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The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

The Simpsons' secret formula: it's written by maths geeks. The Observer's science writer Simon Singh details some of the hidden math jokes in history's greatest television show.

How to use body language to get served first at a bar. The Telegraph's science correspondent Richard Gray covers a German study that investigated the best techniques for gaining the attention of bartenders and getting them to choose to serve you first in a busy bar, data the researchers used to build a robot bartender.

The Ash Tree. A creepy 1931 short horror story written by M.R. James about a witch's curse on the descendants of a man who bore witness against her.

The Yellow Sign. The first story, a short horror story, in Robert W. Chambers' incredibly well-written anthology of weird stories before there was such a thing as weird stories.