Newsletter 884

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

Best of the Moment

Will Saudi Arabia Ever Change?

Hugh Eakin | NYRB | 20 December 2012

State remains relatively stable thanks mainly to late King Faisal's strategy of "defensive change", which relies on a vast central bureaucracy to absorb hostile factions and supplant tribal loyalties. If you don't like it, you leave Comments (

The Thought Experiment That Proved Light Has A Speed Limit

Esther Inglis-Arkell | io9 | 20 December 2012

"It took a lot of detailed measurement to prove that the speed of light doesn't change. But it also took one important thought experiment. The de Sitter Effect showed us how stars would look if light didn't have a speed limit" Comments (

Death At Yosemite

Bruce Barcott | Outside | 18 December 2012

Story behind outbreak of deadly hantavirus in summer 2012. Park upgraded its accommodation to offer hard-sided cabins as well as tents. Unwittingly, it provided the perfect environment for a killer virus. Three lost their lives Comments (

Book Review: 'Against Security'

Bruce Schneier | Schneier on Security | 14 December 2012

Security measures are often nothing of the sort. "Security is both a feeling and a reality, and the two are different things. People can feel secure when they’re actually not, and they can be secure even when they believe otherwise" Comments (

Why The US Media Ignored Murdoch's Brazen Bid To Hijack The Presidency

Carl Bernstein | Guardian | 20 December 2012

"The Murdoch story – his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – is one of the most important and far-reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30 years." And here is a smoking gun Comments (

Postscript: Robert Bork

Jeffrey Toobin | New Yorker | 19 December 2012

"An unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century." After his Supreme Court rejection, "he devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Randall Grahm on Wine

The Californian winemaker gives us a fabulously eclectic reading list for understanding and enjoying the world of wine
Read on (


Guns in America

How does one make sense of the killings in Newtown and Aurora? And will Americans, will President Obama do anything to stop it happening again? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

nuzav (  Lunch with the FT: Tyler Cowen - - Life & Arts #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)
More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Snow Falling on Cedars  by David Guterson

Scott Turow says ( : It’s just a superb novel – full of really beautiful characterisations. Guterson grew up in that milieu – his father was a lawyer so he knows whereof he speaks"
FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Why The World Didn't End Yesterday


Now they tell us More videos (

Quote of the Day

Richard Thaler, on bargaining (

"Never negotiate with someone who lacks the power to say yes"

More quotes (

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