Museum Fire: A fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro burned for more than five hours over the weekend, destroying many irreplaceable artifacts and leaving only a shell of the 200-year-old building. Here are photos of the fire and its aftermath, and here’s what was lost.
James Hamblin talks to Mikhaila Peterson, whose diet allows no food or seasonings other than beef, water, and salt:
Apart from having to exist in a world where the possibility of pepper exposure looms, the only other social downside she notices is that she hates asking people to accommodate her diet. So she will usually eat before she goes to a dinner party, she told me, “but then I’ll go drink and enjoy the party.”
“Drink, as in, water?”
“I can also, strangely enough, tolerate vodka and bourbon.”
The idea that alcohol, one of the most well-documented toxic substances, is among the few things that Peterson’s body will tolerate may be illuminating. It implies that when it comes to dieting, the inherent properties of the substances ingested can be less important than the eater’s conceptualizations of them—as either tolerable or intolerable, good or bad. What’s actually therapeutic may be the act of elimination itself.
Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares today’s top stories:
A century ago, the United States had a public-transportation system that was the envy of the world. Today, outside a few major urban centers, it’s barely on life support. Why did America give up on mass transit?
In the last year of his life, Senator John McCain worked to revitalize a long-abandoned riverfront project in central Arizona. Here’s why the project was an unlikely choice for a legacy.
Many addresses on Chicago’s North Side are reflected in vastly different neighborhoods on the South Side. The photographer Tonika Johnson’s project, “Folded Map,” pairs residents with their counterparts across town to explore the divisions in their city.