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The Rementioning

8 May

Hello, folks, I started this thing pseudonymously a few years ago as a personal exercise to see if I could bang out enough clickbait to make metrics work in my favor and found that, unpleasant as it was, I could do it. It was just aggregating garbage, though, so I spent a little while noodling around with fun arts and science stuff that I liked and let it drop. Now I’m hoisting the Jolly Roger and putting the thing back into service, primarily as an infosec blog. My strength as a writer-reporter is making complex topics readably simple so I’m going to look for interesting original work to post on the Daily Mentioner and keep a few regular series going simultaneously.

My name is Sam Thielman. I’ve been a reporter in some capacity for ten years, first as a theater critic, which is reporting when done correctly, and then as media and technology reporter for a few places, first Variety (where I also covered theater), then Adweek, then, for the last two years, The Guardian, which I left reluctantly around the end of April with about a dozen other wonderful colleagues, for whom I retain much affection.

I often wander between beats, sometimes writing about comics or film in the middle of chipping a way at a complicated information security story; it helps keep me interested in both, I find. So expect to see some of the eclecticism here.

For my first series, I will be profiling the APT threat groups from news coverage and any primary sources I can find. I may try to sell these profiles elsewhere and if I do I will post links and excerpts here first. If I get to the end of the APTs without finding a new full-time job, I will add a donate button to this site, because this is expert work and I think it’s valuable, and I suspect other people do too.

Very best,



A Very Smart Snake

2 Jun

Nature is amazing. If you are unconvinced, check out this neat explanatory gif sequence pulled from the late, great Futurama and if you are… not… un…convinced, I recommend this video for further proof that you are right in agreeing with me.
Okay, this is a video of a snake who wants to eat birds. Birds want to eat worms. This snake sits PERFECTLY STILL and then very subtly wiggles the end of its tail as though only a small part of it was alive and aware and a worm. It’s disturbing.
And great.


Ween—The Golden Eel

2 Jun

I have discovered my favorite band recently, which is kind of a shame, because they broke up two years ago. Anyway, they’re called Ween, they do all kinds of crazy nonsense, and their two best records are “The Mollusk” and “Quebec,” in my humble opinion. Here’s a great cut from the former, called “The Golden Eel,” about, um, a Golden Eel. I don’t know. It’s strange. If you’re interested in prog rock or guitar, they’re definitely for you. They also have a really funny, borderline obscene country & western record called “12 Golden Country Greats.” It has 10 songs on it, including one really virtuosic number called “Piss Up a Rope.” That’s kind of all you need to know.

I’m back

2 Jun

So I gave up on this blog about a year ago having felt that I’d proven my point—I can blog if I want to. Now I’m back, and I’m going to give it another shot, and let me tell you something: I’m happy about this. This will be a place for SF, science, politics, perhaps religion if we’re feeling brave, and it will never be boring. That is all.


George Soros, w…

18 Apr

George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions.

Lede from the terrible, terrible George Soros obit published accidentally by Reuters today. Come on, guys.


Brain Lamp

18 Apr

Brain Lamp

Lightbulb! By science-artist (the best kind of artist. Also the best kind of scientist) Jessica Lloyd-Jones. Visit her here.


CAT BREAK: Housekeeping

18 Apr

This cat loves this vacuum cleaner. The best part is when its face kind of gets sucked down into the tube and it gets longer and stranger.