The problem with the U.S. policy of no ransoms? Hostage rescues are very, very difficult. In the Washington Post, Adam Taylor writes about recent failed rescue attempts of Western hostages held by ISIS and al Qaeda.
The Invention of the Slinky On Pricenomics, Zachary Crockett writes about the origin and indefatigable life of the Slinky and the bizarre story of its inventor.
The golden quarter On Aeon, Michael Hanlon writes about a narrow slice of the 20th century where scientific achievement surged forward but has since fizzled and virtually halted in comparison.
Helltown, Ohio On Atlas Obscura, contributor Mordy writes about a small town in Ohio that was purchased by the federal government to make a national park, and became a study in how urban legends are born.
This GIF explains the most clever crossword in history On the Daily Dot, Fernando Alfonso III writes about a 1996 crossword puzzle that infallibly predicted the winner of the presidential election that year.
Why Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than Morning Larks On Psychology Today, Satoshi Kanazawa writes about recent research into humans who resist their natural diurnal state.
Bill challenging US official secrecy passed after senator's late change of mind In The Guardian, Ed Pilkington writes about the surprise passage of a new bill in the Senate that seeks to clarify obstinate opaqueness in American federal government.
Blame Rolling Stone On Slate, Hanna Rosin covers the fallout from the Rolling Stone University of Virginia article that has proven to be a journalistic and moral debacle.
17 Disgraceful Facts Buried in the Senate's 600 Page Torture Report On ThinkProgress, Ivan Volsky covers excerpts from the CIA torture report.
Laughing all the way ... out of depression In the Los Angeles Times, Melissa Healy writes about new investigation into the use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to cure bouts of acute depression.
Comcast sued for turning home Wi-Fi routers into wireless hotspots On SFGate, Benny Evangelista writes about Comcast's new idea for offsetting costs.
Locked Away for Years, Skeleton's Secrets Rewrite Prehistory of North America On National Geographic, Simon Worrall interviews an anthropologist whose investigation of the remains of Kennewick Man, found in the Pacific Northwest, discovered he was from Asia.
Famous Cameos You May Not Have Noticed On 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete' On Uproxx, Chloe Schildhause runs down some of the people who appeared on one of the best TV shoes of the 1990s.
DIY Drugs and the Digital Future of Getting High On Substance, Maia Szalavitz interviews Mike Powers a journalist expert in grey market recreational drugs.