Newsletter 824

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 Luxury Repo Men

Matthew Teague | Businessweek | 25 October 2012

The rich have money troubles too, sometimes. Or maybe they're just not as rich as they appeared. In which case, if you're a bank, you send for Ken Cage. He recovers yachts, personal jets and racehorses from the overleveraged Comments (

Billions In Hidden Riches For Family Of Chinese Leader

David Barboza | NYT | 25 October 2012

China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, presents himself as a modest man who has never used high office to pursue personal financial gain. But members of his immediate family have amassed vast wealth, as this investigation shows Comments (

The Killers Of Quetta

Matthew Green | Reuters | 25 October 2012

Well-told, dispiriting despatch from Pakistan, where a Sunni Muslim extremist group is, with apparent impunity, murdering members of a Shia minority. "Such otherness was not an issue in Pakistan in the past. Now, it is a death mark" Comments (

The Most Spectacular Mutation In Recent Human History

Benjamin Phelan | Slate | 23 October 2012

How milk helped propel Western civilisation. Genetic mutation took hold in what's now Turkey and we rapidly became, "in the coinage of one paleoanthropologist, 'mampires' who feed on the fluids of other animals". Why did it happen? Comments (

Monopoly Is Theft

Christopher Ketcham | Harper's | 19 October 2012

History of the world's most popular board game, plus reportage from a tournament. Started life as a public-domain game called The Landlord's Game, 30 years before Charles Darrow copyrighted it, sold it to Parker Bros, and got rich Comments (

How My Danish Friend Paid Off His Debt By Becoming A Gay Prostitute

Michael Hobbes | Billfold | 23 October 2012

"I needed work that was part-time, well paid, required little preparation and no professional skills," said Henrik. "What else is there?" And the clients? Mostly they weren't weirdos, just overweight older men Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Andrew Gelman on How Americans Vote

As Romney vs Obama enters the final stretch, the statistician and author of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State uncovers the (often surprising) realities of how Americans of different backgrounds vote Read on (


American Prisons

An epidemic of incarceration. A prison system that provides neither retributive justice nor rehabilitation. Is this America's moral catastrophe? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k (  "@evgenymorozov ( : "Computerization, centralization, and concentration" - good post by @dgolumbia (" # ( browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)

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Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Rebecca  by Daphne Du Maurier

Tess Gerritsen says ( : “In the grand tradition of Gothic novels, it features an innocent young woman and a scary house with secrets” FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

'Cloud Atlas' Demystified


Watch this before you see the film
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Quote of the Day

Alan Blinder, on economists (

"Economists have the least influence on policy where they know the most and are most agreed. They have the most influence on policy where they know the least and disagree most"

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