Thursday, February 14, 2013

Time Magazine pieces - by Lev Grossman, Mark Thompson & Austin Ramzy

Time Magazine has had some really interesting pieces from the last few months to note here... and which are available online to anyone with a username and password on the Time site.

The one that stood out the most was the Feb 11 issue cover story "Drone Home" by Lev Grossman. Really a fascinating piece about aerial drones, with the most well-known being the Predator Drone used by the U.S. military, but there now being a host of civilian-use drones here in America. Additionally, the same military use drone technology used by the U.S. could be adopted by any number of other countries and Grossman raises the compelling and plausible idea of a foreign power someday following the U.S. military path of using drones to strike at enemies, but doing so on U.S. soil.

The oldest Time piece to mention here was also by Grossman, but from the Dec 19 Person of the Year edittion of Time. "Runner-Up: Tim Cook, the Technologist" was on the Apple CEO and while the entire piece an interesting one, what stood out to me was mention of the hours put into his job. Remarkable anecdote from Grossman on Cook with "He wakes up at 3:45 every morning (“Yes, every morning”), does e-mail for an hour, stealing a march on those lazy East Coasters three time zones ahead of him, then goes to the gym, then Starbucks (for more e-mail), then work."

The other two recent pieces of note from Time were both well written, but actually stood out to me as reminders of past articles I've linked to and written on about similar topics. In the Feb 7 Time issue Mark Thompson wrote "Killer. Healer. Victim." on the shooting death of former Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle (who wrote a bestselling autobiography covering his time in the military). Kyle was active in trying to help other veterans cope with leaving the military and was gunned down at a shooting range by a someone someone struggling with mental illness and returning home. Really a sad story that reminded me of a 2012 blog post I did which linked to a number of pieces by Thompson and fellow Time writer Nancy Gibbs about veteran mental health troubles and disconnect with society.

The final Time story to mention here was by Austin Ramzy from the Feb 18 issue. "Precious Holdings" is about mining for Rare Earth metals and what's occurred in the market since the Chinese government in 2010 decided to dramatically limit exports of the commodities needed for technology including weapons, electronics and vehicles. Interesting piece that brought to mind a 2011 blog post I did on a Businessweek feature about Rare Earth mining in Alaska.