Vandalism, Ed Balls, Europe, Architecture

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

When Isis Destroys Ancient Monuments

Simon Jenkins | Guardian | 14th March 2015

We must rebuild the monuments of Mesapotamia that Isis is destroying, and build facsimiles where necessary. "Nimrud, Hatra and Nineveh are 6,000-year-old bedrocks of our culture. Their destruction tears at the roots of Eurasia’s shared identity." If we lose them, "the narrative is snapped". Facsimiles are a poor second-best, but they are far better nothing; they help us to remember, and they inform future generations (1,020 words)

Keynes’s Bulldog

George Eaton | New Statesman | 11th March 2015

Profile of Ed Balls, the pugnacious Labour MP in line to become Chancellor of the Exchequer if Labour wins the election in May. His skills for the job have been proven; he was an effective right hand to Gordon Brown when Brown was Chancellor. But he often seems to be more of a rival than an ally to his party leader, Ed Miliband. David Cameron calls Balls “the most annoying person in modern politics” (4,400 words)

Europe’s Torture Will Be Slow

Timothy Garton Ash | Guardian | 8th March 2015

And it may be fatal. "The structural problems of the eurozone require a transnational European democratic solidarity of fellow citizens which does not exist between different nationalities in the eurozone, and is not in prospect any time soon. And so we will struggle on, torn between national politics and European policies, while the monetary union that was meant to unite Europe pulls it apart. But the torture will be slow" (1,320 words)

Architecture And The Lost Art of Drawing

Michael Graves | New York Times | 1st September 2012 | Metered paywall

The modernist architect Michael Graves, known as much for designs of toasters and kettles as for towers, died this week. In this article from 2012 Graves laments the replacement of drawing by hand by computer software which, supposedly, does the job quicker and neater. Graves still preferred to draw and feel the picture emerge beneath his pencil. "The drawing is a reminder of the idea that caused me to record it in the first place" (1,150 words)

Video of the day: Bob Dylan – The Night We Called It A Day

What to expect: Film noir pastiche accompanying Dylan's cover of Frank Sinatra's 1942 standard (3'27")

Thought for the day

Politics is the art of devising temporary remedies for recurring evils
John Gray (

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