The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death On New Scientist, Helen Thomson writes about an emerging procedure to temporarily slow cellular activity in rapidly dying patients in order to give physicians more time to save them.

The Manhunt for Christopher Dorner Members of the Los Angeles Times staff compile an exhaustive account of the days covering the hunt for rogue cop Christopher Dorner who went on a rampage in the city in 2013.

Black Death was not spread by rat fleas, researchers say In The Guardian Vanessa Thorpe covers new research that finds the Black Death plague was airborne, not passed along by parasites.

Why You Shouldn't Share Those Emotional 'Deaf Person Hears for the First Time' Videos On The Wire, Lilit Marcus contributes her two cents about why viral videos showing deaf people hearing for the first time tell only part of a larger, nuanced story about the Deaf community.

The way out of a room is not through the door In the London Review of Books, Christian Lorentzen reviews a book about the life of Charles Manson.

On the Trail of a Silver Thief In Garden and Gun, Kim Severson writes about the career and capture of perhaps the foremost cat burglar of fine silver in the United States.

The Afterlife of Pia Farrenkopf In the New Yorker, Carmen Maria Machado postulates on the meaning of the fascinating story a woman who lived a sort of digital afterlife for five years after dying in actual life.

Sleep: When Brain Cells Shrink and Neuro Trash is Flushed Away On Nautilus, Veronique Greenwood writes about recent sleep research that discovered a system peculiar to the brain that flushes out detritus when we sleep (and may explain sleep itself).

What the F***? In the New Republic in 2007, linguist Steven Pinker wanders into the psychosocial basis for why some words are taboo, how they offend us, and which ones really shouldn't in an article that, appropriately, can be tough to read at points.

Abracadabra The Wikipedia entry on the magic word.

Harriet Tubman's Perfect Record: Brains and Opium on the Underground Railroad On Mental Floss, Eric Sass covers point by point how the legendary escaped slave transporter managed to never lose a charge in her long career.

Innocents Lost In the Miami Herald, Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch write a difficult-to-read article about the dramatic rise in child deaths after the state of Florida changed its policies concerning removing children from dangerous homes.