The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Who's Behind Newsweek? In Mother Jones, investigative reporter Ben Dooley delves into the religious organization that appears to secretively own the publication that owns weekly magazine Newsweek and is accused of exploiting its followers as underpaid employees.

How Smart Are Plants? In the New Yorker, Michael Pollan wanders into the fascinating and controversial nascent field of investigating plant intelligence with real science.

The Innocent and the Damned In a 1994 article in Texas Monthly, Gary Cartwright gives us a contemporary look at the time America lost its collective mind over the specter of satanic child abuse.

Hoard d'Oeuvres On the Baffler, Rhonda Lieberman spells out the state of art collecting today, now that the mega rich have come to it.

Why Your Supermarket Sells Only 5 Kinds of Apples In Mother Jones, Rowan Jacobson writes about the bounty of apple varieties America formerly enjoyed, why many went extinct and the man who is trying to revive as many as he can.

The End of the Hunt On the Verge, Colin Dickey writes about a brief moment in time for the Los Angeles ghost hunting scene, prior to being adulterated by phonies and TV.

Spectacle: The lynching of Claude Neal In the Tampa Bay Times, Ben Montgomery writes about the investigation into the identities of the people responsible for an infamous lynching in Florida in 1934.

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime? In the Washington Post, Gene Weingarten covers the inadvertent deaths of children through hyperthermia, an underdiscussed trend that's developed in the US.

Stonehenge: 7 Reasons Why the Mysterious Monument Was Built On LiveScience, Tia Ghose runs down seven suggestions that seek to explain why Stonehenge was erected 5,000 years ago.

Vanish into a Wiki Wormhole with this list of unexplained disappearances On A.V. Club, Mike Vago compiles a general accounting of some mysterious disappearances that have occurred over the years listed on Wikipedia.

Genetic mugshot recreates face from nothing but DNA On New Scientist Peter Aldous writes about the recent development of facial reconstruction using only genetic information as a guide.

Reporting From the Web's Underbelly In the New York Times, Nicole Perlroth profiles Internet security blogger Brian Krebs, the man who broke the news that Target had been hacked and who has made some powerful enemies among Eastern European hackers.

Octopuses Gain Consciousness (According to Scientists' Declaration) On Scientific American in 2012, Katherine Harmon Courage wrote about a group of researchers from a number of fields who signed a document stating their collective belief in the presence of consciousness of a wide array of animals.

14-Year-Old Proves U.S. Can Save $340 Million By Changing Fonts On Mashable, Christ Taylor writes about a boy who, through extensive research, found that simply by using only the Garamond font in its printed publication, the federal government could save a bundle of money.

Why Wu-Tang Clan Will Release Just One Copy of Its Secret Album On Forbes, Zack O'Malley Greenburg writes about the news that rap group Wu-Tang Clan is opting to produce only one copy of its upcoming album.