Browser Newsletter 1165


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Best of the Moment

Obituary: Doris Lessing

Lorna Sage | The Guardian | 17th November 2013

Born in Tehran; grew up in Zimbabwe; died in London at 94. She was "one of the major fiction writers of the second half of the 20th century and one of the most vividly representative literary figures of our times. She lived through some momentous transformations of her own vocation, from communist social realist to reluctant feminist, to Sufi seeker, to Cassandra, to self-appointed cosmic anthropologist"

Crystal Meth Shame Of Bank Chief

Nick Craven & Ross Slater | Daily Mail | 16th November 2013

For connoisseurs of British tabloid journalism, one for the ages. Former chairman of Co-op Bank filmed buying crystal meth before his testimony to parliament about his bank's £700m loss. He is also a practising Methodist minister, and a former chairman of an anti-drug charity. His betrayer: a lover half his age whom he met on Grindr. "Rev. Flowers said in a statement: 'This year has been incredibly difficult'"

A Running Tally Of Epic Waste

Scot Paltrow | Reuters | 18th November 2013

Pentagon is "largely incapable of keeping track of its weapons, ammunition and other supplies". Not to mention finances: it has never completed the annual audit required by law since 1996. In that time the military has spent $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money — more than China's GDP. Managers struggling with monthly returns are told to make “unsubstantiated change actions”; in other words, enter false numbers

Why Do You Use Microsoft Word?

Charlie Stross | Charlie's Diary | 17th November 2013

Rant. However much you hate Microsoft Word, as a writer you have to use it, at least for correcting, because Word is the publishing industry standard. "Publishers expect to get a .doc or .docx file back, with change tracking switched on and our own changes stacked on top of the copy editors, for editorial review before they hit the accept all changes button and forward the final product to the typesetter"

Typeface vs. Font

Robby Ingebretsen | Nerdplusart | 11th November 2013

What's the difference? In hot-metal days the usage was clear. A font was a typeface set at a certain size, weight and style — and cast in metal. "There was no way to buy just a typeface. Instead you bought a font: Garamond Bold at 13 points." In the digital world, the distinction gets blurred. Here's one way to think of it: "A typeface is like a song and a font is like a recording". Or: "You design a typeface, you make a font"

An Unremarkable Terrorist

Nicholas Schmidle | New Yorker | 11th November 2013

Short profile of Maulana Fazlullah, new head of Pakistani Taliban, who ordered failed assassination of teenager Malala Yousafzai. "He is young and ruthless, and has taken responsibility for a panoply of barbaric acts over the years ... He cuts an unremarkable figure: short, with hippo teeth, wavy tresses, and a bulky, black turban ... He is as much a rebel and a crusader as he is a terrorist"

Video of the day: Errol Morris Talks To Benoit Mandelbrot

Thought for the day:

"Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible" — Doris Lessing

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