Browser Daily Newsletter 1299T

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

The Istanbul Derby

Spencer Hall | SB Nation | 28th April 2014

Epic portrait of Istanbul's annual soccer match between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, old and bitter city rivals who first met in 1909 under Ottoman rule when "none of the Turkish players had their own surnames." To see a Muslim city heaving with drunken Iranian tourists and even drunker Turkish soccer fans "is all very life-affirming, and a reminder that Islam is nowhere near as monolithic as you might think it is" (7,200 words)

A Crimean Tatar’s Story

Jon Lee Anderson | New Yorker | 29th April 2014

Mauled by both sides during the Second World War, deported en masse to Central Asia by Stalin, allowed grudgingly back into Crimea as a poor and marginalised minority, life this past century has been pretty tough for the Crimean Tatars, Muslim descendants of Genghis Khan’s Golden Horde. And with Russia's annexation of Crimea life takes another turn for the worse; another expulsion threatens (1,777 words)

Whitewood Under Siege

Jacob Hodes | Cabinet

On the history and culture — yes, culture — of pallets, the wooden rafts used to stack and ship goods. America has two billion of them. The economy rests on them. They are "the most important materials-handling innovation" of the past century. Artists and carpenters repurpose them, excited by their authenticity. But the open-source model of pallet world is being disrupted; the blue pallet threatens (4,257 words)

The New Synthetic Biology: Who Gains?

Richard Lewontin | New York Review Of Books | 29th April 2014

Sobering essay, elegantly written, broader and deeper and much more interesting than its bare title might suggest. It asks, in brief: For whose good is science conducted? "Nothing in history suggests that those who control and profit from material production can really be depended upon to devote the needed foresight, creativity, and energy to protect us from the possible negative effects of synthetic biology" (2,950 words)

Nature’s Other Drive

Addy Pross | Aeon | 29th April 2014

Physics and chemistry describe a world that, for all its complication, is basically mechanical; biology describes a world that is not. The logic of life may be more randomised, it may be more purpose-driven; the universal rules have eluded us — but perhaps not for much longer. "The conceptual unification of biology with physics and chemistry is now underway." It begins with new understanding about the origins of life (2,300 words)

Video of the day:  Painted — Stop-Motion Body Art

What to expect: Fantasia of face-painting and fancy-dressing

Thought for the day:

"There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary numbers, and those who don’t" — John Rentoul

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