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Macabre Cakes, Cute Penguin Photos, And A CIA Plot For The Ages ADVERTISEMENT

Each week our editors gather their favorite finds from around the internet and recommend them to you right here. These are not articles about watches, but rather outstanding examples of journalism and storytelling covering topics from fashion and art to technology and travel. So go ahead, pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and settle in.

Image via linked article.

These Made-To-Order Cakes Look Like Beautiful Nightmares ?Atlas Obscura

It has been wisely noted that life's three necessities are food, clothing, and shelter. It has also been noted, with equal wisdom, that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. The latter war against our ability to possess the former with implacable hostility, and so, mankind's attempt to reconcile our needs with our inescapable fate goes on. One of the most interesting (and, it must be said, rather disturbing) examples of reconciling death with art is from the culinary world. As it happens, one of the world's great pastry chefs has found a unique niche: making elaborate, magnificently detailed, and unnervingly accurate cakes, which incorporate various images more usually seen in horror films and dissecting rooms than on a festive board. (Her work is not confined to the overtly macabre, either ?one of her commissions was to produce, in exact miniature, the famous Terra-Cotta Army from the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi.) The baker's name is Annabel De Vetten; her atelier is called the Conjurer's Kitchen, and her work has earned her the entirely apt nickname of Annabel Lecter.

-Jack Forster, Editor-In-Chief

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Can The King Of Ultrarunning Conquer A Race As Short As The Marathon ?The New York Time Magazine

Over the last 18 months or so, I've become a runner, and I'm currently training for the 2020 NYC Marathon. However, despite running more days than not, I still find the concept of running an ultramarathon utterly bewildering. Now, imagine being the very best ultramarathon runner in the world and feeling just the opposite ?it's the marathon that's intimidating. This is a great look inside a completely insane sport and one man's goal to jump from the pinnacle of one discipline directly to the pinnacle of another.

-Stephen Pulvirent, Manager of Editorial Products

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Antarctica New Zealand's Digital Asset Management System - govt.nz

The thrill of reading a well-written story is supreme, but there's something really fun about looking through old photographs and piecing together a story through the visuals and the anecdotes. A.D.A.M. is a database of such images from Antarctica New Zealand, the Kiwi Antarctic research organization. This digital archive is massive, and chances are if there's something you're into, there are pictures of it. A great place to start is Aurora Australis, or just try typing in "penguin" in the search bar. Or "seal puppy." Or whatever. You can spend hours poring over all the pictures and stories from NZ's vast Antarctic history. This database was instrumental in researching this story, and during that process I found myself just scrolling through enjoying the visuals. I think the same will happen to you. Oh yeah, there's some decent watchspotting as well.

-Cole Pennington, Editor

Image via linked article.

Big Ben More Badly Damaged by World War II Bombs Than Originally Thought ?Bloomberg

Back in August of 2017, my esteemed colleague Cara wrote about the the restoration of London's iconic clock tower. At that time, the cost was estimated to be £29 million. Shortly after the project kicked off, the parliamentary authorities revealed the cost would more than double as the damage to the stonework was worse than the original assessment ?bringing the revised cost up to £61 million. Today, almost four years later, the cost will rise once again after an "intrusive survey" was performed, and they are asking for another £18.6 million. Needless to say the folks at the House of Commons Commission aren't happy. I am just relieved to hear that we are not alone when it comes to dealing with contractors who charge more than what they estimated for home improvement projects.

-Andy Yang, Director of Marketing

Image via linked article.

The Intelligence Coup Of The Century ?The Washington Post

This is easily one of the more fascinating stories that I've read in a very long time. Carve yourself a block of time with no distractions and go deep into the world of Crypto AG, a long-standing encryption technology company that, thanks to amazing reporting from Greg Miller and The Washington Post, is now known to have been jointly owned and operated by the CIA and the German BND. It's a story that pre-dates the Cold War and a plot that allowed the CIA and the BND unprecedented and often immediate access to the (assumedly) encrypted communications of several intelligence targets. It's incredible, and it manages to be both historical and, given the global concerns surrounding digital surveillance, quite timely. If you get hit by the paywall, it's well worth your $1.

-James Stacey, Senior Writer

Lead photo by Torsten Dederichs

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