Artists, Language, Food, Mormonism, Andre The Giant

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

Maria Loh On Lives Of Artists

Romas Viesulas | Five Books | 11th May 2017

Interview. The best books about the lives of artists, starting with Vasari. “If you are a shoemaker and you suddenly learn about many other famous shoemakers, then you have to think: Am I doing as well as that shoemaker or not? One of the immediate effects of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists is that artists start realising that their own lives become something that they can curate, and Vasari reminds artists to take care of their own image. He is very critical of Correggio for not painting a self portrait” (4,700 words)

Challenging Chomsky

Brian Boyd | Evolution Institute | 22nd May 2017

The invention of language came first — Chomsky’s language function came after. “The invention was made possible and necessary by complex dynamics at the collective level. As the new technology began to revolutionise human life, language began to function as a selective environment for individuals. Eventually, Homo sapiens emerged as a language-ready species. Our language-ready brains and physiologies were forced into existence by language, not the other way around” (4,200 words)

Farming The World

Shuping Niu et al | Bloomberg | 22nd May 2017

As Chinese households grow richer, so their appetites increase — which portends a frightening dependence on imported food, unless China can pull off an agricultural revolution to equal its industrial revolution. “Ballooning populations in Asia, Africa and South America will add another 2 billion people within a generation. If China is to have enough affordable food for its population in the second half of this century, it will need to make sure the world grows food for 9 billion people” (2,300 words)

Plans Of Salvation

Brief introduction to Mormon theology. Joseph Smith’s teachings were incomplete and inconsistent; his successors elaborated them into competing theological models, leaving fundamental questions in dispute to this day, including the number of kingdoms in heaven, and the relation of spirits to humans. “While the church is doubling down on spirits being children of heavenly parents, my sense is that the idea of spirit adoption is gaining some traction over viviparous spirit birth” (1,060 words)

To The Giant Among Us

Terry Todd | SI Vault | 21st December 1981

Remembering André The Giant, arguably the greatest wrestler of modern times in every sense. “He discovered one day in Paris that he could move a small car by himself, and for quite a while after that he amused himself by moving his friends’ cars while they were having a meal or a drink, placing them in a small space between a lamppost and a building, or turning them around to face the other way. His strength was so natural to him that he had no interest in lifting weights” (7,900 words)

Video of the day: A Tense Aerial Battle

What to expect:

Documentary footage from the Falklands War of 1982, illustrating the value of infrared homing missiles (4’40”)

Thought for the day

In this age the mere example of non-conformity is itself a service
J.S. Mill

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