In his post-9/11 novel Pattern Recognition, science fiction writer William Gibson combs through the emotional fallout of that disaster to examine what paranoia does to the human mind. The main character's father, a Cold War security expert named Win, disappeared in Lower Manhattan that day. His views on paranoia are scattered through the book like nuggets of wisdom or total insanity -- depending on the reader's paranoia level.
The Islamic State is no stranger to brazen PR moves. Its propaganda videos of mass executions and beheadings are as horrifying as they are shocking, a vicious statement of intent to its Western audience. But on Monday the group changed course slightly by releasing its latest video, a curious report that features British hostage John Cantlie delivering a television "news" standup allegedly from the beleaguered Syrian city of Kobani.
Two weeks ago, we told you about the money-grubbers of Blue String Ventures, whose business entails squatting on domain names and flipping them for a pretty penny. Their "portfolio" included Ebola.com, which they sold last week for about $200,000 to a company called -- and, no, this isn't a joke -- Weed Growth Fund.
After spending a week scouring the waters off Stockholm for a reportedly Russian submarine, the Swedish Navy has given up. On Friday, the country's military reported that the vessel (or vessels) in question have left the Stockholm archipelago and that the intelligence operation, as military officials had insisted on calling it, would be coming to an end.
When word spreads in Max Brooks's 2006 dystopian novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War that zombies are infesting the world, North Korea acts decisively, sealing its borders and hustling its people into mysterious bunkers. "No country was better prepared to repel the infestation than North Korea," says Hyungchol Choi, the fictional deputy director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. "Rivers to the north, oceans to the east and west, and to the south … the most heavily fortified border on Earth."