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Scientists confirm: Harvard book about the ‘destinies of the soul’ bound in human skin

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Experts have confirmed that a 19th-century book about the destiny of the soul in the afterlife “is without a doubt bound in human skin.”

The book was donated to Harvard’s Houghton Library by Dr. Ludovic Bouland in the 1930s, and contained a note from the Bouland in which he claimed that “a book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering.”

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Arsène Houssaye had presented his friend Bouland a copy of Des destinées de l’ame (Destinies of the Soul), and according to his note, Bouland then used “this piece of human skin taken from the back of a woman,” a mental patient who had died of “apoplexy,” to bind the book.

“It is interesting to see the different aspects that change this skin according to the method of preparation to which it is subjected,” Bouland wrote in his handwritten note. “Compare for example with the small volume I have in my library, Sever. Pinaeus de Virginitatis notis which is also bound in human skin but tanned with sumac.”

Grotesque as it sounds, the practice of binding books in human skin — or anthropodermic bibliopegy — was once more common. The confessions of executed criminals were occasionally bound in the skin of the convicted, and some families bound the favorite books of recently deceased family members in their skin as a kind of memorial to them.

Harvard scientists tested Des destinées de l’ame using several different methods, including peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF). According to Bill Lane, the director of the Harvard Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Resource Laboratory, “[t]he PMF from Des destinées de l’ame matched the human reference, and clearly eliminated other common parchment sources, such as sheep, cattle and goat. However, although the PMF was consistent with human, other closely related primates, such as the great apes and gibbons, could not be eliminated because of the lack of necessary references.”

Portions of the binding were then subjected to a Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LCMSMS), which determined the order of the amino acids within each peptide — an order that is unique to each species of primate.

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The result, Lane said, was “[t]he analytical data, taken together with the provenance of Des destinées de l’ame, make it very unlikely that the source could be other than human.”

[“Man Looking Shocked At The Light Coming Out Of A Book” on Shutterstock]


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Trump’s ‘herd immunity’ advisor has been spreading his quackery behind the scenes for quite a while

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This is not Dr. Scott Atlas’ first rodeo.

It might seem like Atlas came out of nowhere after getting recruited by Stephen Miller at a QAnon meeting. Or you might have him confused with the Atlas who tried to kill Superman in #677 of the superhero series.

Atlas wasn’t famous until he got plucked by Trump from the farthest right reaches of the universe as a pandemic adviser carrying the flag for herd immunity. That, of course, is the theory that says, in effect, that saving the economy in an election year is certainly worth losing a few million lives.

But it turns out Atlas has been on the political scene as a foe of government health care for quite a while. As a creature of the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank uneasily affiliated with Stanford University, Atlas has left a bit of a paper trail.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Trump supporter cries discrimination during Starbucks mask meltdown

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An argument that erupted between a barista and her customer at a Santee, Calif. Starbucks has gone viral.

The incident occurred when the barista, Alex Beckom, 19, asked her customer to pull her mask up from her chin. The customer was a White woman wearing a Trump 2020 mask. The customer's response was that she was being discriminated against because of her support of President Donald J. Trump.

“F— Black Lives Matter,” the customer told Beckom, who is Black.

The woman then asked for a straw and sugar packets before they parted ways.

Watch the video below.

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You are part of Trump’s callous and covert science experiment — you just don’t know it yet

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It’s understood the president has not done nearly enough to combat the spread of the new coronavirus. It’s understood he’s gotten in the way of states trying to protect residents. What’s not understood, however, is the United States government, under Donald Trump’s leadership, seems to be conducting a science experiment on the American people without telling us, one informed by ideology, not medicine. All things being equal, a second term for the president will not only coincide with a permanent pandemic; it will cause hundreds of thousands more people to die.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

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