Matisse, God In China, Jon Stewart, Modern Farmer

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

Cut-Out Of The Artist As A Young Man

Jed Perl | New Republic | 1st November 2014

The exhibition of Matisse collages at the Museum of Modern Art in New York is "the strangest youthquake the world has ever seen", the product of Matisse's "manic energy" in his seventies and eighties, the last years of his life, when from his sick-bed he "embarked on a mind-bending reconsideration of what may be the primal argument in European art, between the claims of line and the claims of colour" (4,000 words)

Cracks In The Atheist Edifice

Economist | 1st November 2014 | Metered paywall

I'm sorry it's a metered-paywalled piece, I hope you have at least one free read left in your quota. The centuries-old struggle of God against the Chinese government continues, and God, after eighty years of reversals, is making the running again. Protestant churches are springing up everywhere. "There are probably more Christians [in China] than there are members of the 87m-strong Communist Party" (2,840 words)

In Conversation: Jon Stewart

Chris Smith | New York | 2nd November 2014

"Activists do the work, and they’re slogging it out day in and day out in the trenches of those terribly bureaucratic and corrosive and corrupt societies. . If we give a shout-out to that, or if an articulation of something does them some good, that’s wonderful. But I never try and confuse what we do on the show with what real people do to change the system. We are part of that ecosystem, maybe, but in a very peripheral way" (7,030 words)

Read It And Reap

Alec Wilkinson | New Yorker | 3rd November 2014

Profile of Modern Farmer, a "stylish agrarian quarterly" which is not, in fact, widely read by farmers, but more by urbanites who want to “eat food with a better backstory" and dream of moving to the country. It's Monocle with more plaid shirts. A "fashion magazine for farming”. Covers with goats sell the best. “With Modern Farmer, people don’t think anything of whacking up a fence and getting some goats anymore” (5,880 words)

Macau’s Magic Square Stamps

Alex Bellos | Guardian | 4th November 2014

Chinese enclave prints world's most entertaining postage stamps. Every one a game or puzzle. Catnip for word nerds and maths geeks. The 5-pataca denomination features a palindromic poem from the fourth century AD, written in the form of a 29 x 29 square, with a single Chinese character in each position, which can be read forwards, backwards, upwards and downwards, for 2,848 possible permutations (1,090 words)

Video of the day: Memoirs Of A Mortician

What to expect: Caitlin Doughty, author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, talks about working in a crematorium (7 minutes)

Thought for the day

It is the business of the future to be dangerous
Alfred North Whitehead (

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