The Kill Artist: Daniel Silva

I’ve decided to go back and re-read the initial offering in some of my favourite mystery/thrillers to see if what attracted me still does.

There is no denying the skill, but I’m currently in the mood for Downing and Furst’s “little man” style.

This one has the scaffolding of the long-running series, but is a bit off-footed in tone and writing, leaving huge holes in Intelligence operational details and the forward-story of the books to come.

What struck me most — negatively; it is jarringly disturbing — is how often cavalierly Silva puts his female characters into situations where they spit out, used and often killed simply to gain inches or points in “the game.” Worse, how willingly they are complicit in the abuse.

I can see how this would happen occasionally in real life, but it seems it is one of the most common, enduring scenarios in the entire series.

I wish it would end.

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Thor, God of Thunder, buys his legal weed in Canada

Some Canadian used a fake ID of Marvel’s Thor to buy weed online

Some Canadian used a fake ID of Marvel’s Thor to buy weed online

Who creates a fake ID, no matter if it’s just a joke fake ID, that isn’t even up to date?

By Brendan Bures, The Fresh Toast July 19, 2019

In Canada, you can buy weed online. This constitutes one of the numerous perks Canadians enjoy thanks to the recreational legalization of marijuana. Most of you will read that and have no further questions. What a novel and enviable concept, you will think.

Here’s the deal though: online Canadian dispensaries can’t just sell cannabis to anyone who clicks the digital button for “One Weed Please, Sir!!” Instead, prior to selling, Canadians must undergo a verification process that corroborates the purchaser is at least 18 years old— the age required to legally consume cannabis — and a Canadian citizen.

With any system of legitimacy comes those determined to infiltrate that system through nefarious means. Enter this wonderful tweet from @cottoncandaddy. Her sister works at an online weed dispensary and received this ID from none other than Thor Odinson. You know, the popular Marvel character played by Chris Hemsworth in the movies? A totally legitimate human you should sell marijuana to, right?

All the details of this fake ID really tickle the loins. For example, the fact that Thor apparently lives at “69 Big Hammer Ln.” An address that won’t raise any suspicion obviously. Or the picture of an idyllic Hemsworth smiling sheepishly off-camera or the wavy Windows 98 font (which all Alberta provincial IDs have in real life, by the way) that reads “Odinson Thor.”

The best part, though? The ID is totally expired! It’s been out of date for more than two years. Who creates a fake ID—no matter if it’s just a joke fake ID—that isn’t even up to date? Never stop being you, Canadians.

Canada an even earlier adopter of cannabis than thought

Were the Vikings getting high on cannabis in Newfoundland?

Were the Vikings getting high on cannabis in Newfoundland?

Discovery of cannabis pollen found near a former Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows has sparked controversy

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A discovery of cannabis pollen found near a former Viking settlement in Newfoundland has sparked controversy as to whether Vikings were using the drug.

Ancient Newfoundland archaeological site L’Anse aux Meadows, located in one of the northernmost areas of the province, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s.

Last summer, archaeologists excavating a peat bog near the site uncovered a layer of environmental remnants potentially left by humans, dating to the 12th or early 1300s.iStock / Getty Images Plus

While most archaeologists contend that the site was only a host to Viking explorers for a short time in the 11th century, Memorial University postdoctoral fellow Paul Ledger has published a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science journal suggesting that Vikings may have lived in the area far later than previously believed — potentially well into the 12th and even part of the 13th century, Live Science notes.

Last summer, archaeologists excavating a peat bog near the site uncovered a layer of environmental remnants potentially left by humans, dating to the 12th or early 1300s.

The remnants included charcoal, several insects, and caribou feces, in addition, pollen from cannabis and walnut plants — neither of which is indigenous to the region.

While the evidence seems to suggest that the ancient Nordics were prolific cannabis users, Ledger urges caution in jumping to that conclusion.

“Pollen carries in the wind,” he notes in the study. While there is some evidence from other geographical regions that Vikings used cannabis, the remnants from L’Anse aux Meadows may have been transported there by an Indigenous Newfoundland group as opposed to ancient Europeans — such as ancestors of the Beothuk, whose forced migration at the hands of colonizers centuries later led to the extinction of the people.

The mystery persists!