Browser Daily Newsletter 1282T

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

Letterman’s Last Great Moment

Bill Simmons | Grantland | 8th April 2014

David Letterman's announcement of his retirement was one of the great moments in television: "There was stunned silence. Two solid seconds of quiet felt like two hundred. The spiritual king of late night was stepping down." Jay Leno had the bigger audience, but he never matched Letterman's mystique. "The old man told a story, then a second story, then a third story, and suddenly, he was gone" (2,550 words)

I Watched Russian State Television

Robert Coalson | RFE/RL | 4th April 2014

If you are wondering what Russians at home make of their country's adventures in Ukraine, here's part of the answer: They are hearing a completely different story, one in which Russia rescues decent Ukrainians from marauding Nazis, sacrilegious feminists and scheming Poles. According to Russian television it's all a bit like 1812, when Russia drove back Napoleon's army and brought peace to Europe (1,320 words)

How To Be Interesting

Oliver Burkeman | 7th April 2014

What makes great thinkers great is not that their theories are true, but that their theories are interesting — which tends to mean counter-intuitive. They argue that what might seem to be good is, in fact, bad; that disparate things are, in fact, related; that some apparently individual phenomenon is, in fact, collective. Or vice-versa. "It's unnerving how many thinkers can be pigeonholed this way" (560 words)

The Long-Term Unemployment Trap

Tim Harford | 7th April 2014

Long-term unemployment used to be a problem mainly for Western Europe; but since the great recession it's become problem for America too. American employers typically don't want to hire anyone who has been out of work for more than six months, even with appropriate skills. They pay more, if necessary, to attract workers from the short-term unemployed. Once you're in the trap, you don't get out (840 words)

Death And Identity In Rwanda

Richard Dowden | African Arguments | 8th April 2014

Short, lucid explainer of the Rwandan genocide clarifying the nature of the Hutu-Tutsi divide, the part played by Belgian colonialism, and, not least, the reason Western media didn't pay much attention at the time. "The big event in Africa was the first democratic election in South Africa. All the world’s top journalists were there. The world’s media could not cope with two stories from Africa at the same time" (750 words)

Video of the day:  Monty Python — The Silly Walks Song

What to expect: Old Monty Python clips, new (silly) song

Thought for the day:

"Society is a machine which allows decent people to be cruel without realising it" — Emile Chartier

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