Reading List for April 6, 2018

The True Story Behind the Mysterious McDonald’s Gold Card On Mental Floss, the editors of Reader’s Digest (for some reason) identify the handful of human beings who possess a card that gets them free McDonald’s for life.

The Problem with Mindfulness On Nautilus, Brian Gallagher writes about a study that found meditation led to negative experiences like anxiety, psychosis and realizations of being a shitty person in the majority of participants.

I’m Going to Close this Deal Using Business Words I’ve Heard Men Yell In Airports On McSweeney’s Wendi Aarons does what she pledges to in the title.

The Boy Who Vanished — and His Impostor In a 1999 article in the Los Angeles Times, Cecelia Rasmussen writes about the 1928 disappearance of Frank Collins, whose mother was given an impostor in his stead. The story was the basis of the film The Changeling.

The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders On Crime Library, the entry for a gruesome series of sexual assaults and ax murders of young boys (one of whom may have been Frank Collins, mentioned above) by a 20-something farmer and his mother in what is now Mira Loma, Calif.


Widow of Opportunity In a 2011 essay in Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens writes about a nagging suspicion that Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was not the elegant figure everyone else is sure she is.

A Fantastic Journey Through Cosmic Scales On Scientific American, Caleb Scharf and Ron Miller publish an introduction to their book about the unimaginable scale from large to small that makes up the universe.

The Polaroid On Crime Magazine, Paul Buchanan writes about the 1989 discovery of a photo of a boy and a girl bound and gagged and how it shone a light on the suffering of a mother in Albuquerque whose daughter had been abducted.

Flashback: Serial Killer Appears on ‘The Dating’ Game Mid-Spree In Rolling Stone, Jason Newman writes about a 1978 episode of The Dating Game where Rodney Alcala, a convicted serial killer who may have killed as many as 130 women and children, wins the date.

What In God’s Name Happened to Ricky Gervais? On The Baffler, Brendan James offers a rather pitiful critique of Ricky Gervais and, from what James reports about Gervais lately, it’s possible Gervais will obsessively read the piece and be made unhappy by it but still probably won’t express his feelings in any way that James would find productive.


I’m always looking for things to read. If you know an interesting article, send it to me at

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