Browser Daily Newsletter 1283

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

Mathematical Model For The Decay Of A Shower Curtain

Will Hankinson | Atlantic | 9th April 2014

Proof that there is poetry in the simplest of things. "In our house, we seem to average about two years between shower curtain re-hangings. When we first moved in, my wife was still my girlfriend. We were engaged by the end of the first shower curtain cycle, married by the second, and entered the third cycle as we had our first kid. Will we have a second child before I change the curtains again?" (1,620 words)

Life After Death

Hannah Bloch & Peter Miller | National Geographic | 8th April 2014

Bruno Frohlich specialises in "the noninvasive study of just about anything nonliving". He runs the Smithsonian Institution's computed tomography laboratory, scanning whatever his colleagues care to bring him from dead gorillas to Stradivarius violins. By training he is a forensic anthropologist: He solved the gruesome murder, involving a frozen and minced corpse, that inspired the Coen Brothers' Fargo (1,560 words)

Is There A Wonk Bubble?

Felix Salmon | Politico | 7th April 2014

Eggheads win the media. Nate Silver's 538 and Ezra Klein's Vox lead the way. Coming soon: David Leonhardt's Upshot, and Jonathan Cohn's policy site at New Republic. Is it a bubble? No, it's the internet: "People who are interested in the minutiae of policy can talk to each other without having to worry about why the average reader should care. On the Internet, there’s no such thing as the average reader" (2,330 words)

John McAfee Answers Your Questions

Samzenpus | Slashdot | 7th April 2014

Software pioneer and self-confessed former drug trafficker tells all. What to do when caught with contraband at a Central American police checkpoint: "Smile. There is no circumstance under which a smile will handicap you when dealing with authorities. Be friendly in your speech and immediately and fully acknowledge your situation, and theirs. This puts them at ease and sets the framework for negotiation" (7,500 words)

Why Hasn’t Democracy Saved Us From Inequality?

David Stasavage & Kenneth Scheve | Monkey Cage | 7th April 2014

Good question, provoked by a reading of Thomas Picketty. If more equality of wealth reinforces democracy, why doesn't democracy arrange itself to produce more equality? Four possible answers: The rich can buy the policies they want even in a democracy; we don't understand how inequality is generated; we believe that inequality is vital to growth; we care more about fairness in taxation than about equality of wealth (1,160 words)

The Keys To His Heart

Stuart Isacoff | Wall Street Journal | 7th April 2014

British pianist Stephen Hough talks about the difference between playing and composing, and why composing is more satisfying: "It's the difference, I suppose, between being a foster parent and having your own flesh and blood child. There is no less love — some foster parents are the most heroic and wonderful possible. But I imagine it is different for a woman to see the actual child coming out of her body. You can't match that" (1,140 words)

Video of the day:  Scatter, Adapt & Remember

What to expect: Silly, happy, clever song about climate change

Thought for the day:

"Depression is sadness gone wrong" — Lewis Wolpert

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