Norwegian Metal, Michel Houellebecq, Einstein, Leonard Cohen, 52 Things

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

Night’s Nirvana

Ben Parker | n+1 | 30th November 2016

The Death Archives: Mayhem 1984-94, tells in words and pictures the story of Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem. The words are by Jørn “Necrobutcher” Subberud, Mayhem’s bassist. Apparently the band chose its name wisely. “Varg Vikernes, of the band Burzum, was charged with the arson of five medieval wooden churches, and with murdering Øystein Aarseth, the guitarist of Mayhem. Aarseth was rumored to have eaten the brains of Mayhem’s singer, who committed suicide by shotgun” (3,150 words)

The Art Of Fiction: Michel Houellebecq

Susannah Hunnewell | Paris Review | 1st September 2010

Interview. Entertaining throughout. On writing: “I wake up during the night around one a.m. I write half-awake in a semi-conscious state. As I drink coffee, I become more conscious. And I write until I’m sick of it.” On style: “I like repetitions. So I don’t hesitate to repeat myself. I am the most repetitive novelist writing today”. On life: “The thing we value most of all is youth, which means that life automatically becomes depressing, because life consists, on the whole, of getting old” (8,400 words)

When Einstein Tilted At Windmills

Amanda Gefter | Nautilus | 1st December 2016

Fascinating and full of delights. How Einstein’s ideas were shaped by conversations with his best friend from student days, Michele Besso. Einstein was “ready to give up” on what became the theory of relativity, when a comment from Besso showed him the way forward. “Within five weeks, his theory of special relativity was complete. What magic words had Besso uttered in that fateful conversation? It seems he reminded Einstein of Mach’s central idea: a measurement is always a relation” (4,100 words)

Poet Of Brokenness

Mikal Gilmore | Rolling Stone | 30th November 2016

Appreciation of the life of Leonard Cohen, with a proper regard for Cohen’s early achievements as a poet and novelist. “Just as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl opened up new territories in American literature in 1956, Beautiful Losers opened up new perspectives about form and time in modern fiction. Cohen had the imagination and facility to achieve the sort of literary repute bestowed on authors like Thomas Pynchon and Henry Miller. But he had something entirely different in mind” (6,700 words)

52 Things I Learned In 2016

Tom Whitwell | Fluxx | 1st December 2016

Every one a gem. “Call Me Baby is a call centre for cybercriminals who need a human voice as part of a scam. They charge $10 for each call in English, and $12 for calls in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish.” “A Californian company called Skinny Mirror sells mirrors that make you look thinner. When installed in the changing rooms of clothes shops, they can increase sales by 18%.” “Twitter has enough money in the bank to run for 412 years at current losses” (1,630 words)

Video of the day: Japanese Graphics Now!

What to expect:

Collage of animations and images. No storyline, but many thrilling moments (1’05”)

Thought for the day

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field
Niels Bohr

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