After a Decade of Commercial Space Travel, What’s Next?

It has been 10 years since Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the commercial space age. What hurdles must be overcome before private companies begin exploring, colonizing and mining other planets? In many industries, a decade is barely enough time to cause dramatic change unless something disruptive comes along – a new technology, business model or service[…]

VDNKh Moscow: The Most Soviet Park in Russia

When you think of emblematic Soviet buildings, you don’t usually think of rabbits, but there they are. When you think of emblematic Soviet buildings, you don’t usually think of rabbits, but there they are, dancing and frolicking, even mating across the curved frieze of the Pavilion to Rabbit-Rearing and Fur Breeding, in a far corner[…]

Russian Nihilists and the Prehistory of Spy Fiction

In the 1880s and 90s, the age-old literary figure of the spy underwent a number of transformations that would establish its new meanings for the new century. Spy fiction has invariably proved to be an accurate barometer of political anxieties, at times even a potent fomenter of public paranoia in its own right, and it[…]

Ancient Walls

Walls began to rise around cities throughout Mesopotamia shortly after urbanization began. Introduction The English word ‘wall’ is derived from the Latin, ‘vallus’ meaning ‘a stake’ or ‘post’ and designated the wood-stake and earth palisade which formed the outer edge of a fortification. The palisades were in use early on and are mentioned by Homer in the[…]