The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

The Fight to Find John Wilkes Booth's Diary in a Forgotten Subway Tunnel In Newsweek, Joe Kloc writes about Bob Diamond, a New York urban explorer and amateur historian who discovered a lost tunnel he believes hides a number of amazing artifacts.

Why you're (probably) not a great communicator On The Philosophers' Mail, The School of Life writes about all of the little mortifying impediments to communicating about ourselves.

The Genome of the Pig Whipworm Offers Insight Into How They Can Help Treat Immune Disorders On Medical Daily, Schweta Iyers writes about the use of parasites to prevent the body from mounting the attacks on itself that constitute autoimmune disorders.

A Manufactured 'Crisis': Congress Can Let the Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs or Service Reductions In a 2011 article on ThinkProgress, Zaid Jilani writes about the peculiar burden the USPS bears in prepaying its pension funds for the next 75 years.

B.C. starfish are evolving into goo In Maclean's, Kate Lunau writes about the mysterious and grisly mass die-offs starfish around the world are facing.'

The Woolworth Card On Snopes, Barbara Mikkelson writes about the most misused social security number of all time and how it got that way.

They Came. They Sawed. In a 2004 article in Texas Monthly, John Bloom provides an interesting and exhaustive history and analysis of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The Board Game of the Alpha Nerds In Grantland, Dan Hill writes about the board game Diplomacy, a unique and somewhat underground game that requires players cajole and betray one another in order to win.

Masters of Love In The Atlantic, Emily Esfahani Smith writes about research into how couples either last happily or self-destruct and either divorce or settle into unhappiness.

The death of the American Mall In the Guardian, David Uberti writes about the precipitous decline of mid-market shopping malls across the United States.

The Disruption Machine In the New Yorker, Jill Lepore picks apart the current management philosophy craze sweeping the nation, Disruption, which she considers dangerously broad and founded on shoddy observation.

Exhumed family vault reveals secrets of Washington history On the BBC, Jane O'Brien writes about an opened family vault from the early-19th century Washington, DC area that has shown much about class differences and the beginning of the funeral industry.

Hitchhiking robot will head for Victoria this summer In the Times Colonist, Amy Smart writes about HitchBOT, a friendly robot that will attempt to hitchhike across Canada this summer and will document the experience.

Mongolian Death Worm: Elusive Legend of the Gobi Desert On LiveScience, Benjamin Radford writes about the Mongolian Death Worm, a fearsome cryptozoologic mystery and what may explain the centuries of sightings around the Gobi Desert.

Partial Disclosure In the New York Review of Books, Sue Halpern reviews Glenn Greenwald's Nowhere to Hide, his recent book about the NSA files revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, among other related works, to give a rough picture of the current revelations about the agency.

Want to Get Out Alive? Follow the Ants On Nautilus, Conor Myhrvold writes about recent research into how panicked human crowds heading for exits are similar to panicked ants and how ant models point the way to safer architecture.

Is Shame Necessary? On Edge, Jennifer Jacquet writes about the origin of the emotion shame and why it doesn't work to effect social change.

A Mysterious Sound is Driving People Insane - And Nobody Knows What's Causing It On .Mic, Jared Keller covers The Hum, an unexplained low-frequency sound that only some people can hear, some of whom suffer terribly from it.

How sushi ate the world In The Guardian in 2006, Alex Renton writes about the history of sushi and its diaspora throughout the West.

Arrested Development On Mosaic, Virginia Hughes writes about a researcher seeking the genes that make us age in order to turn them off, and the extremely rare and mysterious slow aging disease known as "syndrome x" that he seeks to understand for that end.