Metaphors, Mediterranean History, Nato & Russia, Gratitude, Domestic Violence, Cargo Drones

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

How To Design A Metaphor

Michael Erard | Aeon | 9th June 2015

"Can metaphors be designed? I’m here to tell you that they can, and are. For five years I worked full-time as a metaphor designer at a think-tank in Washington, DC. Sometimes the metaphors end up in op-eds or public-service announcements. Sometimes they’re useful for helping people conceive of solutions to problems. Metaphors are really categorisation proposals. You’re suggesting that one thing belongs with another" (3,100 words)

Agents Of Empire

John Gallagher | Guardian | 10th June 2015

Noel Malcolm's Agents Of Empire is a "dazzling" history of 16C Ottoman Europe centred on two Albanian families, the Brunis and the Brutis. "As diplomats, spies, bishops, soldiers, traders and interpreters, they criss-crossed barriers of faith and nationality". Giovanni Bruni, the Catholic archbishop of Bar, died at Lepanto as a Turkish galley-slave. Bartolomeo Bruti spied for Spain until the ruler of Moldavia cut off his nose (1,200 words)

Nato & Russia: Border Tensions

Henry Foy et al | Financial Times | 10th June 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Terrifying despatch from northern Poland, bordering the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Most Russians now see war with Nato as a real threat. Nato and Russia are conducting huge military exercises in the Baltic region, where any confrontation would presumably begin. Lithuania has resumed conscription. "In the Baltic states, barely a day has passed this year without some kind of exercise involving Nato troops or tanks" (2,070 words)

I’ve Never Thanked My Parents For Anything

Deepak Singh | Atlantic | 8th June 2015

It's fine to thank strangers in India, so long as you look them in the eye when you do so. But never thank close friends or relatives. In the Hindi language and culture "there is an unspoken understanding of gratitude". Saying "thank you" explicitly to someone you know well creates "a formality and distance that shouldn’t exist". It suggests that "you are closing off the possibility of relying on each other in the future" (920 words)

Into Darkness

Theodore Dalrymple | City Journal | 8th June 2015

"Seldom can there have been so appalling a spur to writing a book as that felt by Tina Nash. She would never have sullied a page had her boyfriend Shane Jenkin not beaten and strangled her to unconsciousness and then gouged out her eyes. Out of the Darkness is a classic of a kind. It should be required reading for those who believe that degradation in modern society is simply a matter of insufficient money" (3,500 words)

Drones For Development

J.M. Ledgard & Scott MacMillan | Project Syndicate | 5th June 2015

Rich countries see cargo drones as technology for last-mile deliveries, dropping Amazon parcels on to suburban lawns. But the impact of drones could be far greater in developing countries, carrying medium-sized loads of essential goods to isolated communities without need for roads. Networks of drone stations would transform the logistics of Africa, much as mobile phones have transformed communications (800 words)

Video of the day: Lucian Freud On His Last Day Of Painting

What to expect: Raw footage shot on July 3rd 2011 (3'05")

Thought for the day

There is false modesty, but there is no false pride
Jules Renard

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