King Charles, Women & Power, Birds, France, Animals, Selma, Postcards

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

What Happens When The Queen Dies?

Rob Price | Business Insider | 6th March 2015

A lot. Britain grinds to a halt for at least twelve days, the likely interval between the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her funeral. Prince Charles succeeds to the throne automatically at the moment of his mother's death; he may choose to be called King Charles, or take another name. The funeral will probably be history's greatest gathering of heads of state. The coronation of the new monarch follows a year later (3,400 words)

A Better World, Run By Women

Wall Street Journal | 6th March 2015

The decline of male supremacy is good news for humanity. Women are superior to men in almost everything except brute strength. A world run by women will be more peaceful, more rational, more honest — and all the more so when women no longer need to imitate men in order to gain power. The problem with men is testosterone, a biological aberration which primes them for "a lifetime of physical aggression" (1,240 words)

The Boys Who Loved Birds

Phil McKenna | Big Round Table | 18th February 2015

You probably haven't heard of the European Green Belt. It is the world's longest, thinnest nature reserve and follows the route of the old Iron Curtain which once divided Europe. It runs for 12,500 kilometres through 24 countries and links 40 nature reserves; animals and birds which have been rare in these borderlands flourish in its safety. Its creation was the work of two boys in love with birds. (10,676 words)

France On Fire

Mark Lilla | New York Review Of Books | 5th March 2015

Mark Lilla looks behind the edgy calm which has followed the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France. He finds the French elite in denial over the true state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and, while happy to protest at poverty and unemployment in the poor quartiers, unwilling to see or discuss the religious pressure  for conformity and strict observance inside Muslims communities and particularly in schools. (3,474 words)

People Are Animals, Too

Peter Aldhous | Mosaic | 10th February 2015

Anyone who has read H Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald, an extraordinary book about training a goshawk, will know the author's awed discovery of the gulf which separates a bird from a human. The human brain is special. But not, Peter Aldhous argues, that special. To understand animal minds, and our own place in the living world, we should remove ourselves from centre stage and shift our perspective. (3,979 words)

Assignment America: Selma

Gay Talese | New York Times | 6th March 2015 | Metered paywall

Gay Talese was a young reporter for the New York Times in 1965 in the Alabama town of Selma when a civil rights march led by Martin Luther King was viciously attacked, awakening the rest of America to the injustice and violence just below the surface of life in the southern states. Fifty years later, Talese returns to the town and finds change "still painfully working itself out". (2,617 words)

Are Postcards Obsolete?

Mark Jenkins | Washington Post | 26th February 2015 | Metered paywall

Not quite, even though, in many tourist spots, it is easier now to buy a selfie stick than a postcard. In the era of wi-fi and Instagram, people don't wish you were here on a small rectangle of card as often as they once did. But the humble postcard is a survivor of many technological revolutions and the dog-eared piece of snail mail retains a warmth that email and social networks can't match (1,584 words)

Video of the day: The Philosophy Of La Rochefoucauld

What to expect: School of Life biographical sketch of 17C French philosopher (5'52")

Thought for the day

The practice of violence changes the world, but the most probable change is a more violent world
Hannah Arendt (

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