Extra Credit: Our pick of stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.
The great crocodile die-off (IFL Science)
by Janet Fang
Imagine a 39-foot-long ocean-dwelling crocodile. That’s just one of the many diverse “crocodyliforms” that once populated the earth. A drop in sea levels and change in ocean chemistry 145 million years ago decimated these species. Which, it turns out, was good news for turtles.
Cult killings and the insanity defense (Pacific Standard)
by Tristan Bronca
If someone participates in a brutal cult murder, that’s pretty insane, right? A study of these kinds of crimes points to questions about how we think about mental illness—and religion.
An age of anxiety (The Atlantic)
by Julie Beck
Long before the Internet Age, Americans fretted about the speed and stress of modern life. In the late nineteenth century, the diagnosis of neurasthenia captured a wide variety of complaints about the industrializing urban world. A historical look shows that the disease could also offer the opportunity for a humblebrag—letting elite white Americans complain that all their intellectual labor and hard work was making them ill.
The prehistoric life (Futurity)
By Todd Bates
What was daily life like for our prehumen ancestors 1.8 million years ago? Researchers have modeled one site in Tanzania, analyzing soil, plants remains, tools, and bones to build a detailed map showing how two hominin species lived.
Daylight savings danger (Vox)
By David Roberts
Did you get through yesterday safely? Studies have found there are more car crashes in the days after daylight savings time takes effect because we’re all going around slightly jet-lagged.
Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.