Quote of the day

"Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed"
Bertrand Russell

Happiness Blues

B.B. King freed the blues from tragedy. The songs might still be sad, but the singer was “hosting a party”. King “created celebratory art … separating himself from the hoodoo baggage that attended Robert Johnson and the more contemporary gruffness of Muddy Waters.” He “made the blues a vehicle for joy”, found a popular audience, and edged towards rock “as much as any blues guitarist this side of Buddy Guy” (795 words)

Brexit: The UK And Europe

Britain’s new Conservative government prepares for a promised referendum on UK membership of the European Union, probably next year. David Cameron may well secure most of the concessions that he wants from the EU as the price of supporting continued membership. But even then, the vote could go either way; and a British success could incite more EU countries to demand special treatment (1,560 words)

The Shazam Effect

A smartphone app called Shazam sets off “a revolution in the recording industry”. Play Shazam a fragment of music and it will identify the title and performer. Twenty million searches every day provide a goldmine of real-time data to music industry agents and scouts, who can see which songs are catching on and where. “We can see when a song is going to break out months before most people have even heard of it” (2,500 words)

Watchers Of The Skies

Dismayed by a storm in 1859 that sank 133 ships, Robert FitzRoy, first head of the British government’s Meteorological Department, “took it upon himself to issue bespoke weather warnings, for which he coined the term forecasts.” It did not go well. The forecasts attracted so much derision in the press that FitzRoy despaired. “On a spring morning in 1865, he locked himself in his dressing room and cut his throat with a razor” (1,414 words)

ISIS And The Shia Revival In Iraq

Letter from Baghdad. The city “feels uncannily lacking in trauma”, despite the consolidation of the Islamic State to the north. The Iraqi army and Shiite militias continue the fight to drive out ISIS and reunify the country. But as the south of Iraq rebuilds and prospers, the chasm with the north widens, and the attractions of formal partition can only grow. Why bleed for a north that is mostly desert and “feuding tribes”? (4,200 words)

Always be interesting.
Never be bored.

Authors, academics and Nobel prize winners rely on The Browser to hand-pick the best writing on the internet every day. Why not join them?

A year's subscription is just $20. You get recommendations by email, easy sending of articles to Kindle, Pocket and Instapaper, and unlimited access to our archive.

Knowledge is pleasure.

Yes! I want pleasure

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Support the Browser

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Support the Browser

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Support the Browser

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Support the Browser

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Log in to The Browser

Subscribe to The Browser

Welcome to The Browser!

The Browser

Sections

Share via email

Search The Browser

Email Sent

About paid content