The Week’s Brightest Glitter – My Favorite Reads

Mack McCormick, at home in Houston, December 2013.

Mack McCormick, at home in Houston, December 2013.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie – I can’t stop thinking about this article. Beautifully written deep-dive search for the identity of two iconic blues-women, the history of blues, the history of the history of blues, and the fuzzy line where digging for information becomes thievery. Hats off to John Jeremiah Sullivan, for enthralling writing, and to the New York Times Magazine design & tech teams for gorgeous multimedia that adds without distracting from Sullivan’s fine work. (Extra points that so much of this story rises from Houston, my hometown. Badly overlooked blues heritage there.)

Extraordinarily rich haul on mind and brain this week:

Love and Loss on the Seine Beautiful NatGeo story on the draw the Seine exerts on all sorts of people, including those in mental distress.

What Killed My Sister?, by Priscilla Long On schizophrenia; an explainer, and an homage to a sufferer.

My prism of postpartum depression Lovely account by T. DeLene Beeland.

Brain Stimulation Makes Man A Johnny Cash Fan? So it appears.

The cost of not caring: Nowhere to go. Much-needed look at our neglect of the mentally ill. At this point we’re chuckin’ ’em out to die. By Liz Szabo.

We cannot afford to study effect size in the lab. Honest hard look at a major problem in psychology studies in an age of big data. Working with people’s minds takes time.

Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D. and Older Americans hooked on Rx: ‘I was a zombie’. More ugly from the medical system with the worst return-on-investment on earth.

Trigger alerts are dumbing down education. This is getting ridiculous.

Everything you know about teenage brains is bullshit Every headline written this way is overwrought and inaccurate. However, this article is a good solid calmer about fears that the intertoobz iz fizzing up yer teens’ brains.

Also, Is Low Blood Sugar Really Linked to Bad Behavior?, with the usual answer for such headlines.

But it seems true that Lonely people share too much on Facebook.

No, Timothy McVeigh Was Not Autistic The unifying feature of most mass murderers is rage, blasted outward at innocents by way of easily accessible firearms. No autism required.


On other fronts:

Arrested DevelopmentVirginia Hughes on four girls who apparently won’t age, and a 74-year-old scientist determined to figure out why.

Parasite Forces Host To Dig Its Own Grave Amazing grotesquery from Ed Yong.

Comb jellies — wee tiny sea critters — have some very strange brains. Carl Zimmer brings the goods.

Everything Science Knows About Hangovers—And How to Cure Them A sip from Adam Rogers’ fast-upcoming book, Proof: The Science of Booze.

Disrupting Laundry. On Silicon Valley’s laundry-app race The next new new thing in Silicon Valley. When are they going to clean that place up?

Two particularly devastating critiques of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: On the Origin of White Power | The Primate Diaries, Scientific American Blog Network, by Eric Johnson, and Nicholas Wade and race: building a scientific façade, by Jennifer Raff.

The best investment of the 20th century? Red wine. Damn. These things always seem so obvious after the fact.

Cinematographer Gordon WIllis passed away. Here’s some of his work.

In other filmmaking triumphs, A slug uses a running wheel

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