Giraffe Edition 1

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

The Origins Of Yiddish

Batya Ungar-Sargon | Tablet | 23rd June 2014

Is Yiddish a Jewish language, Germanified by its usage in the European diaspora? Or is it just another dialect of German? The debate continues, but you enter it at your own risk. "Threats of legal action are par for the course. So are character assassinations, pseudonymous academic hits, accusations of lunacy, and denials of the existence of the Jewish people". Second in a series. The first article is here ( (6,145 words)

Freezing My Eggs Would Solve Everything

Doree Shafrir | Buzzfeed | 22nd June 2014

Memoir. "I told my therapist that I was considering freezing my eggs, and she said she thought it was a good idea if it would alleviate some of the anxiety I felt about dating. I said it would cause me a different kind of anxiety because it was so expensive in New York City. I would be looking at close to $15,000 to buy myself a few years of reduced anxiety, plus $2,000 or so each year to keep them frozen" (2,620 words)

Programming Perl In 2014

Charlie Stross | Charlie's Diary | 25th June 2014

Science-fiction writer on the past and future of computing. The trajectory resembles that of railways in the past century. The technology advances relentlessly, but the infrastructure decays. By 2034 "any object with a retail value over $5 will probably have as much computing power as your laptop today". But the frameworks for handling this firehose of data will still rest on "the 70-year-old bones of ARPAnet" (6,780 words)

How Bad Can The Iraq Situation Get?

Isaac Chotiner | New Republic | 24th June 2014

Interview with Thomas Ricks. Iran has played its long game very well; it's going to end up dominating a Shiite rump state in Iraq, with a fair amount of oil. America got out just in time; if it still had troops in Iraq, it would be using them to defend Prime Minister Maliki, who is a big part of the problem. Obama has handled this part of the crisis smartly; perhaps because Joe Biden, the usual point man on Iraq, was busy with the World Cup (2,280 words)

Ebooks Versus Paper

Julian Baggini | Financial Times | 20th June 2014

Too much of the debate about screen versus printed page, and by extension about the future of books and reading, focuses on the physiology of reading to the exclusion of the psychology and the sociology. "When we sit on a train with a book open in front of us, how much has our choice of reading being influenced by our ideas of what a proper book should be like, and how a proper adult should appear in public?" (1,840 words)

Farewell Keith, The Publishing Sales Rep

Steerforth | The Dabbler | 23rd June 2014

"The typical rep was a man in his mid 50s, with a bald head, moustache and a ruddy face that indicated an approaching heart attack ... At first it seemed absurd that publishers had a sales force made up of people who didn’t know that George Eliot was a woman, but I came to realise that the best sales reps were the Brians and Barrys, whilst the worst were the bright young things who didn’t know how to sell a book" (1,490 words)

Video of the day: Less Than Jake — "Do The Math"

What to expect: Music video. Poppy indie rock. Cartoon animation. Happy mood

Thought for the day

"The value of coincidence equals the degree of its improbability"
—  Milan Kundera

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