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Popular Elsewhere

14:39 UK time, Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

A third day of rioting dominates the stories on the most-read lists but there are also articles distracting people from the news of looting and violence spreading across England. Here are a few.

Time magazine's most popular article takes readers back to when cocaine was just
a "novel chemical compound like any other" - 1884. Mixed with red wine, the article says, the first people who used cocaine in significant quantities were doctors, including Sigmund Freud. The surgeon William Halsted became interested in cocaine's potential as an anaesthetic, and he got his students and colleagues experimenting on themselves, only to become an addict himself. "He never beat the drug" the article says "but he fought it to a draw, at a time when no one even understood what he was fighting".

A cocaine story is also getting CNN readers clicking. It reports claims by Survival International that they now can't find a protected Brazilian tribe because they suspect Peruvian drug smugglers scared them away. It says authorities found a drug trafficker's rucksack with a broken Indian arrow in it.

In More Intelligent life some theories on how humans could be morphed with machines are seriously considered. It seems like science fiction but the article finds various "transhumanist" to talk about the possibilities of uploading your "self" onto a computer chip. One of what the article calls "milder" ideas is speeding up the brain, to allow it to pack in more information. The article points out, this would have the, most probably unwanted side effect, of making time go by slower.

Labelled a photographic whodunit, Vanity Fair's most popular story promises to reveal for once and for all who was the mystery girl kissing Elvis in a snap taken in a Virginia stairwell in 1956. Real-estate manager Barbara Gray turned to Vanity Fair "knowing the magazine has featured Wertheimer's work in the past" to seek validation from the photographer "the one man who could give it to her". But she's got a fight on her hands as when she contacted him he revealed that over a dozen women have already claimed the same thing.

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