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Macabre Praying Mantises, Elaborate Back-Scratchers, And Missing Blockbusters 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.

Praying Mantises Catch And Eat Birds Alive ?Scientific American

The praying mantis is an oddity among insects. It is large, but deliberate and methodical in its movements, generally moving with slow care as it approaches its prey. It only moves with lightninglike speed when it strikes ?but when it strikes, there are few prey which can escape its scissor-like talons. Its large eyes and mobile head, whose inverted triangular shape gives it the appearance of a cranium in which deep thoughts might be born, seem to give it an oddly sentient, if not human, character, and if its romantic habits are disturbing, they are perhaps also something to which at least some star-crossed and frustrated lovers can relate. It was therefore with some horror (and, of course, fascination) that I discovered that the praying mantis is, for all that it can be anthropomorphized, still a manifestation of that aspect of the world which has been referred to as, "nature, red in tooth and claw." As it turns out, the bigger mantises can catch birds ?hummingbirds, to which no one but the most spiteful could wish any ill ?and eat them. The really macabre bit is that they generally just eat the brains. Scientific American, reliable as always, has all the wow-this-is-worse-than-a-murder-hornet details.

?Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief

The Joy Of Wrecks ?The Sunday Post

This is a delightful profile of a diver and treasure hunter named Alec Crawford. Published by The Sunday Post, this story allows a brief look into Crawford's 50-years of salvage diving and a career that netted him an impressive bounty that includes everything from valuable gems to rare whiskey ?and so much more. Follow along as Crawford shares his incredible discovery of the RMS Oceanic off of the island Foula and how the wreck would become a literal treasure trove of more than 250 tonnes of parts and pieces just waiting to be brought to the surface. It's a fascinating story from the golden era of diving and, as someone who has done a fair bit of diving myself, I cannot imagine just how difficult it must have been to make a living by salvage diving in the deep, cold, and dark waters surrounding the U.K.

?James Stacey, Senior Writer

The Summer Without Blockbusters ?Vox

I love going to the movies. There's something magical about the dimming lights, sitting in a giant room with a bunch of strangers, and buckling up for a new, much-anticipated experience (not to mention the rare experience of watching a movie without checking my phone 100 times). This summer, we didn't get the usual experience of big hit movies taking over popular culture, and here, Vox unpacks not only what that means for us in our current moment but also the history of cinema as a common experience. As if I wasn't jonesing for a movie-going experience bad enough already...

?Stephen Pulvirent, Manager of Editorial Products

A Retired Engineer's Latest Sculpture Is A Bicycle, Back-Scratcher And Cookie Dispenser, All In One ?The Washington Post

I love a good opening line. In the case of this piece from the Washington Post, the opener reads, "Seth Goldstein acknowledges he's prone to the occasional fit of 'irrational exuberance.'" I mean, who isn't these days? Goldstein is a retired engineer who has taken to life in quarantine a bit differently than the rest of us (and I don't think I am taking a huge leap in making that statement). The story tracks a recent project, long in the works, but accelerated due to isolation, called the Rube Goldberg Exercise Bike. I'll let you read for yourself to find out just what that entails, but I will say ?as the title suggests ?that it involves exercise, back scratches, and cookies. For those into engineering, design, or just plain fun, this is a great weekend read.

?Danny Milton, Editor

The Wildest Insurance Fraud Scheme Texas Has Ever Seen ?Texas Monthly

I love a good long-form crime feature ?how can you not? And this Texas Monthly feature story by Katy Vine has it all. From international arms deals and exploding Cessnas, to federal agents and, yes, lots of insurance fraud, this profile of the Texas-based businessman T.R. Wright hits all the notes I look for in an enjoyable weekend read. Vine paints a compelling and in-depth portrait of a young racketeer who, after years of chicanery, believed himself above the law and ended up way over his head. It combines equal parts Point Break and Catch Me If You Can with a dash of Lord of War, and is overall just a solid way to spend 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

?Logan Baker, Editor, HODINKEE Shop

Lead image by Andreas Brücker.

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