Giraffe Edition 8

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

First World War, The Battle Of Historians

Simon Heffer | New Statesman | 3rd July 2014

We will get a more accurate picture of the First World War, now that the last participants are dead. While they lived, historians writing about the war paid "a natural deference" to their memories and sensibilities. But as history comes to be written entirely from documents, "there can be, paradoxically, far more rigour in the analysis, as sources are tested against each other, and the unreliability of active memory ceases to intrude" (3,600 words)

Gridlock Capital Of The World

Michael Hobbes | New Republic | 2nd July 2014

Welcome to Dhaka in Bangladesh, the world's fastest-growing and densest city, with 15 million people and only 60 traffic lights. There is no planned road network, no subway, and 60 separate bus networks. At peak times cars and buses move at twenty feet an hour. The overhead in terms of social and economic costs is crippling. "Alleviating traffic congestion is one of the defining development challenges of our time" (1,450 words)

New York’s Shadow Transit

Aaron Reiss | New Yorker | 2nd July 2014

Riding New York's unofficial public-transport system — the "dollar vans" which go where subways and buses don’t; mostly out to low-income neighbourhoods with large immigrant populations. Vans from Chinatown link Chinese communities in Elmhurst, Flushing, and Sunset Park. Travel comes with all the comforts and discomforts of home: "It could easily be a ride on a bus in rural China" (2,900 words)

How Are Apps Made?

Craig Mod | Medium | 2nd July 2014

"Enumerate the unknowns. Make a list. Making known the unknowns you now know will surface the other unknowns, the important unknowns, the truly devastating unknowns — you can’t scrape our content! you can’t monkey park here! a tiny antennae is not for rent! You want to unearth answers as quickly as possible. Nothing else matters if your question marks irrecoverably break you. Do not procrastinate in their excavation" (1,030 words)

Gods In Bottles And Concrete Crocodiles

Philip Hoare | New Statesman | 3rd July 2014

An exhibition of British folk art at the Tate Britain in London seeks to recover "an indigenous British culture" of the kind last celebrated a century ago before narratives of multiculturalism came to dominate public life. Perhaps the show portends, even unconsciously, "a new sense of nationalism". At any rate, it is full of delights: "This stuff is beyond classification; that is part of its appeal; it is Britain’s feral past" (1,500 words)

How Pelicans Became Blue

Philip Ball | Homunculus | 2nd July 2014

The covers of the pioneering non-fiction Pelican imprint were as distinctive as the content. The series launched in 1937 with George Bernard Shaw’s The Intelligent Women’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism. The cover was a shade of blue "veering towards turquoise, which chemists will recognize instantly as a copper pigment of some kind" — copper phthalocyanine, sold as "monastral blue" (830 words)

Video of the day: Gulp — Vast Space

What to expect: Escher-like animations, indie-rock music

Thought for the day

"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy"
—  Kurt Vonnegut

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