Lord Kitchener, My Little Pony, New York Review, Amazon, Henry Kissinger

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

The Strange Death Of Lord Kitchener

Jeremy Paxman | Financial Times | 7th November 2014

At the height of the First World War in 1916 the British war secretary, Horatio Kitchener, boarded a cruiser off the Orkneys on a secret visit to Russia. The ship exploded at sea. Kitchener "was last seen standing in his field marshal’s uniform on the starboard side of the quarterdeck, calmly talking to two staff officers as the ship went down". Presumably, the Germans blew it up. But who tipped off the Germans? (5,320 words)

How My Little Pony Became A Cult

Lisa Miller | New York | 6th November 2014

The cartoon series My Little Pony, intended for three-year-old girls, has become "a way of life" for "millions of non-creepy people" of more advanced ages. It "consciously, almost cheesily, invites comparisons to every fantasy and fairy tale in the childhood canon", but with magic girl-ponies in charge. “There's a lot of sweetness and love, and people are attracted to that sweetness because it's hard to find in other places" (3,370 words)

No Argument Here

Gerald Howard | n+1 | 6th November 2014

Entertaining review of The Fifty-Year Argument, Martin Scorsese's film about the New York Review Of Books. Scorsese is "reverent to a fault". His film is a "Last Waltz for eggheads". Where is the grit? Where are the arguments? He could at least have told more about Robert Silvers, the Review's perpetual editor. "The life of the mind may be outwardly quiet, but it is nowhere near as dull as the film inadvertently makes it out to be" (2,230 words)

War Of The Words

Keith Gessen | Vanity Fair | 6th November 2014

How Amazon became the mortal enemy of the book-publishing industry, after first being seen as its saviour. The tipping-point was passed when Borders went bankrupt in 2011. Amazon is now more powerful than any publisher, and the publishing industry cannot legally combine against Amazon. “Book publishers had the longest time horizon to prepare for the digital transition, and they were the least prepared” (8,000 words)

Conversation With Henry Kissinger

Richard Haass | Council on Foreign Relations | 4th November 2014

Interview transcript. American foreign policy and the Cold War. "The Soviets became gradually aware of the unworkability of their system. Brezhnev sort of felt it, but he didn't know how to translate it into action, and maybe he was wiser than Gorbachev, in the sense that he knew that if you fool around with that system, that there was no margin there to adjust it, and that when you try to adjust it, it was almost bound to collapse" (6,680 words)

Video of the day: All Triangles Are Equilateral

What to expect: Somewhere in this proof there is a bogus step. But where is it? (5'19")

Thought for the day

Seek simplicity, and distrust it
Alfred North Whitehead (https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/148309.Alfred_North_Whitehead)

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