Browser Daily Newsletter 1338


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

Rem Koolhaas: “I Hate Being An Architect”

Sander Pleij | Medium | 8th June 2014

Unusual profile of architect Rem Koolhaas, addressing primarily the question of whether he is "a very unpleasant man". The answer: not intentionally, but he may be too cool for this world. "His body language wreaks immediate confusion. Will he turn left? No he goes right, then stays put. Alpha males acknowledge the super alpha male: the man next to whom Rem finally comes to a halt beams as if he has just won the lottery" (5,690 words)

The Blessings Of Being An Older Dad

Lee Siegel | Wall Street Journal | 13th June 2014

They are many; and many anxieties too. "I'm involved in their lives in a way I never could have been when I was younger. I'm there to give advice, to listen, to entertain, to explain, to hug, to place a reassuring hand on head or shoulder whenever and wherever they need it. The plan is to make myself so present in their thoughts and feelings that my immortality will be guaranteed — life cycles be damned" (1,117 words)

Service With A Smile

Lucy Schiller | The Riveter | 5th June 2014

Life as a San Francisco barista. "Whimsicality was the name of the coffee-making game. It disarmed angry or brusque customers. It endeared you to them by summing you up in a palatable way – you were dependably off-kilter and smiley; people looked forward to seeing you. They thought of you as their special barista, and the more charmingly odd you acted, the more you occupied this nook in their brain" (3,660 words)

The Last World Cup

Jason Cowley | New Statesman | 12th June 2014

Enjoy the World Cup while you still can. The clubs are fed up with Fifa, and so are the sponsors. "It feels like the end of an era. After Brazil 2014, unless there is urgent and fundamental reform of a kind that would seem unlikely, the tournament is finished. In Vladimir Putin and the secretive autocrats of Qatar, Fifa has the partners it deserves – and the world should turn away in disgust" (3,350 words)

Dr Zhivago And The Pope

Adam Kirsch | Tablet | 13th June 2014

Review of "The Zhivago Affair", by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, which tells how Boris Pasternak's only novel was smuggled out of Russia and republished in the West with help from MI6, the CIA and the Vatican — a remarkably enlightened and effective act of cultural diplomacy. Russia's furious reponse, and hounding of Pasternak, "made clear what was at stake in the fight between democracy and Communism" (2,155 words)

Video of the day:  I'm Thinking Sunshine

What to expect: One minute of happy animation and music. It's an advertisement, though

Thought for the day:

"The nature of technology depends upon what the public can be induced to put up with" — Joan Robinson

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