gallifreyan99 writes: When the LAPD released an odd CCTV video of a young, missing girl behaving very strangely in an elevator, the internet went wild—exploring every reasonable and unreasonable theory about what happened to her. Even now, when the case appears to have been solved, it's still one of the most persistent mysteries online it's even apparently the inspiration for the new season of American Horror Story.
Why does it send us so crazy? Everything we know about her case—the evidence, the wild speculation, the amateur sleuthing, the silence of the police—tells us something important about how mysteries blow up online and the way we think.
gallifreyan99 writes: Google Express, Postmates, and an entire generation of instant delivery services promised workers they could pick up jobs whenever they want. But in reality many of them are being messed around in byzantine ways.
gallifreyan99 writes: Fascinating story about a forensic expert from New Zealand who had used plant material to solve cases all over the world—but had to pull out every trick in the book to track down a murderer in his own back yard.
gallifreyan99 writes: Like every foreigner who flies into the US (and an increasing number of Americans, too) Tor Project contributor Runa Sandvik is tracked by Homeland Security with a series of photos taken at the border. When she filed an FOIA request to get hold of those images, what emerged was a weird, Big Brotherish take on time lapse photography.
gallifreyan99 writes: When the shuttle program was ended, and manned space exploration was put on hold, the people of Titusville, Florida were left in big trouble.
"Just 20 miles northwest of Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it used to have a proud nickname: Space City USA. The dizzying boom of the 1950s and ‘60s helped create myriad jobs by giving work to nearby aerospace companies. Unfortunately, the past 15 years have seen everything dry up By December 2010, Titusville had one of the America’s highest unemployment rates, 13.8 percent."
superboj writes: "From everything I can find, Mars One doesn’t appear to be in any way qualified to carry off the biggest, most complex, most audacious, and most dangerous exploration mission in all of human history. They don’t have the money to do it. 200,000 people didn’t actually apply. I wouldn’t classify it exactly as a scam—but it seems to be, at best, an amazingly hubristic fantasy."
gallifreyan99 writes: Jason Leopold, the crusading journalist who's broken stories about the CIA, Guantánamo, and the NSA, is probably the world's foremost user of Freedom of Information laws: he's scored countless scoops by getting the US government to spill its own secrets. But this profile of Leopold explains not only how he uses FOIA, but why. Turns out, it's part of an attempt to atone for his past mistakes.
gallifreyan99 writes: Morgellons is a disease that has risen in prominence in the last decade, as thousands of people report the same symptoms: itching, burning fibers that burrow into the skin and make life miserable for those who suffer from it. There's only one problem with the condition: It doesn't exist.
blastboy writes: The symptoms of Morgellons sound terrifying—burning, biting, scratching fibers found in the skin that leave victims frantic, wild and depressed. Is it an infection? Allergies? Alien parasites? In fact, say doctors, it doesn't exist at all.
superboj writes: Everyone wants a piece of Egypt's most famous pharaoh, including the media, the Muslim Brotherhood and even the Mormon church. But while scientists have been trying to excavate his DNA and prove who he was—Egypt's turbulent politics have been making progress hard. Will experts be able to make a major discovery? And what happens if they do?
gallifreyan99 writes: Scientists have spent decades trying to understand and fix social problems like violence and alcoholism, usually focusing on the poor and disadvantaged. But now a small band of researchers is claiming that biology plays a vitally important role—because trauma can change you at a genetic level that gets passed on to kids, grandkids, and perhaps even beyond. Astonishing story.
blastboy writes: “It’s just a tool.” I'd heard this many times before. It contains a modicum of truth, but buries technology’s impacts on our lives, which are never neutral. Often, I asked the person who said it if they thought nuclear weapons were “just a tool.” Humans have always fought, but few would say it doesn’t matter if we fight with sticks, knives, guns, or nuclear weapons." Great essay on Snowden, technology and the problem with how we think of surveillance.