From Tom Scocca for New York magazine: "I’ve told the story over and over, to various doctors, till it almost sounds like a coherent narrative. The story, I told them, happened in two parts. In the spring and summer, part one, I chased the swelling and numbness and other symptoms — stiff fingers, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest — in slow motion from doctor to doctor. One symptom would fade and a new one would assert itself. A wheeze or cough would interrupt my talking. On the mile-long walk back from school with my younger son, the route we’d been taking for two years, I lagged behind, guiltily asking him to slow down. I started buying five-pound bags of rice from H Mart instead of ten-pound ones. Then I just started getting rice delivered."
Volunteers are trying to save the crumbling remnants of the Mason-Dixon Line
From Ashley Stimpson for Popular Mechanics: "Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon spent four grueling years clambering up mountains, cursing under their breath, wondering if what they had set out to do was even possible. No one in North America had ever traced a line of latitude as it curled around the earth, but the border feud between Pennsylvania and Maryland had gone on so long and gotten so bloody, there was nothing left to do but try. So they followed the stars, marking each hard-earned mile with a 500-pound limestone monument quarried and carved in England. Incredibly, they were successful. The 233-mile line they drew was often accurate to within 100 feet. It was, one historian said, the 18th-century equivalent of putting a man on the moon."
My life as a Jillposter, a radical feminist group in Melbourne in the 1980s
From Carol Wilson for The Conversation: "Jillposters was a self-funded radical feminist poster group active in Melbourne from 1983 until 1988. I was a founding member. We had no government funding, no management committee, no governing structure and no workshop. The group lasted just five years. Yet we produced an amazing range of posters and postcards, most of which are held in Australia’s national collection. Jillposters got off to a flying start in February 1983 when a group of friends met at the University of Melbourne student union to discuss forming a political poster group. We each contributed the grand sum of A$10 to get things started and to open a bank account."
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He made $100 million after the Crash of 1929, but lost it all and died penniless
From Wikipedia: "Jesse Livermore is considered a pioneer of modern stock trading, and at one time was one of the richest people in the world, but when he died by suicide in 1940 his debts vastly outweighed his assets. At a time when financial statements were rarely published and market manipulation was rampant, Livermore used what is now known as technical analysis as the basis for his trades. His principles, including the effects of emotion, continue to be studied. Some of Livermore's trades, such as taking short positions (that is, betting stock prices would fall) before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the Crash of 1929, are legendary within investing circles but others see his legacy as a cautionary tale about the risks of leverage to seek large gains."
You can have this three-storey Dubai penthouse for $165M
From Rupert Neate for The Guardian: "A three-storey Dubai penthouse, complete with its own cryogenic and hay relaxation rooms, has gone on sale for nearly $165 million. It's located on the Palm Jumeirah, the emirate’s group of artificial islands shaped like a palm frond, and is claimed by its developer to be the largest penthouse in Dubai at 77,707 sq ft. The property occupies the top three floors of Raffles The Palm Dubai Residences, a development of serviced apartments that promotes itself as “a place so removed from the everyday that every day feels like you’re living in a dream.” It comes with ten parking spots, a cigar lounge, a mini-golf course and a private basketball court."
The strange story of Copernicus's grave
From Darius von Guttner Sporzynski for The Conversation: "Nicholas Copernicus was the astronomer who, five centuries ago, explained that Earth revolves around the Sun, rather than vice versa. A Renaissance man, he also practised as a mathematician, engineer, author, economic theorist and medical doctor. Upon his death in 1543 in Poland, Copernicus was buried in the local cathedral. Over the subsequent centuries, the location of his grave was lost to history. There were several unsuccessful attempts to locate Copernicus’s remains, dating as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. Another failed attempt was made by the French emperor Napoleon after the 1807 Battle of Eylau."
Brains are made to keep you alive, not to make you happy
Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as "serendipty engines," such as The Morning News from Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack, Dan Lewis's Now I Know, Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton's The Browser, Clive Thompson's Linkfest, Noah Brier and Colin Nagy's Why Is This Interesting, Maria Popova's The Marginalian, Sheehan Quirke AKA The Cultural Tutor, the Smithsonian magazine, and JSTOR Daily. If you come across something interesting that you think should be included here, please feel free to email me.