Weekly newsletter 78

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

Boss Rail

Evan Osnos | New Yorker | 15 October 2012

How a high-speed rail disaster exposed China's corruption. "An engineer who worked on the railway’s construction told me, 'There is an expression in Chinese: when you take too great a leap, you can tear your balls'" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/boss-rail)

Hunt For Geronimo

Mark Bowden | Vanity Fair | 12 October 2012

Book extract. How US found and killed Bin Laden. Cracking read. Pentagon gave job to navy SEALs, not CIA, because SEALs had done plenty of similar missons before. Vital experience if something went wrong, as it always did Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/hunt-geronimo)

The Brashness And Bravado In Big Deals

John Kay | John Kay/FT | 17 October 2012

Concise skewering of big mergers. "These commercial decisions often reflect policy-based evidence, not evidence-based policy. Doing the deal is what matters. Justification comes afterwards." But bigger does not equal stronger Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/brashness-and-bravado-big-deals)

The Vanishing Groves

Ross Andersen | Aeon | 16 October 2012

Superb essay on the bristlecone pines of California, the world's oldest trees, and their interaction with humans, land and climate. Most ancient is estimated to be 4,800 years old. They're an extraordinary record of the Earth's past Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/vanishing-groves)

Bill & Hillary Forever

John Heilemann | New York | 14 October 2012

They boost Obama, Obama boosts them. "[Bill] Clinton is seeing his legacy restored to what he regards as its rightful status, a restoration that will mightily benefit his wife if she hurls herself at the White House in 2016" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/bill-hillary-forever)

Where Will The Next Pandemic Come From? And How Can We Stop It?

David Quammen | Popsci | 15 October 2012

Best guess: A human disease that comes from wildlife, probably from a subgroup known as RNA viruses. They're highly adaptable, jump species, disappear quickly or kill. And human behaviour is making an outbreak more likely Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/where-will-next-pandemic-come-and-how-can-we-stop-it)

The Self-Destruction Of The 1 Percent

Chrystia Freeland | NYT | 13 October 2012

America would do well to learn the lesson of 14th century Venice. Economic elites that act to lock in their privileges and exclude others become extractive societies, ultimately destroying innovation and prosperity Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/self-destruction-1-percent)

Google Throws Open Doors To Its Top-Secret Data Center

Steven Levy | Wired | 17 October 2012

Visit to the "beating heart of the digital age". Server farm in North Carolina. "This is what makes Google Google: Thousands of fiber miles, thousands of servers that, in aggregate, add up to the mother of all clouds" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/google-throws-open-doors-its-top-secret-data-center)

FiveBooks Interview


Philip Marsden on The Sea

The travel writer casts his net over books about the sea and comes up with a haul including Moby Dick and a naval history Of Britain Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/philip-marsden-on-sea)


The Fall of Lance Armstrong

Once a hero, but now the game is up. Here's how the aggressively preserved reputation of Lance Armstrong finally crumbled Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/fall-lance-armstrong)

Reader Recommendations

@joespring Checking in on a oceanic Eden, where hell lies just below the surface. "Paradise with An Asterisk" #longform #browsings t.co/TcchSI3R #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/moon-and-bonfires-by-cesare-pavese)

The Moon and the Bonfires  by Cesare Pavese

Tim Parks says (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/tim-parks-on-italian-fiction) : “All his books are about people who, in a sense, miss the action, as Pavese himself felt he missed the action. This is considered his masterpiece and is a wonderful book” FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

Stratos Jump: Lego Edition


Felix Baumgartner tribute More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Demian Farnworth, on failure (http://freelanceswitch.com/start/why-freelancers-fail)

"Failure can be a great teacher—especially if you learn from someone else’s failure"

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

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