Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
‘Space junk’ – including defunct satellites, rocket fragments and even a spatula that escaped the clutches of the astronaut Piers Sellers – has been an inescapable byproduct of space exploration, with only a few negative consequences so far. But with some 200 million objects bigger than a millimetre in size orbiting the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour, every astronaut knows that they are, in Sellers’s words, ‘playing the odds’. Featuring interviews, archival footage and an inventive bit of narration from one of the most notable pieces of space junk, Cath Le Couteur’s whimsical short film Adrift puts the mounting, cosmic problem of space debris in perspective.
Director: Cath Le Couteur
Website: Project Adrift
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues
In Rwanda, Sébastien finds traces of personal history in the wake of national tragedy
Dance and theatre
Leaf through Shakespeare’s First Folio for a riveting journey into theatre history
Modern architecture should embrace – not ignore or repel – the nonhuman world
Nations and empires
The strange tale of how mangoes became hallowed objects in Maoist China