The History of Alchemy

Lawrence Principe of Johns Hopkins University wants to rehabilitate alchemy. He believes that most alchemists were respectable knowledge seekers working with well constructed theories.

If today we associate "alchemist" with "charlatan", it is because history has given the study of alchemy a bad rap: "The most famous alchemical pursuit, chrysopoeia (the transmutation of base metals into gold), was viewed with a mixture of greed and terror by the political authorities of the time. Such knowledge might bring enormous wealth to those who had it, but it had the ability to destroy the currency. Many countries passed laws forbidding the transmutation of metals, even as their kings secretly patronised alchemy hoping to gain an advantage over other monarchs."

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

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Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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