Reading List for May 5, 2017

Secret Knowledge – or a Hoax? Eamon Duffy writes about the Voynich manuscript, a centuries-old bizarre book appearing to be largely about herbal medicine, but featuring illustrations of plants that don’t exist and written in a language that no once can decipher.

The Curse of the Bahia Emerald Elizabeth Wells wades into the world of hucksters and con men orbiting a giant emerald that has a tendency to run their imaginations wild with possible riches before inevitably dashing their hopes in grotesque ways.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Set Your Goldfish Free In a Stream Popular Science has a warning about a new type of invasive species.

Remarkable New Evidence of Human Activity in North America 130,000 Years Ago Smithsonian covers a new paper that radically alters the conceptions of how and when humans first arrived in North America. The current understanding is that humans first showed up somewhere around just 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.

The Blood of the Crab In Popular Mechanics, Caren Chesler writes about the massive, future/primitive bloodletting operation pharma carries out on horseshoe crabs to obtain their blue blood for use in medical testing. It is becoming apparent that the crabs don’t recuperate from the procedure as well as the pharma companies had suggested, a suggestion that regulators simply took as fact.

Why the United States Government Embraced the Occult In the New Republic, Colin Dickey reviews a new book that purports to be a look at all the wacky ways America’s defense and spy agencies tried to get a psychic and telekenetic leg up on the Soviets.

New Human Rights in the Age of Neuroscience? The Neuroskeptic briefly covers a position paper that proposes we get busy establishing what rights to the privacy of our minds we humans should expect in the age where what we’re thinking will be far more detectable than it is today.

Hey, White People: Michael Douglas Is the Villian, Not the Victim, in Falling Down In LA Weekly, April Wolfe looks back at the movie that foreshadowed the confused victimhood of white males among the alt-right leaning white males today.

How 1,600 People Went Missing From Our Public Lands Without a Trace In Outside, Jon Billman writes about the cluster that arises when a person goes missing on federal lands and how that results in that person going unfound more frequently than you’d think.

The Heineken Ad is Worse than the Pepsi Ad, You’re Just too Stupid to Know It The DiDi Delgado writes about the even worse attempt by an ad agency to establish the social rules for our current era.

Barack Obama’s $400,000 Speaking Fees Reveal What Few Want to Admit In The Guardian, Steven W Thrasher notes the sad post-presidency of Barack Obama, which has included non-existent support for the Left, no volunteerism and, most notably, his first speaking engagement – at a Wall Street gathering for which he was paid $400,000. “Hope.”

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