Studying Venus, from high above it (Wired)
by Chris Wright
These days, Earthlings are learning a lot about Mars, but our other neighbor is a different story. Could exploration using balloon-based probes change that?

The postmodern feel of medieval stories (Smithsonian Magazine)
by David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele
The new movie adaptation of the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tackles questions of selfhood that might seem specific to audiences in our time. But a lot of that was already found in media from the “Dark Ages.”

Reviving traditional Native American peaches (Atlas Obscura)
by Amiee Maxwell
Peach orchards spread across the southwestern United States, cultivated by Native American growers, until the US Army destroyed them. Now, a Navajo plant scientist is working to bring the old, drought-resistant varieties back.

An insurance policy for natural wonders (Struggles from Below)
by Oliver Gordon
Even from the most crassly economic point of view, coral reefs are enormously valuable. Could insuring them just like any other financial asset help protect them from disaster?

A case for talking to strangers (The Atlantic)
by Joe Keohane
Study after study finds that talking with strangers makes people—even shy or introverted people—happier. So why don’t more of us do it?

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