“Julien’s Actions is pop-culture auction house holds the record for selling the most expensive items. According to one scholar, the psychological principle driving buyers is the idea of contagion, sometimes summarized as ‘once in contact, always in contact.’ On some level, we are convinced that a person’s essence passes into the objects they handle.”

The article considers what the increasing value of items such as William Shatner’s kidney stone and Truman Capote’s ashes says about us. Link to full article here.

The artificial heart poses a unique challenge:only those confronting imminent death are willing to use today’s models, and yet nearly 660,000 Americans die of heart disease annually—a pandemic-level death toll. An increasing number of us live with diseased hearts and suffer the consequences. To realize their full potential, artificial hearts must get good enough that people actually want to use them; they must be preferable not to death but to a failing heart, the way hip replacements are preferable to failing hips. Meanwhile, until they achieve wider adoption, they will remain a niche product—and so be unavailable to many people who need them. Link to full article here.


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