Newsletter 859

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

Best of the Moment

Ups And Downs of Elevators

Kate Linebaugh | WSJ | 30 November 2012

Otis research fellow Theresa Christy optimises elevator usage. Asians will crowd, Westerners want space. Japanese want good notice of which escalator is coming next, so they can line up. Nobody wants to wait more than 20 seconds Comments (

Rules For Targeted Killing

Editorial | NYT | 29 November 2012

Difficult but overdue intellectual exercise. When may a government kill? "Raising money for terror groups, or making tapes urging others to kill, does not justify assassination. Neither does a threat against another government" Comments (

Ten Steps To A Breakaway State

Marc Herman | Pacific Standard | 30 November 2012

Lessons that secession-minded American states can learn from independence movements elsewhere. Here's one: Sell flags cheaply. Flags flying in the streets tells everybody that independence is on the agenda. Symbolism is important Comments (

Portrait Of The Artist On Crystal Meth

Jon Ronson | Guardian | 30 November 2012

Bryan Saunders paints self-portraits under the influence of every drug he can find, from Valium to lighter fluid by way of Xanax and meth. He used to be an outsider artist. Soon he'll be exhibiting alongside Damien Hirst in Paris Comments (

The Case For Drinking Coffee

Lindsay Abrams | Atlantic | 30 November 2012

As much as you like. As much as you can. Ten cups a day is good. Reduces risk of diabetes, depression, colorectal cancer, heart failure, prostate cancer. Protects the liver. Relieves pain. Improves concentration. Prolongs life Comments (

Vultures To Restore Human Ritual of Death

Gardiner Harris | NYT | 29 November 2012

"Fifteen years after vultures disappeared from Mumbai’s skies, the Parsi community here intends to build two aviaries at one of its most sacred sites so that the giant scavengers can once again devour human corpses" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Roman Krznaric on The Art of Living

To learn how to live well we must look to the past, says the author of a new book on the subject. He recommends five books, from Thoreau to Orwell, that inspire us to live more adventurously Read on (


Drone Warfare

Should we worry about war conducted by remote control? Are there ethical considerations? Will we become accustomed to unmanned warfare in the future? What if a hacker took control of an army? It's all here Read on (

Reader Recommendations

polit2k (  Thomas Jefferson "was a creepy, brutal hypocrite...deeply committed to slavery" | The Monster of Monticello  #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)
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Book of the Day

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Cyber War  by Richard A Clarke and Robert Knake

Joseph Nye says ( : You can send instructions to an electrical generator via the Internet that will get the generator to shake itself apart and destroy itself.
FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Professor Elemental: I'm British


"Land of crumble and lemon curd" More videos (

Quote of the Day

Matt Ridley, on planning (

"Planning is inherently biased toward delay, complication and inflexibility, which is why companies falter when they get big enough to employ planners"

More quotes (

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