The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Losing the plot: Death is permanent, but your grave isn't On The Conversation, Lynley Wallis and friends write about Australia's development of documenting and reusing old graves to deal with population growth.

In Defense of Superstition In a 2012 op-ed in the New York Times, Matthew Hutson traces some of the advantages of magical thinking discovered by science.

Google's Artificial Brain Learns to Find Cat Videos On Wired, Liat Clark writes about new developments in machine learning that has found algorithms exposed to mass amounts of data may spontaneously teach itself to categorize it.

Statement by the President on Net Neutrality On, Barack Obama states his position in favor of the Internet remaining unfettered by ISP varied-access schemes.

Brittany Maynard and the Challenge of Dying With Dignity On The Atlantic, Olga Khazan writes about the debate over physician-assisted suicide laws that has recently been revived by the public choice for suicide by a 29-year-old cancer patient.

All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go On Medium, Elmo Keep writes an engrossing article about Mars One, an unlikely project to establish a human colony on Mars in 10 years.

The truth about the Dungeon Master who disappeared in the steam tunnels On Boing Boing, Jason Louv writes about Dallas Egbert a gay suicidal child prodigy who struggled with his identity and whose death was co-opted as evidence of the evil of Dungeons & Dragons.

Scientists Have Finally Found The First Real Reason We Need To Sleep In a 2013 article on Business Insider, Jennifer Walsh writes about the study that discovered the brain's process of clearing detritus from neural cells during sleep.

On Japanese Funerals On This Japanese Life, Eryk writes about the nuanced customs of Buddhist funeral practices in Japan.

Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists On Nature, Sara Reardon writes about recent research that supports the longstanding suspicion that the microbiome in the gut directly impacts brain function and behavior.

A Five Hundred Year Moment? On Mooria Magasin, Dougald Hine provides an interesting alternative perspective to the near-universal idea that wage labor is a good and necessary thing and traces the roots of this belief.

The Classic Middle Name In a 2008 post on News of the Weird, Chuck Shepherd presents the extensive list of murderers with the middle name Wayne that he and his readers have compiled.