Weekly newsletter 86

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

In Rust Belt, A Teenager’s Climb From Poverty

Anne Hull | Washington Post | 9 December 2012

Tabitha Rouzzo, 17, was dealt a poor hand in life. She is determined through hard work and sheer effort to get out of the circumstances in which she grew up. But leaving poverty is tougher than it once was in America (h/t D Lippman) Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/rust-belt-teenager’s-climb-poverty)

Amazon's Billion-Dollar Tax Shield

Tom Bergin | Reuters | 6 December 2012

After shining a light on the tax avoidance strategy of Starbucks (to some effect), Reuters turns the heat on Amazon. The online retail giant uses a complex strategy to ensure that its profits pile up in tax-friendly Luxembourg Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/amazons-billion-dollar-tax-shield)

Suckers For Superheroes

Frank Rich | New York | 9 December 2012

"What’s really shocking about the Petraeus affair is not Petraeus’s affair but the fact that once again, we were taken in by a secular plaster saint." And there are many more where he came from, says Rich in this fun, barbed piece Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/suckers-superheroes)

Operation Delirium

Raffi Khatchadourian | New Yorker | 10 December 2012

Lawsuit exposes 20 years of US military "psychochemical" research. “The characteristics we are looking for in these agents are exactly opposite to what pharmaceutical firms want in drugs, that is, the undesirable side effects” Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/operation-delirium)

How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society

Judith Shulevitz | New Republic | 6 December 2012

We are having our children much later than we used to. Both men and women. And we are only very slowly becoming aware of the consequences Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/how-older-parenthood-will-upend-american-society)

Fallen Dean’s Life, Contradictory To Its Grisly End

William Rashbaum et al | NYT | 11 December 2012

Terrific story. Suicide of college dean on trial for fraud whose friends were "Catholic priests, Chinese gangsters, American lawmakers, a Taiwanese general". Big-time gambler. Alcoholic. Reputed murderer of first husband (of three) Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/fallen-dean’s-life-contradictory-its-grisly-end)

Happy Birthday, Noam Chomsky

Gary Marcus | New Yorker | 7 December 2012

How Chomsky changed linguistics. "For most of us, words and sentences are tools for communicating. But for Chomsky, words and sentences are tools for understanding the nature and origins of knowledge" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/happy-birthday-noam-chomsky)

Why The Swedes Move To Norway And Why I Tagged Along

David Michael | Billfold | 11 December 2012

Norway's oil wealth makes for higher wages, shorter working hours, more demand for labour. Swedes flock there: 10% of Oslo residents are Swedish. "Young people today don’t want to work at all. It’s good that we have the Swedes" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/why-swedes-move-norway-and-why-i-tagged-along)

FiveBooks Interview


Philip Plait on the Wonders of the Universe

The astronomer and author of the acclaimed Bad Astronomy blog gives us a superbly informative beginner’s guide to the galaxy, taking in the birthdate of the universe, solar flares and much, much more Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/philip-plait-on-wonders-universe)


Conflict in Syria

The Syrian conflict is causing terrible destruction and loss of life. This report charts how protests against the Assad regime descended into a bitter war  Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/syria-revolts)

Reader Recommendations

@RottenInDenmark RT @longreads "Homies: What Happened to Everyone I Went to Middle School With?" t.co/UEcmJjYu #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/arctic-dreams-by-barry-lopez)

Arctic Dreams  by Barry Lopez

: "It’s an investigation into how we imagine place and how place imagines us. It changed my life and really made me become a writer, if any one book did" FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

The Cave. Plato's Allegory In Clay


Classic. If only one YouTube video survives the Mayan apocalypse, let it be this one More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Teller, on choice (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Teller-Reveals-His-Secrets.html)

“If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely. This is one of the darkest of all psychological secrets”

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

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