Trump Family, Alligators, India, Steven Spielberg

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

A Short History Of The Trump Family

Sidney Blumenthal | London Review Of Books | 8th February 2017

Clinton loyalist’s rant. Tiresome at times, but with much interesting anecdotal detail — for example, that Trump asked Andy Warhol to paint Trump Tower, then rejected the result, “a beautiful series of multi-layered paintings in black, silver and gold”. According to Warhol: “Mr Trump was very upset that it wasn’t colour co-ordinated. He sent his interior decorator with swatches of material so I can do the paintings to match the pinks and oranges. I think Trump’s sort of cheap, though” (9,500 words)

Total Recall

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie | Guardian | 8th February 2017

Perhaps sixty people in the whole world share a condition called “highly superior autobiographical memory”, or HSAM. They remember everything that happens in their lives. They are “not just high achievers” by the usual metrics of memory, but in “a separate, outlying class by themselves”. Tests show that they form memories in much the same way as anybody else. But whereas most people start to forget things after a week or so, these outliers do not. They are “bad forgetters” (6,900 words)

F*** That Gator

Thomas Golianopoulos | Buzzfeed | 4th February 2017

One could wish for a different headline, but, nonetheless, a colourful and action-packed account of the life and death of Tommie Woodward, “the first person to die from an alligator attack in Texas since 1836”, as told by Tommie’s twin brother Brian, and by Kent Robnett, a neighbour who took it upon himself to trap and kill the offending alligator. “I have a lot of respect for those animals. We would never disrespect anything we harvest. But that gator had to go. He killed a man” (6,200 words)

A Single Speech Divides A Nation

Bhanuj Kappal | New Statesman | 8th February 2017

Reflections on the “pandemonium” in India caused by prime minister Narendra Modi’s order in November to outlaw large-denomination banknotes, ostensibly to fight corruption and terrorism. “At a stroke, 86 per cent of the cash in circulation would become worthless paper. And there was nothing we could do.” Three months later the property market has crashed, the economy has slowed, and the government is still struggling to print enough banknotes to make up the shortfall (1,400 words)

Spielberg: The Inner Lives Of A Genius

Geoffrey O'Brien | New York Review Of Books | 7th February 2017

Steven Spielberg is “as much an institution as an individual”, a brand-name in entertainment “comparable only to Disney”. In her new Life of Spielberg, Molly Haskell sees the film-maker’s precocity — he made his first feature at 17 — as the foundation of his genius. “Given the early age at which he absorbed the techniques of filmmaking, it’s as if those techniques became themselves a tangible continuation of childhood, a way to stay directly in contact with a certain rapt pleasure” (3,700 words)

Video of the day: Minecraft

What to expect:

Tour of astonishing landscapes created within Minecraft. Is this a new art form? (6’05”)

Thought for the day

To betray, you must first belong
Kim Philby

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