Giraffe Edition 9

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

London Friends: An Evening With The Browser

One of our favourite science writers — heck, one of our favourite writers — Philip Ball ( will be taking about ideas of beauty in science at Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Road, London E1 at 7.30 on Monday July 7th. Tickets are severely underpriced at £5 including wine, thanks to sponsorship from Aeon ( and The Browser. Come and join us. Tickets are here (  via Eventbrite; or just email

Has GDP Outgrown Its Use?

David Pilling | FT Magazine | 4th July 2014

GDP gets far too much respect as an economic indicator, given its fuzzy and shifting nature. It's pretty good for measuring production of raw materials and simple manufactured goods, but much less reliable with complex manufactured goods, and "atrocious" at capturing services — which account for two-thirds of rich-world output. "Our societies have been somehow hijacked by pursuit of a single data point" (3,300 words)

Abe’s Long March

Ian Buruma | Project Syndicate | 4th July 2014

Japan's government plans to “reinterpret” the postwar constitution to allow Japan to intervene militarily on behalf of allies; a momentous change without even a parliamentary vote; in keeping with prime minister Shinzo Abe's nationalist agenda. It's hard to say which prospect will please China less: A Japan defended by America, or a Japan with its own nuclear weapons and an independent foreign policy (900 words)

Jeff Koons Is Back

Ingrid Sischy | Vanity Fair | 3rd July 2014

Sympathetic portrait of America's emblematic modern artist. His reputation boomed in the 1980s, crashed in the 1990s, and has surged back to a new high in the past decade. His Balloon Dog sold for $58.4m, the highest price paid for a work by a living artist. He sees himself as the new Picasso. But probably he is more like Warhol; he nails the Zeitgeist. And he understands selling; he used to trade commodities (4,950 words)

Twilight Of The Pizza Barons

Bryan Gruley | Business Week | 3rd July 2014

Tom Monaghan founded Domino's, which was all about delivery. Mike Ilitch founded Little Ceasar, which was all about value — his two-for-one deals "worked so well that he installed conveyor-belt ovens to keep pies coming". Now they are a study in contrast. Monaghan, 77, has given his money away and prepares like a monk for death; across Detroit, where both men live, Ilitch is building an 18,000-seater hockey arena (2,630 words)

English, Loanword Champion Of The World!

Britt Peterson | Boston Globe | 29th June 2014

English borrows words liberally from other languages, but lends plenty too, often with something gained in translation. "Japan's Pokémon takes its name from English pocket monster. Japan’s puroresu is another abbreviated compound, from professional wrestling. Then there are loans where a word stays intact but the meaning shifts. A smoking is French for a tuxedo, and a dressman is a German male model" (1,090 words)

Video of the day: David Brooks In Conversation With Katie Couric At The Aspen Ideas Festival

What to expect: A few words in praise of The Browser. Forgive our vanity, but we're thrilled

Thought for the day

"The opposite of a trivial truth is false. The opposite of a great truth is also true"
—  Niels Bohr

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