Tate Williams

Writing

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Blue Ant > Faraday Pouch

Zero History operative Milgrim is kept on a tight leash by his handler Ollie Sleight. He supplies Milgrim with nothing but an unusual phone and what he calls a “Faraday pouch” for carrying his passport. Radio-frequency identification tags. They were in [...]

August 30, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > The Rickson’s

Buzz Rickson’s Black MA-1 Bomber Jacket Cayce Pollard, brand-phobic coolhunter at the center of Pattern Recognition, adores her Japanese-made replica of a standard issue U.S. Air Force flying jacket. The Rickson’s is a fanatical museum-grade replica of a U.S. MA-1 [...]

August 25, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Writing
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Blue Ant > Floating Bed

Hollis Henry stays at Bigend’s Vancouver apartment toward the end of Spook Country, and gets a mysterious warning call on the way there: “Do you have any piercings?” he asked. They took a right. “Excuse me?” “Piercings. If you do [...]

August 25, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > I started a Tumblr

I’ve been wanting to start a Tumblr about a particular topic as a hobby because I have such an overabundance of free time. Nothing was really striking me, but I’ve been reading “Zero History” by William Gibson, and I remembered, [...]

August 23, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Where do those songs stuck in your head come from? Everywhere.

Even something as tuneless as reading a psychology research paper can get a song stuck in your head. In my case, it was “Mistaken for Strangers” by The National, which has a quirky drumbeat that is particularly sticky. It’s like, [...]

June 2, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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For some older immigrants, ‘the Internet is everything’

There’s a growing body of evidence that the Internet can be an empowering tool for marginalized populations, and a recent study tells some striking stories of how it’s been used by one uniquely isolated community. In the early 1990s, when [...]

May 21, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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Scott, Amundsen and the persistent thrill of the “Race to the End”

The story of Scott and Amundsen racing to the South Pole at the dawn of the 20th century only gains dimension as time passes. The mythical (you could say tabloid) aspects are as captivating as ever, but it’s the humanity [...]

May 17, 2012 Arts & Culture, Science & Environment, Writing
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Steampunk bleeds into industrial history at annual Watch City Festival

One weekend a year, the steampunks come out in the streets of Waltham, and it feels like home. In the much-preserved 19th century factory town just outside Boston — with displays of linotype machines the size of refrigerators, reanimated steam [...]

May 16, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Portfolio, Writing
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Captain Marvel seeks new heights for women in comics

The new Captain Marvel is definitely not the first female superhero. In fact she’s not even the first female Captain Marvel. But she might end up being the first truly feminist icon in mainstream superhero comics — if her series [...]

April 9, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Writing
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LSD helped treat alcoholism, according to analysis of 1960s trials

The patients, almost all of them men, were checked in for alcohol abuse sometime in the late 1960s. One day, instead of the usual therapy for addiction at the time, they were each taken into a quiet room, given varying [...]

March 10, 2012 Portfolio, Science & Environment, Writing