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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
October 27, 2018

In case you wanted something to keep you up at night.

There are two immutable facts that I did not expect to collide as we put together this week's redux of our serious investigation into the unexplainable. 

  1. The week before Halloween always has me rushing to pack in as many scary stories, films and games as I can before we roll over into the far less interesting Thanksgiving season. 
  2. At To The Best Of Our Knowledge, there's always a perfect interview that for some inexplicable reason has yet to be heard. 

In this case, there were two perfect spooky interviews—two Bookmarks to be precise, book recommendations from horror authors Gemma Files and Joe Hill. If you're looking for a seemingly straightforward horror story setup —but with a twist— Hill's recommendations are for you. If you want a story set against the backdrop of underground body modification and performance art in the 1990s, Files has something a bit different to offer. You can be transported to either a chilling landmark in the deep dark of a state forest, or a "rust-soaked garbage world." 

And if you really want to be scared, you can listen to Steve talk about math. Just kidding, it's actually an incredible conversation about a real mind melter: the nature of reality itself.


Read more »

Joe Hill Recommends "Disappearance at Devil's Rock"

"Disappearance at Devil's Rock" by Paul Tremblay
The horror and fantasy novelist recommends a chilling pair of ghost stories from Paul Tremblay that flip genre conventions on their head.
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What Do You Do With The Family Ghost Stories? An Investigation Into The Paranormal

Steve Paulson's family has lots of stories of the paranormal, but Steve is the family skeptic. So he did his own investigation, talking with skeptic Michael Shermer, religion scholars Tanya Luhrmann and Jeff Kripal, channeler Paul Selig, and his Aunt Marge Bradley.
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The Mystery of Our Mathematical Universe

Math of the universe
On October 10, Steve spoke with physicist S. James Gates, Jr. and science writer Margaret Wertheim about the universal language of the universe: math. Can we see the hidden order of the natural world by studying the equations that govern it? And can we see true beauty in numbers?
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Gemma Files Recommends “Skin”

"Skin" by Kathe Koja
Citing the book's enormous influence on her own work, novelist Gemma Files recommends Kathe Koja’s horror story set against the backdrop of 1990s counterculture scenes of art, body modification and underground music.
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The Mysteries Encoded In The Secret History of Twin Peaks

striped floor
In collaboration with David Lynch, Mark Frost co-created one of the most enduring fictional universes of all time — Twin Peaks. Bookending the series' return to TV in 2017 after 25 years, Frost has written two innovative novels that take a deep dive into the history of the surreal logging town.
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Temporary And Part-Time: The Rise Of A New Precarious Workforce

Guy under stress
According to one estimate there may be as many as 50 million workers in the on demand economy, and they're not all Uber drivers or freelancers. Economist Guy Standing has a word for this new and very insecure economic class: "the precariat."
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Changing Our Conversation About Race Using Genetic Testing

Students testing their DNA
What's it like to discover that your own genetic ancestry is both black and white? At West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Anita Foeman leads the DNA Discussion Project, where students use DNA testing to learn about their mixed bloodlines.
Read more »
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