The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Why This Vintage He-Man Figure Still Smells Bad 30 Years Later. In Fast Company Design, blogger John Brownlee writes about the manufacturing triumph of Stinkor, one of the lesser characters in the He-Man universe from the 1980s, but one of the most resiliently-smelly figures ever created. Stinkor figures still smell as they were designed to 30 years on, beating out other such dolls of lesser design, like Strawberry Shortcake.

Gagged by Big Ag. Writing in Mother Jones, Ted Genoways reports about model legislation produced by the business lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council that is being passed in state capitals around the country that make it a crime to not only secretly videotape acts of cruelty to animals and health vi0lations on an agricultural business's property, but also even possessing or distributing that tape (including to the inspectors and regulators whose job it is to police those businesses).

Bigfoot. In an article originally published in a 1999 issue of Open Spaces magazine, Robert Sullivan immerses himself in the cutthroat, backstabbing world of bigfoot research and the rivalries and resentment among those pushed to the fringe who have dedicated themselves to finding and documenting evidence of the Sasquatch in North America. Sullivan even manages to attend the investigation of a major sighting.

Skin, Bones and the 'Dust of Death'. On Stories from the Stores, the Science Museum's blog, one of the curators writes about a few of the museum's relics - neck skin, the dust from a dessicated corpse and vertebrae - pillaged from graves by a group in the 19th century on the hunt for the casket of the early surgeon John Hunter, intent on exhuming and burying him in Westminster Abbey.

The Tyranny of the Smile. On Slate, Katy Waldman writes about the Bitchy Resting Face (BRF) a made-up syndrome that appears to afflict women who aren't on board with the responsibility, with which American society has burdened them, to keep things bright and cheerful for everyone around them by smiling at all times.

Whitey Bulger: Secrets behind the capture of the FBI's most wanted man. On, Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill investigate the years when Boston mobster Whitey Bulger went on the lam from the feds from 2007 to 2011. Bulger was so closely hunted that when Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011, Bulger took his place at the top of the FBI's Most Wanted list.

Lifted. On The Atavist, writer Evan Ratliff contributes an exhaustive (and, at times, exhausting) chronicle of a highly-detailed heist of a currency center in Stockholm, Sweden that involved a gang of international thieves, a stolen helicopter and a targeted haul of $150 million.