Newsletter 803

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

Best of the Moment

Sicily, A Portrait Of Italian Dysfunction

Stephan Faris | Businessweek | 4 October 2012

"The danger in Sicily isn’t that the island’s economy will suddenly implode. As with the rest of Italy, the region’s problems are less economic than political. The biggest threats to Sicily’s future are its politicians" Comments (

The Internet Blowhard’s Favorite Phrase

Daniel Engber | Slate | 2 October 2012

Brief history of use, and misuse, of phrase "correlation does not imply causation". Once a stats class admonition; now commonly and irritatingly used by second-rate debaters. How did it catch on? And why this particular phrase? Comments (’s-favorite-phrase)

Dead Or Alive

Steve Coll | NYRB | 4 October 2012

Review of "No Easy Day", Navy SEAL's account of Bin Laden raid. "He was neither armed nor aggressive at the moment of his death." But Obama knew from bitter experience with Guantanamo prisoners that killing was easier than capture Comments (

The Unsolved Mystery Of The Tunnels At Baiae

Mike Dash | Smithsonian | 1 October 2012

On the north shore of the Bay of Naples lies a tunnel complex leading to a hot, underground stream. Who built it? And for what purpose? It's been estimated to date from 550 BC, and may have had a quite intriguing use Comments (

The Metaphoreign Body

Tod Wodicka | Granta | 4 October 2012

"In 2005, a couple of days after my girlfriend of a few months discovered that she was pregnant, I was rushed to a Prague hospital because a screaming golf ball-sized growth had appeared near the base of my tailbone" Comments (

On The Demand For Referees

David Warsh | Economic Principals | 30 September 2012

Good referees are vital, if not always popular. Not only on the field, but wherever it's important to create and preserve order, and prevent corruption. Policemen, critics, judges, regulators: Think of them as the "guardian trades" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Jonathon Green on Slang

It’s dirty, grubby and doubting. And us at our most real. The lexicographer takes us inside the world of “rough, truthful language” from rhyming slang and cant to the streets of Baltimore and an etymology of the f-word Read on (


Steve Jobs's Legacy

He was a giant of American business, driving Apple to become the most valuable company in the world. But how should we remember Steve Jobs?   Read on (

Reader Recommendations

polit2k (  "The suits on the Street should be careful what they wish for." Voting with the wallet | The Economist #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings) More like this (

Book of the Day

Only A Game?  by Eamon Dunphy

Simon Kuper says ( :This is a cult book among those of us who like reading about football. It came out in the 1970s when really no one was publishing books about football.

Video of the Day

Steve Bell On Ed Miliband


Cartoonist sizes up subject: "He's a walking caricature even before you've picked up a pen" More videos (

Quote of the Day

Kathryn Crim, on teaching (

Teaching often facilitates a relationship with one’s own ignorance

More quotes (

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