Free 13 min read

Tom Wright On The 'Fat Leonard' Scandal And Corruption In The US Navy

Uri Bram: I'm delighted to be here today with Tom Wright, the Co-Founder of Project Brazen, author of Billion Dollar Whale, and the creator of the new and really amazing podcast, Fat Leonard. Tom, thanks so much for coming on.

Tom Wright: Thanks for having me.

Uri Bram: We’re going to play a game The Last Word, where I ask smart, interesting people to answer questions in a scarily specific number of words.

Tom, to get us started, could you tell us in exactly 10 words about your podcast Fat Leonard?

Tom Wright: Fat Leonard is about a contractor who steals billions, exclamation mark.

Uri Bram: That's fantastic. I have 10 words. Can you tell us a little bit more, in as many words as your heart desires?

Tom Wright: So Fat Leonard is about a US Military contractor, he's actually Malaysian but he works for the US Navy.

Free 16 min read

Lars Doucet on Tourette's, Narcolepsy and Being Exorcised

Uri Bram: Welcome! I’m delighted to be here today with Lars Doucet, a writer and thinker and technologist and generally excellent person.

Lars Doucet: “Generally excellent person” Allegedly. :)

Uri Bram: I have proof and several witnesses to boot.

So, Lars, I feel weird saying it but… we’re here to talk about your brain.

Lars Doucet: Yeah so I have Tourette’s syndrome and Narcolepsy. Specifically Tourette’s syndrome with ‘all the fixins’ -- all of the sub-symptoms like echolalia, palilalia, facial tics, motor tics, verbal tics, and even sometimes the “famous” symptoms like coprolalia and copropraxia, though those are much more rare, generally. (I’ll explain what those mean).

  • Echolalia -- compulsive repeating of things others have said just now.
  • Palilalia -- compulsive repeating of things you yourself have said, or syllables of the same word, etc.
  • Facial tics -- little twitches and involuntary movements all over the
Free 22 min read

Maggie Lieu on China going to Mars, Jeff Bezos suing NASA, and why robots won't do our housework

James Dillard: Hey, everyone. I’m James, and welcome to Browser Bets. I’m here today with Maggie Lieu.

Maggie is a Research Fellow of Machine Learning and Cosmology at the University of Nottingham. And she has an awesome YouTube channel called Space Mog that can teach you all about things like white holes and the Axis of Evil, and things that I didn’t even know existed. And before her current role, she was a Research Fellow at the European Space Agency.

Anything else I should add there?

Maggie Lieu: No, I think you’ve got it all!

James Dillard: Thanks for joining us today. I’m excited to talk to you about our space-focused predictions. Where would you like to take this? What bets would you like to make?

China will get to Mars by 2035

Maggie Lieu: So I think the first bet would be around space.

Free 7 min read

Andrew Hunter Murray on hard choices, realism in fiction, and sheer dumb luck

Sylvia Bishop: I’m delighted to be talking with Andrew Hunter Murray, author of Sunday Times best-seller The Last Day. Andrew, for readers who aren’t familiar with the book, could you give us a precis?

Andrew Hunter Murray: The Last Day is a story set a few decades from now in a world like our own but with one catastrophic and enormous difference - the world has stopped turning. It’s set in 2059, and for thirty years now, after a heavenly body passed close by the earth and disrupted its orbit, the same side of the planet has faced in towards the sun, and the other side has faced outwards towards the cold, dead universe.

As you can imagine, things have changed substantially. The sunlit side of the earth is far too hot to inhabit in many places - the ‘Coldside’ is uninhabitable in just the opposite way.

Free 11 min read

Edgar Gerrard Hughes on lost emotions and vocabularies

Every week at the Browser we conduct edifying interviews with interesting figures. Today we speak to Edgar Gerrard Hughes, the author of the fabulous new book, The Book of Emotions. For more, see the rest of our Browser Interviews.

Uri Bram: We're going to play a game called The Last Word, where we ask people to answer incredibly difficult questions in a very short number of words. Your book is about emotions, so I was wondering if you could start us off by telling us everything we need to know about emotions in exactly 10 words.

Edgar Gerrard Hughes: Well, it's going to be very difficult to pick apart anything about emotions... including what they are to begin with. So I guess with that in mind...

Far too broad a category to be contained in... word.

What are emotions?

Uri Bram: That's wonderful. So a big part the argument of

Free 13 min read

Elizabeth Minkel On Fanfiction, Culture, And Platforms

Elizabeth Minkel is a writer, editor, and technologist with a focus on fan culture

Uri Bram: For any of our readers whose lives have tragically not yet been touched by fanfiction, can you give us a very brief introduction?

Elizabeth Minkel: Haha, sure! So at its most basic definition, fanfiction is when you take established worlds, characters, etc. and write original work with and around them.

It falls under a broader category often called "fanworks"—fanart is when folks draw established characters, fanvids involve cutting together clips from film and TV, etc.—but fanfiction is specifically about written fictional work.

How fanfiction is and isn't like other communal writing

Uri Bram: Fantastic. So as a total outsider, something that fascinates me about this is how different it is from the modern trend for single-authored works of fiction, but how instead it seems to fit into this longer history of

Free 1 min read

The princess, the corporal, and the CEO

Baiqu Gonkar speaks with Tessy Antony De Nassau, a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. Once upon a time, Tessy was a corporal in the military, before becoming a princess of the Luxembourg royal family. In this interview, she opens up about the many different titles we take on, how social media has impacted her life and dealing with online trolls.

Related Links:

Professors Without Borders:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

My Book of Period Stories by Chinekwu Oreh

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