Mormons, Siblings, Prayer, Fear, Soccer

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

Among The Mormons

Fitz-Hugh Ludlow | Atlantic | 1st April 1864

Enthralling account of a journey across America, to Utah, in the time of Brigham Young. “Salt Lake City, Brigham told me, he believed to contain sixteen thousand inhabitants. Its houses are built generally of adobe or wood, a few of stone. Brigham is erecting a Temple of magnificent granite, about two hundred feet long by one hundred and twenty-five feet wide. If this edifice be ever finished, it will rank among the most capacious religious structures of the continent” (11,100 words)

Let Sisters Marry

Julian Baggini | Prospect | 2nd July 2018

An interesting line of argument which deserves to be pushed further. “It has become arbitrary who is granted the legal protections of civil partnership and who is not. The dividing line is — crudely — those presumed to be in a sexual relationship and those who are not. But why restrict the benefits of such a partnership only to people whose bond typically has a sexual dimension? Why not, for instance, allow siblings or just very close friends to have the same rights as those in civil partnerships?” (1,070 words)

Reflections On My Visit To Auschwitz

Lisa Miracchi | 1st July 2018

An atheist is moved to prayer, and to tears. “All those little children, cell after cell, huddling together for warmth, separated from their parents. Without showers, without bathrooms. Children. In the corner of the barracks was a little ladder for them to get up to the top platform. In this corner of the barracks, staring at the little ladder, I cried. And I prayed. I prayed for all those little souls that had come through this place, that were never meant to survive here” (2,300 words)

The Strange Brain Of The Solo Climber

J.B. MacKinnon | Nautilus | 28th June 2018

Alex Honnold scales sheer rock faces, thousands of feet high, without ropes or protective equipment of any kind. He may be history’s greatest-ever free solo climber. To call him fearless is not just a figure of speech. His brain does have an amygdala, a “fear centre”, but MRI scans show that nothing seems to activate it. “Where there is no activation, there probably is no threat response. Honnold really could be feeling no fear up there. None at all. None whatsoever” (5,200 words)

Governance Of Associations

Michael O'Hare | Reality-Based Community | 1st July 2018

A quick way to make soccer fairer for players and more fun for spectators: Widen the goals. “The World Cup results to now are full of 1-0 games and ties. What we have here is an athletically and strategically excellent, pure, simple, game, played and loved by millions, ruined for serious competition (including medium-to-high-level amateur play) by not enough scoring, a deficiency that could be easily remedied by adding about a yard (maybe two) to the width of the goal” (640 words)

Video of the day Plastic Pollution

What to expect:

Kurzgesagt explains how plastic has turned from a blessing into a curse (8’54”)

Thought for the day

Play is experimenting with chance

Podcast Hard Words | Fiat Lex

Lexicographers discuss words that are particularly hard to say, spell, define or understand
(28m 33s)

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