Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
U of M's Smil a top global thinker
A Winnipeg author has made the list of Top 100 Global Thinkers in a U.S. highbrow public affairs journal.
Foreign Policy places University of Manitoba scientist Vaclav Smil at No. 49 among those who shape world opinion.
Smil "has led a 30-year career of interdisciplinary contrarianism, writing hundreds of scientific articles and dozens of books attacking sacred cows of Western environmental and geopolitical thought," the magazine said.
"This year alone, he published four books and took on carbon sequestration and peak oil."
Smil, 67, is pleased with the honour.
"For a scientist in general, and for a Canadian in particular, the probabilities of making that list are like scaling Mount Everest in swim trunks," he joked in an email.
The lone other Canadian on the list, dominated by assorted politicians and business types, is Louise Arbour, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
-- -- --
Penguin Canada has acquired a Cuban-Canadian police procedural, The Beggar's Opera, by Peggy Blair, one of Canada's leading aboriginal lawyers and a former Crown prosecutor, the publisher has announced.
Blair, an Ottawa resident, was shortlisted for the 2010 Debut Dagger at the Harrogate Crime Festival in England.
A former member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, she was a senior adjudicator in the Indian Residential Schools Dispute Resolution Process, before being appointed deputy chief adjudicator in 2007. She returned to private practice in 2008.
-- -- --
Notch up another accolade for Ontario-based writer Emma Donoghue.
The Irish-born author's novel Room has been selected by the New York Times as one of their 10 best books of 2010. "Donoghue has created one of the pure triumphs of recent fiction," the list reads.
Room won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize as well as the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year. In the near-miss column, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was also a Governor General's Award and Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist.
The list will appear in the Sunday print edition of the NYT Book Review.
-- -- --
A former colleague of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is poised to tell what he claims is the inside story of the whistle-blowing website.
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former spokesman for WikiLeaks, is to write Inside WikiLeaks: My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website. German publisher Econ Verlag has announced it will publish the book on Jan. 27, reports The Guardian UK.
After falling out with Australian citizen Assange, Domscheit-Berg left WikiLeaks in September.
-- -- --
A restored 1939 edition of Detective Comics, featuring the first appearance of Batman, is expected to fetch £25,000 at a British auction on Dec. 16.
An unrestored edition sold earlier this year for more than US$1 million in Texas. The upcoming event at Dominic Winter auctioneers -- which will also include a first issue of Superman, estimated to sell for up to £15,000 -- is the largest private collection of vintage American comics ever to be auctioned in Britain.
There are thought to be only 150 copies of Batman's debut left worldwide, reports The Guardian UK.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 11, 2010 H8
(1 of 23 articles for this week)