Healing, Execution, Casablanca, Time, Wes Anderson


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

The Placebo Effect

Erik Vance | Pulitzer Center | 12th April 2018

A reporter with a sore knee travels the world in search of a cure, eventually finding success in Mexico, where a healer offers to suck his blood. “She attached her mouth to my knee and began sucking. I half expected her to cut me or bite me until I bled but she never broke the skin. The drawing of blood, it seems, is metaphorical. When it was over I thanked them and walked back to the car. It was only then that I realized I didn’t feel any pain in my knee anymore. I’d been cured” (2,400 words)

A Judge On Execution Day

Mike Lynch | Marshall Project | 12th April 2018

“The execution was set for 6pm. I knew because I set the date and time myself. As the minutes passed, I felt a familiar sense of unease. More than three decades had passed since the defendant was convicted of murdering a police officer. In the years since I’d presided over his trial, the defendant had become a gray-haired, middle-aged man. He had a nearly flawless record helping other inmates. Now he would be erased from the Earth by a system in which I was a key participant” (960 words)

Play It Over And Over Again

Tom Shone | New Statesman | 14th April 2018

On the set of the greatest American-made film, “Casablanca”, the only American-born actor was Humphrey Bogart. The other 100 were immigrants from 34 nations including Bergman (Sweden), Rains and Greenstreet (Britain), Henreid (Austria), Veidt (Germany) and Lorre (Slovakia). Sakall (Hungary), who played the head waiter, lost three sisters to the death camps. “There were so many German Jews playing the very Nazis they had fled that German was frequently spoken on set” (1,580 words)

Time Is Elastic

Carlo Rovelli | Guardian | 14th April 2018

“Time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level. The difference is small but can be measured with precision timepieces that can be bought today for a few thousand pounds. Lower down, all processes are slower. Two friends separate, with one of them living in the plains and the other going to live in the mountains. They meet up again years later: the one who has stayed down has lived less, aged less, the mechanism of his cuckoo clock has oscillated fewer times” (1,550 words)

Japanese Speakers Watch “Isle of Dogs”

Emily Yoshida | Vulture | 29th March 2018

Wes Anderson’s “Isle Of Dogs” is the “perfect artifact for our conversation around cultural appropriation”. Anderson “uses Japanese-ness as a costume”. You could “swap Japan out for Finland and not much would change”. The dogs speak English, the humans speak Japanese. “It’s clearly meant to echo the fact that the dogs can’t understand the humans — but what is the experience of watching the film for a person who can understand Japanese? Is the film not made for you?” (2,200 words)

Video of the day Engineering A Cure

What to expect:

David Baltimore talks about the hazards of using CRISPR to augment human capabilities (2’32’)

Thought for the day

Anything suggested is far more effective than anything laid down
Jorge Luis Borges

Podcast The Road To The Promised Land | Code Switch

The assassination of Martin Luther King, and its consequences. With Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji
(23m 50s)

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