Giraffe Edition 43

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

Science And Ethics Of Ebola Treatment

Joanna Monti-Masel | Scientia Salon | 14th August 2014

How to administer a very few doses of untested medicine in an epidemic. Don't worry about side effects: "If there were ever a disease for which this is not a big deal, it is Ebola. It seems unlikely that the drug could make matters any worse". Do have a control group, however small: Toss a coin to see which of the two American patients gets ZMapp and which a placebo; next do the same for two African patients (2,090 words)

Godfather Of Graphene

Giles Whittell | Intelligent Life | 15th August 2014

Profile of physicist Andre Geim, discoverer of graphene, Nobel prize-winner, Russian émigré now established in Manchester, England. Graphene, "100 times stronger than steel and 100 times more conductive than copper", is "the applied-science project of the age". If optimistic projections hold true, Geim will be "more than a mere scientist; he will be the founder of a new economy, like James Watt 230 years ago" (4,730 words)

Why We Love To Hate Martin Amis

Sam Leith | Guardian | 15th August 2014

Fair-minded discussion of Martin Amis, his life and work, on the eve of publication of his latest novel, The Zone of Interest, described as "an office comedy set in Auschwitz". He is "the possessor of a staggering – by which I mean both impressive and lopsided – talent". His prose is superb and distinctive; his sensibility can be a problem. We still approach his books in the hope that he will "light up the sky" (3,400 words)

Rescuing Brecht

Michael Hoffman | Times Literary Supplement | 13th August 2014

Stephen Parker's Bertold Brecht is "not only the biography of a genius, but itself a biography of genius", perhaps even enough to redeem Brecht's reputation in Britain and America, which are, "if not quite Brecht-free zones, nevertheless territories where he has persistently been misunderstood, unappreciated, unloved and under suspicion". If his life was wayward, so was that of Picasso; and Brecht's talent was every bit as great (4,400 words)


Janet Flanner | New Yorker | 1st January 1927

Sketch of Isadora Duncan at 50, nine months before her death, dancing in Nice with Jean Cocteau accompanying. "She stands almost immobile or in slow splendid steps with slow splendid arms moves to music. Posing through the works of Wagner, through tales of Dante, Isadora is still great. As if the movements of dancing had become too redundant for her spirit, she has saved from dancing only its shape" (1,970 words)

No Theatricks

Ferdinand Mount | London Review Of Books | 15th August 2014

Discussion of Edmund Burke's thought, drawing mainly on The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke by David Bromwich. Burke "foreshadows the 19th century in seeing everything – law, morality, solidarity – as historically evolved, the outcome of experience rather than design". Hence his opposition to the French Revolution: He saw that "this brutal rupture with the past would not easily settle down into a new normality" (5,100 words)

Video of the day: Texting And Internet On Film

What to expect: Illustrated discussion of how directors have learned to incorporate social media into film scenarios

Thought for the day

"The essence of constitutional freedom is to allow more liberty than the good citizen will take"
— Justice Jackson

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