Inside the Salem Witch Trials

“Where will the Devil show most malice but where he is 150907_r26933-320hated, and hateth most?” Cotton Mather wrote.
“Where will the Devil show most malice but where he is hated, and hateth most?” Cotton Mather wrote. Credit Illustration by Thomas Allen; Source: Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum (document)
—In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September; a stark, stunned silence followed. Although we will never know the exact number of those formally charged with having “wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously” engaged in sorcery, somewhere between a hundred and forty-four and a hundred and eighty-five witches and wizards were named in twenty-five villages and towns.

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Texas

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Why Levees Fail: A Brief History

Humans have been building artificial embankments for millennia, but they haven’t yet fully bested nature.

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Chicks Cry

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Charles Day Palmer’s photographs reveal World War II horror

A four-star general’s personal photos of the battlefields of France and Germany from World War II are being published for the first time.

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Oliver Sacks’s Best Essays and Interviews

[THIS IS NOT THE SAME LIST OF ARTICLES AS MY POST YESTERDAY]

Remembering the neurologist in his own words.

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What Is College Worth?

As the supply of college grads expands, many are taking jobs 144113693129203that shouldn’t require a degree.
As the supply of college grads expands, many are taking jobs that shouldn’t require a degree. Credit Illustration by Leo Espinosa
—If there is one thing most Americans have been able to agree on over the years, it is that getting an education, particularly a college education, is a key to human betterment and prosperity. The consensus dates back at least to 1636, when the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established Harvard College as America’s first institution of higher learning. It extended through the establishment of “land-grant colleges” during and after the Civil War, the passage of the G.I. Bill during the Second World War, the expansion of federal funding for higher education during the Great Society era, and President Obama’s efforts to make college more affordable. Already, the cost of higher education has become a big issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign. Three Democratic candidates—Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders—have offered plans to reform the student-loan program and make college more accessible.

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The man who sleeps in Hitler’s bed

Kevin Wheatcroft has quietly amassed the world’s largest collection of Nazi memorabilia. Now he wants to share it with the world. What is behind this dark obsession?

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The Future is Old

MUNICH – The aging of our societies is one of the greatest success stories of the twentieth century. More than three decades have been added to the lives of hundreds of millions of people over the last hundred years. This is an accomplishment well worth celebrating; but we must also bear in mind that with increased longevity come significant long-term economic consequences – and that many societies are aging at a record speed.

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The Silent Music of the Mind: Remembering Oliver Sacks

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photography by ben shahn

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Nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs by 2050

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Vietnam veteran’s forgotten photos unveiled after 47 years

In the images by former artillery officer Christopher Gaynor, helicopters swoop down in high-risk troop deployments, while in others they relax with a ball game in the midst of war.

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Glitches In the Matrix

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This Prehistoric Sea Scorpion Was the Size of a Person

Want to know what 467-million-year-old sea scorpion hair looks like? Today’s your lucky day.

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10 Awkward Celebrity Prom Photos

Ohhh, high school prom: the gowns, the slow dances, the awkward photos. In honor of prom season, here are ten of your favorite celebrities on their big nights.

Michelle Obama
MichelleObama

“Yeah, I brought the First Lady to prom.” –This guy’s pickup line for the rest of his life.

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Shock Therapy is Saving Endangered California Condors

North America’s largest bird is on the verge of extinction, and scientists are using shock
shutterstock_102677801therapy to give them a fighting chance.
—The California condor’s wings stretch nearly 10 feet across to help them glide atop air currents while they search for a meal to scavenge. Power lines are a formidable foe for these birds because their large size makes it easier for them to be electrocuted.
—Now, with fewer than 500 California condors remaining, researchers are administering gentle shocks to teach the birds to avoid these dangerous obstacles.
A Big Bird Problem

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Police shootings: Distraught people, deadly results

Officers often lack the training to approach the mentally unstable, experts say.

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Why We Hate Cheap Things

Chapter 1: capitalism: ConsumptionWhy We Hate Cheap ThingsWe don’t PM-100314-bathAthink we hate cheap things – but we frequently behave as if we rather do. Consider the pineapple. Columbus was the first European to be delighted by the physical grandeur and vibrant sweetness of the pineapple – which is a native of South America but had reached the Caribbean by the time he arrived there. The first meeting between Europeans and pineapples took place in November 1493, in a Carib village on the island of Guadaloupe. Columbus’s crew spotted the fruit next to a pot of stewing human limbs. The outside reminded them of a pine cone, the interior pulp of an apple. But pineapples proved extremely difficult to transport and very costly to cultivate. For a long time only royalty could actually afford to eat them: Russia’s Catherine the Great was a huge fan as was Charles II of England. A single fruit in the 17th century sold for today’s equivalent of GBP 5000. The pineapple was such a status symbol that, if they could get hold of one, people would keep it for display until it fell apart. In the mid-eighteenth century, at the height of the pineapple craze, whole aristocratic evenings were structured around the ritual display of these fruits. Poems were written in their honour. Savouring a tiny sliver could be the high point of a year.

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The Tree of Life may be more like a bush

Researchers at Uppsala University have found that evolution 150818153509_1_540x360is more complex than this model would have it, and that the tree is actually more akin to a bush.
Credit: © Yury Zap / Fotolia
—New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a ‘tree of life’, where every branch constitutes a species. Now, researchers at Uppsala University have found that evolution is more complex than this model would have it, and that the tree is actually more akin to a bush.

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Study Suggests a Serious Benefit to Being Around Happy People | Mental Floss

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Globe photos of the month, August 2015 – The Boston Globe

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month including sand art in East Boston, kayaking in Vermont, debating the Lawrence Trust Act, and Willie Nelson performing in Boston.

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Why Do People Support Charities?

In a recent story for The Atlantic, Derek Thompson explores the Charities-1050x699intriguing concept of effective altruism. Essentially, the idea is that supporting good causes isn’t just a matter of the heart. Instead, we ought to rationally evaluate how we can do the most good in the world. That might mean that, instead of volunteering at a soup kitchen, you’d be better off taking a high-paying Wall Street job and donating half your earnings to pay for deworming tablets and malaria nets in the developing world.
—In a 1996 paper for Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, S. Wojciech Sokolowski explores the reasons people give to charity. There are two basic theories here, Sokolowski writes, and they’re not mutually exclusive. One says that people are motivated by our personal attitudes and values. The other says we do things because of social forces—our ties to, and interactions with, other people.

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What Is College Worth?

As the supply of college grads expands, many are taking jobs that shouldn’t require a degree. Credit Illustration by Leo Espinosa
—If there is one thing most Americans have been able to agree on over the years, 150907_r26931-320it is that getting an education, particularly a college education, is a key to human betterment and prosperity. The consensus dates back at least to 1636, when the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established Harvard College as America’s first institution of higher learning. It extended through the establishment of “land-grant colleges” during and after the Civil War, the passage of the G.I. Bill during the Second World War, the expansion of federal funding for higher education during the Great Society era, and President Obama’s efforts to make college more affordable. Already, the cost of higher education has become a big issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign. Three Democratic candidates—Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders—have offered plans to reform the student-loan program and make college more accessible.

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Strange Facts That Are True (30 pics)

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If They Can Clone a Mammoth, What’s Next?

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It could be a scene right out of the movie Jurassic Park, three countries creating a team of scientists to find a viable frozen woolly mammoth cell in the

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Doctors should be allowed to help the suffering and terminally ill to die when they choose

IT IS easy to forget that adultery was a crime in Spain until 1978; or that in 20150627_LDP001_0America, where gay marriage is allowed by 37 states and may soon be extended to all others by the Supreme Court, the last anti-sodomy law was struck down only in 2003. Yet, although most Western governments no longer try to dictate how consenting adults have sex, the state still stands in the way of their choices about death. An increasing number of people—and this newspaper—believe that is wrong.
—The argument is over the right to die with a doctor’s help at the time and in the manner of your own choosing. As yet only a handful of European countries, Colombia and five American states allow some form of doctor-assisted dying. But draft bills, ballot initiatives and court cases are progressing in 20 more states and several other countries (see article). In Canada the Supreme Court recently struck down a ban on helping patients to die; its ruling will take effect next year. In the coming months bills will go before parliaments in Britain and Germany.

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Nell Dorr, Mother and child, 1940 (33a.1982) Nell Dorr was immersed in the field of photography from a young age by her father Jon Jacob Becker, who ran a large portrait studio in Cleveland. It was not until 1923, when she moved to Florida with her husband and three daughters that Nell Dorr founded her own studio. She focused on her personal work and had a strong interest in photo murals, which she presented in a one-person show at Merle Sterner Gallery in New York in 1932. In New York, where she had moved

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7 Must-Reads on Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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3 kids near death after being found in packed truck.

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Perpetual Ed – Aeon Video

Steeped in negativism, a cynical musician with a terminal cancer diagnosis can’t avoid the small joys of friends, love and music

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Gas Works Park in Seattle

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Replacing Pesticides With Genetics

Scientists have genetically modified thousands of diamondback moths, infusing the farm pests with DNA designed to kill female larvae.

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GOODSTUFFs CYBER WORLD: CONCEPT Bad to the Bone

CONCEPT Bad to the BoneThis huge blog is all about exploring the concept of “Bad to the Bone” – lots of bad ass animations have been included. Therefore it might take a few moments to load…

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You can do it, baby!

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Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous

Twelve-year-old Gwenyth has dark brown eyes and a fierce desire to change people’s negative perception of sharks. She attends West Oaks French Immersion school in Ontario, where she and about a dozen other kids who test as gifted, spend three days every other month exploring topics outside their usual curriculum. Most recently, they studied forensics, searching for clues, avoiding red herrings, and learning how scientists test for DNA evidence.
—But it’s sharks that fascinate her. She’s determined to be a marine biologist some day and has given considerable thought to what she’ll need to achieve this. Her teacher, Mrs Ensing, who is optimistic about Gwenyth’s prospects, routinely tells her elite group that they can be anything they want to be.

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The Politics of the Curation Craze

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The Politics of the Curation CrazeAmid flat wages and dwindling public services, curation gives us the aura of control.

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 The Retro Beauty Of Old Cinemas (23 Pics)

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Harvesting Bones at Waterloo

The 18th of June 2015 marks the two hundredth burying-casualties-lanniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, which ended the career of Napoleon Bonaparte and brought relative peace to Europe for nearly a hundred years. But the human cost in the short campaign was very severe, with it is estimated over 20,000 dead and over 15,000 horses having to be destroyed as well. Carnage on such a vast scale caused huge problems and whilst the horses were burnt in huge pyres, the bodies of the soldiers were buried in mass graves, so shallow that visitors to the battlefield reported on the sponginess of the soil and that occasionally hands or feet were still visible above the soil!Even before they were buried, all the bodies were stripped of any valuables and clothing, making it impossible to identify friend from foe, all shared the same fate. But during the first days after the battle, other visitors arrived to remove other less obvious valuables from the corpses awaiting burial: their teeth! With the introduction of sugar into Europe and with poor understanding of the need to clean teeth, tooth decay was rife, with most over the age of thirty requiring numerous tooth extractions and therefore dentures to hide the damage. Teeth had regularly been supplied by the body snatchers, but these teeth were often already in a poor state when removed from the corpses.

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A Liar Standing Next to a Hole in the Ground

That’s how Mark Twain defined a gold miner. But when our writer heard head-spinning treasure tales from a legendary prospector named Flint Carter, he organized a full-scale expedition into the mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Following a hand-drawn map, the team lit out for the harsh Sonoran Desert hopped up on gold fever in search of the fabled Lost City.

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Actor’s Fatal Fall Underscores Dangers of Fire Escapes, a Refuge for Many in the City

In a city of people starved for space, light and air, the metal structures double as storage closets, front porches and back gardens, a perch of one’s own above the bustle of the street.

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Anthony Smallwood – Coping Mechanism skateboarding in the empty pools of Washington

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How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

Thicker ink, fewer smudges, and more strained hands: an Object Lesson
Nayu Kim / Flickr
—Recently, Bic launched acampaign to “save handwriting.” Named lead_960“Fight for Your Write,” it includes a pledge to “encourage the act of handwriting” in the pledge-taker’s home and community, and emphasizes putting more of the company’s ballpoints into classrooms.
—As a teacher, I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could think there’s a shortage. I find ballpoint pens all over the place: on classroom floors, behind desks. Dozens of castaways collect in cups on every teacher’s desk. They’re so ubiquitous that the word “ballpoint” is rarely used; they’re just “pens.” But despite its popularity, the ballpoint pen is relatively new in the history of handwriting, and its influence on popular handwriting is more complicated than the Bic campaign would imply.

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Ties that bind

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