Browser Daily Newsletter 1292


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

Caught In An Avalanche

Peter Zuckerman | Medium / W.W. Norton | 18th April 2014

The snow churns like surf, sweeping downhill at 80mph and burying anyone caught up in it. For those who survive the fall, what follows is worse. "Enough air can diffuse through densely packed snow to keep a human alive, but warm breath causes the snow around the face to melt. Inevitably, that melting snow refreezes. This forms a capsule of ice around the climber’s head. The climber, buried alive, slowly asphyxiates" (1,300 words)

Bonfire Of The Humanities

Patrick Symmes | Outside | 18th April 2014

Good news from Mali. When jihadists lit a bonfire of manuscripts in Timbuktu's library last year, they had found only a fraction of the treasures. Most had already been spirited out, first by donkeys to safe houses across Timbuktu, then up the Niger river in daily convoys of canoes organised by a lawyer from Seattle. They rest now in Bamako, "the secret history of a continent before Europeans arrived" (6,000 words)

The Art Of Antarctic Cooking

Christine Baumgarthuber | New Inquiry | 18th April 2014

Review of Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine, by Jason C. Anthony; and The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, by Carol Devine. Explorers ate what they could carry and what nature provided — seals, penguins, and the dogs which carried the supplies until they became supplies themselves. At worst they ate hoosh, a stew which might contain anything from penguin flipper to old rope (2,690 words)

Life Sentences: The Grammar Of Clickbait

Michael Reid Roberts | American Reader | 19th April 2014

How Upworthy headlines work. "The titles introduce a fairly typical theme in the first sentence, then use a much shorter sentence to complicate or undermine it. The second sentence piques you to resolve the irritation it causes. We might call these couplets epodal, but I think the effect is more similar to catalexis in that the second line’s brevity emphasizes something unfinished or incomplete" (1,140 words)

Interview: Stalin

H.G. Wells | New Statesman | 27th October 1934

Irresistible. The New Statesman reaches into the archives and pulls out a plum. H.G. Wells, in Moscow for a writers' conference, interviews Stalin: "I am very much obliged to you, Mr Stalin, for agreeing to see me. I was in the United States recently. I had a long conversation with President Roosevelt and tried to ascertain what his leading ideas were. Now I have come to ask you what you are doing to change the world" (6,300 words)

Running

Flora Cramp | My Tights Won't Stay Up | 14th April 2014

Rude and funny. Notes on taking up running, concluding with a brutal fisking of the advice offered to women by Runners' World website. "In the changing rooms I discovered two things: 1) that most sports clothing manufacturers hate women and 2) that female runners know of a secret supplier, who fashions magic leggings that hold in your stomach, lift up your arse and make the outline of your knickers disappear" (1,600 words)

Video of the day:  The Story Of Animation

What to expect: Just as the title suggests. An animated history of animation

Thought for the day:

"A poet never finishes, she just abandons" — Patricia Lockwood

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