Gambling, Pinball, Electoral College, Class, Black Sea


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

Big Money, Big Questions

Daniela Wei & Matthew Campbell | Bloomberg Businessweek | 13th November 2016

“On a tiny island in the western Pacific, between a one-story laundromat and a cell-phone shop, you’ll find what may be the most successful casino of all time. Nothing about the facility, which opened last year on the US island of Saipan, hints at the money flowing through it — table for table, far more than at the biggest casinos in Macau, the world’s number-one gambling capital”. And all above board, obviously. An ex-Trump gambling boss runs the show, advised by former CIA and FBI directors (2,300 words)

The Charmer

Chris Koentges | ESPN | 13th November 2016

Profile of Robert Gagno, autistic pinball genius. “He folds his upper torso over the glass at almost a 90-degree angle, mirroring the machine’s rigid geometry. It’s an unorthodox stance, hips back, knees knocked together like a skier. He’ll catch two balls on one flipper and pass them back and forth, along with a third and fourth, hitting combinations of shots that seem to unlock the secret dreams pent up inside each cabinet. He perceives things in a pinball machine that nobody else can” (6,300 words)

Electoral College: Make Clinton President

Lawrence Lessig | Medium | 11th November 2016

The Framers of the American Constitution created the Electoral College because they wanted a “circuit breaker” in place lest “some insane passion sweep the nation, and drive it to elect a nut or a demagogue”. Hillary Clinton is not a nut or a demagogue; she won the majority of the popular vote; so it is the duty of the Electoral College to elect her president. For the Electorial College to defy the popular vote in order to make Donald Trump president is the opposite of what the Constitution requires (1,400 words)

What People Don’t Get About The US Working Class

Joan Williams | Harvard Business Review | 10th November 2016

Class trumps gender in American politics. Sexism worked against Hillary Clinton, but class resentment worked against her far more. “A few days’ paid leave ain’t gonna support a family. Neither is minimum wage. Men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want are steady jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to Americans who don’t have a college degree. Trump promises that. I doubt he’ll deliver, but at least he understands what they need” (2,300 words)

A Lost World Of Shipwrecks

Willam Broad | New York Times | 11th November 2016

In “one of archaeology’s greatest coups”, submarine drones have found at least 40 wrecked ships dating from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries in the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea, all excellently preserved because the sea has very little oxygen in its stagnant lower depths. Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, which control other parts of the Black Sea, may now be inspired to co-operate. The sea as a whole “undoubtedly holds tens of thousands of lost ships” (Metered paywall) (1,900 words)

Video of the day: Elliptical Pool Table

What to expect:

Alex Bellos explains how to play pool on an elliptical table. It’s all down to focal points (3’39”)

Thought for the day

If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago
William Hazlitt

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