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The Best Stuff We've Read This Week


Colonial Crimes and Punishment On the Colonial Williamsburg site, James A Cox writes about strict laws in the American colonies and the brutal punishments meted out when they were broken.

Raiders of the Lost Web In The Atlantic, Adrienne Lafrance writes about the loss of a massive 34-part piece of investigative journalism from the internet and what it says about the ethereal nature of the current, early version of the web.

Ermahgerddon: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl In Vanity Fair, Darryn King writes about the Ermahgerd Girl, a meme based on a found photo that went viral and the real life story of the girl in the photo.

Generation X is Sick of Your Bullshit On Gizmodo, Mat Honan writes about the current state of affairs among the 40-year-old set.

Stop the Madness In the Huffington Post's Highline, Jonathan Cohn writes about the growing approach to treating mental illness in the same manner as cancer and chronic disease, potentially even with early detection through blood tests.

Once Upon A Time In The New Yorker, Joan Acocella writes about the decidedly bleaker and more violent original versions of the fairy tales that formed the basis of the Grimm stories and later a number of Disney films.

Out of the Darkness On Medium, Noa Yachot writes about America's torture program and profiles several individuals who were tortured under it.

A Sea Story In The Atlantic, William Langeweische writes about the 1994 sinking of the passenger ferry Estonia in the Baltic Sea.

What Do We Really Know About Osama Bin Laden's Death? In the New York Times Magazine, Jonathan Mahler writes about the debate over Seymore Hersh's story in the London Review of Books that many of the major components of the official account of bin Laden's death is untrue.

The Blood Countess On The Hairpin, Tori Telfer writes about Erzsebet Bathory, a 16th-cenntury Hungarian noblewoman, considered perhaps history's most prolific serial killer and possibly the inspiration for Dracula.

Whitewood Under Siege In Cabinet, Jacob Hodes writes about the fascinating economy of one of the world's most ubiquitous items, the wooden pallet.

The Next Giant Leap In a 2009 article in GQ, Sean Wilsey writes about NASA's future at the time when the shuttle program was reaching its end.

Digital Darkness: When We Can't Turn Away From Death Online In pacific Standard, Alaina Massey writes about morbid fascination and her own experience with eating disorders.

There Once Was A Dildo In Nantucket In Literary Hub, Ben Shattuck writes about his investigation into the seemingly true urban legend of what 19th-century whalers' wives on Nantucket called "he's-at-homes".

Why Alien Life Will Be Robotic On Nautilus, Martin Rees makes the case that the alien life we encounter will be intelligent machines descended from natural organisms.