Brazil, Drone Operators, Conspiracies, Guns, Coconuts

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

No Revanchismo

Alejandro Chacoff | n+1 | 5th September 2015

Brazil’s National Truth Commission launched in 2011 to investigate the murder of civilians under the military dictatorship. The army deposed the elected president in 1964, killing and torturing many civilians in its 20-year rule. But now it calls for the country to ‘move on’ and not take revenge – ‘no revanchismo’. The latest commission has not revoked the amnesty for perpetrators, to the disappointment of victims’ families (7,110 words)

She Kills People From 7,850 Miles Away

Kevin Maurer | Daily Beast | 18th October 2015

Intimately personal interviews with two US drone operators, who have killed thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan (in this case from suburban Las Vegas). On a normal day, one of them (call sign: Sparkle, to "emasculate the enemy in the afterlife") would "track an insurgent, watch as he was killed by a Hellfire missile, and spy on his funeral before ending her night with a breakfast beer and a trip to the dog park" (4,710 words)

Going Online In The Age of Conspiracy Theories

Adrienne LaFrance | Atlantic | 21st October 2015

“Conspiracy theorizing is an inherent part of human nature... It’s a constant across time and it's a constant across space.” Assertions that Back to the Future “contains a coded message warning of the 9/11 attacks” are the latest in a long line. “Conspiracist interpretations of the 2008 financial crisis draw on the same armory of arguments and tropes which were used to interpret the Great Depression of the 1930s” (1,890 words)

The Boy Who Shot His Sister Dead

Monica Potts | The Trace | 19th October 2015

Sean Smith, aged 10, found his father's gun and accidentally killed his younger sister; laws have since changed to make adults culpable for leaving a gun unsecured around a child. But there's "little sympathy for any child shooter," because "people feel, or need to feel, that there must be something inherently off about a kid who somehow got his hands on a gun." From an interesting new advocacy-news website devoted to guns (3,050 words)

Coconuts In Medieval England

Kathleen E. Kennedy | Mary Sue | 14th October 2015

Monty Python and the Holy Grail makes a long, self-aware joke out of the implausibility of coconuts in medieval England. "Except medieval England was lousy with coconuts." They were made into fancy cups – "the shell was strapped into a goblet form using a harness of silver or gold" – and used as medicine. They were called "Nut of India" or "Great Nut." King Arthur would have had no trouble acquiring one (940 words)

Video of the day: 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

What to expect: Hans Rosling on global progress (4'47")

Thought for the day

Happiness is not something you experience, it is something you remember
Oscar Levant

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