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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

Gut-Wrenching Science

Report from pepper-eating contest in Nagaland, India, home of world’s hottest chillies. Here’s what happens to a man who eats five: “Zozam rolls onto his back, arms splayed and palms up. He’s making sounds that are hard to transcribe. Mostly vowels. After a minute he rolls back onto his side and raises his head to retch. A doctor prepares a hypodermic of dicyclomine”. The winner eats 14, and doesn’t feel too well either (2,517 words)

Chemistry Of Kibble

How do you get dogs and cats to eat dry petfood? Much as you get humans to eat Cheerios. Coat cheap pellets with chemical flavours. Cats love pyrophosphates: “Most of the difference between Tuna Treat and Poultry Platter is in the name and the picture on the label”. Dogs are trickier. What smells good to them doesn’t usually smell good to humans

Life In A Box

Interview with Russian cosmonauts about stresses of spending months together in space. “Irrational antagonism” inevitable. Can be externalised as anger, internalised as depression

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