Newsletter 936

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

Encapsulated Universes

Lera Boroditsky | Edge | 19 February 2013

Does language shape thought, such that speakers of different languages think in different ways? Transcript of discursive talk with Stanford linguist, full of interesting anecdotes and observations, arguing that, yes, the structure of language and the structure of thought can be seen to mirror one another, and to differ across cultures

The New Essayists

Adam Kirsch | New Republic | 18 February 2013

On the modern resurgence of the essay, as a genre for autobiographical comic narrative. In Montaigne's day essays were for reflection and speculation; in the 20C they were for serious criticism. Now they are for performance. Characteristic voice of modern essayist is hyperbole. "What we now call an essayist used to be called a humorist"

When Brain Damage Unlocks The Genius Within

Adam Piore | Popular Science | 19 February 2013

Sales manager suffers severe concussion in sports accident, recovers, and finds he can play the piano, which he never could before. Makes new career as musician. Such cases of "acquired savant" syndrome suggests that injuries to the left hemisphere of the brain may remove inhibitory functions, allowing right-brain creativity to flourish

Last Man Up

Christopher Solomon | Runner's World | 21 February 2013

At 3.5 mlles, up and down a mountain, the Mount Marathon Race in Seward, Alaska is shorter than a jog round Central Park. But the course is so brutal and dangerous, the pace so fierce, that serious injuries are commonplace. Last year, the last-placed runner, Michael Le Maistre, disappeared. Got to the top, never came down. Where did he go?

A Tale Of Two Cows

Anonymous | Visually | 21 February 2013

Starts with the old joke, using a farmer with two cows to illustrate different political systems — "Communism: You have two cows, the state takes both, and gives you some milk". But updated and elaborated, beautifully and cleverly, to include modern corporate capitalism. (Not quite modern enough, though, to include cows that are really horses)

Video of the day: Quadrocopter Pole Acrobatics

Thought for the day:

"Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end" — Sonny Patel

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