Weekly newsletter 87

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

With The Why Elusive, Two Boys, Two Burials

Dan Barry | NYT | 17 December 2012

Model of local reporting. Plain, powerful writing. First of the Newtown school massacre funerals. Noah Pozner wanted to manage a taco factory. Instead he gets a "tombstone with a birth year that seems like yesterday: 2006" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/why-elusive-two-boys-two-burials)

When You Swallow A Grenade

Carl Zimmer | Loom | 18 December 2012

We've come a long way in medical terms from the time when a scratch from a thorn could lead to death. Penicillin saw to that. But antibiotics also had unintended consequences, which scientists are now having to come to grips with Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/when-you-swallow-grenade)

Best Practices For Raising Kids? Look To Hunter-Gatherers

Jared Diamond | Newsweek | 17 December 2012

What can Western industrial societies learn from other ways of child-rearing? Diamond has worked with people from New Guinea and is struck by the emotional security, self-confidence, curiosity and autonomy of children there Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/best-practices-raising-kids-look-hunter-gatherers)

Utopian For Beginners

Joshua Foer | New Yorker | 17 December 2012

John Quijada, a 54-year-old former employee of the California State Department of Motor Vehicles, invented a language, "Ithkuil". It's a monument to ingenuity and design. And then Ukrainian militants started showing an interest Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/utopian-beginners)

Gun Control That Works: No Guns

Lexington | Economist | 15 December 2012

"I think private ownership of guns is a tragic mistake. But a majority of Americans disagree with me, some of them very strongly. And at a certain point, when very large majorities disagree with you, a bit of deference is in order" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/gun-control-works-no-guns)

A Eulogy For #Occupy

Quinn Norton | Wired | 12 December 2012

A year ago Quinn Norton "embedded" with activists in the Occupy movement. She stayed in the camps, bought a gas mask, witnessed the clashes with police. This is a thoroughly compelling account of her experience Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/eulogy-occupy)

The Right To Die Is The Right To Live

Lisa Carver | Vice | 18 December 2012

Mother of chronically ill 18-year-old boy, expected to die young, lets the boy take charge. He fires his doctors, stops his treatments. And gets better. Lifts weights. “There’s just too much negativity. I want to have some fun" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/right-die-right-live)

Learning To Speak American

Tim Parks | NYRB | 14 December 2012

Interesting thoughts on language from Parks, who was commissioned to write a book about Italy for the American market and found many of his words changed in the editing process. Why do American publishers insist on this? Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/learning-speak-american)

FiveBooks Interview


David Edmonds on Ethical Problems

Given the choice between allowing five people to die, and killing one person, what would you do? What is the utilitarian argument for vegetarianism? Should we be able to sell our kidneys? The philosopher suggests some answers Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/david-edmonds-on-ethical-problems)


Guns in America

How does one make sense of the killings in Newtown and Aurora? And will Americans, will President Obama do anything to stop it happening again? Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/after-aurora)

Reader Recommendations

@henrylf The Thought Experiment That Proved Light Has A Speed Limit: @io9 on the de Sitter Effect #browsings t.co/abEmGSpG #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/accidental-connoisseur-by-lawrence-osborne)

The Accidental Connoisseur  by Lawrence Osborne

Randall Grahm says (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/randall-grahm-on-wine) : "What is amazing about the book, for me, is the quality of the writing, which is lovely and very funny. He is so good at getting people to speak candidly and revealingly." FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

The Mostly German Philosophers' Love Song


Does exactly what it says on the tin More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Michael Mauboussin, on skill (http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2012/12/investing?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/distinguishing_skill_from_luck)

"There's a quick and easy way to test whether an activity involves skill; ask whether you can lose on purpose"

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

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