Browser Daily Newsletter 1248
Naked, Covered In Ram’s Blood, Feeling Pretty Good
Andrew Solomon | Esquire | 28th February 2014
Notes from a trip to Senegal to discover how they treat depression there. The answer: With a shamanistic ceremony called an ndeup, which involves taking off your clothes, rubbing your chest with millet, and getting into a wedding bed in the town square with a ram. Next: "The poor old ram’s throat was slit, as were the throats of the two cockerels. And I was covered in the blood of the freshly slaughtered ram and cockerels"
What’s Gone Wrong With Democracy
Economist | 28th February 2014
Democracies are richer, more peaceful, less corrupt. But "faith in democracy flares up in moments of triumph, such as the overthrow of unpopular regimes in Cairo or Kiev, only to sputter out once again. Outside the West, democracy often advances only to collapse". Even within the West, democracies falter. Progress has stalled. Why? Two main reasons: The financial crisis of 2007-08, and the rise of China
Putin Goes To War
David Remnick | New Yorker | 1st March 2014
"Just a few days ago, this horrendous scenario of invasion and war, no matter how limited, seemed the farthest thing from nearly everyone’s mind in either Ukraine or Russia, much less the West. As it happens so often in these situations — from Tahrir Square to Taksim Square to Maidan Square — people were taken up with the thrill of uprising. These next days and weeks in Ukraine are bound to be frightening, and worse"
Joe Biden In Winter
Glenn Thrush | Politico | 27th February 2014
"Laugh if you want", but Vice-President Joe Biden may yet run for the presidency in 2016, when he will be 73. “He’s in a predicament. It’s so big, it’s almost literary.” Opinion polls show Hillary Clinton leading Biden by an "epic" 73% to 12% for the Democratic nomination. But Biden "simply isn’t ready to quit ... He can see the end of the road approaching, and fast, but the gas gauge still reads full"
Oscar Night In Hollywood
Raymond Chandler | Atlantic | 1st March 1948
Chandler's critique hits the target today as surely as it did when he wrote it 66 years ago. "It doesn't really seem to make much difference how the voting is done. The quality of the work is still only recognized in the context of success. A superb job in a flop picture would get you nothing, a routine job in a winner will be voted in. It is against this background of success-worship that the voting is done"
Seven People Hold The Keys To The Internet
James Ball | The Guardian | 28th February 2014
The keys control the domain name system (DNS), the registry of the internet. There are seven master key holders, seven substitutes, and seven "shadows". "Once a year, these shadow holders send the organisation that runs the system – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) – a photograph of themselves with that day's newspaper and their key, to verify that all is well"
Video of the day: Hunting For Hockney
Thought for the day:
"The nature of life is to delight in all possible loopholes" — Kevin Kelly
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