Magnificent discoveries

You know that magical feeling when you come upon something amazing that you’ve never seen before? From uncovering messages hidden in Incan knots to finding family in the most unexpected of places, today’s edition of Summer Fridays is all about the thrill of discovery.

Dr. Seuss Book: Yes, They Found It in a Box
Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
The last original Dr. Seuss book was released in 1990. No one at Random House expected an unpublished book to appear 24 years after Mr. Geisel’s death.

What This Drawing Taught Me About Four-Dimensional Spacetime
Stephon Alexander, Nautilus
Stuck in his research, a cosmologist finds a hint in an intricate drawing.

What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life
Jonathan Lambert, Quanta
Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own “supra-kingdom” of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered by new sequencing technologies.

The Real Story Behind Penicillin
Dr. Howard Markel, PBS
“When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.”

Jerry and Marge Go Large
Jason Fagone, Highline
Gaming the lottery seemed as good a retirement plan as any.

The Crane Wife
CJ Hauser, Paris Review
After calling off her engagement, a novelist heads off on a birding expedition with an unexpected takeaway.

We Are All Scutoids: A Brand-New Shape, Explained
Alan Burdick, The New Yorker
Researchers first observed the previously unnamed shape in a computer model. They then went to nature and found it in abundance.

The World’s Last Great Undiscovered Cuisine
Anya von Bremzen, Saveur
Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan is home to a fantastical rising skyline, rose-scented markets, and cooking influenced by everything from the Ottoman Empire to the USSR.

The College Student Who Decoded the Data Hidden in Inca Knots
Katherine Davis-Young, Atlas Obscura
Manny Medrano cut loose on spring break by analyzing a set of khipus.

Runs in the Family
Sarah Spain, ESPN
Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough went searching for his biological parents. He found them where he never would have expected.