Browser Newsletter 1059

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

Best of the Moment

Tax And Marriage: Why Subsidise Weird Lifestyle Choices?

Laurie Penny | New Statesman | 9th July 2013

Tendentiously argued, beautifully written, funny with it. "There’s nothing wrong with funding minority cultural practices. Clearly, some people enjoy marriage and some of these people are able to make it work as a permanent arrangement, although it sounds exhausting. I only ask that subsidies be distributed fairly. We can chip in for their floral arrangements and bathroom sets, they can pay for our three-person dildos and car-park orgies"

Sears: At War With Itself

Mina Kimes | Business Week | 11th July 2013

What it's like to be an executive at Sears under Eddie Lampert: Like something out of Hunger Games. He's divided the group into thirty separately-run business units — "warring tribes" — which compete for resources. Lampert thought the outcome would be innovation, efficiency more granular data. Arguments would rise to the top and get adjudicated there. In practice, everybody's frightened of Lampert, so nothing gets done

Operation Easter

Julian Rubinstein | New Yorker | 15th July 2013

On the fight against theft of wild birds' eggs in Britain — "the only wildlife crime that warrants an ongoing nationwide police initiative, called Operation Easter". The main target: some fifty poachers, mostly known to one another, "a secretive network of men obsessed with accumulating and cataloguing the eggs of rare birds". At their head: Matthew Gonshaw, "the most notorious egg collector in Britain"

Water Has No Enemies

Teju Cole | Granta | 16th July 2013

On visiting, and getting robbed in, Lagos. "What I feel each time I enter the country is not a panic, exactly; it is rather a sense of fragility, of being more susceptible to accidents and incidents, as though some invisible veil of protection had been withdrawn, and fate could strike at any time. When I’m in the US, I argue with those who think Lagos is too dangerous a place to visit. I’m less defensive when I’m actually there"

What The Ћ?

Keith Houston | Shady Characters | 15th July 2013

Punctuation and typography pedants enjoy; others pass by. Should we adopt the typographical symbol "Ћ" as an abbreviation for "the"? It's a plausible idea. We have "&" for "and". Why not "Ћ" for "the"? One problem: The "Ћ" symbol is already in current use, for the uppercase Cyrillic letter tshe, pronounced "ch", albeit only in Serbian. A better choice might be the Old English letter "þ", called the "thorn", and pronounced “th”

Video of the day: Disneyland 1955

Thought for the day:

"The present enables us to understand the past, not the other way round" — A.J.P. Taylor

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