The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Pitchman: How Tom Emanski changed the sport of baseball - and then disappeared On the Just A Bit Outside blog, Erik Malinowski writes about the man who became the first to apply technology to the analysis of baseball mechanics in order to teach a generation of kids how to be better players.

The Case of the Curious Caseins - A1/A2 Milk On Squash Practice Gary Rondeau writes about research into a mutated peptide in some milk that is metabolized into a harmful opiate during digestion by humans.

Currency Wars, Or Why You Should Care About the Global Struggle Over the Value of Money In a 2011 article from Origins magazine, Steven Bryan writes about the race to the bottom nations often undertake to diminish the value of their currency in order to make their exports more attractive to other nations.

Eyes in the Aisles: Why is Cap'n Crunch Looking Down at My Child? On the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab site, Katherine Baildon writes about a study that found the vast majority of children's breakfast cereals feature mascots that gaze downward at them in the store.

Dropping in on Turkmenistan's 'door to hell' In The Guardian, Maeve Shearlaw writes (with accompanying photos) about a recent expedition to a crater in the Turkmenistani desert that formed as the result of a 40-year subterranean methane fire.

Runaway Money In a 2000 article in the Wall Street Journal, Joshua Prager writes about the man who inherited the copyright to Goodnight, Moon, which he credits from keeping him from homelessness.

Brigham Young's Short Lived, Experimental Mormon Alphabet On Slate, Rebecca Onion writes about a Mormon experiment at a new writing system.

Humans Aren't the Pinnacle of Evolution and Consciousness - We're Only A Rung On the Ladder On Singularity Hub, Jason Dorrier points out humans' tendency to envision themselves as the ultimate product of evolution.

This Gadget Texts You If There Are Date-Rape Drugs In Your Drink On Vocativ, Elizabeth Kulze talks about the crowdfunded device that performs instant analysis of any drink.

When Crazy Becomes A Crime On Lunatic Labs, Gabriel writes about a study that finds a Medicaid cost-cutting measure toward anti-psychotic drugs correlates to higher rates of mentally ill populations in state prisons.

In 1951, the FBI Thought the Soviets Might Be Hiding An Atomic Bomb Somewhere in New York City On the Village Voice site, Anna Merlan writes about a recently declassified report detailing a years-long wild goose chase caper the G-Men were led on in the 50s.

Trial By Fire In the New Yorker, David Grann writes about Cameron Todd Willingham, whose death may prove to be what Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called a "constitutionally intolerable event": the wrongful execution of a genuinely innocent person.

Would I Have Owned Slaves? On the Public Medievalist, Paul B. Sturtevant wrestles with a difficult and dismaying question, whether he, as a modern liberal of convenience, would have owned slaves as the same person in the Antebellum South.

100,000 Year Old Case of Brain Damage Discovered On LiveScience, Tia Ghose writes about the recreation of brain damage in an ancient skull that strongly suggests a young, disabled human compassionate caretaker for several years before dying.