Parenting, Needles, Parliament, Motels, Harrassment

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

A Mother’s Ninth-Century Manual

Edward White | Paris Review | 1st December 2017

Advice from a ninth-century mother to her teenage son, a Carolingian prince. “Dhuoda’s book outlines the subjects that should most concern a man of high birth, such as how to pray and read the Bible; how to distinguish vice from virtue; how best to honor his parents; how to serve God and the Crown; how to handle illness, affliction, and hardship. The Liber Manualis beguiles with its intimacy and exquisite intricacy, a glittering portal to a culture that can seem entirely alien from our own” (2,100 words)

A History Of The Little Things

Renaissance Mathematicus | 30th November 2017

“What is the greatest, most important, most significant or whatever human invention? Most people answer the wheel, or the light bulb or the steam engine or the motorcar or the airplane. My answer is: the sewing needle, an object that most people normally don’t really give any thought to, produced in factories by the millions, unless they are desperately searching for one to sew on that button that fell off their best jacket an hour before that all important interview” (1,200 words)

A Tale Of Decay

Charlotte Higgins | Guardian | 1st December 2017

The Houses of Parliament are falling apart. It will cost billions of pounds to relocate parliament and renovate the building. Can that be done without losing at least something of British democracy along the way? “There are those who realise that if they allow new intakes of MPs to go into a new chamber, with new atmospheres, new ways of doing things, places for everyone to sit, new procedures, new ways of talking, they may refuse to go back into what may to them feel like an antique shop” (5,600 words)

Motel Living

Craig Lancaster | LARB | 1st December 2017

“They call me a ‘pig tracker’, which means I monitor the location of cleaning and diagnostic tools traveling through pipelines, and when I’m not in the field, I’m in a hotel somewhere sleeping my way toward my next shift. The particular rhythms of what I do — track the pig in its journey, hand off the job to my counterpart on the other shift, find a hotel near where I’ll rejoin the line, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat — have made me something of an unintentional expert on hotel living” (1,750 words)

Kick Against The Pricks

Laura Kipnis | New York Review Of Books | 30th November 2017

On Gretchen Carlson, Fox News, and the backlash against sexual harassment. “Toppling power isn’t about storming the Bastille these days, it’s about changing the way people talk and think. Creating a crisis of authority for those in power is how the world changes. But we’re reminded by recent events that the agents of progress can be unlikely: just as the military was a major force in desegregation, now we have corporations like News Corp acting like progressives on sexual harassment” (4,100 words)

Video of the day Espresso Shot In Slow Motion

What to expect:

Espresso being extracted from a La Marzocco FB80 machine, filmed at 120 frames per second (1’50”)

Thought for the day

He who hesitates is sometimes saved
James Thurber

Podcast of the day Running Out of Ideas | Freakonomics Radio

Stephen J. Dubner and guests explore why productivity growth has been shrinking. Is it for lack of innovation?

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