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One bad hoax deserves another

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All this talk about the upcoming photos of baby Suri Cruise has gotten me thinking about Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, or as you know him, L. Ron. Plenty has been said about his opinions on aliens, volcanoes, and disembodied spirits, but his scientific interests didn't stop with astronomy, vulcanology, and, er, thetanology.

For instance: he was an amateur paleontologist! In his book Scientology: A History of Man, Hubbard wrote about a toothy human ancestor who was "quite careless as to whom and what he bit." For perhaps the only time in his life, he could cite real scientific evidence: fragments of a humanoid skull and a powerful jaw that had been dug up in England and christened Eoanthropus dawsoni in 1912, four decades before his book was published in 1952.

Alas, just twelve months after Hubbard's book was published, scientists announced that Eoanthropus dawsoni was a fake, planted by some unknown trickster. The "fossil" -- a patchwork of a medieval human skull, a 500-year-old orangutan jaw, and some fossil teeth from a chimp, all stained with chromic acid and iron to look older -- came to be known as Piltdown Man and ceased to be taught in biology classes.

Or did it? The plastic skeleton pictured at the top of IMG_0921.jpgthis post is one of my prized possessions, a teaching tool with an accompanying pamphlet quoting the 1958 World Book. On the side of the box-top is a parade of skulls from Neanderthal to modern man, in order of age -- and smack in the middle, there's Piltdown, rearing his big fake head. The lineage doesn't begin with clams like L. Ron thought it did, but I still think he'd totally approve.

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Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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