The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Tom Lehrer The Wikipedia entry for the mid-20th century American satirical composer.

The trouble with the Enlightenment In a 2013 article in Prospect magazine, Ollie Cussen reviews recent surveys of the Enlightenment and views them through the current argument over the revolution in thought's true legacy.

The strangely true connection between Scientology, the Jet Propulsion Lab and occult sorcery On i09, Annalee Newitz writes about the explosives expert founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab who was also a devotee of occult thinker Aleister Crowley.

All You Need Is Love And Money On Matter, Meredith Haggerty analyzes three eras of romantic comedies and finds money is a background character in them all.

Edmund Kemper On, the staff writes about the disturbing criminal career of the serial killer who murdered his family members as well as strangers.

5 Myths About Serial Killers and Why They Persist On Scientific American, Scott Bonn provides an excerpt from his recent book about serial killers.

Vote All You Want. The Secret Government Won't Change On the Boston Globe, Jordan Michael Smith interviews Michael J. Glennon, a political scientist who has attracted attention for an unsettling book that finds elected officials have little power to effect major change in America.

'National Security and Double Government' by Michael J. Glennon On the Boston Globe, Mickey Edwards writes a review of Glennon's book.

Hashima: The Ghost Island In a 2002 article in Cabinet, Brian Burke-Gaffney writes about a coal-producing island off the coast of Japan that was for years the most densely populated area in the world.

Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals On the SENG website, James T. Webb writes about the depression that intelligent children frequently face when confronted with ideas about mortality and meaninglessness.

A Boy Named Humiliation: Some Wacky, Cruel and Bizarre Puritan Names On Slate, Joseph Norwood digs into the profoundly religious names Puritan parents named their children.

Case File 245UFVA On the DOE Network, an entry about an unidentified woman who committed suicide in a cemetery in Virginia 1996.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Mallomars On Thrillist, Kristen Hunt writes about the cult classic cookie/confection.

In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis In the New York Times, Eric Lichtblau writes about new information that showed the CIA and FBI recruited Nazi officers as agents during the Cold War and actively protected them from prosecution for their war crimes.

The Perversion of Virtue On Inside Higher Ed, Scott Mclemee reviews a book that seeks to taxonomize murder-suicides based on the misguided reasoning that drive them.

America's Abandoned Insane Asylum Cemeteries On Atlas Obscura, Alison Meier writes about several cemeteries around the country that still house the dead of the 20th century's mentally ill.

Ebola Reston: A look back at the monkey house On Inside Nova, Erin Rassier writes about the 1989 double outbreak of a newly-discovered simian Ebola virus.

A Kiss Before Dying In a 2006 article in Texas Monthly, Pamela Colloff writes about a 1961 murder that resulted in the birth of a small town legend.