Browser Daily Newsletter 1255T

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

Crimea And The Hysteria Of History

Adam Gopnik | New Yorker | 7th March 2014

Sound take on the crisis in Ukraine. In brief: Calm down. "Russia is behaving as every regional power in the history of human regions has always behaved, maximising its influence over its neighbours. In response, we should be doing what sane states should always be doing: searching for the most plausible war-avoiding, nonviolent arrangement, even at the cost of looking wishy-washy" (984 words)

The Invention Of The AeroPress

Zachary Crockett | Priceonomics | 4th March 2014

In the 1970s and 1980s a Stanford engineering professor called Alan Adler made fundamental improvements to the aerodynamics of the frisbee. His variant, the Aerobie, sold millions. in 2004 he turned to coffee: he wanted a better way to make a single cup, and came up with a pump action device called the AeroPress. Another hit. The AeroPress is cheap, hackable, and makes the best cup of coffee in the world (3,980 words)

Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney

Ron Suskind | NYT Magazine | 7th March 2014

An autistic boy learns to speak, read, write and draw by immersing himself in Disney films, identifying with their characters and borrowing their dialogue. It may be that the films, viewed many times over, provide simple, vivid paradigms — "beauty lies within, be true to yourself, love conquers all" — that the autistic mind can appropriate and use as points of reference in an otherwise confusing world (Metered paywall) (8,800 words)

The Lessons Of China’s Collapse

Noah Smith | The Week | 6th March 2014

China was "by far the greatest nation on the planet" in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its subsequent fall and stagnation may hold lessons for America. China lost out to Europe, culturally and economically, because it turned inward, and turned against science. America is listing in that same direction. It is geographically isolated. Its tech companies "import engineers much as China imported Jesuit mathematicians" (1,040 words)

Markets See A Putin Win

Anatole Kaletsky | Reuters | 6th March 2014

Russia has a history of accepting "economic hardships unimaginable to Western observers in pursuit of geopolitical goals". It is "pure wishful thinking" to imagine that economic sanctions will force Russia out of Crimea now. The West has "no intermediate option between accepting the Russian invasion and full-scale war". The current stand-off evokes the 1962 Cuba missile crisis — but this time, Russia wins (960 words)

Why Are Jews So Afraid Of Stepan Bandera?

Batya Ungar-Sargon | Tablet | 7th March 2014

Short primer on the complicated life of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, whose "proto-fascist nationalist group" advocated "sovereignty for ethnic Ukrainians" in the 1930s, and helped the invading Nazis murder Jews in 1941. "While Bandera and his men were responsible for killing Jews, their ideology wasn’t fundamentally anti-Semitic; rather, it was pro-Ukrainian". In 2010 he was declared "a hero of Ukraine" (860 words)

Video of the day:  Three Ways To End The Universe

Thought for the day:

"One does not teach a subject, one teaches a student how to learn it" — Jacques Barzun

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