Welcome to the Browser, everyone's favourite curation newsletter. Every day we read hundreds of articles and select the finest five for you to enjoy, so you'll always have something to read on the train and interesting things to say at dinner.

Lockdown With Igor Levit

Carolin Pirich | Spiegel | 10th September 2020

In which the Russian-born, Berlin-resident pianist frets about the pandemic, worrying that lockdown will plunge him into deep depression: "I feel like I am unemployed, aimless, purposeless, disembodied, glutinous, old, fat and slow". But after spending 24 euros on a tripod for his mobile phone, Levit builds a bigger-than-ever audience for his concerts from home, broadcast online (5,160 words)

Alysia Montaño Is The Hero

Nicole Blades | Runner's World | 26th August 2020

Champion runner argues that sport and politics are inseparable. "I am a Black woman, mom, everything about me is politics. Existing in a space with a governing body, that is politics. You exist in a world where you are in an education system. That’s politics. When you talk about you living in your neighborhood, that’s politics. If you live in this world, you are involved in politics" (4,400 words)

Houston vs Siena

Dan Solomon | Texas Monthly | 28th August 2020

One traffic interchange in Houston covers as much ground as the entire medieval city of Siena, home now to 30,000 people. Why do most American cities sprawl so much? In part because they are were built relatively recently, when land was plentiful; but also for strategic reasons. Cold-War urban planning "prioritised sprawl", because dense cities were susceptible to nuclear strikes (730 words)

The Angel Of History

John Merrick | Boston Review | 4th September 2020

A brief history of apocalyptic thinking in times of plague and pestilence. "Who among us hasn’t given thought to the end of days in recent months? It is hard not to feel that something — perhaps the world — is ending. If end times are to be averted, or even just delayed, it is vital that we understand the impulse to such speculation, and find hope in the apparent ruins of the world" (5,300 words)

Honouring The Dishonourable

Jacob Levy | Niskanen Centre | 9th September 2020

Thought-provoking argument against our habit of respecting power and those who wield it. "We believe that those who hold public office must have been worthy of it. Seeing such a person fall into disgrace can stir sympathy in many who are unmoved by the harm done to unknown people by public misdeeds. Henry Kissinger remains an honoured figure; those protesting his war crimes are subject to official opprobrium that he himself never is" (2,900 words)

Video: Circle Of Life | Emilie Grange. How flowers grow. Nature in all its stop-motion, slow-motion glory (2m 49s)

Audio: Frozen Food | Every Little Thing. Dad pulls a four-year-old piece of fish out of the freezer and serves it for dinner. Can that possibly be safe? (23m 24s)

Afterthought: "I am not tempted by God, but I love his trappings" — Jeanette Winterson

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