Last this week, we learned that Donald Spoto, the celebrity biographer, died at the age of 81. Spoto produced many well-regarded biographies, including Rebel, about James Dean. I found that book particularly useful in writing my own manuscript for my James Dean book. Spoto was kind enough to read an early draft of my book before his death and offered both useful critical notes and a blurb as endorsement: “His new book The Rebel and the Fear is sure to evoke spirited debate, not least when he addresses the lure and lore still attached to that hapless young actor, James Dean (1931-1955).” Spoto will be missed.
A new Netflix series called Ancient Apocalypse shot to the top of the streaming service's rankings the week it was released. It claims that an advanced civilization which thrived during the Ice Age was wiped out by comets and floods, but left humanity with science and technology. In the world of archaeology, such claims aren't new, and are referred to by experts as "pseudo-archaeology." This episode of IDEAS unearths the long history of pseudo-archaeology, how it's been deployed to advance political and cultural ideas, and where it crosses over from pseudo-science to religious myth-making.
Read My New Piece for CNN
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.