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Ian Chant

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    The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

    Human skin books are the rare artifacts that prove that the practice of making leather goods from human skin is more than just a ghoulish legend.Photograph by voodoo willy In 1868, on a hot, midsummer day, 28-year-old Mary Lynch was admitted to the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital, the city hospital for the poor, better known […]

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    The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

    In 1868, on a hot, midsummer day, 28-year-old Mary Lynch was admitted to the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital, the city hospital for the poor, better known as “Old Blockley.” Lynch had tuberculosis, which was soon to be compounded by the parasitic infection trichinosis. She didn’t recover, dying in Ward 27 the following year, weighing just […]

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    Cosmic Void Dwarfs Are a Thing and There’s a Problem With Them

    Given how absurdly vast the cosmos is, with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, picturing it isn’t easy. You might think it natural, for instance, to see all these galaxies as more or less evenly spread out across the Universe. But you’d be wrong. Following the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, says Robert Kirshner, […]

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    6 Places Where Earth Has Gone Color Crazy

    The Grand Prismatic Lake in Yellowstone National Park is rightfully famous for the beautiful colors produced by its unique chemistry. But there are also other places where chemistry and geology combine to create vivid natural colors, in hot springs, rock formations, and even normally monochrome glaciers. Chinoike Jigoku, or Bloody Hell Pond, is one of […]

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    Watching the Birth of a New Breed: the Werewolf Cat

    A Lykoi kitten next to its normal-coated brother, who carries just one version of the Lykoi gene. It’s no accident that Lykois are bred with black cats. “If they have black as their base coats, they really have that werewolf look. Other base coats don’t look quite as striking,” he says. “An orange Lykoi cat […]