The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

The Inventor of Everything On The Verge, Ben Popper profiles Mike Cheiky, a polymath inventor who has established three successful companies with gobs of venture capital and who may or may not be a con man.

'Accidental' Siberian Mummies Part of Mysterious Ancient Arctic Civilization In the International Business Times (more on that publication here, part of our TBSWR from two weeks ago), Mary-Ann Russon writes about the discovery of numerous graves with the inhabitants amazingly intact a millennium after death.

Grief, Death, Funerals In an entry from the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society, Deborah C. Stearn discusses how attitudes toward exposing children to death changed dramatically around the transition from the 19th to 20th centuries.

The Mental Life of Plants and Worms, Among Others Legendary neurologist Oliver Sacks writes about the mental capacities and ability to think of organisms we don't normally consider terribly thoughtful entities.

Ordinary Americans are powerless, but the US isn't really an oligarchy On Quartz, Matt Phillips writes about a paper that managed to quantify the fact that the government responds to what the wealthiest Americans want.

The end of night On Aeon Magazine, Rebecca Boyle writes about the health effects on both human and non-human ecosystems brought about by the increasing encroachment of artificial light on natural darkness.

The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire) On Atlantic Cities, Emily Badger writes about the history, present and lack of future for the prototypical suburban American shopping mall.

The Shopping Mall's Socialist Prehistory In Jacobin magazine, Sam Wetherell writes about Victor Gruen, the father of the suburban shopping mall who, before his death, renounced paternity of the creation that ended up totally controverting his original intentions.

Via Label Scar

Investigating a Rash of SIDS Deaths, Exposing Infanticide In the New York Times, Carol Strickland writes about a book that looked into sudden infant death syndrome and found the science that seeks to explain the condition often serves as cover for the murderers of babies.

America's Silver Age In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tim Hanley reviews a hardcover collection of the mid-century Wonder Woman comics that encompass the revamping of her origin story, and explores the gender and racial prejudices found therein.

What Dreams Still Come: An Old-Fashioned Explorer in Modern Times In Pacific Standard, Robert Anasi writes about Keith Muscutt, explorer of Peru and investigator of its lesser known and largely undiscovered lost Chachapoya civilization.