Camels & Wheels, Editor Love, Boris Nemtsov, Jihad In Ukraine

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

Why They Lost The Wheel

Richard W. Bulliet | Aramco World | 1st May 1973

Ancient Middle Eastern societies invented, then abandoned, the wheel. The fertile crescent teemed with wheeled ox-carts. But then, a few centuries before Christ, the domesticated camel made its appearance. You couldn't hitch a camel to a cart; but a camel alone carried more than an ox with cart; so out went the carts, and with them the wheel. Wheels were lost for a thousand years until the Turks brought them back (2,099 words)

Though The Heavens Fall

Joel Finsel & John Jeremiah Sullivan | Oxford American | 26th February 2015

Enthralling portrait of Charles Love, "a lost titan of black history", founding editor of the Houston Freeman — "not the first black newspaper in Texas but the first great one". Albino and almost blind, he survived a shooting in 1896, a Klan burning soon after, and a police beating in 1925. "He fought for black women, black postal workers, and the right of blacks to hitch their horses on downtown streets for longer than thirty minutes" (6,100 words)

We Think Of Nemtsov

Pawel Kowal | American Interest | 28th February 2015

Useful take on Boris Nemtsov's murder, which must have been staged to send a specific message. “They have a rule to not touch former members of the government", Nemtsov himself had said two years earlier; kill not, that you be not killed in turn. But times change. "Nemtsov’s death thus means that the Russian authorities are no longer afraid of anything — and have no plans to relinquish power any time soon" (1,220 words)

Ukraine Becomes A Gateway for Jihad

Marcin Mamon | Intercept | 26th February 2015

The partial collapse of the Ukrainian state makes the country a valuable staging point for Islamic extremists, including Chechens who want to fight Russia. "For $15,000 a fighter receives a legal document attesting to Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine doesn’t belong to the EU, but Ukrainians have few difficulties obtaining visas to neighbouring Poland. You can acquire unregistered weapons and export them" (2,570 words)

Video of the day: Frank Underwood Cares

What to expect: Satire. Political ad for House Of Cards anti-hero. Stay for the last line (0'53")

Thought for the day

Incompetence is the origin of adventure
Roald Amundsen

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