Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders
and the Birth of the FBI
Nonfiction book by David Grann
Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Penguin Random House:
From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. 
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. 
Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances. 
In this last remnant of the Wild West — where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, "the Phantom Terror," roamed — virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created FBI took up the case, in what became one of the organization's first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try [to] unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.
According to the show-business trade magazine Variety, Imperative Entertainment paid USD 5 million for the movie rights to the book.

Monday, July 25, 2016


University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia: "A new species of extinct flesh-eating marsupial that terrorized Australia's drying forests about 5 million years ago has been identified from a fossil discovered in remote northwestern Queensland."


Imperial College London: "Dutch men and Latvian women are the tallest on the planet, according to the largest-ever study of height around the world."


Voice of America: "Tigers at a wildlife park in China killed one woman and seriously injured another after the women left their vehicle at a drive-through safari."


Harvard Medical School (HMS):


Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson,
and the Wickedest Town in the American West
Nonfiction book by Tom Clavin
Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Macmillan Publishers:
Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City's streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. 
Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset. 
The true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) has gone largely untold — lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now.

Sea Piracy

International Maritime Bureau (IMB):

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Lara: The Untold Love Story and the Inspiration
for Doctor Zhivago
Nonfiction book by Anna Pasternak
Publication Dates: United States, January 24, 2017;
United Kingdom (different cover), August 25, 2016

HarperCollins Publishers:
The heartbreaking story of the love affair between Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago, and Olga Ivinskaya — the true tragedy behind the timeless classic. 
When Stalin came into power in 1924, the Communist government began persecuting dissident writers. Though Stalin spared the life of Boris Pasternak — whose novel-in-progress, Doctor Zhivago, was suspected of being anti-Soviet — he persecuted Boris's mistress, typist, and literary muse, Olga Ivinskaya. Boris's affair with Olga devastated the straitlaced Pasternaks, and they were keen to disavow Olga's role in Boris's writing process. Twice Olga was sentenced to work in Siberian labor camps, where she was interrogated about the book Boris was writing, but she refused to betray the man she loved. When Olga was released from the gulags, she assumed that Boris would leave his wife for her but, trapped by his family's expectations and his own weak will, he never did. 
Drawing on previously neglected family sources and original interviews, Anna Pasternak explores this hidden act of moral compromise by her great-uncle, and restores to history the passionate affair that inspired and animated Doctor Zhivago. Devastated that Olga suffered on his behalf and frustrated that he could not match her loyalty to him, Boris instead channeled his thwarted passion for Olga into the love story in Doctor Zhivago.  
Filled with the rich detail of Boris's secret life, Lara unearths a moving love story of courage, loyalty, suffering, drama, and loss, and casts a new light on the legacy of Doctor Zhivago.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
A Queensland council is releasing dingoes onto a Great Barrier Reef island to kill feral goats that are destroying its endangered ecosystem. 
The four wild dogs, two of which have already been released on Pelorus Island, will not have a chance to become pests themselves, as they have been implanted with a time-activated poison, Hinchinbrook Shire Council said.
Previous (QMUL): "Could Goats Become Man's Best Friend?"

Friday, July 22, 2016

Washington, DC

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): "The FBI’s Washington Field Office is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the recovery of stolen weapons. On Sunday, July 10, 2016, between 12:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., unknown subjects burglarized an FBI special agent's vehicle and removed a secured gun lock box which contained weapons and other equipment."

Silk Road

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom: "An ancient latrine near a desert in northwestern China has revealed the first archaeological evidence that travelers along the Silk Road were responsible for the spread of infectious diseases along huge distances of the route 2,000 years ago."


University of Cambridge, United Kingdom:


United States

Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success
Nonfiction book by Ivanka Trump
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Penguin Random House:
In this breakthrough book based on her company's #WomenWhoWork initiative, Ivanka Trump — wife, mother, real estate developer, entrepreneur, and founder of her eponymous fashion brand and IvankaTrump.com — disrupts the existing narrative of women and work to present a new worldview that celebrates how women work in all aspects of their lives. Through highly tactical, solution-oriented content, Trump empowers readers with the insight and tools to define success on their own terms and create the lives they want to live. 
Fifty percent of the world's workforce is made up of women, yet the term "working women" is still used as if they're an anomaly. Thanks in part to the generations of women who came before and fought hard to earn a seat at the table, today's working women — among them, tens of millions of millennials — are able to do things differently. Disappearing are the days of face time for the sake of face time, 9-to-5 hours, and perfectly mapped career paths. 
"Today's generation of women is the first to be able to unabashedly embrace the fact that our lives are multidimensional," writes Trump. "We're deeply invested in our careers, but they don't solely define us. For us, it's about working smarter, not harder; integrating our personal passions and priorities with our professional goals in order to architect lives we love." 
For the CEO of her own company or a recent college graduate, a mother working full time at home to raise a family or a part-time freelancer, this book celebrates the fact that, when it comes to women and work, there isn't one "right" answer. By redefining what it means to be a modern working woman, and offering content that inspires, supports, and empowers, Women Who Work will establish a new ideal, changing the conversation around women and work to one that's more positive, accurate, and inclusive.
Ivanka Trump is the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

United States

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): "A Mexican national formerly convicted of attempted murder of a peace officer and a Salvadoran gang member with a lengthy rap sheet are among the 112 foreign nationals arrested in the greater Los Angeles area over the last four days during an operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeting at-large criminal aliens."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): "Twenty-four convicted criminals were arrested in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers during a five-day operation that ran from July 10 to 14."


U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA):
If Dr. Kalipada Pahan's research pans out, the standard advice for failing students might one day be: Study harder and eat your cinnamon! 
Pahan a researcher at Rush University and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, has found that cinnamon turns poor learners into good ones — among mice, that is. He hopes the same will hold true for people.


Radio Free Asia (RFA):
Lao police are hunting for the person who shot dead a Chinese woman during an attempted robbery as she and her husband walked along a road in the capital Vientiane on July 11, the police officer in charge of the case said Wednesday. 
Lee-Yen Tin, the 45-year-old manager of the Sang Chieng Chinese trade center in the capital's Sikhottabong district, died during the apparent robbery that turned deadly on the T2 road, also known as Asean Road, said a person close to Tin who requested anonymity. 
A witness said a man and a woman pulled up on a motorbike, confronted the couple with a gun, and demanded her handbag around 9:25 p.m., according to a Vientiane Times report. 
When she refused, the woman on the bike shot her in the back, killing her instantly as the bullet passed through her chest, the report said.


Luxury: A Rich History
Nonfiction book by Peter McNeil
and Giorgio Riello

Oxford University Press:
We live in a world obsessed by luxury. Long-distance airlines compete to offer first-class sleeping experiences and hotels recommend exclusive suites where you are never disturbed. Luxury is a rapidly changing global industry that makes the headlines daily in our newspapers and on the Internet. More than ever, luxury is a pervasive presence in the cultural and economic life of the West — and increasingly too in the emerging super-economies of Asia and Latin America. 
Yet luxury is hardly a new phenomenon. Today's obsession with luxury brands and services is just one of the many manifestations that luxury has assumed. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, for example, luxury was linked to notions of magnificence and courtly splendor. In the eighteenth century, luxury was at the center of philosophical debates over its role in shaping people's desires and oiling the wheels of commerce. And it continues to morph today, with the growth of the global super-rich and increasing wealth polarization. 
From palaces to penthouses, from couture fashion to lavish jewelry, from handbags to red wine, from fast cars to easy money, Peter McNeil and Giorgio Riello present the first-ever global history of luxury, from the Romans to the twenty-first century: a sparkling and ever-changing story of extravagance, excess, novelty, and indulgence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016



Lord's Resistance Army

Associated Press (AP):


Baby three-toed sloth

University of Wisconsin-Madison:
Although most of the terrestrial world is covered in trees, there are precious few vertebrates that make the canopy their home and subsist solely on a diet of leaves. 
Tree sloths are among the most emblematic tree-dwelling mammals. However, they are best known for their pokey demeanor rather than the fact that they spend the majority of their lives in trees munching leaves. But the slow motion lifestyle of tree sloths, according to a new study, is the direct result of the animal's adaption to its arboreal niche.
(Photo Credit: UW-Madison/Zach Peery)


Associated Press (AP):


Monash University, Australia:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016



Dartmouth College:
Alcohol is widespread in nature, existing in fermented nectars, saps and fruits. It is therefore a natural part of many primate diets, and it follows that primates have evolved to digest alcohol quickly to minimize toxic effects. But given that alcohol is also a source of calories, it is plausible that alcohol is attractive to some primates, including, hypothetically, our human ancestors. In fact, previous research found that humans and African great apes have a genetic mutation that radically accelerates alcohol digestion. However, this mutation is also shared with the aye-aye, one of the oddest animals on Earth. The question, then, is whether aye-ayes are attracted to alcohol. In the first controlled study of its kind, Dartmouth researchers found that two aye-ayes and another prosimian primate (a slow loris) could discriminate different concentrations of alcohol, and further, that each species preferred the highest concentrations of alcohol available to them.
 (Photo Credit: David Haring)


Voice of America: "Prostitution is known by many as the world's oldest profession. However, it continues to be regarded as immoral and illegal in most countries. This has prompted sex workers, activists and lobbyists around the world to intensify their demand for an end to criminalization of their field."


The Lost City of the Monkey God
Nonfiction book by Douglas Preston
Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Hachette Book Group: "#1 New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston takes readers on an adventure deep into the Honduran jungle in this riveting, danger-filled true story about the discovery of an ancient lost civilization."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Travel Warning

U.S. State Department:

Sunday, July 17, 2016


United States

We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative
Nonfiction book by George J. Borjas
Publication Date: October 11, 2016

W.W. Norton & Company:
From "America's leading immigration economist" (The Wall Street Journal), a refreshingly level-headed exploration of the effects of immigration. 
We are a nation of immigrants, and we have always been concerned about immigration. As early as 1645, the Massachusetts Bay Colony began to prohibit the entry of "paupers." Today, however, the notion that immigration is universally beneficial has become pervasive. To many modern economists, immigrants are a trove of much-needed workers who can fill predetermined slots along the proverbial assembly line. 
But this view of immigration's impact is overly simplified, explains George J. Borjas, a Cuban-American, Harvard labor economist. Immigrants are more than just workers — they're people who have lives outside of the factory gates and who may or may not fit the ideal of the country to which they've come to live and work. Like the rest of us, they're protected by social insurance programs, and the choices they make are affected by their social environments. 
In We Wanted Workers, Borjas pulls back the curtain of political bluster to show that, in the grand scheme, immigration has not affected the average American all that much. But it has created winners and losers. The losers tend to be nonmigrant workers who compete for the same jobs as immigrants. And somebody's lower wage is somebody else's higher profit, so those who employ immigrants benefit handsomely. In the end, immigration is mainly just another government redistribution program. 
"I am an immigrant,” writes Borjas, "and yet I do not buy into the notion that immigration is universally beneficial. . . . But I still feel that it is a good thing to give some of the poor and huddled masses, people who face so many hardships, a chance to experience the incredible opportunities that our exceptional country has to offer." Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent, We Wanted Workers is essential reading for anyone interested in the issue of immigration in America today.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Travel Warning

U.S. State Department:

Friday, July 15, 2016


United States

The Making of Donald Trump
Nonfiction book by David Cay Johnston
Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Penguin Random House:
The culmination of nearly 30 years of reporting on Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston takes a revealingly close look at the mogul's rise to power and prominence. 
Covering the long arc of Trump's career, Johnston tells the full story of how a boy from a quiet section of Queens, NY, would become an entirely new, and complex, breed of public figure. Trump is a man of great media savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and political clout. Yet his career has been plagued by legal troubles and mounting controversy. 
From the origins of his family's real estate fortune, to his own too-big-to-fail business empire; from his education and early career, to his whirlwind presidential bid, The Making of Donald Trump provides the fullest picture yet of Trump's extraordinary ascendency. Love him or hate him, Trump's massive influence is undeniable, and figures as diverse as Woody Guthrie (who wrote a scathing song about Trump's father) and Red Scare prosecutor Roy Cohn, mob bosses and high rollers, as well as the average American voter, have all been pulled into his orbit. 
Drawing on decades of interviews, financial records, court documents, and public statements, David Cay Johnston, who has covered Trump more closely than any other journalist working today, gives us the most in-depth look yet at the man who would be president.


Field Museum:
Peregrine falcons, in their normal habitat on isolated cliffs, mate for life. But some 25 pairs now nest on Chicago skyscrapers and bridges, and city living has them in much closer quarters than they used before humans dominated the landscape. A group of Field Museum and University of Illinois, Chicago scientists investigated whether typical breeding patterns hold true for these new city-dwellers and, in a paper published in PLOS ONE, confirmed that even in the big city, the birds that prey together, stay together.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Florida State University (FSU): "The largest island in the Philippines may be home to the greatest concentration of mammal diversity in the world, according to a research team that has been exploring the island for the past 15 years."


BBC News: