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Keith Thomson
Keith Thomson played semi-pro baseball player in France and drew editorial cartoons for Newsday before becoming a writer. His books include the New York Times Best-Selling Once a Spy and 7 Grams of Lead. For more, see

Entries by Keith Thomson

Birmingham Hosts a Baseball Game for the Ages

(2) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 3:12 PM

In 1991, Chicago's Comiskey Park became a parking lot (for the new Comiskey Park). Thus Birmingham, Alabama's Rickwood Field, which turns 106 this season, earned the distinction of America's Oldest Professional Baseball Stadium. The home of both Birmingham's Barons and the Black Barons of the Negro Leagues had essentially stood...

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Now on Kickstarter, a Flying Robot

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 9:17 AM

A new Kickstarter campaign offers you the opportunity to own a flying robot, raising the question: What is a flying robot?

Essentially it's a machine capable of perceiving its environment and, accordingly, taking complex actions. And, of course, it can fly.

The flying robot in question, named Fleye, resembles...

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Navy SEAL's Surprising Advice for Surviving an Active Shooter

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 4:23 PM

You're at your desk or in a cafeteria or on a train when a guy bursts in firing a machine gun. What do you do?

According to former Navy SEAL Clint Emerson, "People think, I'm going to die! or I'm going to be rescued. Rarely do they think about rescuing...

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New CIA Information on JFK Assassination

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 2:10 PM

Since 1961, on every morning except Sunday, CIA briefers have presented the president of the United States with a top-secret, five-to-ten-page report on world events pertinent to national security. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer called the report, now known as the President's Daily Brief, "the most highly...

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Tomorrow: This Season's Best Baseball Game

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 9:08 AM

On Wednesday, May 27 at 12:30 p.m., the Birmingham Barons, currently 21-24 in the Southern League (AA-level minors), will host the last-place Jacksonville Suns. In and of itself, no, it's not the Game of the Year. Still, if you can see just one game in 2015, this is it. Because...

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First Theater to Screen The Interview Loses Internet for 5 Days

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2014 | 8:12 PM

Atlanta's Plaza Theatre, one of the first movie houses in the United States to announce screenings of the The Interview, has been without Internet all week.

As most everyone who has had Internet service during the last two weeks is aware, Sony Pictures was hacked by North Korea in apparent...

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50 Years Ago Today: First Flight of the SR-71 Blackbird

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 12:30 PM

I'm surprised how few people outside of aviation circles have heard of the SR-71 or know more than that it was "a spy plane"--which is like saying the Taj Mahal is "a big building." Unofficially known (but still not well-known) as the Blackbird, the SR-71 flew at record altitude--90,000 feet--and...

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Writer Gets Readers to Pay Him to Edit his Manuscript

(4) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 10:42 AM

One of the hardest parts of the writing process is getting honest feedback. Close friends and family think nothing of lying in order to spare your feelings about as little as a poem. So they'll sooner tell you that your baby is ugly than that they didn't like the manuscript...

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"Supermodels" -- Gigantic Model Planes -- to Fly Near St. Louis This Weekend

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Ostensibly, the news here is that as many as 100 giant-scale radio-controlled aircraft -- with wingspans from 80 inches to 29 feet -- will appear at the St. Louis Radio Control Flying Association's air show in Eureka, Missouri, from June 6-8. But really the news is that these "supermodels" exist,...

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The Spy Who Bugged Me

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 10:13 AM


Anyone who knows me would laugh at the notion, but readers often ask me if I was in the CIA. It's a fair question. I write spy novels and report on national security. I always answer: "No." To which they...

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Edward Snowden, Russian Agent?

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 8:20 AM

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says that by prompting a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies, he has accomplished his mission. In the intelligence community, there is speculation that, intentionally or not, he has also accomplished a mission for Russia.

On Kremlin matters, I turn to Jason Matthews, who...

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Oh, By the Way, Germany Spies on Us

(63) Comments | Posted November 3, 2013 | 1:44 PM

For two decades, a quiet office park outside Frankfurt has served as home to Project Rahab, a cyber-espionage operation named after the prostitute in the Book of Joshua who helps spies infiltrate Jericho. According to the National Security Council's Operations Security Intelligence Threat Handbook, Project Rahab is an...

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The Man With 59,000 Books -- In His House

(20) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 11:19 AM

In the 1920s, as an unwanted fourteenth child on a remote North Dakota farm, Lawrence L. Thomas found an escape in books. Because reading anything but the Bible angered his father, Thomas took his books to solitary fields or the outhouse. And it paid off.

He was the first...

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Famed Alabama Civil Rights Attorney Releases KKK Hate Mail

(69) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 3:37 PM

During his 1976 prosecution of Klansman Robert Chambliss in the Alabama church bombing case, the mail for (then) Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley included little in the way of praise. The norm was racist rants, personal insults and death threats. Unfazed, Baxley placed them in a file he...

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The Latest Betting Line on the Next Pope

(33) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 3:47 PM

Much is at stake with the selection of Pope Benedict XVI's successor, including a lot of money. Paddy Power, Europe's largest bookmaker, has already taken more than £100,000 in bets, and expects to see multi-million-pound action closer to next month's conclave at the Sistine Chapel.

While Las Vegas casinos...

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KKK Planning Largest Rally Ever in Memphis

(902) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 11:54 AM

On Tuesday the Memphis City Council passed a resolution to rename three Confederate-themed public parks in Memphis, including one named after the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Confederate Park is now known as Memphis Park, Jefferson Davis Park is henceforth Mississippi River Park and Nathan...

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U.S. Navy's Trippy Anti-Bath Salts PSA

(84) Comments | Posted January 5, 2013 | 3:16 PM

Thinking about snorting "bath salts"? Yes, the LSD-like synthetic narcotic has become wildly popular because it's easily -- and legally -- obtainable and it doesn't show up on drug tests. The following video, produced by the United States Navy, may give you pause, however.

As you'll see...

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Eight Ohio Counties Ripe for Election Fraud

(121) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 4:00 PM

In 2010, computer scientists from the University of Michigan and Princeton hacked a touch-screen voting machine, installing the video game Pac-Man. Could comparable voting systems in Ohio be subverted to alter the presidential vote tally? As it happens, a 2007 Ohio-sponsored election equipment study provides numerous methods for...

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Could Romney-Linked Electronic Voting Machines Jeopardize Ohio's Vote Accuracy?

(938) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 3:48 PM

In 2006, a group of computer hackers reprogrammed a Dutch electronic voting machine to play chess. The Dutch government subsequently imposed a moratorium on the use of electronic voting machines. In 2009, German Federal Constitutional Court ruled the country's electronic voting systems unreliable to the point that their use was...

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How Gamblers -- History's Most Accurate Election Forecasters -- Are Betting on 2012

(954) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 4:11 PM

I don't like uncertainty. The current presidential polls -- Gallup with Romney leading by three percent, CBS with Obama up by two percent, aggregators split on whose nose is ahead -- are a hotbed of uncertainty. Fortunately there are veritable election oracles I can turn to...

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