Newsletter 827

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

Best of the Moment

Getting Iran To Say 'Uncle' Might Not Be Smart

Stephen Walt | Foreign Policy | 26 October 2012

On the dangers of getting everything you want. Deals reached solely through coercion last only as long as the coercive pressure remains credible; deals that give something to both sides are more likely to endure Comments (

Can Andrea Rossi's Infinite-Energy Black Box Power The World – Or Just Scam It?

Steve Featherstone | Popsci | 23 October 2012

Rossi – a lone Italian inventor with questionable credentials and a history as a convicted scam artist – has convinced some researchers that his box can harness a new type of nuclear reaction. What if they're right? (h/t @longreads) Comments (–-or-just-scam-it)

The Story Behind The Famous FedEx Logo, And Why It Works

Matthew May | Fast Company | 23 October 2012

"The FedEx logo is legendary among designers. It has won over 40 design awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years." Do you know why? Take a closer look. And think about use of "negative space" Comments (

Exclusive First Read: 'Hallucinations,' By Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks | NPR | 24 October 2012

Book excerpt. In this passage, Sacks examines auditory hallucinations, otherwise known as "hearing voices". It can be a signifier of mental illness but, says Sacks, many otherwise healthy people hear hallucinatory voices too Comments (

Why Aren't We Doing The Maths?

Tim Harford | FT | 26 October 2012

Neat illustration of how doctors don't understand statistics. Which can be important when it comes to deciding whether to recommend a particular type of cancer screening. Politicians, who rate themselves highly, are even worse Comments (

Clear Eyes, Full Plates, Can't Puke

Jon Ronson | GQ | 29 October 2012

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut makes more than $200,000 a year from his "sport". The inverted commas are because his field is competitive eating. Tens of thousands of calories consumed in a matter of minutes. And no "reversals" allowed Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Simon Baron-Cohen on Autism and Asperger Syndrome

The head of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University tells us about myths surrounding autism and Asperger's, and what inspired his own research into the subject Read on (


Moral Philosophy

Can we have morality without God? Does surveillance make us better? Do babies have morals? Get to grips with some big questions of right and wrong Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@maisonneuvemag ( How #evangelical (!/search?q=#evangelical) #gays (!/search?q=#gays) are taking on the US religious right: @longform ( #longreads (!/search?q=#longreads) #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Letters of Evelyn Waugh  by Evelyn Waugh

Jonathan Keates says ( : “The pleasure of reading his letters is to see somebody at work on constructing a personality, on constructing a self” FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

London Heathrow Approach


You get it in the first 30 seconds. And yet you keep watching for the full three minutes More videos (

Quote of the Day

John Kenneth Galbraith, on consistency (

"Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof"

More quotes (

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