Fat, Second Life, Eastern Europe, Dogs, Memory

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

Fat In Every Language

Jonatha Kottler | New York | 8th February 2017

On being fat in America, the Netherlands, and Scotland. The Netherlands is worst: “Every sidewalk, tram car, and restaurant chair made it clear that in the land of the very tall and very slim I was taking up more than my share of space. Struggling and homesick, I was living proof of the worst American stereotypes. I wasn’t just an overweight woman who was singled out as fat in her own country, but the manifestation of the fat, lazy, loud, insincere, stupid Americans that they always knew existed” (2,000 words)

Moving To Virtual Utopia

Kristen French | Backchannel | 13th February 2017

The much-hyped “virtual world” of Second Life peaked a decade ago, and most users have long since moved on. But for the severely disabled who make up 20-50% of the remaining community, Second Life is irreplaceable. “For many disabled residents, who may spend 12 hours a day or more in Second Life, the most important moments and relationships of their lives happen inside the virtual world. The fantasies of a decade ago have become reality: Second Life is where they live” (3,600 words)

Goodbye, Eastern Europe

Jacob Mikanowski | LA Review Of Books | 27th January 2017

Eastern Europe was a useful category for literature, and academia, and geopolitics. But nobody ever thought of themselves as living there. And now it has gone. “If the fall of the Iron Curtain removed the geopolitical rationale for studying the region, it also removed the main thing binding it together. What does Albania have in common with Estonia, or Belarus with Slovenia? Besides being fragments of long-vanished empires, they share almost nothing in terms of culture, economy, or creed” (5,900 words)

Agility Trials In Full Swing

Jessica Loudis | n+1 | 14th February 2017

When visiting the Westminster dog show in New York, “those in the know” start the day at “Meet The Breeds” in Pier 92, a “sensory overload in which owners showcase their pets in personalised booths”. Any dog of Asian or Middle Eastern ancestry “is liable to be dressed in a way that would make Edward Said turn in his grave”. This year three new breeds are included: The pumi, the sloughi, and the American hairless terrier, the last likened by the New York Times to “a piece of warm bologna” (1,300 words)

What It’s Like To Lose Your Short-Term Memory

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee | Longreads | 8th February 2017

“In the wake of my stroke, I remembered the names of people I’d known for years, even if I couldn’t remember the names of doctors I had just met. I recognized my best friend, and my husband, and my girlfriends, and greeted them. But when they’d leave the room and return, I would greet them again, as if they hadn’t been in that same room just fifteen minutes prior. I knew who they were, but I had lost track of time. My short-term memory was unable to move things into long-term storage” (4,200 words)

Video of the day: Julian Lennon: Saltwater 25 Years

What to expect:

Gorgeous vintage cartoon-like animation by Layla Atkinson and Jock Mooney (4’37”)

Thought for the day

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost
G.K. Chesterton

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