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Photo by Alexander Smagin on Unsplash

In June 1985, Sting released his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles. The third track on the record is one of my favorite tracks of all time, the song “Russians”:

Sting went on to earn a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year and one for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for that record. And the backing music on the song is so typically Russian. In fact, Sting claims that he borrowed it directly from Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. …

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My personal copy of the first book in the series (and the DnD Player’s Handbook)

Once again I’m attempting to finish reading The Wheel of Time book series by Robert Jordan. Almost every autumn, for the last few years, I convince myself that I’ll complete the 14-volume saga and then never do. There are over 4.4 million words in the epic and if I don’t do something to keep me motivated and disciplined enough, I’ll never finish it. I figure this time, I’ll use this blog to keep me honest.

If you’re at all interested, Barnes and Noble has completed an entire descriptive statistical analysis of the series, including number of words, density of chapters, frequency of viewpoints by race and culture, as well as lots of other interesting stats that probably only the devoted would find intriguing. …

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Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

On September 1, 1983 at 3:26am Tokyo time, Korean Airlines flight number 007 flying from New York City to Seoul after stopping in Anchorage was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet after it entered Soviet air space.

A Soviet Su-15 interceptor fired two air-to-air missiles at the Boeing 747, destroying the commercial airliner and killing 269 people. There were twenty-two children under 12 years old aboard. And the generally accepted theory for why the plane entered Soviet airspace is that the autopilot malfunctioned, unintentionally placing the plane inside Soviet airspace.

Larry McDonald was one of the 62 Americans on that flight. He was a politician and member of the US House of Representatives representing Georgia. A trained doctor and flight surgeon who served in the US Navy, McDonald consistently introduced legislation that was…

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

For a time, about five years ago, I was a very active writer and then for some reason fell out of it. Perhaps, because I was writing for a firm and was required to produce an original manuscript every week. Towards the end of that gig, I felt like I was just producing content I wasn’t passionate about and eventually I just burned out.

I’ve decided to resurrect my Medium site. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be writing, but over the last year or so I’ve felt the need to write more. I really have missed it.

So now I’m back and here on Medium. …

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By now, we’re all familiar with the exploits of Edward Snowden. Recently, he spoke, via web, to conference attendees at SXSW. And whatever your feelings on him and his release of classified information, it is clear that we have a challenge with folks interested in stealing data and releasing it. Whether it’s hackers pilfering your credit card, an insider conducting industrial espionage or, in Snowden’s case, an insider bent on releasing classified information. We have a problem.

As it so happens, and as you may know, I am quite the gamer. I love games. Video, board, psychological. You name it, I’m into it. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read this article by Patrick Tucker and its reference to World of Warcraft and insider threats. …

While you were enjoying a relaxing Thanksgiving last year, surrounded by friends and family, eating way too much turkey and mashed potatoes, Jesse Korff was figuring out a new way to distill a biological toxin called abrin so he could sell it to terrorists.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even a small dose of abrin is lethal to humans, and can cause death within 36 to 72 hours. Abrin is what is known as a “select agent.” Select agents are a subset of biological toxins that the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture have determined have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety. …

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Elevators are weird places. For about thirty seconds, it seems like the world stops and we find ourselves crammed into a pretty small space with a bunch of people we don’t know. And oddly, all of our social conventions seem to get tested while we’re there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a horrible smelly elevator by myself only to have someone else get on. Of course, the first thing that goes through my mind is figuring out how to convey to my lift-mate that I am not the originator of the stench, without drawing attention to the fact that I’m trying to convince them it wasn’t me. Does she think its me? Do I look like someone who stinks? Should I say something? Make some joke? …

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In October 1944, during the rebuilding of the House of Commons after the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill addressed the lower house of Parliament: “We shape our dwellings” he said, “and our dwellings shape us.”

What he meant is that the way we build our homes and offices impacts how we live our lives. For example, in most homes, the dining room is next to the kitchen. There’s usually a bathroom next to the bedroom. If you extend this concept more broadly, residential areas are separate from commercial areas which are separate from manufacturing areas. Anyone who has played SimCity knows this fact inherently. My point is that the way our homes are structured as well as our cities and towns, influences how we go about living. Where we eat. Where we buy things. Where we spend our time. Technology works the same way. …

About

Jason Thomas

Some folks say I know things about culture, data, identity, and how they blend with technology. I’m using this space to explore ideas I’m passionate about.

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