helicopters—which tend to retain their value better than cars—lowering by 13 per cent. Not only is this an opportunity for wealthy private citizens looking for a new way to travel, but rideshare companies could benefit, too…