Shoelaces, Soccer, Garbage, Neil Gorsuch, Angela Merkel

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

Loose Ends

Cameron Walker | Last Word On Nothing | 5th June 2018

Why shoelaces refuse to stay tied. “The very action of running creates enough force on shoelaces to make that sweet little bow you tied fall apart, sometimes in a matter of seconds. There is a way to tie a single knot that makes it less likely to fail. The reef knot, or square knot, holds laces more securely than the granny knot. The easy give-away is that if you tie your laces and the bow turns so that it runs along your shoe, rather than across the top of your shoe, you’re likely tying a granny knot” (690 words)

Own Goal

Andrew Helms & Matt Pentz | Ringer | 5th June 2018

American soccer puts a Columbia University economist in charge of strategy. The economist, Sunil Gulati, puts the German star player Jürgen Klinsmann in charge of the team. Disaster ensues. “The team traveled to Trinidad for their final qualification match. Only 1,500 spectators even bothered to show up. But after conceding two freak goals in the first half, the United States men’s national team was just 45 minutes away from missing the World Cup for the first time in more than 30 years” (10,600 words)

Hell On Wheels

Kiera Feldman | Pro Publica | 4th June 2018

“The headquarters of Sanitation Salvage is a squat brick building that sits amid the razor wire of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. The Squitieri brothers, owners for decades, can be found on the top floor of the house-like structure on Manida Street. The three brothers are men of considerable wealth and fixtures in Bronx politics. Even in the bruising, often chaotic world of New York’s night-time trash collection, Sanitation Salvage cuts a distinctively brutish profile” (7,800 words)

Little Scalia

Simon van Zuylen-Wood | New York | 28th May 2018

Hostile but useful profile of Supreme Court judge Neil Gorsuch. “He had been introduced as a mild judge from crunchy Boulder who had worshipped at a liberal Episcopal church. But over the past year, he has shown off a preternatural gift for violating the unspoken norms of the institution and unsettling polite legal society. Not since 1937, when Franklin Roosevelt appointed Senator Hugo Black to ram through the New Deal, has a new justice arrived on the Supreme Court in such a politicized way” (5,250 words)

Merkel’s Dark View

René Pfister | Der Spiegel | 5th June 2018

The German chancellor has begun to worry about history and her place in it. It’s generally good for politicians to think long-term; but Angela Merkel may be going too far. “When she visited her party’s parliamentary group in mid-April, she didn’t talk about how she wants to change the pension system. Tolls on German highways were also not on her list, nor were all the problems with diesel emissions in the country. Instead, she wanted to talk about the Peace of Augsburg, signed in 1555” (1,850 words)

Video of the day Mio Iran

What to expect:

Haunting portrait of Iran. A place of danger and terror for some, of peace and beauty for others (4’05”)

Thought for the day

A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Podcast The Dawn Chorus | Rutherford And Fry

Why do birds sing — and especially at dawn? What are they saying? Experts and bird imitators explain
(27m 30s)

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