Some experts say Russia's recent mixed nuclear rhetoric is an attempt to pressure the West into forcing Ukraine to reach a peace settlement. / Vox

Masha Gessen: The more the Kremlin signals its readiness to go nuclear, the more the world seeks a reason to believe that it will not. / The New Yorker

Chris Blattman: Here's why I see a serious chance of World War III—should China invade Taiwan—in the next decade. / Chris Blattman

New analysis by astrophysicists finds the cosmos composed of about two-thirds dark energy, one-third matter (mostly dark matter). / The Harvard Gazette

A satellite photo shows what appears to be a (creepy) face on the sun. / The Guardian

Meanwhile, "a young bar-tailed godwit" appears to have set a non-stop distance record for migratory birds." / The Associated Press

See also: The world's largest plane flies for five hours with a hypersonic vehicle on board. / Interesting Engineering

Starbucks is being sued for allegedly stealing coffee-flavored lip balm. / Sprudge

Experts say a part of the United States' addiction problem is language. "Cancer patients are not referred to as cancers." / STAT

When capitalism meets spiritualism, meets Americans: "Their mission? Selling as many Ouija boards as possible." / The Hustle

Do you have leaves in your yard? Experts suggest leaving them there. / NPR

Hundreds of Joan Didion's furnishings and things to be sold at auction next month. / The New York Times

Some video of the world's lowest string instrument playing some very mellow Mozart. / Classic FM