Florida, Challenger, Hannah Arendt, Ancient DNA, John Irving


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

The New Climate Normal

Elizabeth Rush | Guardian | 28th June 2018

A visit with climate-change scientist Harold Wanless in Florida. “The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high, armadillos migrated north across a newly formed land bridge between today’s North and South America. That night the moon is big and full, making the ocean weightier. The salt water unspools in the streets and continues drowning by degrees the land that lines our shore. Soon, I think, if Hal is right, all of this will be underwater, not just temporarily, but for good” (1,400 words)

Mission Accomplished

Tonya Malinowski | ESPN | 29th June 2018

“In January 1986, Rocky IV was in theaters, gas was 93 cents per gallon and Janelle Onizuka was sitting through her sophomore classes at Clear Lake, waiting to get to soccer practice. All week, the team had been passing around a ball to sign. It was just a practice ball, a little scuffed up and not the best brand. By all accounts it was unremarkable, except for one very remarkable fact: Janelle’s dad, Ellison, was going to take it into space”. On a space shuttle. Called the Challenger (3,250 words)

Hannah Arendt: From An Interview

Roger Errera | New York Review Of Books | 26th October 1978

Topics include totalitarianism, lies, contingency, history, facts, theories, Jews, evil, progress. “If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. And with such a people you can then do what you please” (1,300 words)

What Ancient DNA Says About Us

Peter Forbes | New Humanist | 2nd July 2018

Scientific analysis of ancient DNA dates back barely 20 years, but a string of results from the Harvard lab of its main practitioner, David Reich, are writing and re-writing human pre-history. Ancient DNA tells us that Indo-European languages originated in the Yamnaya region of what is now Russia; that humans interbred with neanderthals; and that migration was almost universal. “The people in any place now are generally not related to the people who were there in the past” (2,200 words)

John Irving: The Art Of Fiction

Ron Hansen | Paris Review | 1st September 1986

Ungated, but probably not for very long. Enjoy it while you can. Charming and chatty. “I follow the form of the nineteenth-century novel; that was the century that produced the models of the form. I am old-fashioned enough to maintain that what happens in a novel is what distinguishes it, and what happens is what we see. In that sense, we’re all just reporters. We find more than we create, we simply see and expose more than we fabulate and invent. At least I do” (9,200 words)

Video of the day Our World In Data

What to expect:

Max Rosen contends that the average person is richer and healthier than ever before (2’27”)

Thought for the day

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair
Edmund Burke

Podcast Skin In The Game | Barnes And Noble

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks to Jim Mustich about risk, reward, politics, religion, and finance
(36m 30s)

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