Browser Newsletter 1121

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

Best of the Moment

We Will Never Know What’s Inside Our Bodies

Harris Sockel | Medium | 27th September 2013

You can look inside an iPhone; you can't look inside yourself. "I feel like my body is an inside joke and I’m on the outside. We have pieces that were ugly when we were born and will keep getting uglier. Pieces that were beautiful when we were born that we will never see — the lattice of blood on the back of your hand or the bottom of your foot. Parts that, if someone were to unscrew us and pop off our backs, we wouldn’t claim"

Why You Should Never Kiss A Pig

Michael Mechanic | Mother Jones | 26th September 2013

Interview with Peter Doherty, veterinary pathologist, virologist and Nobel prize-winner. Mostly about flu. "If I was Saddam Hussein and I really wanted to make a virulent flu virus, I would take a recently drawn flu virus, I would passage it through groups of 20 prisoners, I'd take the virus from the ones who were dying, and I would passage it through more. Anyone could do this. You just have to be unscrupulous enough"

The Notebooks Of Leopardi

John Gray | New Statesman | 26th September 2013

Review of the first full English translation of Zibaldone, a journal kept by 19C Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. "With its publication, Leopardi will be ranked among the supreme interrogators of the modern condition. The notebook has something in common with Pascal’s Pensées and Kierkegaard’s diaries but the voice – refined, detached and betraying a reticent intellectual passion – is Leopardi’s alone"

Against All Odds

Matthew Symonds | Economist | 26th September 2013

How Oracle recovered from 1-8 down to retain the America's Cup with a 9-8 victory over New Zealand — "the most spectacular match-sailing series ever and one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history". They brought in a new tactician and re-engineered the boat with a shorter bowsprit to make it faster upwind. "Oracle never looked back, putting together its extraordinary run of winning eight races in a row" (Metered paywall)

When Baby Hits The Bottle, So Does Daddy

Jon Sabin | Medium | 26th September 2013

Drinking with small children in the house isn't taboo; it's compulsory. "Happy hour starts at 7 pm. We have taken to the bottle. With a restorative slug of alcohol the world, for a moment, makes sense. We can laugh at our parental inadequacies, our daughters’ smiles. With alcohol, sex becomes a distant possibility. Coffee gets us through the day; alcohol gives us the fortitude to do it again"

Video of the day: Tyler Cowen On Paul Krugman

Thought for the day:

"Cigarettes are like hamsters. Perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it" — Zach Galifianakis

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