Monday, 19 June 2017

Sailing to Sarantium

Recently I just polished off a pair of books I hadn't read since grade school. Those two lovely novels were the apart of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay, and they were Sailing to Sarantium, and Lord of Emperors. Each is a tale of travel, self realization, passion, and ultimately, betrayal. Sarantium, is ultimately a city of wonders. Join me now as I describe this world and how it all ties together in one great journey.

Credit to harryguinness.com

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The World Without Gunpowder?

Recently I saw a discussion about whether it was possible to have industrialization without the discovery of gunpowder. This idea got me thinking, and it is impossible not to say that gunpowder changed much of the modern world as we know it. We owe much to its development. Not just in terms of warfare, but in the changes that wrought in government, social mobility, economics, and technology.



The question is though, what might a world without gunpowder look like?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Beautiful City

Many days I wake up and look out my window and I have to smile, because I live in a very beautiful city. Canada's capital may not be as old as say, London, New York, or even Quebec City, but Ottawa is still a very beautiful place.

Originally known as a lumber town more notable for the scope of the violence between its French and Irish lumbermen, its choice as Canada's capital was a compromise which satisfied no one and displeased many. Almost until the last minute people were hoping minds would be changed and that the capital could be moved somewhere else rather than this little hilly city which it seemed was only fit for habitation by swine and lumber barons, and the two were not necessarily mutual exclusive. However, the city stuck, and just in time in 1867, the Parliament Building was completed

Just in time

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Uncle Sam and the Kaiser

A few weeks ago I discussed the starting of the Russian Revolution. Today I would just like to make a small discussion on a moment one hundred years ago, which brought the largest nation yet uncommitted in the Great War to the battlefields of Europe. Today, one hundred years ago, The United States entered World War I and declared war on the German Empire.

The reasons for the United States entering the war are varied, but they largely stem from the policy of the German High Command deciding to implement unrestricted submarine warfare despite the objections of neutral nations.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Not Your Average Alien Invasion: Out of the Deeps

We all know the classic tropes for alien invasions. The Martians (or whomever) come down to earth, they begin burning our cities, slaughtering our populations, and generally taking over our land masses. They start to terraform Earth more to their liking, and humans generally must scatter before their superior technology. This is a staple set all the way back in 1898 by H. G. Wells in 1898. So we all know what to expect. Or do we?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Fear of Endings

Have you ever been reading a good book (or a series of books) or watching a particularly good television series and then suddenly found yourself at the end? Have you found yourself so immersed in the media that you've crept progressively closer and closer to the grand finale without even realizing it?

As you come upon that ending do you suddenly find yourself filled with dread at the thought that it was done? The sudden feeling that there is no more in this world to be had and your experience with that media is now complete. In short, have you ever finished something and felt your life was meaningless?

All credit to tapastic.com and Sarah Anderson

Friday, 17 March 2017

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Trump Administration

Trump has been in office for over a month now. A month dogged by scandals, outrageous allegations, and general inefficiency. Trump, in his one month in office, has been immensely insecure, whether it was about the size of his electoral victory, the size of his inauguration crowd, the stability of his own staff, scandal with Russia, and his great plans for the country. In less than a month continuing scandal surrounding Russia has emerged, his National Security Advisor Micheal Flynn was forced to resign, and nearly all of Trump's campaign staff are revealed to have had some form of contact with Russia, and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from handling any of those investigations as he "forgot" to mention meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign. Now Sessions may be excused if he met with the Ambassador as part of his duties in the Senate, but the allegations cropping up around Micheal Flynn and other campaign and staff members, are inexcusable.



However, the unfolding damage against Trump regarding Russia is nowhere near as alarming as his continued attempts to obscure the problem behind a wall of paranoid conspiracy theories.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Russian Revolution

One hundred years ago today, perhaps the greatest revolution of the 20th century shook the foundations of Europe as it erupted across the vast expanse that was then the Russian Empire. The world was engulfed in the flames of the greatest war to ever rage across the planet up to that point. Millions had died, famines had engulfed nations, and borders were changing rapidly... on the Eastern front at least.


The Russian Empire, even mauled as it had been in 1914, had been clinging desperately to life come 1917, even making limited gains through military strength in the Brusilov Offensive of late 1916. However, it was becoming clear that Russia, for all intents and purposes, had shot its bolt.

By this point the Russian people were tiring of war. Despite an enormous outpouring of patriotism and national unity at the start of the conflict in 1914, by 1917 millions were dead or dying, and the Imperial armies were being forced back mile by mile. Worse, bureaucratic inefficiency and the poor state of the Russian internal railways meant supplies were not getting to the front, and supplies were not even making it to the cities where the war industries were churning out armaments to support the forces in the field. This was especially true of food.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

The 60 Million Dollar Couple

Recently this article popped up on Kindle author Christopher Nuttall's blog talking about this article which discusses Barrack and Michelle Obama signing a whopping 60 million dollar deal with Penguin Books. Now this is only a reported number, the exact number not being disclosed by any sources. If that number was true though, that would be the most expensive book deal of the century!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Cell by Stephen King

A while back now while browsing the book section at Costco I came across a novel simply title Cell. Due to its curious cover I picked up the book and began browsing. Needless to say I bought the book soon after. Little did I know this would be my first foray into the world of Stephen King.

Stephen King is of course the best selling author and horror writer who perhaps has defined horror in the last half century and thus needs no introduction.

As a note this contains mild spoilers regarding both the book and the film so consider yourself warned.




Friday, 20 January 2017

Inauguration Day 2017

Well ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. Time to do away with a popular president who is leaving the White House with a 60% approval rating, and making way for a man who is going into it with a 40% approval rating. Here goes a president who made his best effort to engage with the media, and here comes a president who calls major news agencies "fake news" for running a story about him he doesn't like. A mature and well spoken president leaves office, and in goes a childish, petty, and immature gentlemen who seems more concerned about his image than his constituents.

All in all it's a sad day for American politics I would say. The wealthiest cabinet ever will be taking office, and one which has already managed to generate more than a little controversy. It is perhaps going to be a time when the people running the nation are more disconnected from the average voter in terms of lifestyle than ever. Add to that a key member of a rabid right wing news rag being made a key White House staffer, well we're in for some interesting times as they say.