Newsletter 794

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

Best of the Moment

Controlling Brains With A Flick Of A Light Switch

Amy Barth | Discover | 25 September 2012

Here's a look at some mind-blowing research. How the new science of optogenetics could deliver a cure for drug addiction and mental illness. By using lights to shut down specific neural pathways. Extraordinary stuff Comments (

China's Leaders: Who Holds The Real Power?

Dexter Roberts | Businessweek | 26 September 2012

Standing Committee of the Politburo meets once a week, takes decisions by consensus, doesn't rock the boat. "They can arrest people. They can build a railroad or an airport. But it’s the bigger things that are much harder" Comments (

What Katie Didn’t Know

Maureen Orth | Vanity Fair | 26 September 2012

Big, cheesy, celebrity-strewn read about Tom Cruise and Scientology. How the Church helped Cruise ditch Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz, find Katie Holmes. "The audition process for the next Mrs Cruise did not yield much at first" Comments (’t-know)

Proportion Control

Steven Strogatz | NYT | 24 September 2012

"No other number attracts such a fevered following as the golden ratio. Approximately equal to 1.618 and denoted by the Greek letter phi, it’s been canonized as the 'Divine Proportion'.” Here's everything you need to know about it Comments (

Why Women Should Stop Trying To Be Perfect

Debora Spar | Newsweek | 24 September 2012

"Rather than leaping with glee at the liberation that has befallen women since the 1960s, we are laboring instead under a double whammy of impossible expectations—the old-fashioned ones and those wrought more recently" Comments (

Haunted In Bucharest

Paul Mandelbaum | LA Review Of Books | 9 September 2012

Travels through Romania. "I want to research a piece about the literary scene. I quickly find such an assignment impossible without setting off vast fields of long-buried landmines — historical, political, and all too personal" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Andrew Cowan on Creative Writing

The senior lecturer in creative writing at UEA says Joseph Conrad got it right when he said that the sitting down is all. Here he chooses five books to help aspiring writers Read on (


Behavioural Economics

How do cognitive and emotional factors affect our understanding of economic decisions? The field of behavioural economics attempts to explain Read on (

Reader Recommendations

rszbt (  RT @UdadisiSuperior ( : Curious tale of econ development in Abu Dhabi  via @mostlyeconomics ( " #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (’s-apology-by-g-h-hardy)

A Mathematician’s Apology  by G H Hardy

Marcus du Sautoy says ( : "When I read it as a kid, this book revealed to me how much mathematics is a creative art as much as a useful science."FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

How The Internet Will Transform Government


Clay Shirky. Say what you like about TED, the man can talk More videos (

Quote of the Day

Daniel Davies, on regulation (

"If you think that the scales are weighted against the worst-off in society, the solution is not to have a man in every shop, putting his thumb on the other side of the scales"

More quotes (

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