Conversation Piece X

A weekly series.

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.

The most memorable meal you’ll never have. Every milligram of food served by notorious culinary wizard Damon Baehrel is hard won. From crisps made from cedar and self-rendered sea salt, to flour made from acorns ice-bathed in a frozen river all winter, and clover picked by headlamp at night. Indeed, Baehrel, reports the New Yorker, runs America’s most exclusive restaurant from the basement of his woodland home in Earlton, New York, where the current waiting list to visit is over 10 years long. But how much of his legend is true? Read More.

Whale fall. In Granta, Rebecca Giggs writes an account of a beached and dying humpback whale so achingly observant it will imprint itself on your mind for months to come. “The whale’s central nervous system was so large and complex,” she writes, “that euthanising it in the manner that one might kill a cow or an old horse was impossible. A bolt through the brain would take too long for the heart to register it; a shock to the heart wouldn’t transmit to the brain instant death. Suffering was inevitable and visible.” Read more.

R.I.P. New Republic’s Jeet Heer reflects on the state of blogging in a newly post-Gawker digital world. Freshly buried by Facebook billionaire Peter Theil, Gawker, as Heer notes, was the first site to harness the conversational informality of blogging and the medium’s disregard for the codified rules of print journalism. In the publication’s absence, however, only echoes of the founding blogs that inspired its modus operandi remain. Blogs are dead. What killed them? Read more.

Cold, hard fact. Your office’s over-enthusiastic air conditioner is freezing your productivity. A 2010 study found that those in offices with temperatures in the low 20s produced noticeably less output and made more mistakes than their warmer counterparts. Further, a 2015 study notes that office buildings have hovered between 20 C and 23 C since the 1960s, when chilly temperatures were set standard to keep suit-wearing men comfortable. Times have changed, so why do we still suffer? Wrap yourself in a blanket and read more.