Kickoff For February 25, 2019

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Instead of me nattering on about something pointless, let’s get this Monday started with these links:


The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist, wherein we’re regaled the tale of Vjeran Tomic, a French second-storey man with an eye for, and love of, fine art, both of which pushed him to pull off a daring heist.

The $100 Million Bot Heist, wherein we learn how a wily Russian hacker and his associates were able to use a massive botnet to steal millions, and how U.S. law enforcement slowed them down.

The Desperado, wherein we discover why Edward Averill decided to rob a bank in Austin, Texas and what that act illuminates about the American medical, social services, and justice systems.


Why the Enlightenment was not the age of reason, wherein Henry Martyn Lloyd argues that the Enlightenment wasn’t the triumph of reason over passion that we’ve been taught it was, and that it actually was a triumphs of passionate reason over brute passion.

The Psychology of Code-Breaking: 100-Year-Old Insight from Cryptography Pioneers William and Elizebeth Friedman, wherein we learn, through the work of two legendary cryptanalysts, and about the qualities that make a top-notch codebreaker (and code maker).

I Hate to Wait: On Jason Farman’s “Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World”, wherein we learn that impatience isn’t something new, and that to truly be in touch with ourselves and what we’re doing, waiting is sometimes essential.

Odds and Ends

Mr. Wu, wherein Pallavi Aiyar roucounts her time living in a Beijing hutong, and her encounter, 10 years later, with her enigmatic former landlord.

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America, wherein Lauren Hough recounts some of the shocking, infurating, and plain strange things she saw while working the physically and emotionally grinding job of cable technician.

What’s Wrong with Bananas, wherein we learn how selective breeding, industrial farming, and the demand for physical uniformity has put the popular fruit at risk of dying out.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt

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