Jeffrey sez, "Paul French, who recently won an Edgar in the true crime category, uses the forthcoming US publication of Decoded, the first spy novel by a PRC author to be translated into English, as a jumping off point for a Los Angeles Review of Books 'China Blog' post on the ongoing allure of Asian settings for authors of fictional works of intrigue."
He brings up lots of fascinating work (some famous, some forgotten), but there are many other ways to go with this theme. For example, @beckminster tweeted soon after the piece went up that two other relevant authors to bring into the discussion could have been Neal Stephenson (who has actually been drawn to Shanghai as a setting more than once) and, well, this guy Cory Doctorow, due to his For the Win. And then, of course, there's the big real life news story of last year, which was dealt with in an earlier piece in the LARB (my "Why Hong Kong?" that had you-can't-make-this-stuff-up intrigue elements relating to an Asian setting: Edward Snowden's sojourn in Hong Kong between leaving the U.S. and ending up in Russia.
A Short Look at the Long Literary History of Spies in Asia [Paul French/LA Review of Books]
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli’s storied history — but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey)
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]