Browser Daily Newsletter 1334


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

The Laid-Back Art Of Tubing

Sam Anderson | Oxford American | 23rd May 2014

Summer in Louisiana feels like "being locked in a sauna for three months" wearing "a body stocking made of warm, honey-soaked cotton balls". The only comfortable place to be outdoors is lazing in the river. Which makes tubing the perfect summer sport: "It is sloth ingeniously disguised as adventure. The only equipment you need is spiritual: respect for the river, an instinct for meditation, and a high regard for inaction" (1,725 words)

How Long Can The Art Market Boom Last?

Georgina Adam | Financial Times | 6th June 2014

The current boom (or bubble) in fine art is comparatively recent — the surge began in 2004. The market is narrow: "Top collectors are only interested in the work of 50 to 100 artists, overwhelmingly modern and contemporary". Closest historical precedent is probably “the golden age of the living painter”, 1860-1914, which was propelled by new fortunes from industry and commerce and ended with World War 1 (2,020 words)

The Entrepreneurs Who Saved Seattle

Andrew Yang | Fast Company | 9th June 2014

Forget the urbanism studies. The greatest city turnaround in modern American history followed from an accident of birth. In 1979 Seattle was a decaying outpost tied to a declining lumber industry. "The Economist" called it "a city of despair". But then two homesick Seattle natives decided to move back back from Albuquerque. They were Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and they brought Microsoft with them (660 words)

Obituaries For “The Economist”

Isabelle Fraser | Hairpin | 6th June 2014

Conversation with Ann Wroe, obituary editor at "The Economist". The subject — one per week — is decided on Monday, and the piece is due by the end of Tuesday. “I just sort of feed it all in. Make a huge great collage in my mind. The hardest one was Ingmar Bergman. I had to spend the whole night watching the movies, and by the end I was suicidal ... I absolutely dread it when the writers die. There’s such a lot to read!” (1,160 words)

Time Inc’s Anxious Spinoff

Ken Doctor | Nieman Journalism Lab | 9th June 2014

Hived off by Time Warner, Time Inc returns to what it was at foundation almost a century ago — a stand-alone magazine company. But is it "a revivified collection of brands newly primed for digital times"; or "a hapless, saddled-with-debt company just entering a new stage of decline"? Whatever the outcome, the business presents a severe and immediate managerial challenge, with 95 brands and no coherent strategy (1,900 words)

Will California’s Drought Bring $7 Broccoli?

Tom Philpott | Mother Jones | 9th June 2014

It might at first. Especially if farmers use more acres of California to grow nuts for export to China; it takes a gallon of water to grow a single almond, leaving even less for the fruit and vegetables. Production of fruit and vegetables could shift massively to the mid-West, displacing grain. But the costs of transition would be high. Farmers would need to invest in new equipment. So prices may have to rise first (870 words)

Video of the day:  John Oliver On The World Cup

What to expect: late-night television extract; funny and rude

Thought for the day:

"The notion of good is the conscious realization of the need for reciprocal affection" — Jean Piaget

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