Weekly newsletter 82

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 Petraeus Illusion

Jon Lee Anderson | New Yorker | 13 November 2012

On the rise and fall of a myth. "Petraeus’s downfall is only as great as we choose to make it. He was an exceptional military officer, and he helped steer a turnaround in Iraq. But his lionization has been craven and boundless" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/petraeus-illusion)

The Expendables

William Langewiesche | Vanity Fair | 12 November 2012

On the French Foreign Legion: 8,000 men of all nationalities. They fight anywhere, dying for causes not their own, perhaps for causes not even known to them. Langewiesche tags along as they chase rogue gold miners in French Guiana Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/expendables)

How I Learned A Language In 22 Hours

Joshua Foer | Guardian | 9 November 2012

Foer says he's no natural linguist but he managed to learn an entire Lingala dictionary and converse with pygmies in northern Congo. And here's the thing: He really isn't special; it all comes down to learning techniques Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/how-i-learned-language-22-hours)

A Mormon Reporter On The Romney Bus

McKay Coppins | BuzzFeed | 14 November 2012

Has Mitt Romney "normalised" Mormonism, made it possible for there to be a future Mormon president? Who better to ask than Coppins, a Mormon himself, who observed the Romney campaign at close quarters and saw how the issue played Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/mormon-reporter-romney-bus)

Why Online Education Works

Alex Tabarrok | Cato Unbound | 12 November 2012

Higher education ripe for disruption. Expensive, exclusive. "Oxford in 2012 teaches students in ways remarkably similar to Oxford in 1096." Online teaching delivers better product to more people more cheaply. Like film vs theatre Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/why-online-education-works)

How The GOP Got Stuck In The Past

David Frum | Newsweek | 11 November 2012

Republican election post-mortem. "Don’t tell me it was close. Don’t blame it on Hurricane Sandy or Gov. Chris Christie. When economic conditions are as bad as they were in 2012 and the incumbent wins anyway, that’s not 'close'" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/how-gop-got-stuck-past)

Positive Pregnancy Test Diagnoses Man's Cancer

Maggie Koerth-Baker | Boing Boing | 8 November 2012

Man finds old pregnancy test kit in bathroom cupboard. Just for laughs, he pees on the stick. Surprise! The result comes back positive. Lucky for him, a friend jokes about it on Reddit and receives an unexpected reply Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/positive-pregnancy-test-diagnoses-mans-cancer)

Genius: The Nickelback Story

Ben Paynter | Businessweek | 8 November 2012

On the band so many love to hate. That reference to genius in the headline? We're talking commercial success, not artistic merit. They're a ruthless money-making machine. This is their formula for generating the megabucks Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/genius-nickelback-story)

FiveBooks Interview


Michael Farr on Tintin

Why do the Tintin stories have such enduring appeal? A Tintinologist tells us what makes them special, how their creator, Hergé, came to write them, and why he was accused of being a Nazi collaborator Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/michael-farr-on-tintin)


The Petraeus Affair

An affair with his biographer has cost the CIA director, David Petraeus, his job. Should it have done? Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/petraeus-affair)

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k RT @edyong209: RT @mocost: Einstein's unusual brain t.co/iYublhQh #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/seven-pillars-wisdom-by-te-lawrence)

Seven Pillars of Wisdom  by TE Lawrence

Wade Davis says (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/wade-davis-on-legacies-world-war-one) : “This has one of the best opening lines in English literature: 'Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances'" FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

Surveillance Camera Man


So what if CCTV was a person? More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, on scaling (http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/longpeace.pdf)

"A mean person with a stick is categorically different from a mean person with a nuclear weapon"

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

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