Reading List for May 12, 2017

The Old Man and the Gun In the New Yorker, David Grann tells the story of an aged bank robber who became one of the all-time great stick-up men.

This Beautiful Tidal Road Is Also Britain’s Deadliest There is a six-mile stretch of road along the coast of Essex that has claimed a number of lives when the tide came back in.

Where Be Monsters? The Daedalus Sea Serpent and the War for Credibility In a 2014 article in the tragically defunct Appendix, Matthew Willis writes about the last great sea serpent sighting that arrived at a time when rationalism and science was asserting itself.

This Theory Will Change How You See Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory The Huffington Post visits Reddit in order to uncover a pretty clever fan theory about the Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka.

The Woman Who Stood Between America and an Epidemic of Birth Defects Smithsonian covers Frances Oldham Kelsey, an FDA drug reviewer who essentially single-handedly beat back the push by a drug company to get a sleeping pill to market that caused birth defects in fetuses, known commonly by its trade name thalidomide.

Neanderthals, Scandanavian Trolls and Troglodytes In Electrum Magazine, Patrick Hunt takes a stab at placing the origin of Scandinavian folk tales of trolls within ancient cultural memory of Neanderthals who used to inhabit the area.

The Curse of the Crying Boy On his very interesting folklore site, Dr David Clarke writes about the genesis of an expansive urban legend about a popular tacky painting that became associated with house fires in Great Britain in the mid-1980s.

 

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