Browser Newsletter 1148


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

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Best of the Moment

Introduction To The Big New Yorker Book Of Cats

Anthony Lane | New Yorker | 29th October 2013

A corner case. To enjoy this you need a taste both for the company of cats, and for the writing style of Anthony Lane. But if you tick both boxes, this is the piece you've been waiting for all these years. "You cannot fact-check a cat. Many people have tried, some of them fluent in Persian or Burmese, but all have fallen short. In contrast to the magazine, and to this capacious book, cats are unreadable, and happy to remain so"

I Met A Serial Killer

Jay Roberts | Thought Catalog | 26th October 2013

Wow. And then some. The writer, as a young Marine, is picked up by an older man who utterly charms him, gets him drunk, and tries to lure him into sex. It was "a magic afternoon where I had been swept away by my attraction to an interesting guy. But in the end, no harm." Which was lucky, given that the seducer was America's worst-ever serial killer, Randy Kraft, who tortured and murdered dozens of men, many of them young Marines

A Pledge To My Readers

Michael Erard | Medium | 28th October 2013

"Getting fresh, organic verbs used to pose a challenge, because of the unusual way they propagate. Yet once I began searching out indigenous varieties of words, I was surprised to find all sorts that aren’t known outside the local area. There’s a small, family-run verb operation that conjugates them in small batches, the old-fashioned way. I also stumbled across a number of hard-to-find heirloom verbs"

China’s Broken Art Market

Felix Salmon | Reuters | 28th October 2013

Thoughts provoked by the recent New York Times investigation, Forging An Art Market In China (http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/china-art-fraud/?hp) . You can certainly read the original, which is in that overwrought Snowfall style; or you can go straight to Felix, who extracts the main points, explains and critiques them, and adds some conclusions at a much brisker pace. "If you’re speculating in Chinese art, you’d better have your exit planned out. Because the bubble is certain to burst"

Ian Buruma In Conversation

Jonathan Derbyshire | Prospect | 25th October 2013

Buruma discusses his new book, Year Zero: A History Of 1945. "The Soviet Red Army was actively encouraged by their leaders to wreak vengeance on the Germans. They behaved horribly in Germany and in the places they went through to get there but what the Soviets did to the Germans was not nearly as horrible as what the Germans had done to them. There was also a political agenda. Vengeance on a large scale cannot be spontaneous"

Video of the day: No Woman, No Drive

Thought for the day:

"The capacity to reason is a special sort of capacity because it can lead us to places that we did not expect to go"— Peter Singer

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