Topics of interest

This is a rough list of things I like to think about when I’m not working on bones. By posting articles here, I’m not saying I entirely agree with them – only that they are well-written approaches to the subject matter that raise interesting points. I was pleased to learn that Walter Benjamin’s “Arcades” is similarly organized, with a logic that is clearly only apparent to the author but (kind of) makes sense as an agglomerate. 

*continually updated!*

What we do with our bodies (living and dead) (but mostly dead)

BBC – The tragic tale of Mt Everest’s most famous dead body

Imgur – Bodies left on Everest

The Toast – Considering a Possible Human Head

Vice – The Best Place in the World to Die; Living with the Dead

Gawker – Brazilian Trio Running Cannibal Bakery Go to Trial

NPR – When People Ate People, A Strange Disease Emerged

Buzzfeed – eBay just nixed its human skull market

The Age – The Big Sleep

NYT – Death and Dying, the Animal Way

Minnesota Post – There Will Be Blood

The Guardian – Where in the world is it illegal to die?

Nautilus – The Curious Case of the Bog Bodies

Vice – Meet the Living People Who Collect Dead Human Remains

The Atlantic – The Doctors Whose Patients Are Already Dead

New Republic – Who Owns the Dead?

The Guardian – The sacred task of caring for the dead should be a normal part of life

NYT – A Project to Turn Corpses into Compost

Lapham’s Quarterly – A Brief History of Medical Cannibalism

Evolution of cognition; experiences of truth and reality; dreams

NPR – What if evolution bred reality out of us?

The Atlantic – Inside the artificial universe that creates itself

Business Insider – 20 Cognitive Biases

New Statesman – This won’t hurt a bit: the cultural history of pain

The Atlantic – Did Neanderthals Have Souls?

Nautilus – Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking

Nautilus – Your Terrifying Dreams Could Be Rehearsal for Real Life

Jumping to conclusions in paleoanthropology; imagining ancient times; modern human-neanderthal sex

John Hawks – Why I’m skeptical about Lucy in the skyfall

Ars Technica – Humans aren’t so special after all: The fuzzy evolutionary boundaries of Homo sapiens

NYT – Who Apes Whom?

Pacific Standard – How Our Understanding of Neanderthals Has Dramatically — and Rapidly — Shifted

Vox – Humans and Neanderthals had sex. But was it for love?

Scientific American – Artistic Depictions of Dinosaurs Have Undergone Two Revolutions

Sapiens – The Man Who Was Mistaken for a Homo sapiens in a Hat

Utah News – The Pyrophilic Primate

Scientific American – I am Innately Aggressive, Not Innately Warlike

Hell’s Ditch – Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”

Huffington Post – The Dangers of Kennewick Man’s DNA

Uncontacted tribes and modern societal absconders

New Yorker – An Isolated Tribe Emerges from the Rainforest

Independent – Awá Amazon tribeswomen reject civilisation and escape to forest

Smithsonian – For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II

Sapiens – The Myth of the Virgin Rainforest

Uncommon modern diseases and treatment paradigms

Buzzfeed – Is empty nose syndrome real?

Slate – Refugees of the Modern World

The Guardian – Green Bank: the town that banned Wi-Fi

NYT – In One Arizona Community, an Oasis in a Toxic World

Guardian – Allergic to life: the Arizona residents ‘sensitive to the whole world’

538 – How MSG got a bad rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia

Vice – The Cure Culture

Stat – Accidental therapists: For insect detectives, the trickiest cases involve the bugs that aren’t really there

Campus debates about trigger warnings; professorial responsibilities

NYT – Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and Free Speech, Too

The Nation – This Professor Was Fired for Saying ‘Fuck No’ in Class

NYT – Why I Use Trigger Warnings

Pacific Standard – Do we need trigger warnings for depictions of drug use? 

The Atlantic – How Trigger Warnings Silence Religious Students

The Atlantic – The Coddling of the American Mind

The Atlantic – Concept Creep: How Americans Became So Sensitive to Harm

The concepts of genius and personality

Longreads – Who gets to be a genius?

Pacific Standard – We are all confident idiots

Wired – The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Bunk But I Don’t Care

Morality, effective altruism, and the trolley-car problem

Boston Review – The Logic of Effective Altruism

The Atlantic – The Greatest Good

Aeon – Homes for the Homeless

Rational Reflection – Vegetarianism, Abortion, and Moral EmpathyVegetarianism, Abortion, and Moral Empathy

Radiolab – Playing God

Utilitarian – Shopping at the Genetic Supermarket

NYT – Should Your Driverless Car Hit a Pedestrian to Save Your Life?

The Verge – How do you teach an autonomous car when to hurt its passengers?

Youtube – A Two-Year-Old’s Solution to the Trolley-Car Problem

MIT News – Driverless cars: Who gets protected?

Human female anatomy and childbirth (Why are all of these titles phrased as questions?)

American Scientist – Why is Human Childbirth so Painful?

Evolution Institute – Why is the Human Vagina So Big? (see also: The obstetric dilemma hypothesis unraveled)

Scientific American – Do animals know where babies come from?

NYT – Why Is American Home Birth So Dangerous?

Slate – Is a Surrogate a Mother?

Sapiens – Labor Pains and Helpless Infants: Eve or Evolution? Part 1; Part 2

Transforming drug policy; psychedelics in modern culture

New Yorker – The Trip Treatment

Washington Post – How the FBI just made the world a more dangerous place by shutting down Silkroad 2.0 and a bunch of online drug markets

Washington Post – Carly Fiorina accidentally said something really smart about weed

Nautilus – A Vaccine for Depression?

The Guardian – ‘I’ve done really bad things’: The undercover cop who abandoned the war on drugs

New Yorker – The Drug of Choice for the Age of Kale

Quartz – Psychedelic drugs can be the shortcut to a mental state we may be wired to crave

New Yorker – Altered States (by Oliver Sacks, one of my favorite humans)

All history as alt-history

New Yorker – The Underground Railroad’s Troubling Allure

The Verge – How natural are nature documentaries?

Buzzfeed – The Secret History Of The Photo At The Center Of The Black Confederate Myth

Polygon – Karl Marx and the historical determinism of video games

Imperialism and poverty tourism

Sapiens – Will GMOs Put an End to Hunger? Ask the Hungry

But is it art?

Sapiens – Graffiti Bombing in U.S. National Parks

Running, yoga, and the science of sports (that I practice)

NYMag – How Neuroscientists Explain the Mind-Clearing Magic of Running

Washington Post – Why kids should go barefoot more (and probably adults, too)

Harvard Mag – Run Barefoot, says Dan Lieberman

Quartz – A neuroscientist says there’s a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed

Runners’ World – The Mystery of “Nonlocal” Fatigue: Why does arm exercise make your legs feel tired?

The Atlantic – Why One Neuroscientist Started Blasting His Core

NYT – The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes

NYT – 85-year-old Marathoner is So Fast That Even Scientists Marvel

Other really good articles

Idle Words – Shuffleboard at McMurdo

New Yorker – Recall of the Wild

New Yorker – Polar Express

Harper’s – The Radioactive Boy Scout

The Awl – The Shoes Under the Art World

Nautilus – Postcards from the Edge of Consciousness

The Baffler – Despair Fatigue

The Atlantic – The Oliver Sacks Reading List

Just some fun videos

Gawker – Laugh At Robots Falling Down Now, While You Still Can

Vimeo – The colors of feelings

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