From Scott Sayare at New York magazine: "The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 mandated that “all Government records related to the assassination” be provided to the National Archives and made available to the public. Among the first visitors to the JFK Assassination Records Collection was Jefferson Morley, then a 34-year-old editor from the Washington Post. Morley had made a name for himself in magazines in the 1980s. He helped break the Iran-Contra scandal for The New Republic. “If you use what we’ve learned since the ’90s to evaluate the government’s case,” he told me, “the case disintegrates.” Morley, the author of three books on the CIA, has made a name for himself among assassination researchers by attempting to approach Kennedy’s murder as if it were any other subject."
It’s time to recognize Sally Hemings as the First Lady of the United States
From Evelia Jones for the LA Times: "It is now widely understood that my ancestor Sally Hemings, an enslaved black woman, was the intimate companion of Thomas Jefferson for nearly four decades. Monticello, the Virginia plantation operated as a museum by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, acknowledged as much with a new exhibit of Hemings’ living quarters. The exhibit presents as fact that Hemings gave birth to at least six of Jefferson’s children. Mainstream historians and the White House have long designated Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson as our country’s third first lady. But Martha died in 1782, nearly two decades before Jefferson became president. Hemings was with Jefferson from the late 1780s until his death in 1826."
Music fans have spent years trying to track down a mysterious pop song
From Miles Klee at Rolling Stone: "Before the days of apps like Shazam, trying to identify an unfamiliar song was a team effort. WatZatSong, a social network dating back to 2006 facilitated that process on a global scale. Some mysteries were swiftly solved; others were tougher to crack. But it wasn’t until 2021 that WatZatSong received what would become its most infamous and enduring submission. The file is labeled “Pop – English,” and “Mid 80s, Bad quality." The grainy recording, just 17 seconds long, captures what sounds like the catchy hook to an upbeat 1980s New Wave tune. As the months passed without an identification, a cultish fascination began to take hold. Two years later, it’s the most-commented thread in WatZatSong history."
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Can a human being run as fast as a horse?
From Joe Holder for GQ: "“Do you think I could beat a horse in a race?” It sounded like a joke whenever I asked. Almost everyone I talked to would laugh or do a double take. So when I stumbled upon Man Against Horse, I knew I had to do it. It’s a race that has been going on since 1983 in Prescott, Arizona, in which runners try to beat horses (and their riders) over routes of 25 or 50 miles of strenuous trail through the tall pine trees on Mingus Mountain. Legend has it that the event was originally based upon a bar bet. It’s a funny concept for a race, but there’s also a deeper idea here. Many runners—and plenty of other people—have heard of the concept that humans were “born to run.”
In 1952, a group of three stars vanished and astronomers still can't find them
From Brian Koberlein for Phys.org: "On July 19, 1952, Palomar Observatory was undertaking a photographic survey of the night sky. Part of the project was to take multiple images of the same region of sky, to help identify things such as asteroids. At around 8:52 that evening a photographic plate captured the light of three stars clustered together. At a magnitude of 15, they were reasonably bright in the image. At 9:45 pm the same region of sky was captured again, but this time the three stars were nowhere to be seen. In less than an hour they had completely vanished. Stars don't just vanish. They can explode, or experience a brief period of brightness, but they don't vanish."
What we can learn from reading Julia Child's kitchen notes
From Jillian Hess: "Julia immersed herself in the Parisian culinary scene. This is how she met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who would become Julia’s co-authors for Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the early 1950s, they were struggling to write a French cookbook for an American audience. They didn’t understand American culture. They needed an American co-author. On her trips back to the US, Julia would investigate American supermarkets. She learned that American flour was different from French, and that French chickens were smaller. Beck and Child tested their recipes numerous times until the measurements were perfect. They had beta-testers do the same in the US. Most cookbooks, Julia learned, were not nearly as precise as they should be."