Animal Internet, Mice, Word Processing, Aussie Rules, North Korea


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

Is The Swallow Frightened In The Storm?

Alexander Pschera | Scientific American | 15th April 2016

Until now we have known almost nothing of animals behave in the wild; the wild is where they are not observed. For better or worse, the Animal Internet is about to change that. Tracking devices and sensors will enable us to surveil animals as closely as we surveil one another. “What happens when wild animals start pinging us, and we are able to identify them as unique individuals with their own backstory?” (3,700 words)

If You Give A Mouse A Heart Attack

Peter Wieben | Awl | 14th April 2016

A visit to an animal-testing lab in Europe. All possible trigger warnings apply. “Recently, I was allowed into a secure animal-testing facility on the condition that I not reveal its name or location—the testing is highly controversial—and I witnessed an experiment on a mouse. This particular trial required the scientist to give a mouse a heart attack in order to test a new stem-cell therapy for heart-attack patients” (1,200 words)

A History Of Word-Processing

Eric Banks | Bookforum | 14th April 2016

Somewhere between typing and computing there was word-processing. It began with IBM’s Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter in 1964 and reached its zenith with WordStar in 1979. The technical shift was also a cultural challenge; writers had to decide if they were modern. “In 1978 or 1979 writers using a word processor or a personal computer were part of the vanguard. By 1983 or 1984 they were merely part of the zeitgeist” (1,700 words)

The National Sport

Brian Doyle | American Scholar | 15th April 2016

A hymn to Australian rules football. “The game is two hours long. It has its own vocabulary. There are rovers and ruckmen and wings and back-pockets. The field is oval and yearning and green and vast and shining. The ball is oblong and goes any which way it wants. There is hunting and killing in it. There is war in it. It is a dance and a song and a battle and a mob and a play. We name our tribes for powerful animals and powerful machines” (770 words)

The Missilization Of Northeast Asia

Robert Kelly | Asian Security | 15th April 2016

North Korea wants nuclear missiles because its conventional forces are obsolete. But that may be a serious game-theoretical miscalculation. Missiles are cheap, but missile-defence is expensive and imperfect. So when North Korea approaches economies of scale in its warhead and missile production, prospective targets may feel they have no choice but to attack pre-emptively, before the skies above them swarm with nuclear drones (1,010 words)

Video of the day: The Magician

What to expect:

Music by Andy Shauf. Monty-Python-like visual effects by Winston Hacking (3’52”)

Thought for the day

Found a Society of Honest Men, and all the thieves will join it
Emile Chartier

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