Dog-Sitting, Edirne, Baltics, Lebanon, Dabbawallas

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

Dog-Sitting In The On-Demand Age

Justin Fox | Bloomberg | 30th July 2015

DogVacay matches dog-sitters with dog-owners who want to take a holiday. You could call it Uber for dogs — but that assumes lot of aggravation that is peculiar to Uber. DogVacay is not disrupting an established trade, or relying on regulatory loopholes, or employing people without paying taxes or benefits. It is enabling people to do at the margins things that they could not do before. This is how the on-demand economy should work (1,360 words)

Europe’s Waiting-Room

Asher Kohn | Roads And Kingdoms | 31st July 2015

Letter from Erdine in Turkey, close to the borders of Greece and Bulgaria, gathering point for Syrian refugees hoping to cross into the European Union. A century ago Edirne was thronging with refugees heading east — a million Muslims from the new Balkan states, half a million expelled from Greece, all seeking safe haven in Turkey. “Edirne is like a gun. It gets loaded with refugees, and then shoots them everywhere” (1,700 words)

Putin’s Next Target: The Baltics?

Andrew Stuttaford | Prospect | 16th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Russia steps up its harassment of the Baltics from belligerent rhetoric to large-scale military exercises and incursions into Baltic airspace. The next step would be the fomenting of unrest among Russian-speakers in Latvia and Estonia, as happened in eastern Ukraine; or Russia could take a bite out of either country, as it did with Crimea — just enough to test whether Nato would indeed go to war for them (3,700 words)

Dear Lebanon, Goodbye

Tom Fletcher | Foreign Office Blogs | 31st July 2015

British Ambassador to Lebanon bids a public farewell at the end of a four-year term: "Four marathons, 100 blogs, 10,000 tweets, 59 calls on Prime Ministers, 600 long dinners, 52 graduation speeches, two rock concerts, 43 grey hairs, a job swap with a domestic worker and a walk the length of the coast. I was offered a free buttock lift but its value exceeded our £140 gift limit, so that daunting task is left undone" (1,270 words)

Let’s Do Lunch: The Dabbawalas Of Mumbai

Avantika Chilkoti & David Pilling | Financial Times | 1st August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

The Dabbawalas of Mumbai may well be the world's most efficient delivery network, hand-carrying home-cooked lunches to 130,000 office workers every day. Lunch boxes pass from courier to courier between pick-up and delivery but mistakes are almost unknown. Each box carries a code of characters and colours showing route and destination. “It’s a job for the illiterate. It’s a lot of hard work. The literate are no use in this industry” (3,560 words)

Video of the day: Restoring A Masterpiece

What to expect: Michael Gallagher restores Charles Le Brun's "Everhard Jabach And His Family" for the Metropolitan Museum, New York (5'03")

Thought for the day

We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries
William James

Join 150,000+ curious readers who grow with us every day

No spam. No nonsense. Unsubscribe anytime.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Please enter a valid email address!
You've successfully subscribed to The Browser
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Could not sign in! Login link expired. Click here to retry
Cookies must be enabled in your browser to sign in