Nuclear War, Sabbath, Jinns, Putin, Shakespeare

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

The Okinawa Missiles Of October

Aaron Tovish | Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists | 25th October 2015

A US airman during the Cuban Missile Crisis says his site was accidentally ordered to launch 32 nuclear missiles, each "70 times more powerful than the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bomb." He and nuclear experts call for the government to release documents and investigate his recollections, "given the implications of its truth for present dangers, not only past history," i.e. the possible death of most of the people on earth (2,770 words)

My Big Sabbath Lie — And The Joy It Brought

Susan Pashman | Forward | 23rd October 2015

A single mother at a plush New York law firm believes strongly in "family dinners" and spending time with her boys, but her employer has other ideas. Until she realises they will see things differently if she is going home for religious reasons, to keep the Sabbath. The only problem: she is not actually religious. Having told her bosses the lie, she begins to live it. Soon the weekly dinners develop deep meaning for everyone (1,580 words)

Jinns Invade Campuses

Pervez Hoodbhoy | Dawn | 10th October 2015

In Pakistan, a country where the government has been accused of “academic censorship”, ‘spiritual cardiologist’ Raja zia-ul-Haq is an enormously popular speaker. Raja Zia-ul-Haq is an “expert on demonic possessions and evil spirits”, and exemplifies Pakistani academia’s “all-pervasive anti-reason, anti-science attitude”. “It’s far easier,” writes nuclear physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy, “to curse science than to woo it” (1,035 words)

Deciphering Putin’s Aims In Syria

Lionel Beehner | Political Violence | 21st October 2015

Assertions of Putin's strategic nous in his Syrian adventures are overblown. Russia seeks what all states do: to make itself indispensable, or at least highly relevant. The Syrian conflict is not so complex: swift intervention will bring sure results. By sending cruise missiles at ragtag militias, Putin shows off his firepower and demands a reckoning. Like a diminutive judo player, he seeks to overpower with decisiveness (1,680 words)

Tell It Again: On Rewriting Shakespeare

Stefanie Peters | Millions | 20th October 2015

Shakespeare may have been a true original, but many of his plots were retellings of earlier stories. A new initiative asks contemporary writers to bring those stories into the present. First up is Jeanette Winterson, whose jazzy "cover version" of A Winter's Tale takes place among bohemian digital natives in a New Orleans-like milieu. The ease with which these stories transfer to the present underscores their timeless nature (1,870 words)

Video of the day: Wage Islands

What to expect: Physical mapping of New York City wages (1'31")

Thought for the day

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock
Will Rogers

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