John Kennedy | Diagram Monkey | 24th September 2023
Climate scientist discusses the ways we literally describe water so as to improve our understanding of the planet, and also the figurative ways that becoming so immersed in such detail erodes the quality of debate on this subject. Just "laying out the situation in greater and more overwhelming detail" does little to enhance understanding. You may as well splash in a paddling pool (2,740 words)
Justin Stover & George Woudhuysen | Antigone | 23rd September 2023
Bibliographic mystery, solved. Historians have never understood why 4C sources enthused about Victor's short history of Rome when the surviving text is extremely underwhelming. But what if that was just a "scrappy epitome", or abstract, of the full, masterful work that had been mislabelled down the centuries? Its rediscovery will "transform our knowledge of the Roman past" (3,950 words)
Nicole Carpenter | Polygon | 26th September 2023
Insight into how game developers create realistic meteorological effects without involving so many moving pixels that your "computer melts through the floor". Each character has an individual rain cloud that follows them everywhere; weather doesn't exist anywhere beyond the player's field of vision. A well-designed downpour will appear torrential with very few moving raindrops (700 words)
Misha Saul | Kvetch | 24th September 2023
Analysis of the upcoming Australian referendum on creating a constitutional voice for indigenous peoples. Self-determination is absent from the discussion. Why? "There is plenty of space to create a new Aboriginal state with real sovereignty. If millions of Jews can leave dozens of nations to found a nation under immediate attack, surely the creation of a state within Australia is a cakewalk" (4,110 words)
from The Browser eleven years ago:
Debora Spar | Newsweek | 24 September 2012
Review of the state of feminism. "Women are struggling far more than is necessary not only to have that ephemeral 'all', but to do it all alone... Rather than leaping with glee at the liberation that has befallen women since the 1960s, we are labouring instead under a double whammy of impossible expectations — the old-fashioned ones and those wrought more recently" (3,500 words)
Podcast: Alex Antonelli | The Life Scientific. Interview with the director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who makes the case for urgently increasing the rate at which we document the Earth's species — before they disappear (28m 18s)
Atmospheric portrait of Sicily told only through close ups of different inhabitants' hands.
"You can't carve up the world. It's not a pie"
― Patti Smith