Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The Tiger: Author Video

by Warren

Recently I was contacted by StudioNow to create an author video for Random House about “The Tiger,” a new book by Vancouver author John Vaillant. It’s an interesting story about a poacher, a Russian game warden/badass and a very smart, very deadly tiger, and the violent maelstrom all three find themselves in while pursuing their own goals. Check out the video below.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Neat video about living in exponential times

by Warren

Did You Know? from Amybeth on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Steampunk: the backlash begins

by Warren

250px-Steamtop.jpg Steampunk, a subculture devoted to recreating an overly ornate, technologically oriented version of the Victorian era, has been covered of late in mainstream media like the New York Times. When the mainstream media starts to take notice of a subgroup, that’s about when it’s on its way out, and Randy Nakamura’s article in Design Observer essentially skewers the steampunk “movement” as nothing but wishful thinking for a non-existent past….with knobs and brass.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

War on Terror won? Not so fast…

by Warren

CIA director Michael Hayden recently announced that Al Queda is on the ropes, a spent force, and that the group has failed to gain traction in Iraq. Well, not so fast. A recent editorial in the Guardian points out that mass uprisings may not be what Bin Laden has in mind when he calls for jihadist revolution, and more importantly, terrorists don’t even need mass support to achieve their goals. All they need is the loyalty of a hard-core group of supporters, and they can continue their operations indefinitely. Will the leaders of those die-hards be Al Queda? Maybe not, as recent intelligence has indicated some disillusionment with Bin Laden and Zawahiri. At any rate, the last time the United States took their eye off the ball, they ended up suffering the most devastating attack in the US history, invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and basically ruining their standing in the world. For their own sake, a little more vigilance and a lot less swagger might be a good idea.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Florida, where Nixon’s henchmen go to perv out

by Warren

Roger Stone learned the dark art of political hatchet-jobbery from Richard Nixon and Roy Cohn, two of America’s finest villains. He’s continued with their “win at any costs” philosophy, most recently applying his vile talents to both the 2000 recount and the 2004 smear job on John Kerry. And he’s an unrepentant horndog, though interestingly his habit of frequenting Miami swinger’s clubs actually led to the downfall of former New York governor and whoremonger Elliot Spitzer. An article in the current New Yorker lays out his perfidious ways in detail, and if you want to get his personal take on the world, check out his blog. I would hope that somehow this toad is kept out of the current election, but somehow I can’t shake the feeling that Obama has been in his sights from the word go.

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Chongqing, the city on steroids

by Warren

Current TV is hosting a really interesting documentary on Chongqing, one of the “megacities” springing up in China’s feverish push to become the dominant economic power of the 21st century. Definitely worth a watch.

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Fareed Zakaria on “the rise of the rest”

by Warren

Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek’s resident smart foreign policy guy. has a corker of an article about what the world will be like once developing economies like India, China and Russia all develop to the point where they equal or surpass the United States. This will be a turning point in history, Zakaria says, and he’s right. It’s inevitable that the US won’t be on the top forever, and Zakaria remains hopeful that the transition will be somewhat peaceful. It’s all excerpted from his new book, “The Post-American World,” due out in May.

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Clay Shirky on gin, television and the culture of participation

by Warren

Internet smart guy Clay Shirky recently gave a lecture about how big changes are masked by a calming influence until societies are ready to adapt. He points to gin as the dampening effect of the Industrial Revolution, with most Britain drunk and surly until they stopped seeing urbanism as a threat and started seeing it as an asset. Same with television, which narcotized a public faced with one-way communication and nuclear deterrence. Now we’re in a two-way age, with blogs and Wikipedia and Youtube, and we’re growing into a world where participation will be the norm, not the exception. Neat stuff.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

How America got the Nixon it deserved

by Warren

Nixonland,” a new book by Rick Perlstein, looks like an interesting tome about how Nixon was both a reflection of and answer to the state of America in the late Sixties. It also points out that Nixon did succeed in calming an incredibly tumultuous time in the US, when the country was tearing itself apart from within. Compare that to today, when we have an arguably worse president but a relatively stable social and political atmosphere.

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The ten most historically inaccurate movies

by Warren

Oh, there are some bad ‘uns here. I’m glad they took 10,000 B.C. out for a solid spanking, as it’s an affront to anyone with the slightest interest in world history.