While Jacob Appelbaum grabbed headlines with his NSA revelations
at this year's Chaos Communication Congress
, other presentations provided equally fascinating insight into how the world works. Learn how data mining is bringing perpetrators of genocide to justice
), how an artist uses different concepts of secrecy landscapes
) to keep tabs on clandestine activities, and how India's surveillance state continues to grow
previously [more inside]
The Great War’s Ominous Echoes
— "It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power." By Margaret MacMillan
, New York Times
, December 13, 2013.
The RAND Corporation's National Security Research Division has released a 297-page report on the likely consequences of a collapse of the North Korean regime, within the Korean Peninsula, as well as to China, Japan, the US and others (PDF
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
India's DEFEXPO 2012
, is 'not a carnival in the truest sense'
, but rather ' the seventh in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Security Systems Exhibition . . . clearly steering the path of steady growth . . . receiving overwhelming and unprecedented international response.'
As for arms dealers? 'On arms dealers, the minister [India’s Defence Minister AK Antony] insisted, “There are none I am aware of.”
' [more inside]
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
Warfare: An advancing front
- "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
The scene was the siege of Shanghai, the year 1932. It was more than half a year since the Mukden Incident had provided a pretext for Japan to invade Manchuria
and begin moving down through Northern China. Three Imperial Japanese soldiers from an engineering division died in a bomb blast that took out a section of the Chinese fortifications, allowing Japanese forces to surge through the breach and advance.
The fallen soldiers became known as the "Three Human Bombs
" (Bakudan Sanyushi / 爆弾三勇士). Memorials were built
and murals were painted
and the Three Human Bombs were remembered as gallant and selfless heroes who gave their lives for the greater good of Japan, lauded on stage, in film, and in song
. A military medal
was created to award heroism in honor of the three.
Problem is, it was all a lie
. The story of the Three Human Bombs was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of the early twentieth century.
Canadian War Poster Collection
at McGill University. And if that doesn't strike your fancy, the list of digital collections
include such time-honoured favourites as Expo '67
, and the award-winner for unexpected collection, Gynaecology in Traditional Chinese Medicine
The aircraft carrier, a majestic and grand symbol of American naval might... susceptible to swarming small-boat assault
and weak against ballistic missiles, nevermind an anti-ship ballistic missile
. Is it time to reevaluate the role
of the aircraft carrier in a modern naval strategy
TED does it again. See you in Monterey.
What happens when the war machine goes improv?
The largest gathering
of Navy ships in the Pacific since the Vietnam war is happening right now, off the coast of Guam. Valiant Shield 06
, the first in a series of proposed biennial joint war-games
, is a massive military training exercise
involving three Carrier Strike groups
, more than 300 air craft, and 22,000 personnel. While primarily an ASW event
, all branches of the military are there practicing one thing
. The Department of Defense has invited a number of other counties to watch the games, including China
for the first time ever. Some believe
the game was just designed to put a scare into North Korea
(Not true, it's been in planning for a year).
But how does one run a massive war simulation
? Well, you just find yourself a copy of OneSAF
] or JSAF
(uh, among others
]) and you're good to go. (Previously on Metafilter: MC '02
The Bush administration is busy preparing for a possible military conflict with China.
"The most important strategic decision the United States will make in the next decade is not about Iraq, Iran or North Korea. It is about China.
What will America's basic attitude be toward the rise of China? And similarly, the most important strategic decision that Beijing will make in the next decade is: how should it relate to the United States? Depending on whether the answer to these questions is 'cooperation' or 'confrontation', one can imagine two very different 21st centuries." The Bush administration's containment strategy for China may herald the next cold war.
China to invade USA within the decade, using biological weapons to kill "hundreds of millions".
On the other hand, China is a wonderful land which has given an immensely rich culture to the global community.
The atom bomb
is 60. It's very popular now
and becoming more so daily
. The most recent nuclear nation to threaten to use theirs is China
. The U.S, Europe, and the U.S.S.R. got through a half century Cold War
without immolating themselves. Will South
and East Asia
be as successful and/or lucky in the near future?
Chinese sold Iraq 'dual-use' chemical
And France helped broker the deal. Now do we boycott not only French bread and wine but all Chinese food too?
is a documentary featuring 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testifying to their brutal participation in Japan's 15-year war against China. Director Matsui Minoru presents a powerful historical record of these soldiers' individual crimes, helping to break Japan's long silence about its wartime atrocities in China.
Please also see Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking''
and be aware that the Japanese government is still whitewashing
their brutal WWII history via school textbooks
. We must understand the truth of history so that we are not doomed to repeat it.