2007, OK Go, Kurds, Trump And Arabs, Kansas State

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

The Year The World Turned Upside Down

John Naughton | Guardian | 27th November 2016

2016 feels like pretty hard work; but really it was 2007 that gave us the world we have today. That was the year Steve Jobs announced the iPhone; when Facebook and Twitter took off; when Hadoop emerged as a software framework for processing very large data sets; when Airbnb was dreamed up, the Amazon Kindle was launche,d and IBM started work on building the Watson computer system. These tech innovations outran society’s capacity to adapt. We became confusable, vulnerable (940 words)

Background Notes To “One Moment”

Damian Kulash | OK Go | 23rd November 2016

Singer and director Damian Kulash explains how OK Go’s video, One Moment (https://thebrowser.com//videos/the-one-moment) , was put together. The real-time special effects occupy 4.2 seconds; the rest of the video is a slow-motion montage cut from those effects. “There are 318 events: 54 coloured salt bursts behind Tim, 23 exploding paint buckets, 128 gold water balloons, etc.. When the guitars explode, we are 200x slower than reality. The watermelons are around 150x, and the spray paint cans are a little over 60x” (1,300 words)

The Kurds Are Nearly There

Christian Caryl | New York Review of Books | 27th November 2016

If US-backed Iraqi troops succeed in retaking Mosul and defeating Islamic State, the way will be clear for the creation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. The Kurdish lands in Iraq have functioned as a de facto Kurdish state for 25 years, since the end of the first Gulf War. A negotiated secession from Iraq seems feasible. “Circumstances have conspired to bring the Kurds — or some of them, at least — closer to achieving a workable state than at any other time in recent memory” (3,700 words)

In Translation: Trump And The Arabs

AbdelBari Atwan | Rai al-Youm / Arabist | 19th November 2016

An Arab commentator’s response to Donald Trump’s victory. “Another point that many people are stuck on is Trump’s threat to ban Muslims from entering America. However, we should ask, have Arab countries, and especially Gulf countries, opened their borders to Syrian refugees or Iraqi refugees before them? Why should Muslims go to America at all? There are many other alternatives, and we don’t think that Muslims will die of grief if they can’t go to America as visitors and immigrants” (1,600 words)


Joe Posnanski | 27th November 2016

Coach Bill Snyder turned Kansas State from worst to best in college football. “He changed everything. He changed the carpeting, the offices, the wallpaper, the dress code, the practice schedule, the offense, the defense, the special teams, the academic requirements, the color purple. When my buddy showed up for his first training session he noticed that by every weight machine was a plastic garbage can. That, he soon realized, was where you were supposed to throw up” (2,100 words)

Video of the day: Preposterous

What to expect:

A short film about objects that do not behave as they should, by Florent Porta (0’50”)

Thought for the day

Kant thought things, not because they were true, but because he was Kant
W. Somerset Maugham

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