Newsletter 810

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

Best of the Moment

The Swingers' Guide To Islam

Aubrey Belford | Global Mail | 11 October 2012

Popular Islam can come in some unlikely guises and Belford has found one of them: A hilltop shrine in Java where thousands of Muslims regularly attend a ritual that involves seeking blessing through having sex with a stranger Comments (

The Dementia Plague

Stephen Hall | MIT Technology Review | 5 October 2012

Greater longevity means more and more old people with dementia requiring lifelong care. Drug industry offers expensive, marginally-effective treatments to desperate families, but reality is bleak: "You don't get better, ever" Comments (

Who Knows What

Massimo Pigliucci | Aeon | 8 October 2012

We divide up attempts to understand our world into the humanities and sciences, with philosophy and social sciences somewhere in the middle. What can we learn from the way we set, and argue over, these disciplinary boundaries? Comments (

Why Does Everyone Love It But Me?

Lisa Levy | Millions | 10 October 2012

Interview with literary critic Daniel Mendelsohn. "You have to dig in your heels a little and resist. It's your duty to use your mind, use your tools, to dissect the object at hand and to look at it, not coldly, but coolly" Comments (

Is The Afterlife Full Of Fluffy Clouds And Angels?

Colin Blakemore | Telegraph | 10 October 2012

In last week's Newsweek, a neurosurgeon recounted his experience of near-death in, shall we say, remarkable terms. The neuroscientist Colin Blakemore responds Comments (

Fact-Checking The Use Of The Word 'Fact'

Jen Doll | Atlantic Wire | 9 October 2012

We all know what a fact is, don't we? Then why do so many of us unthinkingly misuse the word "fact"? Or use it as part of a phrase that would be better eliminated. Often, if it's a fact, you don't need to say that it's a fact Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Kenneth Miller on Arguments against Creationism

The biology professor, and Catholic, tells us what we should read to understand the battle being fought between scientists and creationists
Read on (


Paying for the US Election

How much is Romney vs Obama 2012 going to cost? Who's paying? And what do they expect in return? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

polit2k (  The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as 'Psychopaths' - James Silver - The Atlantic  #gfc2 (!/search?q=#gfc2)   #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (’s-really-wrong-middle-east-by-brian-whitaker)

What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East  by Brian Whitaker

Issandr El Amrani says ( : “Whitaker argues that the real problem is not terrorism, but rather the lack of personal freedom in the Arab World” FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

What If The Presidential Election Is A Tie?


There is an answer. But it's not a very good answer More videos (

Quote of the Day

Colin Blakemore, on near-death experiences (

"Have you ever noticed that more people come back from Heaven than from Hell?"

More quotes (

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