Dark Matter, Gaelic, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-pearl-of-lao-tzu/55910

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

What Is Dark Matter?

Lisa Randall | Nature | 9th May 2018

Matter is “any material that interacts with gravity”. Dark matter interacts with gravity, but does not seem to made of atoms. It has no charged particles, no electromagnetic effects. “We know it exists, but we do not yet know what it is at a fundamental level”. Dark matter “carries five times the mass of ordinary matter and, furthermore, does not directly interact with light”. It should “really be called transparent matter because, as with all transparent things, light just passes through it” (1,000 words)

A History Of Ireland In Phrases

Micheál Ó Conghaile | Irish Times | 8th May 2018

Introduction to, and extracts from, an Irish phrasebook. “The Irish language phrases in this book are ones that I mostly grew up with. We don’t know for sure how old they are. Perhaps some of them have been used by previous generations for over a thousand years or longer, originating in Old Irish before the ninth century, living through Middle Irish, 900-1200, through Classical Irish, 1200-1600 and still to the fore ever since in Modern Irish, surviving through the Great Famine of the 1840s” (2,900 words)

The Pearl Of Lao Tzu

Michael LaPointe | Atlantic | 10th May 2018

A tale of ancient philosophers, alien abductions, murder and fraud, with a huge pearl at its heart. “Legend says the diver drowned retrieving the pearl, which was trapped in a giant clam. When the clam was pried open, and the meat scraped out, the local chief beheld something marvelous: a massive pearl, its sheen like satin. In its surface, the chief discerned the face of the Prophet Muhammad. He named it the Pearl of Allah. At 14 pounds, one ounce, it was the largest pearl ever discovered” (8,300 words)

Explaining The Balkans

Branko Milanovic | Global Inequality | 11th May 2018

The flight time between Vienna and Belgrade is about an hour, but the income gap between the two cities (after adjusting for the lower price level in Belgrade) is probably around 4 to 1. This is equivalent to losing 30% of your income every 15 minutes. Why so? You can blame Ottoman colonialism, you can blame communism, and both played their part, but even in antiquity Balkan cities were poorer than their Greek and Roman neighbours. The root cause seems to be geography (1,200 words)

Judgement And Epiphany On The 79 Bus

Brian Broome | Longreads | 1st August 2017

Notes on life in the East Hills district of Pittsburgh. “The walls around here are like rice paper, and whatever your neighbor does on his side may as well be done right in front of you. Even if the walls were made of Kryptonite I would still hear my neighbor’s insanity clear as gunshots. Like me, he is a drunk, although a far less responsible one. I work for a living, he cannot be bothered to take up such intrusions. The bottle requires all his time and energy. I am almost four years clean” (7,100 words)

Video of the day Two Nineteen Forty Four

What to expect:

Timelapse of a record-breaking ascent of The Nose at Yosemite’s El Capitan, from Tristan Greszko

Thought for the day

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room
Simon Kuper

Podcast Ask Maggie Haberman | Slate

The White House correspondent of the New York Times talks about covering the Trump Administration
(29m 30s)

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