Browser Newsletter 1147

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

Best of the Moment

The Death Of JFK: What More Do We Know?

Adam Gopnik | New Yorker | 28th October 2013

Fifty years on, two conclusions endure. First, US security services gathered formidable evidence for the sole guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald. Second, those same security services were "up to their armpits" in sinister behaviour, including the killing of other world leaders. "The division of American life into two orders — an official one of rectitude, a seedy lower order of crime — collapses under scrutiny, like the alibi in a classic film noir"

Review: Tesla Motors Model S

Lee Hutchinson | Ars Technica | 28th October 2013

Rave review of all-electric car. "As for the driving experience — well, you forget about all of the neat electronics and the touchscreen and the battery when you slip behind the wheel ... The Model S doesn't smell like oil, it doesn't drink gasoline, and it doesn't howl when you stomp on it. But even though it lacks a beating mechanical internal combustion heart, it absolutely, positively, most definitely does have a soul"

Obituary: Roberta Cowell

Matthew Bell | Independent | 26th October 2013

"Two years ago, a 93-year-old woman died alone on the bedroom floor of her sheltered-housing accommodation in west London. Half-a-dozen people attended the cremation. This is not how Roberta Cowell should be remembered, after leading one of the most extraordinary lives of the 20th century. Before withdrawing from the world, she had been a racing driver, a Spitfire pilot and a prisoner of war. She had also been a man"

Benefits Of A Hangover

Nick Richardson | London Review Of Books | 25th October 2013

Review of Daily Rituals, by, Mason Currey, on the working methods of writers and other artists. Drink figures prominently. "Patricia Highsmith would hit the vodka before starting work, not to perk her up, but to reduce her energy levels, which veered toward the manic. She also surrounded herself with pet snails, in the hope that some of the slowness would rub off." Melville would feed his cow a pumpkin before work

What Lies Beneath New York

William Langewiesche | Vanity Fair | 1st October 2013

Adventures in the pipes and passages below New York, "an underworld of caverns, squatters, and unmarked doors", with three men who spend a lot of time there. Joseph Leader is chief of New York's subway operations. Steve Duncan is an amateur explorer of the city's sewer system — which have very few rates, but lots of eels. Michael Horodniceanu runs the MTA's construction-management company, campaigning to get new tunnels built

Video of the day: Lou Reed: "Sweet Jane"

Thought for the day:

"Enough about me, let's talk about you. What do you think of me?"— Bette Midle

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