Welcome to this week’s Reading List, your Sunday guide to some of the most interesting science and technology stories on the internet this week. This week, we’ll examine a potentially deadly medical procedure, ponder the inner workings of social networks, and more.

  • In the mid-19th Century, thousands of ‘Water Towns’ popped up across the United States, part of a wellness trend that swept the country. Now, after years of decline, some of these spa towns are coming back. [CityLab]
  • For decades, terrorist groups and bomb makers have sought out a rare ingredient for their devices: Red Mercury. It’s spawned numerous stories and near-legends for its supposed force when used in a bomb. The only problem? It doesn’t exist. [New York Times]
  • Joan Strassmann has spent her career looking at how organisms cooperate, from Wasps to amoebas. [Quanta Magazine]
  • In the last 150 years, humans have done a lot to change how they spend their time. A century and a half ago, we would typically spend 70 hours of our waking lives a week working. What do we do with the time that we’ve saved since then? Watch TV. [Business Insider]

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