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What We're Reading | 6.16.13

Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we've read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:Gabe Bullard: I'm a fan of very spicy food. I mean foolishly hot—dishes off the typical spice scale available at most restaurants. It's not a macho thing (would anything I do be considered a macho thing?), it's just something I like. So after I read this Smithsonian Magazine story about people eating superhot peppers in India, I immediately went out for some foolishly hot food. I was very grateful there's no place in Louisville that serves food so hot as to cause this level of bodily distress. Read The Gut-Wrenching Science Behind the World's Hottest Peppers.

Bonus: I guess I have a few things to admit here. I watch Mad Men. I read TV recaps. I recommend other people read TV recaps. Well, at least that's what I'm doing now. But, this isn't an ordinary recap. This is a long, interesting history-minded piece that addresses all the rumors about the Mad Men character Bob Benson. It has a lot of spoilers, so be careful. Read Mad Styles: Favors.Devin Katayama:This week I was recommended by a listener this the story about Ken Ilgunas, the Duke University graduate who spent two years living out of a van to avoid more student loan debt while he earned his master's degree. "Determined to get his degree debt-free and inspired by the frugal philosophy of Henry Thoreau, he lived out of his 1994 Ford Econoline van—fitted out like a dorm-room —on the campus parking lot," writes Rosemarie Lentini for the Daily Mail. Ilgunas wrote the book Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom. His journey is an unusual college experience, minus the terrible meals and small cramped living quarters. Though he did live on campus. Read The Duke University Graduate Student Who Spent Two Years Living in His Van So He Could Avoid More Student Loan Debt.Joseph Lord: The Brooklyn Nets hired as its next coach Jason Kidd, who until, like, a week ago was a player. Some basketball pundits were upset, as they often are. But others have been raising  the question of this Atlantic piece—are NBA coaches that important, anyway? (No.) Read The Economics of Building an NBA Dynasty.Riley Vancelette: Like most tenth grade biology students, I relished in the simplicity in studying the human body. Compared to memorizing cell cycles, identifying specific parts of the body became a high schooler’s song and dance. The leg bone is connected to the hip bone and so on, right? Professor Harminder Dua, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Nottingham, proved to the world that the human body is not that simple. Along with a group of scientists, Dua discovered a never before seen body part—a new layer of the cornea. Named the Dua’s Layer, this newly found part of the eye is a mere 15 microns or 0.015 millimeters. “This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally be rewritten” said Dua, whose find will advance the understanding of certain corneal diseases, including acute hydrops. The study of the Dua’s Layer will also lead to making eye operations safer and simpler for patients.  Read New Layer of Human Eye Discovered.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.