Newsletter 792

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

Best of the Moment

Portrait Of The Artist As A Postman

Jason Sheeler | Texas Monthly | 24 September 2012

Meet Kermit Oliver, painter, mystic and recluse. Works the night shift sorting mail in a Waco, Texas post office. Mourns his son, who was executed for murder. And designs silk scarves for the Hermès fashion house in Paris Comments (

Mitt's Stake

Benjamin Wallace-Wells | New York | 23 September 2012

"As a church leader, Romney seemed devoted to a Mormon ethic of sacrifice for the welfare of the group, an almost communitarian system of belief. As a candidate, his philosophy has been nakedly individualistic." How to square them? Comments (

Surviving Progress

Michael Hudson | Michael Hudson | 24 September 2012

"Some ways of getting rich are corrosive, not productive. The wealthiest 10% have got rich mainly by getting the bottom 90% into debt. This isn't industrial capitalism. It's a regression to the usury problem that destroyed Rome" Comments (

The Air Force Men Who Fly Drones In Afghanistan By Remote Control

Rob Blackhurst | Telegraph | 24 September 2012

"The plane cannot start, cannot fly and cannot release a weapon without us doing it. Human beings are in the cockpit – exactly the same as when I was flying a Tornado. We just happen to be 8,000 miles away from the plane" Comments (

Deconstructing Recommender Systems

Joseph Konstan, John Riedl | IEEE Spectrum | 24 September 2012

"Have you ever wondered what you look like to Amazon? You are a very long row of numbers in a very, very large table. This row describes everything you’ve looked at, everything you’ve clicked on, and everything you’ve purchased" Comments (

Tasting Like Chicken

Jackson Landers | Slate | 20 September 2012

Birds, snakes, lizards, turtles: All are said to taste of chicken. But why? Do they have a common evolutionary link? A distant ancestor that was the first creature to taste of chicken? Landers heads back 350 million years for clues Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Deborah Blum on Science in Society

The Pulitzer prize-winning writer says science is too important to be left for the scientists, and recommends books that show how much it matters in our daily lives Read on (


America On Drugs

Ritalin, Adderall, LSD, cocaine. Even bath salts. What is drug use doing to Americans? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@tzaf ( A tale of obsession & dark beauty MT @mocost ( "How collecting opium antiques turned me into an opium addict" #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Sacred and Secular  by Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart

Anthony Gottlieb says ( : “ In America, you need God, because nobody else is going to help you.” FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

How To Read Someone's Mind


The trick is revealed at the end More videos (

Quote of the Day

John Bowlby, on prudence (

"Life is best organized as a series of daring ventures from a secure base"

More quotes (

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