Sleep, Childbirth, Amazon, Leonora Carrington, Timothy Snyder

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

While We Sleep

Michael Finkel | National Geographic | 20th July 2018

Report on the current state of sleep science, full of healthy and hedonistic reasons to sleep more. “REM sleep is when we are our most intelligent, insightful, creative, and free. It’s when we truly come alive. The real wonder isn’t why we sleep; it’s why, with such an incredible alternative available, we bother to stay awake. And the answer might be that we need to attend to the basics of life — the eating and mating and fighting — to ensure that the body is fully ready for sleep” (5,700 words)

What Does Childbirth Feel Like?

Nell Frizzell | Guardian | 18th July 2018

“Pushing out a baby, the final stage, was – and please believe me when I say this – wonderful. After two days of contractions, the almost unbearable wait punctuated by unrelenting crashing waves of pressure, to realise that I was finally going to evacuate was brilliant. Suddenly, I didn’t care where I was, who was with me, what happened. I could have pushed that baby out in the middle of a Lidl car park. This pushing was familiar, innate. Not unlike a shit, of course, but somehow phenomenal in its scale” (1,400 words)

Bad Romance

Sarah Jeong | Verge | 16th July 2018

How authors collaborate and compete to game readers and extract royalties from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited programme. “Readers pay $9.99 a month to read as many books as they want. Authors are paid according to pages read, creating incentives to produce massively inflated and strangely structured books. The more pages Amazon thinks have been read, the more money an author receives. Every time a reader reads to the end of a 3,000-page book, the author earns almost 14 dollars” (6,900 words)

Cooking With Leonora Carrington

Valerie Stivers | Paris Review | 20th July 2018

An attempt to approximate some of the dishes described in the writings of the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. Not easily done, when these include a “plump, fat chicken with stuffing made of brains and the livers of thrushes, truffles, crushed sweet almonds, rose conserve with a few drops of divine liquor”; “pomegranates and melons stuffed with larks”; and boiled baby boars. The “surrealist salad” is the most approachable. The recipe begins: “Carve horses out of the carrots” (2,300 words)

Dark Globalisation

John Connelly | Public Books | 12th July 2018

Historian Timothy Snyder on the Russian challenge to democracy. “We assumed that things happening in Russia were exceptions, momentary detours from our politics of inevitability. Capitalism had to create democracy, and so on. We weren’t able to see that what happened in Russia was the consolidation of a coherent way of governing in the postmodern world: You justify tremendous inequality by way of a politics of spectacle, which diverts your domestic problems out into the world” (5,600 words)

Video of the day Fired On Mars

What to expect:

Poignant tale of a man who gets fired from his corporate job on Mars, and strikes out alone, a colony of one (6’30”)

Thought for the day

There are few reasons for telling the truth, but for lying the number is infinite
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Podcast Louis, Can Of Cola |Everything Is Alive

Interview show in which the interviewees are inanimate objects. In this episode, the thoughts of a can of cola
(24m 13s)

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