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Jack the Ripper’s victims are famous in death, but what were their lives like?

Jack the Ripper, the serial killer who terrorized London’s East End in the late 19th century, may be the catalyst for historian Hallie Rubenhold’s fascinating new book, but he is in no way its subject. Readers who wish to linger over the bloody details of the murders or speculate as to the killer’s still-unknown identity will have to look elsewhere, in the rich seam of Ripper lore. This is a story of life, not death.

History—and a Glimmer of Hope—in a Whiskey Glass

JUST AFTER FIVE O’CLOCK in the morning on April 18, 1906, what came to be known as the San Francisco earthquake trembled down the coast from southern Oregon to Los Angeles and inland as far as Nevada. “Rumors of great disaster from an earthquake in San Francisco, but know nothing of real facts,” President Roosevelt wrote anxiously to the Governor of California, eager for some solid ground to stand upon. There was no reply.

The Depression Era’s Magic Bullet For Weight Loss

Recently, the New York Times published a sobering story on the alumni of the 2009 season of The Biggest Loser. A study showed that almost all of those who had publicly lost hundreds of pounds on the show’s punishing diet and exercise regime had gained nearly all of it back, unless they made staying slim the focus of every waking moment. Their resting metabolism, it turned out, had been broken down to a murmur by the weight loss.
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