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With the dominance of Apple and Google on the mobile phone market in the last decade, I feel puzzled and sorry for the two earlier leaders in the space – BlackBerry and Nokia. Both were dominating mobile giants and not from the USA. BlackBerry was from Canada, a country I have travelled to briefly on a weekend trip to Vancouver from Seattle. Even today in tech circles I hear people talking with high regards for the technology chops of BB. As a result, I always wondered where the company stumbled and this book “BlackBerry Town” by Chuck Howitt will shed…

The Dig (2021) is a fictional account of the unearthing of Sutton Hoo Royal Burial Ground treasures in England in 1939. Director Simon Stone has given an engaging film. Available on Netflix. Not sure what is with periodic films, that too those made around the two world wars, there is an alluring charm. This one is no different. Britain is getting ready to go to war with Germany when in a quiet country farm in Suffolk, a landowner Edith Pretty engages an amateur excavator Basil Brown to dig (what appears to be burial) mounds at her estate. They are not…

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. I read (listened to the audiobook) this well-researched book on the 1918 Spanish Flu – Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney published in 2017. Had it not been the 2020 pandemic, I doubt I would’ve picked this book but I am glad to have read the book. I learned a lot from this book. It was captivating! Astonishing to learn on how the world we live and humans as a species have been shaped by infections for thousands of…

Rose Island (2020) is a comedy film based on the true story of a man-made island built off the coast of Italy in the 1960s in international waters and who declared independence status with the UN and European Council. The movie is available on Netflix and was an enjoyable watch, go for it. Reading the blurb for this film I was reminded of Principality of Sealand, which is near British waters where an abandoned World War II offshore platform wanted to be established as a sovereign state. Giorgio Rosa (Elio Germano) is a bright young engineer who likes to build…

A Call to Spy (2019) is yet another wartime film about the heroic deeds of unassuming people during World War II. It chronicles the story of two civilians recruited by a new secret agency of the British to be sent as spies to German-occupied France. What makes the film different is that the protagonists are women and they don’t do action sequences, yet the film was highly engaging. It is available in Amazon Prime Video. Stana Katic who comes as Vera Atkins is the secretary to the head of the new secret service and she is tasked with recruiting women…