Haulage, Churchgoing, Israel, Testosterone, Knowledge, Hugh Thomas


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

The Worst-Ever First Day On The Job

Finn Murphy | Literary Hub | 8th June 2017

Long-distance driver tells of starting work in haulage, aged 18. “Moving companies perform four categories of moving work: local, commercial, long-distance, and international. Callahan’s work was mostly local moving, loading up someone’s house in the morning and then unloading in the afternoon at the new house. It takes the greatest toll on the body because you are handling stuff every working day. It’s the local stuff that eventually kills you or drives you to drink; more commonly, both” (4,700 words)

Half-Full Of Grace

Dorothy Fortenberry | LARB | 8th June 2017

Screenwriter for The Handmaid’s Tale describes the attractions of churchgoing. “It is comforting to pray. The things we pray for are both straightforward (an end to the death penalty; a living wage for all workers; safe homes for refugees; care for the planet and its climate) and very difficult to achieve. When I think about any of these things outside of church, my blood pressure skyrockets and I go into a mild panic attack. When I pray about them in church, I feel like I am doing a tiny bit to help” (1,800 words)

The Accidental Occupation

Yaacov Lozowick | Tablet | 7th June 2017

Declassified Israeli government files from 1967 recount the first cabinet debates, in the wake of the Six-Day War, about Jerusalem and the conquered Arab lands. “Begin went first, and his position on Sinai and the Golan is surprising: He was in favor of trading them in their entirety for peace. When in 1978 he traded the entire Sinai for peace with Egypt, many of us were astonished. Had we been able to read these top-secret transcripts we’d have known that was his position from day one” (3,800 words)

Why Men Don’t Live As Long as Women

Richard Bribiescas | Nautilus | 8th June 2017

Are we at peak male testosterone? Testosterone raises the sex drive, builds muscle and burns fat. It also shortens the lifespan by encouraging recklessness, weakening the immune system, and raising the risk of prostate cancer. The reproductive payoff favoured high testosterone in ancient times: More children meant more surviving children. But now, thanks to monogamy and medicine, the trade-off is less clear. The evolutionary advantage may be passing to fathers who live longer (2,500 words)

Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge

Morgan Housel | Collaborative Fund | 1st June 2017

“Long-term knowledge is harder to notice because it’s buried in books rather than blasted in headlines. But its benefit is huge. Long-term knowledge rarely expires, letting you accumulate it over time. It compounds over time. Expiring knowledge tells you what happened; long-term knowledge tells you why something happened and is likely to happen again. That ‘why’ can translate and interact with stuff you know about other topics, which is where the compounding comes in” (760 words)

Diary: My Father

Inigo Thomas | London Review Of Books | 7th June 2017

Inigo Thomas remembers his father, the writer and historian Hugh Thomas. “A dinner for Mrs Thatcher was written about as if it was the only dinner he gave – Anthony Powell got fussy about the Rioja. There were many others. Gabriel García Márquez came to one, and when Hugh went downstairs to get more wine an after-dinner guest arrived. It was V.S. Naipaul. My father found him looking through the keyhole of the closed dining room door to see who else was at the table” (4,900 words)

Video of the day: Notget

What to expect:

Extreme Björk. Hang in for the shift to colour around 3’23” (6’36”)

Thought for the day

People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it
Ray Bradbury

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