Like sex, science sells, and craft brewers have used it to give their concoctions a sense of handmade authenticity, as Adam Rogers writes in his new book, Proof: The Science of Booze. But are mass-market beverages made with any less care?

|| Nick Nolte as Lionel Dobie in 1989's New York Stories

At the heart of Siri Hustvedt’s recent novel, The Blazing World, is a work of art conjured up for the story itself. Would the Man Booker-shortlisted book have been as successful if this fictitious exhibition didn’t seem real enough for our own world?

Fun is many things: youthful rebellion, civic duty, blue wig. And thanks to its hazy definition, fun can feel like an obligation you’re failing to meet. John Beckman’s American Fun helps explain why fun has us so perplexed.

|| Illustration by Lola Landekic

From the ongoing series Tabloid Fiction—in which an author chooses from the trashiest, most lurid, or just bizarre stories of the moment and writes a short story inspired by same. The following is a work of fiction.

From the rat’s nest of a Lower East Side studio of Stranger Than Paradise to the … rat’s-nest of a crumbling Detroit mansion of Only Lovers Left Alive, Jarmusch’s work always feels vaguely familiar—and yet, not quite like anything else.

||Guy Debord

Guy Debord, the prime mover behind the Situationist International, died 20 years ago this year. His legacy is more relevant than ever.

Some say its instinctual, the hunger, others cluck their tongues and look the other way. Both parties agree, you can’t trust Tuca with your eggs.

|| 1993's Tour de France via Flickr user ta_do

Dutch writer, competitive cyclist, and chess master Tim Krabbé understands that, to win the Tour de France, you must beat the Devil.

|| Author Shani Mootoo

An interview with the Giller Prize finalist on role models and finding your authentic self. 

Comedy writers—including some of those featured in Mike Sacks’ new Poking a Dead Frog—used to worry that connectedness would kill the sitcom. But if old sitcoms were about the scarcity of information, today’s are about too much.

|| Author David Adams Richards

The author of Crimes Against My Brother speaks with Craig Davidson on the presence of God in his fiction, working class characters, and not condescending to the religious.

Twenty-five years ago, Bo Jackson famously hit a lead-off bomb in the 1989 All-Star Game just before his first Nike commercial aired. This excerpt from Michael Weinreb’s Bigger Than the Game: Bo, Boz, the Punky QB, and How the ’80s Created the Modern Athlete tells the story behind the campaign.

|| Grace Coolidge and Helen Keller

All faces are lies—we adjust them to match the selves we want to present—but the faces of the blind show the difference between what we perceive and what is there.

As the World Cup winds down, the inquest into the Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 football supporters continues in England. Bill Buford reported on the tragedy in his 1990 classic Among the Thugs, excerpted here.

Driving 14,000 desperation-fuelled miles in 1979 gave William Least Heat-Moon the story for the essential American travelogue. Putting that story on the page gave him the best possible version of a life that had been going nowhere.

|| Author Tom Rachman

The author of The Imperfectionists and, now, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers on placelessness, the virtues of disappearing, and terrible ways to think about life.

Leather Space Man’s bloodthirsty single has been outlawed. All that’s left are the minor celebrities (and the dead bodies).

In the 19th century, Spiritualists invoked “Indian guides” at their séances. White mediums rendered these ghosts about as sensitively as one might expect, but their words are more surprising.

|| Image by Julia Dickens

Ebola is nightmare fuel: a biological doomsday device conspiring with our bodies to murder us in uniquely gruesome fashion. It’s also killed fewer than 2,000 people. How has a virus with such a modest body count so fiercely captured the darkest corners of our imagination?

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