Category Archive: mystery

Oct 09

Supernatural China and the Ghost House

Every Halloween I write a blog post about the supernatural or the mysterious, from a book review regarding a Russian mystery, to a description of the best podcasts to make you afraid.  Last summer I did fieldwork on public policy and infectious disease in southeastern China, during which I traveled to Hong Kong, Macau and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/10/supernatural-china/

Aug 04

A very expensive poison, a book review

Luke Harding’s, A Very Expensive Poison, describes how Russian security services murdered dissident Alexander Litivenko in 2006. While the study of the assassination itself is detailed, riveting, and depressing, the true horror is the picture that the book paints of the Russian state. According to Harding’s detailed and well-sourced account, Russia’s senior leaders -including Vladimir Putin …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/08/a-very-expensive-poison-a-book-review/

May 23

Reality and the lost city of Z

I have been teaching a course on the Amazon for nearly 20 years. Part of what draws students to the class, I think, is the perception of the Amazon as an exotic world. Perhaps this interest also helps to explain the success of David Grann’s The Lost City of Z. This book tells the story of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/05/reality-and-the-lost-city-of-z/

Feb 22

Murder and Mystery in Malaysia

I’ve always been interested in international mysteries, and I’ve covered many of them in this blog, such as the strange death of Natalio Alberto Nisman in Argentina; the authorship of the Stuxnet virus; the nature of Number Stations; the massacre in Coahuila; the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370; Cicada 3301; chronic kidney disease in Central America; lost nuclear weapons in Canada; the death …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/02/murder-and-mystery-in-malaysia/

Feb 17

Cracking the North Korea Puzzle

I want to thank Dr. Mel Gurtov for the following guest post: Donald Trump inherits an intractable problem in Asia: North Korea’s determination to modernize its weapons arsenal and, absent a better deal from the United States, continue working toward an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability. The North’s latest missile test—one with intermediate range of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/02/cracking-the-north-korea-puzzle/

Oct 06

Strange podcasts to make you afraid

Every Halloween I explore a suitably spooky topic, from a book about an alleged Canadian haunting, to Japanese books on the supernatural. I’ve also suggested some international ghost stories for Halloween. Still, there is no substitute for hearing spooky tales in audio, so this year I will focus on the best podcasts that cover mythology, mysteries …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/10/halloween-podcasts/

Aug 09

The art of Strange Things Done

I love mystery novels, and northern mysteries in particular. My sister, Ellen Wild, has a new book Strange Things Done coming out this September. The lead character of the novel is Jo Silver; after a body is found in the Yukon river, she is drawn into a mystery that leads her to fear for her own life. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/08/strange-things-done/

Mar 01

The Magic of Number Stations

One of the world’s enduring mysteries is the nature of number stations, which are shortwave radio stations that broadcast random lists of numbers, morse code, or strange bursts of sound, such as the odd beeps on Russian station UVB-76. Nobody knows what the purpose of the number stations is for certain, but we do know …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/03/number-stations/

Feb 01

Security, fear and Stuxnet

Roman Poroshyn’s brief book (156 pages) provides an excellent overview of Stuxnet within the larger context of cyber-warfare and espionage in the Middle East. Unlike another book on the same topic, Kim Zetter’s Countdown to Zero, it is not based on extensive interviews, nor does it focus in as great a depth upon the process …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/02/book-review-of-stuxnet/

May 31

Ellen Wild wins 2015 Arthur Ellis Award

I am a mystery fan, so I am delighted to say that my sister, Ellen Wild, just won the 2015 Arthur Ellis Award for the best unpublished first crime novel in Canada. What is surprising is that this is the same prize that my mother, Phyllis Smallman, won during the very first year that the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/05/ellen-wild-wins-2015-arthur-ellis-award/

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