I accidentally watched “The Dig” the other night. I loved it. This was my journey.

Image for post
Image for post
All Photos: Netflix

Under the false impression that it was going to be one of those films where they dig too far and there’s something in the dark, I recently watched “The Dig.” These were my thoughts. Mild spoilers for “The Dig,” I think.

1. What is this, an archaeology movie? I don’t need to watch an archaeology movie, unless they’re planning on finding a mummy that comes back to life.

2. If it turns out to be some old bones or wood from the past that they dig up and not a dormant skeleton army, I am going to be VERY DISAPPOINTED.


Kiko is happy to be in your photo as long as it is clearly *about* her

Kiko the Finnish Spitz dog poses for a photo backwards and upside-down while her disapproving sister looks on.
Kiko the Finnish Spitz dog poses for a photo backwards and upside-down while her disapproving sister looks on.
All photos: Kaya the Shepherd via Instagram

Kiko is a 10-month-old Finnish Spitz puppy who insists on doing things her own way—especially when it comes to posing for her person’s Instagram photos. She lives with her sister Tofu and a wise, patient, and long-suffering White Swiss Shepherd named Kaya who acts as the mother of the group.


From beloved pets to wild creatures, a series of stunning photos of the amazing animals we share our world with

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: JJNMatt; all photos via Agora

Earlier this year, the photography app Agora challenged photographers to submit photos of living creatures from around the world for a contest focused on celebrating the diverse and precious life on our planet. More than 13,000 photos were submitted to the contest before the winner — a dazzling photo of an iguana by Indonesian photographer JJN Matt—was crowned.

From an absolutely charming shot of an arctic fox cub trying (and adorably failing) to look tough to a magical image of a highland cow storming through a misty heather field in the Netherlands to a heartbreaking photo of a devoted dog…


You can get a lot of interesting thoughts if you think about the thoughts of thought leaders

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Pexels

There are two types of thought-people in the world — thought leaders and thought followers. Because of their bad, clouded brains, thought followers lack the capacity for what’s called “blue sky thinking,” which is the only way to be a success in life. But even if you are a thought follower, you can still have ideas sometimes, and the best way to do that is to look at thought leaders and think about what they’re thinking. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career doing exactly that, and as a result, I’ve amassed quite an impressive portfolio of incredible…


An arctic fox huddles against the snow.
An arctic fox huddles against the snow.
All photo via NPOTY 2020

These gorgeous images are the winners of the Nature Photographer of the Year competition

The overall winner of the latest Nature Photographer of the Year (NPOTY) competition is a photo by Roberto Marchegiani of a lone giraffe emerging from a forest in Kenya, reminiscent of a dinosaur navigating an ancient landscape, standing out in striking contrast to the dark and forbidding forest that frames her. Magdalena Herrera, the chair of the NPOTY jury, which selected the winner from nearly 20,000 submissions, explains their choice:

This image has a fairy-tale quality that goes far beyond a wildlife document. The contrast of the dark forest with branches like flashes of lightning and the little giraffe, who…


A fine art photograph of bare tree branches framing a moon and lake setting with purple clouds and stars
A fine art photograph of bare tree branches framing a moon and lake setting with purple clouds and stars
All photos: International Landscape Photographer of the Year

The winners of the International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition will make you long to travel

Chosen from an impressive array of entrants, the International Landscape Photographer of the Year award winners will make you look with fresh eyes at the planet we live on and the myriad different ways it finds to be beautiful. The year’s overall winner was Hong Kong photographer Kelvin Yuen, whose gorgeous portfolio of landscapes from Norway to Italy to Utah showed a truly impressive depth and variety.

Out of the 3,800 submissions, 101 photos were singled out for special recognition, and this selection of images—which ranges from volcanoes in Indonesia to icebergs in Greenland to canyons in Utah—makes for an…


If we had only stopped to think, we might have realized that this was inevitable

A white rabbit eating the carrot nose of a small snowman outdoors on the snow.
A white rabbit eating the carrot nose of a small snowman outdoors on the snow.
Photo: Hannah B via YouTube

In retrospect, it was hubris that led us all to believe we could somehow give our precious snowmen carrot noses without incurring dangerous interest from local bunnies, and it has only been sheer good fortune thus far that has prevented the inevitable from happening. But our luck has run out. Our pride and our recklessness have caught up with us. Our snowmen—defenseless against the ravenous cottontails who lurk in the darkness, drooling with carnivorous rapacity at the very sight of an orange protuberance in the snow—are under attack.

Footage of this recent incident is not easy to stomach. A mother…


The Oxford Comma, our salvation and the meaning of life

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Pexels

There are many things, both profound and trivial, that should be seen as essential to living a good life, such as our core values, the Oxford comma and cat videos. For my part, I have an idiosyncratic philosophy about what constitutes “flourishing” that is derived from my parents, The Mandalorian and a swarm of bees. The Mandalorian has a simple code that I find immensely appealing, centered in performing the sacred duties that are unique to “The Way,” shooting at Storm Troopers and never taking off your hat. …


Zach Cooley’s stunning photography demonstrates why this bad girl is everybody’s favorite satellite

Image for post
Image for post
In-camera double exposure. Arches National Park, Utah. All photos courtesy of Zach Cooley.

Surely one thing we can agree on as a society is that we can and should all be pro-moon. The moon is beautiful and extremely cool; it lights up the night sky; it controls the tides; and if it exploded, we’d probably all die. On the con side, there’s nothing. There’s literally nothing bad about the moon. The moon rules. …


In an abysmal year, these cats showed us hope and resilience, and (in one case) climbed into a pair of pants

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Master Poe Poe via Instagram

The cats, at least, did nothing wrong in 2020. In fact, they distinguished themselves, and we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to acknowledge them. These are the most important cats of this most difficult year. Let us celebrate them and sing their praises.

30. Pant-Leg Cats

If like so many of us you have often felt unequal to the challenges of this year, remember that we all put our pants on one leg at a time and that for at least one of us, that’s gonna result in two very scratchy surprises.

29. Whole Mouthfuls Cat

Each moment of joy is…

Jack Shepherd

Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Currently editor @Tenderly and writer at large. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store