Browser Daily Newsletter 1331


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

Who Wants To Shoot An Elephant?

Wells Tower | GQ | 2nd June 2014

If we did trigger warnings there wouldn't be room for anything else here. This is a vivid piece of writing about elephants and the people who kill them. If the notion of trying to understand the latter boggles your mind, it boggles the mind of the narrator too; who manages nonetheless to present an enthralling, horrifying, maddening portrait of the hunt (such as it is, the elephants are basically helpless) and the kill (8,000 words)

London’s Buried Diggers

Ed Smith | New Statesman | 5th June 2014

When archaeologists excavate the foundations of present-day central London, they will find 1,000 mechanical diggers entombed in concrete. Note to the future: These are not sacrifices to some mechanical god, but the by-product of a fashion among the rich for adding basement swimming pools and media rooms. When the digging is done, the digger is stuck. You'd need a crane to get it out. Cheaper to wall it up and write it off (920 words)

Heart Of The Emerald Triangle

Lee Ellis | The Believer | 4th June 2014

A season among the marijuana growers of Humboldt County, California. "Ethan's goal was to sell more pot than last year but not so much that the feds took notice. Minus overhead — labour costs, the note on his property, raw materials, equipment maintenance, fuel, food — Ethan stood to clear well over a million dollars. This for six months’ work, and for assuming the sort of risk that might win him half a lifetime in federal prison" (7,020 words)

A Type House Divided

Jason Fagone | New York | 4th June 2014

Intelligent, sympathetic portrait of type designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler; the argument which broke up their company; and the sadness which the split has left in its wake. Frere-Jones designed Gotham, the typeface used for Barack Obama's campaign posters. It used to be that he and Hoefler agreed about everything except the height of a lower-case "t". Now Frere-Jones is suing for $20 million (5,440 words)

Peek Inside A Professional Carding Shop

Bruce Krebs | Krebs On Security | 4th June 2014

"Over the past year, I’ve spent a great deal of time trolling a variety of underground stores that sell 'dumps' — street slang for stolen credit card data that buyers can use to counterfeit new cards and go shopping in big-box stores for high-dollar merchandise that can be resold quickly for cash. This post takes the reader on a tour of a rather exclusive and professional dumps shop that caters to professional thieves" (1,200 words)

Wilde’s World Of Journalism

Stefano Evangelista | Times Literary Supplement | 4th June 2014

The two latest volumes in the Oxford University Press edition of "The Complete Works Of Oscar Wilde" collect Wilde's journalism — a difficult task since much of it was published anonymously. Wilde's literary executor, Robbie Ross, made a first pass at the task a century ago; this second compilation is "a landmark in Wilde studies", shedding much new light on Wilde and his efforts "to translate aesthetics into popular culture" (2,180 words)

Video of the day:  Memory Stream

What to expect: Abstract graphics

Thought for the day:

"It is not that our social bonds are precarious, but that the precariousness is the bond" — Adam Phillips

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