Updates on Past Topics

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Time passes, and things happen. Here’s some updates on past blog and book topics that continue to make news around the world:

-A recent report in the New York Times depicts Nelson Mandela, the  former leader of South Africa and anti-apartheid figurehead struggling with his health, surrounded by family and friends who wish the aging activist would be granted some peace and quiet in what may well be his final days. As a symbol of the fight against oppression in South Africa, Mandela remains significant though he’s retired. Now, as he potentially nears the end of his life, it seems as though a new struggle will be fought over his legacy.

-On this day (May 28)  in 1936, Alan Turing invented his famous Turing Machine, a device that helps in understanding and explaining computer functions. This invention was vital in the development of the computer and computer science, and to honor Turing’s accomplishment, every year the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) gives out the A.M. Turing Award to scientists who make major advances in the world of computing. This year, the award was given to MIT professors Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali, who did work in the fields of cryptography and complexity theory. Some of their work focuses on increasing security in various online interactions, such as internet purchases and cloud computing. These issues are far beyond anything Turing could have imagined for computers when he invented his machine, but the bestowal of the award with his name on it affirms his vital role in the advancement of this technology that has come to define the century.

Harper Lee has returned to the headlines: the author of To Kill a Mockingbird has sued the son-in-law of her former literary agent, alleging that he took advantage of her age and failing health to convince her to sign over rights to the book, and that he has cheated her out of proceeds for many years. The case has not yet been decided; hopefully it will not be a sad final chapter for the author of one of America’s most beloved novels.

-More news from North Korea. Kim Jong-un has apparently not taken to heart the request of his friend Dennis Rodman, and will not be releasing American citizen Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years in prison for vaguely defined crimes against the North Korean state. Bae just began serving his sentence, in a “special prison” that is largely a mystery to outsiders. North Korea also reignited tensions and fears about nuclear threats when the country fired four short range missiles into Sea of Japan. Though the launches were only tests, and no one was hurt, the missiles refocused attention on the small country, and its repeated promises to build nuclear weapons. Or perhaps the launch was just some stealth advertising for the country’s new ski resort

Reportedly, director Steven Spielberg’s next project will be a film adaptation of American Sniper, the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Kyle was killed in February, while trying to help another soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder at a gun range. Kyle is one of the many soldiers documented in The Military Experience. Special Operations: Snipers from Morgan Reynolds Publishing.

These are just a few of things happening in the world. They remind us that just because the book is over, the story is not at an end, and that to fully understand what is happening in the world right now, we must have an understanding of the past.

To learn more about Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela, Profiles in Mathematics: Alan TuringReal Courage: The Story of Harper LeeThe Military Experience. Special Operations: Snipers, or our Ebook exclusive, Modern American Conflicts: The Korean War, please visit morganreynolds.com.

-Josh Barrer,

Associate Editor





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  1. Poem
    Do you know it Mandela?
    Basudev Adhikari

    I see you radiant
    I see you cosmique

    No bedlam of self-interest can cast a shadow on you
    Strumming the strings of self-regard
    But destiny is creeping around like a swooning cat
    You have seen all else and swayed all of us
    From the window of the Pretoria sickbay
    Death had clutches on your yesterdays
    Riding over a hegemony of brutality and aggression
    But your brilliance dazzled and defeated him
    But today he seems tricky and intractable
    In an uncontested appetite
    In a warring disposition
    ( we are very much with you)
    He is still stalking extending a cold hand
    Hard by you, seeding afflictions
    Blowing up all sensitivity in its entirety
    Collusion of the mafia in a jazz on my yard
    You possessed of the death-specter
    Compelled to collide with both
    Yet this has not dragged me from you
    And I stand by you
    Brooding over the doom descending on you
    Dear spirit of the millennium
    Malicious death stumbles upon you
    The gullible you are stormed with issues
    Diffused into a thousand luminous spectrums
    Webbed in compassions and empathies
    How much remains of you
    A seed transmuted into a tree
    And a woodland into fruition
    Ethereally illuminated
    what remains of you?
    And of others?
    When death is gnawing on you
    And the pain rends incalculable hearts
    Manifested in myriad souls
    You live through and live in us
    It is inching towards you every second
    Wake up
    Pull death to heel
    Pour rains of blows
    Shaming it into remorse
    Can it mold your astral self into his fondness
    What can contain your ether – transmuted body-fiber?
    What brings ?
    To have a toll on your life?
    Or to give you eternal rest?
    Or to sneak history
    Or to aggrieve me and the rest
    And I am witnessing the lurch of death to you
    And the lesson of truth.
    The melodies of the little ones
    In a harmonic vocal
    Fabulously portrayed portraits
    And our inners echo our beseech
    Inflicting waves of revulsion and mockery on him
    But it loiters unvanquished
    Spineless while
    What braced him?
    He is a stroke
    An aggression
    A thief
    And this infliction on you?
    And on the rest of us
    When death is laying its cold hand on you
    It afflicts me
    You are a victor
    A nurtured history stands by you
    Manifest through a song of sacrifice and candor
    Illumined lines drawn of karma
    Are you aware of the eighteenth of July
    Ageing ninety-five?


    Translation from Nepali: Haribol Acharya
    From Nepal

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