The Atlantic Daily: 5 Stories to Fill You With Wonder

Sometimes you just need a break. Tune out with five stories to fill you with awe. Then: We’ve got recommendations for what to do this weekend.

Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.


This weekend, your brain may be craving a bit of adventure, whether it’s to marvel at something spectacular or feel like a part of something bigger.

We’re taking a break from the news cycle to deliver you five stories that we hope awaken your childlike sense of wonder.

1. Wild swimming will change you.

The novelist Anelise Chen considers the practice, even going for a dip herself: “After more than a year in pandemic isolation, most of us could benefit from a swim like this.”

2. The gods were right about fire.

“When you see a volcano, fire coming from the ground, you feel a connection to forces beyond your normal experience,” the writer Andri Snær Magnason observes from Iceland.

3. Galaxy brain is real.

Looking at spectacular space imagery can inspire awe, our reporter Marina Koren points out. And “a shot of awe can boost feelings of connectedness with other people.”

(Want to try it for yourself? We’ve got some space photos for you.)

4. Could lab-grown woolly mammoths help stave off climate change?

The founders of Pleistocene Park hope so. “It will be cute to have mammoths running around here,” the park’s director told our deputy editor Ross Andersen. “But I’m not doing this for them … I’m doing this for humans.”

5. The anus is an evolutionary marvel.

“To tap into our origins, we’ll need to take a squarer look at our ends,” Katherine J. Wu suggests.


Watch. Our critic Megan Garber recently reviewed two old franchises, newly refreshed. Neither nail it. Disney’s Cruella “takes a quintessential villain and nuances her character into oblivion,” while the new Friends reunion special “spends nearly two hours frantically arguing that [the show’s] ubiquity is deserved.”

On a brighter note, HBO Max’s Hacks finally gives the actor Jean Smart the kind of role she deserves, Sophie Gilbert writes.

Read. Jump-start your summer reading with our new books guide.

Listen. Radiohead’s Amnesiac is 20. Our staff writer Spencer Kornhaber argues that the 2001 album might be the band’s best.

On this week’s Social Distance podcast, our hosts discuss breakthrough infections and lonely puppies.

Eat. If you’re particularly brave, you might try a vegan-chocolate-covered cicada, like this writer did.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.