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The Crockpot: A Weekly Digest 07.14.11

silica-crockpotYou know those packets of silica gel found in boxes of new shoes and beef jerky that you’re not supposed to eat? One writer set out to discover what happens if you actually do eat them and ended at a surprising answer.

Choose your drugs wisely, counsels Sam Harris.

Getting his PhD in literature was a terrible mistake until Richard Russo realized it was turning him into a creative writer (and, as it turned out, a Pulitzer Prize–winner).

Character is supposed to be destiny, says Adam Kirsch, but as the 10-year mark approaches, post-9/11 fiction writers contend with a narrative arc that renders both meaningless.

Stephen Colbert jumps into the fracking fracas.

White Jewish guy stars in African movie. (laughter)

Tricycle magazine offers a list of books that brought people to Buddhism. 

Boston Review weighs in on the European backlash against multiculturalism.

A little hometown pride: Women bikers thrive in Minneapolis.

This horoscope reveals just how evil you are.

Are book recommendations too personal, or not personal enough?

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is a stunning children’s book for iPad created by a former Pixar employee.

When new gadgets come out, older technologies become obsolete, right? Not dial-up Internet, ham radio, or telegrams—they’re still around and thriving.

Social critic Barbara Ehrenreich imagines the robot wars of the future at TomDispatch.

Image by Bradmcmahon, licensed under Creative Commons.