Weekly newsletter 75

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

A selection of our best article links of the week, plus featured FiveBooks interviews, videos, quotations and more.

Weekly Newsletter

Best of the Week

The Drugs Don't Work: A Modern Medical Scandal

Ben Goldacre | Guardian | 21 September 2012

Drugs are tested by manufacturers, in poorly designed trials, on small numbers of unrepresentative patients. Unsurprisingly, these trials often produce results that favour the manufacturer. Those that don't are buried Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/drugs-dont-work-modern-medical-scandal)

Cutting The British Empire Down To Size

Bernard Porter | History Today | 27 September 2012

It looked big on the map. All those countries coloured red. But it was never administered or even loosely organised centrally. Run by a small cadre of civil servants: 4,000 at its Victorian peak. More about trade than territory Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/cutting-british-empire-down-size)

Portrait Of The Artist As A Postman

Jason Sheeler | Texas Monthly | 24 September 2012

Meet Kermit Oliver, painter, mystic and recluse. Works the night shift sorting mail in a Waco, Texas post office. Mourns his son, who was executed for murder. And designs silk scarves for the Hermès fashion house in Paris Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/portrait-artist-postman)

President Obama: The Democrats' Ronald Reagan

Andrew Sullivan | Newsweek | 24 September 2012

"One thing that has so far been underestimated is the potential impact of a solid Obama win, and perhaps a Democratic retention of the Senate. It would be a transformational moment." Here, says Sullivan, is what it might mean Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/president-obama-democrats-ronald-reagan)

Controlling Brains With A Flick Of A Light Switch

Amy Barth | Discover | 25 September 2012

Here's a look at some mind-blowing research. How the new science of optogenetics could deliver a cure for drug addiction and mental illness. By using lights to shut down specific neural pathways. Extraordinary stuff Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/controlling-brains-flick-light-switch)

The Myths Of Muslim Rage

Kenan Malik | Pandaemonium | 26 September 2012

Did we learn nothing? Three myths about the Rushdie affair "have shaped responses to every similar conflict since. Every one is being reproduced in the current debate about The Innocence of Muslims" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/myths-muslim-rage)

Meet The Man Who Built A 30-Story Building In 15 Days

Lauren Hilgers | Wired | 25 September 2012

Chinese company Broad Sustainable Building makes prefabricated skyscrapers. It claims its method is safer, less wasteful, cheaper and, of course, faster. Its next project is to build the world's tallest building in seven months Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/meet-man-who-built-30-story-building-15-days)

How Collecting Opium Antiques Turned Me Into An Opium Addict

Lisa Hix & Steven Martin | Collectors Weekly | 24 September 2012

Martin discovered the beauty of old opium pipes, lamps and other paraphernalia. He collected thousands of pieces, and wrote a book about opium antiques. And then, initially for research, he started smoking (h/t @tzaf) Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/how-collecting-opium-antiques-turned-me-opium-addict)

FiveBooks Interview


Jonathan Powell on Negotiation

The former chief of staff to Tony Blair tells us about his experience of negotiating in Northern Ireland, and explains why it's important never to lose your temper except on purpose Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/jonathan-powell-on-negotiation)


Privacy Online

Your movements are tracked and the data trail you leave is commercialised. If privacy is gone, is "publicy" the future? Or is there more value to privacy than some think? Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/privacy-online)

Reader Recommendations

@evaholland (http://twitter.com/evaholland)  Suicide rates for male Inuit youth are 28x higher than the Canadian average. Here is one young man's story: t.co/g6YngxGZ #browsings (https://twitter.com/search?q=#browsings) More like this (http://thebrowser.com/browsings)

Book of the Week

Book of the Day (http://thebrowser.com/recommended/glass-bead-game-by-herman-hesse)

The Glass Bead Game  by Herman Hesse

Marcus du Sautoy says (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/marcus-du-sautoy-on-beauty-maths) : “When I read this I thought, ‘Yes, this is the game I want to play.’ That’s what I try to do in the work that I do, to combine my love of music, to explain why music and mathematics have these common themes, to bring mathematics alive." FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

How The Internet Will Transform Government


Clay Shirky. Say what you like about TED, the man can talk More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Michael Chabon, on men (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/michael-chabons-oakland-in-telegraph-avenue.html)

"Apart from homosexuals, only chess players have found a reliable way to bridge, intensely but without fatal violence, the gulf that separates any two men"

More quotes (http://thebrowser.com/quotations)

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