The week of Monday 24 to Sunday 30 June 2019 ended the financial year. I took the opportunity to have a proper weekend off. I was also moderately productive.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 474: Cold War, warm winter, and pubs”
Of these four weeks, I’ve spent roughly a week each in San Francisco, Ho Chi Minh City, and Canberra. I also visited a Cold War relic near San Francisco, namely Nike Missile Site SF-88L at Fort Barry. Other stuff happened too.
There’s so much in this Eight-Week Wrap, the bulk of it is over the fold. I won’t be able to list all the highlights, but I will mention two of the lowlights. I caught a conference plague, which slowed me down a bit. And my stress and anxiety levels, which had not been declining, went through the roof. And they’re still there.
This health issue is being addressed, so no sympathy is needed. (Instead, perhaps send me a tip to help with the revenue shortfall, especially with the low-reveue holiday periods of Easter and Anzac Day coming up.) But it does mean that my alleged plans for the next few weeks should be taken with an even bigger grain of salt than usual.
OK, the week hasn’t quite finished yet. It’s still relatively early on Sunday. But the day will be spent pottering around various work-related things, so I feel confident about that opening paragraph.
It’s pretty much an Australian tradition that the media silly season ends on Australia Day — although I did see someone suggest that in Sydney the summer holiday season runs from the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in early October through to the Mardi Gras parade at the cusp of February-March. We are a proud nation.
- It’s strange, but we never really had to learn to love the bomb, Crikey, 29 January 2014. It’s a reflection on the Cold War on the 50th anniversary of the release of Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
- Akamai’s HTTPS fail sets a bad example, ZDNet Australia, 29 January 2014.
- Can Startupland bridge the smartphone generation gap?, ZDNet Australia, 31 January 2014.
- On Tuesday I spoke about Bitcoin, in the light of the arrests of a Bitcoin evangelist and a currency trader on money laundering charges, on ABC Radio’s The World Today.
None. I’m clearly doing this wrong.
The Week Ahead
I’ll be in the Blue Mountains until Friday, in all likelihood. It’s the first week of a new month, so I daresay I’ll be keeping a low profile because none of those bastard clients have paid their invoices yet.
My writing slate includes two columns for ZDNet Australia, one for Corrupted Nerds — that’s one of the two pieces I still owe my Pozible supporters — and probably one for CSO Online.
I’m also doing the research and scripting for a panel discussion I’m moderating the week after — that’s due to be announced on Monday.
The Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s uranium enrichment program was indeed launched by the US, according to a major investigative report published by the New York Times shortly before I was due to appear on ABC Local Radio this evening.
So guess what we talked about.
The host was Dom Knight, and here’s a recording of the whole conversation.
The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As usual, I post the material I’m involved with here as an archive and reference.
Stilgherrian’s links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009, gathered automatically but then left to languish for two weeks before publication.
There’s so many of these links this time that I’ll publish them over the fold. I think I need to get over my fear of the link being published automatically without my checking them first, and my concern that my website won’t look nice if the first post is just a list of links.
Maybe I should just stick these Delicious-generated links in a sidebar? Or do you like having them in the main stream and RSS feed?
Connections is more than 30 years old now — it was first broadcast in 1978 — and yet the way it weaves its threads through the history of science is still relevant to a contemporary audience. One thing I did notice, though, is how bleak his worries are, obviously an element of the Cold War mentality of the time.
Burke’s witty writing is a key part of the enjoyment, as this snippet from episode 2 shows:
I suppose Shakeaspeare and the travel agents have done more than anybody else to give us our Technicolor view of Elizabethan England, starring the Queen herself as a kind of swashbuckler in pearls. The fact is, about all she had time for was bookkeeping. When she took the place over in 1558, it was National Disaster Week. The money was worthless. There was no money! There was plague. The cities were packed and stinking.
Elizabeth appealed to the decent English middle class, with their healthy desire for prestige, power, fun and games, and cash. Soon, anybody who wanted to be anybody was on the make. And none more than that famous bunch of privateering seadogs led by Drake, Raleigh and Hawkins, who sailed the Atlantic looking for new American trade opportunities for England, setting up colonies, knocking off Spanish galleons — and doing it all with a kind of gutsy disregard for convention that we describe today as “criminal”.
I’ve often wanted to make programs like Burke’s. He gives hope to someone who, like him, has “a good face for radio”. I know that re-watching these old favourites will be important in many ways.