The strange haunted restaurant of Quanzhou, China

Every year I write about an international topic for Halloween, whether it be the supernatural in China or the mystery ship Baltimore. What’s interesting is that I receive more messages about these posts than all other posts on the blog combined. I’ve heard from an Indigenous descendant of a key figure in a windigo murder in northern Canada, and the family members whose ancestor was the captain of the Baltimore. I’ve heard from someone who wrote a song about the Marysburgh vortex and – which made me truly happy – artists, screenwriters and novelists who said that my post had inspired their work. Today I want to talk about a strange house in China, and a haunting song.

Quanzhou is a smaller city in Fujian, China, on the coast directly across the strait from Taiwan. And in this city – according to my Chinese friend (who is also my tutor) who lives there – there is one house which is perhaps five centuries old, if not even older. During the cultural revolution many old homes surrounding it were demolished. But not this one. It always had a bad reputation. One of the many stories that local people told about this building was that years ago – after the house had already been long abandoned – someone purchased the home and moved in. Their first night they lay down to sleep, and when they woke up the bed had been turned 180 degrees. They promptly left, and the house sat empty again for many years, before the government claimed it, and gave it to new owners.

What happened next is stranger than any of the odd tales that the locals told about the place. The new owners sensed a business opportunity, because everyone in the community was curious to explore this space. So they opened . . . a hamburger restaurant. Why? They had guessed right, and for a short time people flocked to the space, including my friend. Everyone wanted to be able to see what the inside of this ghost house looked like. Except that hamburgers aren’t that popular in China, and they weren’t very good anyway. So people would come once or twice and not return. And the restaurant failed. And then this large three story house lay empty again.

Yet another enterprising mind decided to take advantage of the houses’ reputation. But this time it wasn’t an individual, but rather a corporation that owned a chain of Indonesian restaurants. This was a much better choice, because the cuisine was more to the locals’ taste. My friend who also went to the new incarnation of the restaurant said that the local community had many people who had lived in Indonesia for a generation, but then returned to their home city after the end of the cultural revolution. Indeed, many of the houses in the community were built in an Indonesian style during the 1970s. These people came to the restaurant, and noted that the design referenced south east Asia, but also the possible threat from the supernatural.

When you came to the door the handle was said to be the hand of Buddha. So that to enter the space you had to shake the Buddha’s hand. And then inside there were impressive murals of scenes with elephants, which subtly referenced divine protection. People liked this space and the restaurant boomed. It was sited in a good location near the downtown, and the street was lively. The restaurant was a little expensive, but the quality of the food was outstanding. People would return to the restaurant again and again. But then suddenly the entire restaurant chain collapsed. The space was once again abandoned.

My friend said that for a long time the house still frightened locals. According to her, she has a friend who sometimes has to bike down this street by the building. And when she does she bikes to the opposite side of the street every time she passes the ghost house, because she says that the space makes her physically sick. So even now people are intrigued and frightened by this house. I personally think that it would be a great place for a bar with dim lighting, twisted cocktails and bathrooms down a long, dark hall. But there is one last update- my friend visited there once more, and the house has been revamped and reopened once again. And now people are saying that it doesn’t feel haunted anymore. So perhaps the creepy feelings are fading away, and my dream for the bar will never happen. You can see a picture of the house (which my friend just took) below:

Haunted restaurant in China. Picture taken by my friend, October 2023.

Still, if that bar ever opens, I have a suggestion about what song should be played there. In another post (link above) I talked about Pu Songling’s book, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. Recently an artist Dao Lang wrote a song based on a story from this book about the Chinese supernatural. According to my friend the Chinese in the song is often archaic and difficult to understand. Certainly I can’t understand it, despite being an intermediate Mandarin speaker. She told me not to waste my time trying to decipher the lyrics, which are difficult even for native speakers. Fortunately you can find translations online and on YouTube.

The song has a bouncy pop beat, and a sarcastic take. You can find it on Spotify if you search for Dao Long (罗刹海市 or Rakshahai city). The first two words in the title refer to a luo2 cha4, which is a demon in Buddhist belief. The next two words are hai3 shi4, which means mirage. The cover art for the song shows a historic Chinese scene at night, with a dragon flying above. This image isn’t so different from the historic (1886) art that decorates the Penguin translation of Pu Songling’s classic book. According to Andrew Methven at the Slow Chinese newsletter (I am on the site’s email list, and my friend/tutor says that the full service is really valuable for Mandarin learners) the song is a cynical take on the music industry. So a story first published in 1788 perhaps is being used to critique commercialized Chinese music in 2023. Or one particular music judge (Na Ying), depending upon whom you believe. Whether it’s a historic house or an eighteenth century ghost story, the past can critique commercialism or be commercialized.

I believe that all ghost stories are ultimately about memory.

As always, if you are in the United States and Canada, where you are taking out children to trick or treat, please remember glow sticks and reflectors. And if you are driving please go extra slow for all the little ghouls.

Shawn Smallman, Halloween 2023

Conspiracy theories, Facebook and Ebola

For the last twenty years or more I have been doing work on public health. A key part of that work has been studying conspiracy theories during pandemics. I first started working on this topic when I was doing research on HIV/AIDS in Latin America. While I spent time in Brazil, Cuba and Mexico, I heard many conspiracy theories about HIV/AIDS: it was designed in a US military lab to control populations in developing countries or that pharmaceutical companies had found a cure that they kept secret to ensure their profits from HIV treatments. Upon returning home I heard a great deal of HIV denialism -the belief that AIDS was not caused by a virus- in my classes from my students. It’s hard to believe now, but twenty years ago there were many students who would argue passionately that HIV was caused by drugs or pesticides sold by Monsanto.

In the years that have followed I have written about the conspiracy theories that have surrounded everything from Zika to the 2009 influenza pandemic. What has always struck me about these conspiracy theories is how much recycling they entail. The same narratives are reused no matter the new health threat that emerges. Sometimes I think that I have worked on this topic for too long, and that I am at risk of repeating my own arguments. But these theories matter. Why would a pregnant women in a Zika affected area put on insect repellent if she doesn’t believe that the vector is a mosquito?

Ebola is a classic example of the damage these theories can cause. I have a new paper out that asks why there was such a difference in how social media companies responded to conspiracy theories about Ebola and COVID. It’s a brief essay but I hope that it will provoke some discussion.

Shawn Smallman, 2023

Smallman S. Conspiracy Theories and Ebola: Lessons Learned Important for Future Pandemics. Norton Healthcare Medical Journal. 2023; 1(1). doi:10.59541/001c.77445

Sweeping back the ocean: the unexpected challenge of ChatGPT

I am part of a working group of political science faculty who are developing new online courses. I’m planning on teaching “Introduction to Comparative Politics” this summer. Last week we had our first meeting. One of the faculty had volunteered to lead a conversation around ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence system that can generate text based on the web, books, and other sources. If you are in higher education, you’ve probably heard a lot about ChatGPT over the last month. The New York Times and other media outlets have covered this topic in depth, and with good reason.

In December 2022 Stephen Marche had an excellent article in the Atlantic about how ChatGPT could produce an outstanding college entrance paper. Work by ChatGPT also passed a Wharton MBA exam. Perhaps most chilling, its product has also now passed all three stages of the US medical exam system. So how do we as professors respond?

What has been most interesting to me is to see how my colleagues think about this issue. One senior colleague is literally blowing up his teaching methods. His class will now be hybrid only for the exams, in which students will have to come in and write a pen and ink “green book” exam. Students may also be asked to do oral exams. This represents an immense amount of work for this professor. It also means that this class cannot be a fully online class, because students will have to appear for the testing phase. But this faculty member is deeply committed to their teaching and doesn’t see any alternative.

During this brainstorming session other faculty and I wondered about changing our assessments. One faculty suggested creating a podcast, but then worried that ChatGPT might write the script. I thought about perhaps using other assignments, such as data visualizations. But most faculty felt that this meant entering into an arms race with the soft-ware, one which we were unlikely to win in the long term. I still wonder if my critical reading reflections might be hard for ChatGPT to replicate. Typically I ask the students to pick the three most important readings from the course during the last three weeks, to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and to select which one was the most important, and to justify their decision. Can ChatGPT really respond to such specific question prompts? The consensus in the discussion group seemed to be that this might not be enough to overcome this new challenge. AKA, “Denial is not a strategy.” But I think many colleagues also felt uncertain about how to respond.

After the meeting, one of my colleagues decided to ask ChatGPT to write a syllabus for the political science course that he is developing. It did so relatively well. It wasn’t a brilliant syllabus, but it was as good as many such syllabi that you could find on the web. More disturbing, ChatGPT also wrote the questions for a class quiz, and an introductory lecture. The lecture was too short, and still needed some work to be used. But it wasn’t a bad first draft, which might save a faculty member some time. The quiz was pretty good.

Personally, I was shocked after receiving this email. But not all of my colleagues felt the same way. I decided to try to testing out some ChatGPT detection tools. One author online wrote that a new website was over 99% effective at detecting fakes: GPT-2 Output Detector Demo. I tested it out using the text that my colleague had generated for his syllabus and quiz. The test found that this text was “99.96%” likely to be real. Based on a single sample with just one such system, I’m not convinced that the new software will be able to work as well as older generation plagiarism software did.

So how do I respond to this new challenge? I am wondering if I could put something in my syllabus to require students to also upload a draft, or to share a link to Google Docs so that I can see their writing process using the history feature? The challenge is that I don’t really want to require students to use one writing system. Pages is still popular with a lot of students who just have an Ipad, not a computer. And perhaps Chat GPT can also write a convincing draft? It’s not a perfect solution. But I wonder if both having very specific writing prompts -and asking for evidence of the writing process- might be able to address plagiarism?

I think that all educators -from middle school to grad programs- are going to face this challenge. I am curious to hear how peers are addressing this challenge at other institutions. This technology is still in its early stages, and new competitors will emerge soon. I predict that all levels of our educational system will have to make major adjustments to respond.

I come from a family of writers. My mom, Phyllis Smallman, wrote a mystery series set in a bar in West Florida, as well as a couple of books set in the Gulf Islands off the West Coast of Canada. Since her death much of her work (the electronic versions for Kindle and Kobo) are available for free online. My sister is also a writer. In ten or fifteen years will we be able to ask Kindle to write a mystery for us, one set in the Roman Republic, with a particular love interest, and a locked room puzzle?


Kung, Tiffany H., Morgan Cheatham, Arielle Medenilla, Czarina Sillos, Lorie De Leon, Camille Elepaño, Maria Madriaga, et al. “Performance of ChatGPT on USMLE: Potential for AI-Assisted Medical Education Using Large Language Models.” bioRxiv, December 20, 2022.

Marche, Stephen. “The College Essay Is Dead.” The Atlantic, December 6, 2022.

Mollman, Steve. “ChatGPT Passed a Wharton MBA Exam and It’s Still in Its Infancy. One Professor Is Sounding the Alarm.” Fortune, January 22, 2023.

The Strange return of Lula to Brazil’s Presidency

I recently gave a rapid response talk on Brazil’s presidential election for World Oregon. You can see the talk here on YouTube. In the talk I discussed the history of the outgoing President, Jair Bolsonaro, and the president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was also the former President of Brazil (2003-2010). I first discussed Bolsonaro’s background within the military, and the character of his presidency, by taking a close look at his administration’s response to COVID. Then I focused on the corruption scandals that had undermined the Worker’s Party, and ultimately led to Lula’s imprisonment. I then covered the remarkable reversal that returned Lula to the Presidency. Since I began my career as a historian of civil-military relations in Brazil, and the breakdown of democracy, I also spent some time talking about why I didn’t think that there had been much of a chance of a successful military coup in Brazil. Finally, I talked about what would be the likely priorities for Lula’s administration.

Shawn Smallman, 2022

The Strange in India

Human Skeletons in Roopkund Lake, 24 August 2014, Schwiki,, Creative Commons license.

Every Halloween I do a blog post on some aspect of the supernatural, from the ghost ship Baltimore in Atlantic Canada, to the folklore of Japan. This year, I want to cover the ghosts’ of India. I’ll start with Victorian ghost stories, before moving into some more ancient mysteries of the region. On the one hand, Rudyard Kipling (the famous apologist for empire) loved ghost stories, and had a host of them set in India. So British ghost stories set in India (or shaped by memories of India) are inherently colonial. On the other hand, Indian stories had a global impact, and these tales circulated from Australia to Canada. So it’s interesting to reflect on how people across the world came to imagine India through this lens.

There are a few common themes in these British ghost stories. One of the most common is the sense of loss, as people are separated from their lovers or their families because they’ve traveled to India. This was the case, for example, in Mary Louisa Morgan’s “The Story of the Rippling Train,” in which a woman’s spirit returns to say goodbye to a man who pined for her, but never acted before her marriage.

Kipling’s stories have another approach. Many of these stories read as boy’s adventure tales, but some have a darker touch. For example, “At the End of the Passage,” describes a group of four English men who have come together to socialize at a remote stop on an Indian railway line. Each man tells his colleagues of his work, and the immense suffering that they have endured. Kipling uses their histories to undermine critiques of imperialism. The men who implement the empire pay a terrible price for their work. The piece is brilliantly written. I find myself trying to determine which -or perhaps all- of the men were suffering from culture shock. At the same time, it captures the paternalism, condescension and exoticism that shaped British views of Indians. The British are foregrounded in the story, so that the Indian characters become a backdrop. But the narrative remains disturbing. Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep. And above all, don’t dream.

It is astounding how many Victorian British ghost stories are set in India. B.M Croker’s short story “To Let,” begins with: “Some years ago, when I was a slim young spin, I came out to India to live with my brother Tom.” When the Indian heat affected this British family they decided to move to the hills, where there was only one place for rent- at a suspiciously cheap rate. One has a sense of their lifestyle by the fact that they brought a piano on the trip. And when the trouble began they were worried about losing their servants.

Of course the richest stories of ghosts and spirits in India long preceded the British. I am fascinated by military architecture, and have long wanted to travel to see India’s forts. One of these is supposedly the most haunted site in India. Bhangarh fort (in Alwar district, Rajasthan) was built in the 16th century, but supposedly was abandoned overnight after a yogi (or in other accounts a magician) put a curse on it. I would love to see a carefully researched article on the site- but I haven’t been able to find one. The only articles that I’ve been able to come across (Shetty) talk about “dark tourism” in India.

I think that perhaps the most mysterious place in India is Skeleton Lake, which -as the name suggests- has perhaps hundreds of skeletons around and in the lake. This is no myth, even though it rather reminds me of the dead bodies found in the swamps outside Tolkien’s Mordor. In fact, it’s something of a scientific mystery. There is a wonderful podcast called Unexplainable, which covers this story in one episode. In 1942 an Indian forest ranger found this remote lake in Northern India which was surrounded by an immense number of bones. In the 1950s carbon dating found that the bodies were from perhaps the 8th to 9th centuries. Were these pilgrims caught in a hail storm -after the presence of dancers angered the gods- as described in legendary accounts in the region? Then scientists analyzed the DNA of the skeletons, and the story became even stranger. There were three different groups of people genetically represented in these bones. And for one of these groups the best genetic match was Crete in the Mediterranean. And the bones from this group dated to around 1800. No good historical explanation exists for this fact.

As one of humanity’s foundational civilizations, many of India’s mysteries are even more ancient than that of Skeleton Lake. I love Danino’s The Lost River, which tells the story of a vanished river that was mentioned in ancient texts, in particular the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata. But what happened to this river? Surely an entire river can’t disappear? So was this river a myth? Be warned that this book goes into exhaustive detail about topics such as regional geology and British scientists. If you love archaeology or history, this is a wonderful book, but it does not make a light read. But if you’re looking for a mystery that puzzles scholars, this might be the work for you.

Curious for more spooky or mysterious stories? Learn about the mysteries of North America’s Great Lakes, the strange stories of French Canada, the ghosts of the Middle East, and haunted China with these blog posts.

If you are in Canada or the United States, and you are taking young children trick or treating, please remember to give your kids glow sticks or something reflective. Happy Halloween everyone.


BBC. “The Secrets of India’s Haunted Fort.” Accessed October 12, 2022.

Danino, M. (2010). The lost river : on the trail of the Sarasvatī. Penguin Books India.

Shetty, P. (2020). Dark tourism in india.

Nüshu: the secret language of women in ancient China

Imagine that you are an upper class Chinese woman living in a rural Chinese province in the 1600s. You live an isolated life. Your feet were bound from childhood, so that you could not wander or engage with people outside your household. You spend your time in the north room of a house, where you embroider all day, and are kept isolated from others. You have no formal education, and it seems difficult to communicate with other women, and perhaps it is impossible to have any private communication. What do you do?

If you were a member of one group of Chinese women, you would create your own secret script, which could only be read by other women. We will never know the names of these innovators, but they created their own literary world with an invented writing system, Nüshu. As many scholars have noted, this may be the only script in the world that was intended only for women.

What is most remarkable to me about this language is not only that it existed, but also that it has endured. Indeed, a new documentary called Hidden Letters, directed by a Chinese woman named Violet Feng, which describes how people are now trying to revive this language. In addition, there is a wonderful wonderful podcast episode by Rebecca Kanthor for the World, in which you can hear how Nüshu (which means women’s book) has been appropriated by other actors, who now use it to teach women how to behave according to traditional etiquette. It has even appeared in a KFC commercial- really! But the enduring legacy of this script is its memory of how it created a shared community of women using text written not only in letters, but also on personal objects such as scarves.

If you are interested to learn more, you can also listen to Lazlo Montgomery’s history of this secret writing on the Chinese History Podcast. Or if you are curious to read a novel on the topic, Lisa See has a new book based on this history titled Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. This website for the the book says: “A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives.”

What’s interesting to me that new secret writings continually appear. Today in China people try to evade censors on WeChat by using codes for certain key words, often by relying pinyin that has been shortened to just a couple of key letters. Women have developed their own shorthand for key words (such as husband) to try to keep some conversations confidential. Other Chinese people choose to speak in their home villages’ local dialects when making video calls on WeChat (and talk very quickly) in the hope of evading censors. In some ways this is not dissimilar from what young people do with their texts in Europe or the United States, as emojis and acronyms convey new -often sexual- meanings.

The last known native writer of this women’s language, Yang Huanyi, died in central China in 2004, when she was perhaps 98 years old. She was a graceful and fluid writer, who published a book of prose and poems the year of her death. At this point the writing system was at least four centuries old, although some argue that it is based on a far older writing system, as the article at the link above suggests: “Some experts presume that the language is related to inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells of the Yin Ruins from more than 3,000 years ago, but no conclusions have been reached as to when the language originated.” If so, how long did this unusual women’s writing system truly exist?

What is also remarkable is that hundreds of examples of this writing survive. The texts were not meant to outlive the reader, as this article also described: “Nushu manuscripts are extremely rare because, according to the local custom, they were supposed to be burnt or buried with the dear departed in sacrifice.” So this ancient writing system, which was designed to be ephemeral, has been adapted into a new Chinese world, where it now appears in places as diverse as pop culture and scholarship.

I want to learn it.

Shawn Smallman, 2022

Italy, language learning and travel

One of my favorite things in life is language learning, which for me entails studying both Portuguese and Chinese. I don’t think that I am naturally good at languages; I just enjoy studying them. I have no ambitions to become a polyglot. I think that studying Chinese in particular will take me the rest of my life. I currently have five one hour language study sessions a week, which is how I distract myself from all the responsibilities and challenges of my work and daily life.

I think that we are living in the golden age of language learning. There are more tools to study a language than ever before. And with online platforms like Preply and iTalki it’s easier than it has ever been before to study a language. No longer do you have to find the one Portuguese speaker in your town. You can create an immersive experience with language tutors, YouTube or BiliBili. Of course, everyone learns differently, and for many people the structure of a regular class is both familiar and helpful. I’ve just posted an interview with Dr. Kathi Ketcheson on my podcast, Dispatch 7. We talked about how she came to fall in love with Italian, her experiences teaching Italian in community education, why language learning matters, and how her language study and her travels in Italy are connected. If you are curious to hear her interview, you can listen to it here.

Shawn Smallman 2022

What the United States could learn from France about regional transit

I am very grateful to Magwyer Grimes -a senior studying international studies and economics- for this guest post:

I’ve recently had the chance to study abroad in Lyon, France for the 2021-22 academic school year and by far the most common question that I receive from Americans and French people alike is: what is the biggest cultural difference between the United States and France? Much to their dismay, and instead of talking about the language or the cuisine, I always point to the difference in transportation systems. Upon hearing this, their eyes usually start to glaze over because it sounds like such a minute difference but, in fact, it touches every aspect of daily French and American life. I found myself looking forward to catching a train to Paris or even simply using the metro to get to work. A stark contrast from the dreaded car commute to work or the overhyped 5-hour road trip to Seattle.  

In the United States, the decision to travel between cities or regions essentially boils down to a choice between the plane or the automobile. Both of which are less than ideal in terms of ecological and socioeconomic impacts. Ecologically, planes are an environmental disaster, with one average long-haul flight producing more emissions per passenger than an average person produces in an entire year in dozens of countries. Socioeconomically, someone without a car in the United States is functionally excluded from larger labor markets and, to a large extent, having a social life as many cities lack even basic public transit. 

Well, I hear you ask, what about Amtrak? Don’t they operate interregional routes across the United States? Amtrak does indeed operate many interregional passenger rail routes across the United States, but these routes are often plagued by high ticket prices, slow operating speeds, frequent service delays and maintenance issues resulting from decades of disinvestment. On several occasions, I’ve had the chance to take the Oregon Amtrak route from Portland to Salem which, in theory, should be a simple one-hour train ride in a straight line with few complications. Every time that I’ve taken it, however, I’ve been left sitting in the train for an extra hour or two due to maintenance issues. What’s more, the ticket price generally exceeds the price that gas would be for an alternate one-hour car ride.

In France, the Amtrak interregional equivalent is called the RER, the Réseau Express Régional (English: Regional Express Network). The RER operates more daily trains than Amtrak and at a fraction of the cost for the consumer. Depending on the region, one could expect to pay around 4 or 5 euros for a one-hour interregional train that comes at all hours of the day. A quick search on Amtrak’s website, however, shows that the Portland to Salem route has only three trains running the entirety of tomorrow, Friday June 25th, with ticket prices ranging from $17 to $45. 

The United States is also severely underdeveloped in terms of high-speed rail services. There is currently only one high-speed route in the United States and that is along the Northeast Corridor connecting Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. with 13 other intermediate stops depending on the train schedule. It is telling, however, that this corridor is the busiest passenger rail line in the United States and highly successful with over 260 million trips made on the Northeast Corridor each year and a comfortable profit margin on Amtrak’s Acela Express route which runs the fastest trains in Amtrak’s portfolio. 

It’s clear that when provided with safe, affordable, and fast regional transit options, Americans have no apprehensions about taking advantage of these services. But decades of neglect and weak levels of investment in passenger rail have left much of America with the glorified highway system as their only option. However, recent developments give us reasons to be hopeful. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in late 2021 allocates a historic $66 billion over 5 years to upgrading the nation’s surface rail infrastructure. This alone won’t be sufficient in bringing the nation’s passenger rail up to par with that of other developed nations, but it’s a noticeable indication that things are changing in a nation previously known for its addiction to endless highway expansion. Lastly, new developments in states as diverse as California and Texas demonstrate the interest in high-speed passenger rail is growing. It will be up to us to maintain the pressure on our elected officials to ensure that these kinds of projects are encouraged and not killed off to maintain the preeminence of the interstate highway system. 

The long retreat from the coasts

In a sense, human history since the end of the ice age has been the story of one long retreat from the ocean. I sometimes wonder if this is not why stories of floods are not so common in many cultures globally. Of course, flooding is a common human experience. But vast amounts of territory have been lost globally, from Beringia in the north Pacific, to the lost region of Doggerland between the United Kingdom and Denmark. This is why fishermen can pull harpoons out of the ocean near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea.

With global warming, this process is continuing. Some of my favorite places will be lost to the waters, such as south Florida. Entire cities are being moved to make way for this process. In some areas, such as China, the challenges are immense. But how can this transition be managed. Canada’s Hakai Institute has one of my favorite online journals, which focuses on marine issues. I strongly recommend one recent piece, ”Letting the Sea Have its Way,” which details the story of how Britain is abandoning some oceanside land. By allowing this terrain to return to the marsh that it once was, the nation gains environmental benefits, while also increasing local resiliency against flooding. This text itself is a selection from a forthcoming book by Erica Gies, ”Water Always Wins.” Based on this selection, this book will certainly be on my reading list.

Shawn Smallman, 2022

How to follow the War in Ukraine

Like everyone, I’m following the war in Ukraine. There are many great websites to keep up to date on military events there, such as the Oryx blog and the Institute for the Study of War. But there is also a new site, which provides a daily war map, an interactive map, and videos. It’s called Ukraine Map, Daily Ukraine War Reports, and it’s a useful new resource to follow events.

Shawn Smallman, 2022

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