Growth hormone injections also gave patients Alzheimer's

Am I at risk for Alzheimer's? Know the early signs. | Alzheimer's research  at The Jackson Laboratory

From GWAS: "The first reports of deaths in patients who received the human growth hormone surfaced in 1985 both in the USA and UK. Post-mortem examinations revealed that all the deaths were due to a prion disease called Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which led the government to shut down the program. But by then, more than 30,000 children were already dosed, who would later become the subjects of what might be the longest natural history study in medical history, running for more than 40 years. One major revelation was the discovery of amyloid beta protein aggregates in the grey matter resembling Alzheimer’s, which led scientists to speculate that Alzheimer’s disease could be transmitted from one human to another via infectious proteins."

A nursing student's murder sends a wave of fear through Athens, Georgia

From The Atlantic: "Laken Riley, a junior at the University of Georgia, went out for her morning jog in Athens. Riley was an avid runner, well known in the local running community, and had recently competed in the annual AthHalf, one of Athens’s beloved institutions. She took her regular route around Lake Herrick, an on-campus trail near the campus’s Intramural Fields. When she failed to return home, her roommate, a fellow runner and Riley’s best friend, called the police. Within the next hour, they found Riley’s lifeless body in a wooded area just off the trail. Her skull had been crushed.I know exactly where Riley was killed, because I also live in Athens, and I’m also a runner. Riley’s murder, the first homicide on campus in more than 30 years, sent a wave of terror through Athens, but it hit the running community particularly hard."

She claimed to be a native American – was she lying or was it an honest mistake?

Professor Apologizes for Falsely Identifying as Native American

From The New Yorker: "Elizabeth Hoover was told growing up that her great-grandmother had been a Mohawk Indian. The girls were also told that they were Mi’kmaq on their father’s side. By the time Hoover was a teen-ager, she had taken on a Mi’kmaq name, Gomdineôeôeu Ôsaog, which she translates as Mountain Flower. Hoover went to Brown to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology, and by her early forties, had become one of the most successful Native American academics in the country. Then in October of 2022 Hoover published a statement on her Web site: “As a result of recent questions about my identity, I, along with others, conducted genealogical research to verify the tribal descent that my family raised me with, digging through online databases, archival records, and census data.” These searches, she explained, had turned up no evidence of Native American lineage."

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A vision of the apocalypse came true for the Xhosa people but in a different way

Southern Africa : Domestic Activities : four Xhosa men - UWDC - UW-Madison  Libraries

From Medium: "In 1886, a teenage girl from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa named Nongqawuse started receiving visions from spirits who told her the Xhosa ancestors were returning and that in preparation for this event all cattle had to be killed and all cornfields destroyed. When the veracity of Nongqawuse’s visions was confirmed by Xhosa spiritual leaders, her call to action was quickly adopted and executed en masse. Known as the Xhosa Cattle-Killing, an estimated 400,000 cows were put to death between 1856 and 1858. When the apocalypse didn’t arrive, a massive famine ensued which decimated the Xhosa population and killed according to estimates 40,000 people. The famine soon afterward brought about the eventual subjugation of the Xhosa by the British."

A murder-for-hire ring led to hundreds of deaths in Philadelphia's Italian community in the 1930s

Visit South Philadelphia: 2024 South Philadelphia, Philadelphia Travel  Guide | Expedia

From Now I Know: "Meyer was supposed to steal a car and run over Alfonsi, but the authorities came up with a better idea — they asked Meyer to convince Petrillo to buy a car instead, knowing he’d use counterfeit money to do so. Petrillo agreed, but when he went to buy the car, the undercover detectives asked about the plot to kill Alfonsi. Petrillo stated that the plan was off — Alfonsi had already been taken care of. The authorities were suspicious, and an autopsy proved that suspicion well-founded. It showed highly elevated levels of arsenic. But what made Alfonsi’s death try unusual was that it wasn’t unique; throughout the 1930s, men in Philadelphia’s Italian community had been dying from similar causes at alarming rates, with at least 30 and as many as 100 other such deaths. Investigators got back to work, and what they uncovered was a murder-for-profit scheme."

The Crash at Crush was one of the worst publicity stunts in modern history

New book tells the story of the catastrophic 'Crash at Crush'

From Waco History: "The Crash at Crush took place in Texas, featuring two locomotives of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company intentionally set on a head-on collision course on Sept. 15, 1896. The event drew more than 40,000 spectators. Katy Passenger Agent William George Crush proposed the spectacle as a way to sell $2 per round-trip ticket from anywhere in the state. A four-mile track was laid for the collision run, and a carnival midway sprang up, with medicine shows, game booths and cigar stands for the spectators. The two engines backed up the low hills to their starting points, and than as they started their run, the two train crews abandoned their posts and jumped from the trains. At impact, both boilers exploded simultaneously and the air was filled with flying metal missiles varying in size from a postage stamp to half of a steering wheel. Two people died and at least six other people were seriously injured."

In a cave in Mexico there are crystals that are 35 feet long and weigh 55 tons

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, Jodi Ettenberg's Curious About Everything, 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.