Jargon, Uncle Vincent, Caste3, CS Gas, China, Martin Luther


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

A Short Glossary Of Library Terms

Jer Thorp | Medium | 10th November 2017

Or, why my sammelband has frisket-bite. Entries include: Wimmelbilderbuch: A large-format picture book characterized by full-spread drawings depicting scenes richly detailed with humans, animals, and objects. Grimoire: A textbook of magic. Sammelband: A book comprising a number of separately printed or manuscript works that are subsequently bound together. Témoin: A little bit of paper left on the edge of the page by the binder to show they didn’t over-crop when binding (670 words)

Reach Out And Touch Faith

Elizabeth Harper | Lapham's Quarterly | 8th November 2017

A visit to the body of Zio Vincenzo Camuso, venerated in Naples as a worker of miracles, though not a saint; his soul is said to be still in purgatory. Nobody is quite sure who he was or when he died, probably in the 17th or 18th century. After death his body mummified instead of rotting, and was kept “for ambience” in the crypt at the Oratory of Santa Maria Annunziata, until around 1950 rumours began to spread that “Uncle Vincent” could answer prayers, and he was given a chapel of his own (3,200 words)

Ant Among The Elephants

Tyler Cowen | Conversations with Tyler | 15th November 2017

Powerful and persuasive conversation about caste in India, and class systems in general, with Sujatha Gidla, who was born an untouchable in India, moved to the United States, wrote a much-admired memoir about her family, and works now on the New York Subway. “The word is untouchables. That is the neutral, matter-of-fact, politically neutral word. It is all in the word. They’re not to be touched. If you touch them, you’re polluted, and you have to cleanse yourself” (10,040 words)

The Science Of CS Gas

Anna Feigenbaum | Verso | 15th November 2017

Gripping and damning account of Britain’s determination to legitimise the use of CS gas against crowds in Northern Ireland. After a first gas attack in Londonderry, the government sent a London physician, Sir Harold Himsworth, to report. Himsworth ignored and derided personal testimony. “He was after authorized laboratory reports, not regular people’s tales of gassed babies or dead budgies.” Himsworth duly cleared CS gas for regular use; governments cite his report to this day (8,082 words)

The Nightmare

Wang Yu | China Change | 13th November 2017

Chinese human-rights lawyer recounts her abduction and interrogation by Beijing police, who wanted her to confess to “subversion of state power”. First, she was shackled to a chair for five days. “I felt that I was dying. I had entered an empty state; a pain that is hard to describe. I couldn’t breathe. I felt pain in every part of my body. I felt that my soul had already drifted away. That day, I thought, I really was like a dead person. I spent another sleepless night strapped in the chair” (4,530 words)

The Revolution Of 1517

David Jamieson | Jacobin | 31st October 2017

Overview of the Protestant Reformation. Challenges to the Catholic Church’s power and wealth had been growing since the early 14th century, when failed harvests followed by the Black Death produced general misery in Europe. “It seemed like civilization had reached its limits. Poverty and hunger flourished.” The Hussite rebellion of the early 15th century resonated long after Hus’s death. Martin Luther’s was the rebellion which prevailed, with results that shocked Luther himself (3,200 words)

Video of the day NYC Layer-Lapse

What to expect:

Time-lapse of Manhattan assigning different time-cycles to different buildings; 352 hours of filming by Julian Tryba (2’40”)

Thought for the day

The trouble with history is that there are too many people involved
Nick Hornby

Podcast of the day Walk On Water | Art 19

Malcolm Gladwell talks to producer Rick Rubin about where songs come from and how records are made
(14'51")

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