Easternisation, Bog Bodies, Frock Coats, Anagrams, Climbing

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

Can China Replace the West?

Jessica Mathews | New York Review Of Books | 28th April 2017

No. “Western influence has rested on much more than wealth and the military power. Those other elements — including open governments, readiness to build institutions, and contributions to others’ security and growth — are weak or absent in Asia today. By and large Asians have been the beneficiaries rather than the creators of regimes, agreements, and institutions conceived and built by the West. There is no Asian nation whose governance stands as a model others seek to emulate” (3,450 words)

The Bog Bodies

Joshua Levine | Smithsonian | 28th April 2017

Hundreds of almost perfectly preserved bodies pulled from peat bogs over the past three centuries testify to a tradition of human sacrifice or ritual killing in Northern Europe through the Bronze and Iron ages. “Nearly all appear to have been killed, many with such savagery that it lends an air of grim purposefulness to their deaths. They’ve been strangled, hanged, stabbed, sliced and clobbered on the head. Some victims may have been murdered more than once in several different ways” (5,100 words)

Gentlemen’s Fashions For 1831

Guardian | 28th April 2017

From the Observer of 2nd May 1831: “For frock coats, black, blue, olive, and green. Velvet collars are indispensable. The only alteration in the fashion since last month is as follows: The waist is a trifle shorter, and the hip buttons nearer together, the lapels not so pointed. A dandy no longer takes off his hat to salute his male friends, when he is on horseback; he contents himself with raising his right arm to the shoulder, and bends his fingers two or three times in the palm of his hand” (530 words)

I Found The Best Anagram In English

Mark Dominus | Universe Of Discourse | 21st February 2017

Computer analysis of the 234,000 headwords in Webster’s Second International dictionary reveals 46,351 pairs of anagrams. Which is the most striking? Clue: It is 15 letters long and involves a giant bat. Here are some of the runners-up: admirer married; admires sidearm; negativism timesaving; soapstone teaspoons; earringed grenadier; excitation intoxicate; integrals triangles; masculine calumnies; coprophagist topographics; citronella interlocal; dispensable piebaldness (1,500 words)

From Kidnapping To Kids

Beth Rodden | Outside | 11th April 2017

Rock-climber’s memoir of kidnap, murder, rock-climbing, love, marriage, mutilation, rock-climbing, motherhood, divorce, and more rock-climbing. Fingers feature prominently. “I tried to shout over him that everything was going to be OK, though obviously it was not. I found his left index finger in a pile of sawdust. It was still rough and thick with calluses and warm to the touch, and it felt like his fingers always did when I held his hand. I put it in a Ziploc bag with water and ice” (6,600 words)

Video of the day: How To Look Smart In Meetings

What to expect:

Tips from Sarah Cooper (2’16”)

Thought for the day

It is a great thing to do what is necessary before it becomes unavoidable
Flann O'Brien

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