Newsletter 864

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

Best of the Moment

Honey Laundering

Sabrina Buckwalter | Open | 7 December 2012

Lesser-known aspects of globalisation: Honey laundering. Wholesalers ship Chinese honey into US marked as Indian honey, to dodge tariffs. "It's obvious. India doesn't have the capacity to produce what they're shipping" Comments (

How Crash Cover-Up Altered China’s Succession

Jonathan Ansfield | NYT | 4 December 2012

The more we learn about Chinese politics, the more interesting these faceless bureaucrats turn out to be. Here's a fine tale about how a top aide, by covering up his wild son's car-crash death, undermined his boss, the president Comments (’s-succession)

Technology Will Replace 80% Of What Doctors Do

Vinod Khosla | Fortune | 4 December 2012

The future of medicine is fewer doctors and better care. Diagnosis and treatment planning will be done by computer not diagnostician (Dr Algorithm not Dr House) while humans hired for their empathic qualities will provide the care Comments (

Confessions Of A Sniper: A Rebel Gunman In Aleppo And His Conscience

Rania Abouzeid | Time | 4 December 2012

"I think I’m unrecognizable now," the Sniper says. "I never really thought I’d kill someone." But since he defected, he has killed — 34 people who did not see his bullet coming, including, he suspects, his childhood friend Mohammad Comments (

Deciphering The Tools Of Nature’s Zombies

Carl Zimmer | NYT | 5 December 2012

What makes a spider abandon its web and build a radically different one, or makes pond-living gammarids race to the surface instead of diving into the mud? The answer is that their brains have been hijacked by parasites. But how? Comments (’s-zombies)

My Essential Guide To Good Sex Writing

Edmund White | Guardian | 6 December 2012

"Even careful writers begin to sound like porn soundtracks when they turn to sex writing... The anatomical vocabulary is hackneyed, [it's] impossible to visualise because full of ludicrously mixed metaphors, and given to bragging" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Michael Dirda on Sherlock Holmes

Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels starring his fictional sleuth. So where to start? The writer and lifelong Sherlockian gives us his personal choice of the best, and tells us more about their creator Read on (


Sport's Violence Problem

Nobody wants to take away the thrill and drama of the NFL or NHL, but is middle age dementia an acceptable price for ex-players to pay?  Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@henrylf Nominees For The Newton Of #Neuroscience: NeuroDojo challenges Gary Marcus's @newyorker article #browsings #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

The Balkan Trilogy  by Olivia Manning

Richard Beeston says ( : "I think she was one of the very best novelists of the 20th century. These books were her best pieces." FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Driving In Russia


Take care out there, people!
More videos (

Quote of the Day

Bryan Caplan, on policy (

"Before you study public opinion, you wonder why policy isn't far better. After you study public opinion, you wonder why policy isn't far worse"

More quotes (

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