No one—especially those of us who lived through the Age of the Cassette—can argue that digital music isn’t sent straight from Heaven. Power up the machine in your hand or the one on your desk, and anything you want to hear is just a clickety clack clack or two away. But the recent news that LP sales exceeded $1 million this year for the first time since 1996 is cause for celebration. I don’t have ears sensitive to delve into the old warmth-of-vinyl vs. the coldness-of-digital debate, but I can tell you that walking into a record store these days has never been more fun. The sheer volume of LPs all over the walls and in the racks is a glorious feast for the eyes. Check out this well-rounded list of 2014’s best album artwork, which includes this beaut’:


When Conan O’Brien was without a network a few years ago, Mike Mitchell rallied supporters with his “I’m With Coco” campaign poster, a piece of work that captured the spirit of the moment with the perfect level of humor and solemnity. Mitchell’s portraits capture the spirits of cinematic characters beautifully, too, including Nic “H.I. McDunnough” Cage, Uma “the Bride” Thurman, and Steve “Navin R. Johnson” Martin (below):


Do you ever think about where your down feathers in your jackets come from? Patagonia did—but they really do now. When the clothing company was called out for its down source, they began thinking hard about it. The result: a more environmentally friendly source—and this video starring the very appropriate Blue Oyster Cult classic, Don’t Fear the Reaper:


Eater‘s great Lifers column spotlights “men and women who have worked in the restaurant and bar industry for the better part of their lives, sharing their stories and more.” We recently were crestfallen to read that the 65-year-old Polish bar and food palace Nye’s Polonaise Room is set to serve its last plates of pierogies, but we loved reading about one of its longtime bartenders. All hail Phil Barker, who began tending bar in 1969 in what is—and soon to be was—one of America’s must-visit joints.


Evgenia Arbugaeva’s photographs of “the Weatherman”, Vyacheslav Korotki, ought to make all us think twice about ever complaining about any chill in the air this winter. “A man of extreme solitude,” Korotki is a meteorologist who has spent the past 30 years living on Russian ships and, most recently in an Arctic outpost an hour-long helicopter ride from any town. His job is to measure the temperature, the snowfall, and the wind. “He doesn’t have a sense of self the way most people do,” the photographer says. “It’s as if he were the wind, or the weather itself.”