Browser Daily Newsletter 1236


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

Jasper Johns: Regrets Belong To Everybody

Julie Belcove | FT Magazine | 14th February 2014

Preview of new paintings and drawings. Theme: A man on a bed "clutching his head in his hand as if in despair". Johns says they were inspired by a photograph of Lucian Freud once owned by Francis Bacon; beyond that, his comments are gnomic: “Somehow what you end up with seems to be something you should have known was there to begin with, even though you had to work so hard to find it”

I Told You When I Came I Was a Stranger

Pico Iyer | Harper's | 14th February 2014

Discussion, with audio, of Leonard Cohen's first public musical performance, at the 92nd Street Y in New York in 1966. "When, out of nowhere, he picks up a guitar and, for the first time ever before a large audience, delivers a song — a thin, reedy version of The Stranger Song, voice shaky as it never was in reading his prose — you realise that this is a man made to speak to millions"

Extreme Medicine

NPR | 11th February 2014

Interview with Dr Kevin Fong, specialist in extreme-environment medicine. Topics include: doctors in space, freezing to death, drowning. "As you dive into the water, the water starts to compress the tissues of your body so that you become more dense. After you've gone maybe seven, eight meters from the surface you will no longer float. You become negatively buoyant, which is to say, you sink"

The Writer And The Army Wife

Simone Gorrindo | Vela | 13th February 2014

"I am always The Wife. I am always introduced as such, branded as such. I’m tired of being The Wife. I miss being The Editor. The Writer. The anything of my own that came before this life. Wife is worn in this world as a badge of honor, and, for the most part, rightfully so. But it’s still a possessive title, perhaps illustrated most directly in our subtitles: we’re dependents, our presence in this world is sponsored"

Tribal Genetics

Linda Geddes | New Scientist | 13th February 2014

Interview with anthropologist Kim Tallbear about Native Americans and tribal membership. Casinos and bingo halls on reservations have made some tribes relatively rich. "Tribal enrolment directors all over the country are bombarded with applications". Who qualifies? It's complicated. "People think that there's a DNA test that can prove if somebody is Native American or not. There isn't"

Godforsaken Paths

Paul Di Filippo | Barnes & Noble Review | 15th February 2014

Antonina Bouis has produced an "elegant, trenchant, and vivid" new translation of Definitely Maybe, a classic of Soviet science fiction by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The story unfolds inside an apartment building "populated by sweaty, boozing, frantic intellectuals" who debate whether aliens are frustrating the development of human civilisation, or whether the humans are doing it themselves

Video of the day:  The Griswolds — Red Tuxedo

Thought for the day:

"If you are immune to boredom, there is nothing you cannot accomplish" — David Foster Wallace

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