London, Target, Lord Weidenfeld, Suicide, Mimesis

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

London Calling

Ben Judah | Financial Times | 22nd January 2016 | | Read with 1Pass

Review of Ben Judah's book, This is London: Life and Death in the World City, about London's poor new immigrant communities. Judah "starts his progress by sleeping rough with Roma beggars in an underpass near Hyde Park". On one thing alone the immigrants all agree: The English are lazy. “Every time they need like a hammer, or the water it is having a problem, they are calling, calling, people who must do it for them" (1,040 words)

The Last Days Of Target Canada

Joe Castaldo | Canadian Business | 18th January 2016

How did one of America's most admired retailers fall flat on its back in Canada? Two main reasons. First, Target bought 124 stores up-front, in effect committing itself to opening them fast. Second, it bought new stock-management software that it didn't know how to use. Warehouses swelled with stock that never got to the stores. After one year Target Canada issued a public apology. After two years it filed for bankruptcy (8,100 words)

Obituary: Lord Weidenfeld

Telegraph | 20th January 2016

George Weidenfeld was "an outstanding, perhaps a great, publisher", although his "personal and marital affairs were unnecessarily complicated, as were his business dealings." He was "a wheeler-dealer, an intriguer, a button-holer, constantly travelling, a ceaseless party-giver". He was also "a celebrated coureur des femmes". Below his "broad girth" was said to lurk "an attentive, octopus-limbed, accomplished lover" (1,900 words)

Suicide Of The Ceasefire Babies

Lyra McKee | Mosaic Science | 19th January 2016

When peace came to Northern Ireland, the suicide rate doubled. Which is counter-intuitive, but probably true of other post-war societies. "In war, the ruling government usually collapses – and with it meaningful record keeping. The Troubles was a conflict throughout which the state remained strong. It’s the best dataset we have to prove that the problems faced in a war-torn country do not end with the arrival of peace" (3,600 words)

Auerbach Was Right

Michael Witmore | Wine-Dark Sea | 22nd January 2016

Computerised analysis supports Erich Auerbach's contention in Mimesis that the Odyssey and the Gospels manifest, even in translation, two distinct styles of representing the world. The point of this exercise is not to contend that a computer can supersede an Auerbach, but rather to demonstrate what computerised textual analysis can contribute to scholarship, and, as such, it is rather impressive (3,380 words)

Video of the day: Kubrick In Colour

What to expect: Montage of scenes, some disturbing, tracing Stanley Kubrick's use of colour (4'21")

Thought for the day

The emotions I feel are no more meant to be shown in their unadulterated state than the inner organs by which we live
Hannah Arendt

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