Newsletter 986


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

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Best of the Moment

Distant Peak Car

Peter Collins | The Economist | 20th April 2013

Young people in rich countries are losing the passion for cars. But old people are used to them, and won't give them up. The result: "A one-off shift in the timing of people’s driving careers, so that they start later but then continue well into old age". But it's too soon to call "peak car". Young people may change their minds if self-driving cars bring falling insurance rates and freedom from driving lessons (Metered paywall)

By Chance The Cycladic People

Anne Carson | London Review Of Books | 15th April 2013

Poem. And, thereby, only the second poem we have ever recommended on The Browser. Which is probably too few by far. Every line a joy

Life In The City Of Darkness

John Carney | South China Morning Post | 15th April 2013

Short history of Kowloon Walled City, demolished 20 years ago. Lawless shanty-town built on land disputed between Britain and China, policed by neither. Most densely populated place on earth. "An enclave of opium parlours, whorehouses and gambling dens run by triads ... A fetid slum, crawling with rats and dripping with sewage." Other popular local trades included faith healing and unlicensed dentistry

The Pain When Children Fly The Nest

Adam Gopnik | BBC | 19th April 2013

Thoughts on love, and especially parental love, provoked by the departure of an 18-year-old son for college: "What I wonder about is why we love our children so asymmetrically, so entirely, knowing that the very best we can hope for is that they will feel about us as we feel about our own parents: that slightly aggrieved mixture of affection, pity, tolerance and forgiveness, with a final soupcon - if we live long enough - of sorrow"

Police, Citizens And Technology Factor Into Boston Bombing Probe

David Montgomery | Washington Post | 21st April 2013

Very possibly you've had enough of this story. But just in case, and if you want to know how the bits fit together, here's the wrap with all the behind-the-scenes police stuff explaining why the hunt and capture of the suspects went the way they did. Includes a guest appearance from the Russian secret services, who asked the FBI to investigate the Tsarnaev brothers several years ago as dangerous Islamists

How Geography Explains The United States

Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy | 16th April 2013

Just what the headline says. "The United States is the only great power in the history of the world that has had the luxury of having nonpredatory neighbors to its north and south, and fish to its east and west. Canadians, Mexicans, and fish. That trio of neighbors has given the United States an unprecedented degree of security, a huge margin for error in international affairs, and the luxury of largely unfettered development"

Video of the day: Carjacking In Marseilles

Thought for the day:

"The trouble with history is that there are too many people involved"— Nick Hornby

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