Particle Physics, Roses, Hats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salt

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

Natural Physics

Aurélien Barrau | Inference | 17th April 2017

An introduction to the Large Hadron Collider and to particle physics. The observation of the Higgs boson was a remarkable feat of engineering, but one that confirmed a theoretical prediction made fifty years ago. It was old physics rather than new physics. A new physics would tell us not only how the Universe is constituted, but why it is constituted in such a way, and whether other Universes could exist. These questions are still in the realm of philosophy rather than of science (2,900 words)

Free The Roses

Sarah Nicole Prickett | Hazlitt | 17th April 2017

Discursive essay on the place of roses in art, love, grief, tattoos, politics and gardening. With reference to Jackie Kennedy, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, Jessica Mitford and Emmett Till among many others. “A frost in mid-April can blight a rose before it fully lives. By summer the bloom cycles are easier to control, and begin when the gardener deadheads the roses, inducing new life. This delicate internal clock is one thing that makes the rose a dread metaphor for romantic love” (3,500 words)

Silver Belly Hats And No Holey Jeans

Alice Hines | Vestoj | 19th April 2017

Conversation with James White, owner of the Broken Spoke Bar in Austin, mostly about clothes — especially hats — but also about hippies, hipsters, horses and honky-tonk. “I usually wear a Stetson or a Resistol, or a hat from a maker called Shorty in Oklahoma City. I like a Silver Belly hat, which means it’s not white, it’s close to gray. A hat tells the story of what you do. If you’re a bull rider, different hat. Barrel racer, different hat. I wear a cutter’s crease, which is for cutting horses” (1,100 words)

The Afterlife Of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Joe Gioia | The Millions | 18th April 2017

Scott Fitzgerald must have known that The Last Tycoon would be his last novel. He was only 44 and he had given up drinking; but he was smoking heavily, reading Kafka, and increasingly bedridden. “Benzedrine got him up in the morning; Nembutal tucked him in. A steady intake of cork-filtered cigarettes, coffee, Coca-Cola and pans of chocolate fudge rounded out the medications. Two mild heart attacks anticipated a massive third, which quickly ended things” (1,900 words)

A History Of Maldon Salt

Nick Paumgarten | Bon Appetit | 31st March 2017

How the foodie world’s favourite salt is made: “The operation resembles a lobster pound housed in a schvitz. The square pans are steel, three yards on each side, and not much more than a foot deep. An intricate system of flues heats each pan evenly from beneath, as the brine solution thickens. The saltmakers boil the brine, then reduce the temperature until inverted-pyramid crystals form on the surface. At some point, the crystals, under their own weight, fall to the bottom of the pan like snow” (3,200 words)

Video of the day: Analogue Loaders

What to expect:

A homage to lost time. If waiting-to-load animations existed in the physical world (2’02”)

Thought for the day

God gives nuts, but he does not crack them
Franz Kafka

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