What Bayfront in Jersey City Will Look Like

The first renderings of the massive Bayfront project have been issued; these are for the initial stages of buildings and construction. Once fully complete, Bayfront will be the largest mixed-use community on the East Coast.

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National Security Reports – December 2020 Update

War & Peace (podcast from the International Crisis Group); Recommendations to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Military (Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion); Paths to Destruction (RAND, part of its Domestic Terrorism topics page); How U.S. agencies’ trust in untested software opened the door to hackers (Politico); How Russian hackers infiltrated the US government for months without being spotted (MIT Technology Review); The SolarWinds cyberattack: The hack, the victims, and what we know (Bleeping Computer); Top Expert Backgrounder: Russia’s SolarWinds Operation and International Law (Just Security, contains many valuable links); CISA Updates Alert and Releases Supplemental Guidance on Emergency Directive for SolarWinds Orion Compromise (CISA); The SolarWinds Compromise and the Strategic Challenge of the Information and Communications Technology Supply Chain (CFR, from its Digital and Cyberspace Security Program); and Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power (US Naval Service).

Taiwan: Political and Security Issues; Intelligence Community Diversity and Equal Opportunity;
Defense Primer: Strategic Nuclear Forces; Cybersecurity: A Primer (December saw over two dozen primers published. They can be found here.); U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues; U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress; Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress (updated 12/15); and SolarWinds Attack – No Easy Fix (numerous links).

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Christmas Annuals, Part 2

Almost one year ago, I wrote an entry on this type of publication; I have now found more examples of this literary genre. But first, here is a very informative entry on annuals from, of all places, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

Please peruse the following titles: The Garland, or Token of Friendship; Leaflets of Memory (with colored “illuminations”, one of the first annuals to do so); The Token: A Christmas and New Years Present (title varies); The Gift (the 1845 volume has a story from Edgar Allan Poe); The Keepsake; and All Year Round (edited by Charles Dickens).

These anthologies were just that – an accumulation of wide-ranging stories; however, there is a special published volume that contains only Christmas-themed writings from All Year Round and Household Words (this also edited by Dickens) – Christmas stories from Household words and All the year round.

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How Did the Victorians Celebrate Christmas?

It may come as a surprise to many that the celebration of Christmas that we know is a relatively new tradition. This delightful exhibition from the British Library, along with the many links provided, gives one an insight into how this holiday was observed in the 19th century. You can also find additional information at A Victorian Christmas and Victorian Christmas.

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PubMed Central Houses Over 100,000 Open Access Articles on COVID-19

PMC now provides a portal to freely-accessible articles from more than fifty major publishers, including the American Chemical Society, Elsevier, and Cambridge University Press that involve research into COVID-19. Articles appear from around the world, examining trends, vaccine development, past outbreaks of coroviruses, and other related areas of investigation.

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2020 in Pictures

This was a year of chaos and shambolic behavior. Please review 2020 in Photos: A Year Like No Other from The New York Times.

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National Security Reports – November 2020 Update

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Historic Thanksgiving Menus

What’s on the menu? from the New York Public Library features hundreds of menus from dozens of hotel/restaurants/eateries from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries. See how much it cost to dine at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1912.

Menus: The Art of Dining from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (where Guy Fieri and his son graduated) contains additional menus of interest.

Holiday menus from the Culinary Institute of America hosts almost forty of relevance.

Some historic White House menus are found here, along with links to recipes. The menus from First Lady Laura Bush’s dinners/receptions are found here.

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NFPA Codes and Standards Are Freely Available Online

All the codes and standards have been placed online for public perusal. These are the codes that guide fire safety throughout the world. An invaluable resource.

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Historic New Jersey Newspapers Now Freely Online

The Chronicling America site at the Library of Congress now hosts 13 New Jersey newspapers ranging from the West-Jersey Pioneer (1851-1884) to the Perth Amboy evening news (1903-1959). Historical events such as the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, Black Tom, women’s suffrage, and the Hindenberg disaster are covered in these titles. Also, local news and politics fill the pages of these papers.

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Covid-19 Restrictions/Mask Mandates by State

With the bewildering number of reports about openings/closings/mask wearing/school closures, especially in this area where we receive media reports from four different jurisdictions (Jersey City, New York City, New York State, and New Jersey), it is almost impossible to remember all the permutations. This feature from The New York Times goes a long way to alleviating the confusion; it is updated daily.

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Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Everything you ever wanted to know about New Zealand and more is contained in this informative site. Numerous biographies, essays, and images on a plethora of topics greet you. Read about the three voyages of James Cook, read the biography of William Hobson (you don’t know him? maybe you should), explore the traditions of the Maori, and dive into the history of the voting right for women (New Zealand was the first self-governing country to grant this basic right.)

You can also search by keywords, section, and stories.

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Facts and Figures for Veterans Day

The Census Bureau has issued a compilation of facts, figures, graphs, and blog entries that deal with the day.

Another Census Bureau report just issued is also relevant: The Employment, Earnings, and Occupations of Post-9/11 Veterans.

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Presidential Transition

It is not like one team leaves on January 20, and the next team just comes in and starts working. We are talking about a $5 trillion enterprise with 4 million employees, and 4,000 government positions that need to be filled. Preparation time is essential in order to allow the new players to effectively govern from day one. A guide from the Center for Presidential Transition presents guidelines and best practices to facilitate a smooth transfer of power and operations.

The Transition Playbook from Politico will be a continuously updated news repository detailing the multitudinous activities that must be undertaken now to allow the initiation of procedures to be discharged in a manner consistent with a functioning government.

Here is an informative background piece from NPR.

This older writing from Brookings looks at five prior transitions.

And, lastly, this just-released CRS report – Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding – is worth a read.

The Law of Presidential Transitions from the Yale Law Journal, 129(2020) is worth a look as well.

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National Security Reports – October 2020 Update

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The Democratic and Republican Platforms on Cybersecurity

As concerns about election security abound, here is an article listing both platforms along with relevant documents that inform the conversation.

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Ballot Box Locations in New Jersey

Want to drop off your vote in a ballot box? Then use this handy guide.

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Tracking Early Voting by State

With so many more people voting by mail-in ballot, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the figures; however, there is a handy reference that can help – U.S. Elections Project.

Using data obtained from each state, this site shows the level of activity with early voting. Since there is no nation-wide template for reporting early voting, each state presents its information in its own way, some states providing a great deal of information while others offer sparse documentation. For example, Alaska reports the number of ballots requested and the number returned while New Jersey breaks down the information by party affiliation, rate of return, and frequency of distribution.

Thirty-nine states are represented here; surprisingly New York is not listed. I recommend reading the accompanying analyses for insights into this process.

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Biographies and Selected Poems of 2020 Nobel Laureate Louise Gluck

You can sample some of her work here and here. A 2015 interview can be read here; additional interviews as well as readings by her are also available.

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National Security Reports – September 2020 Update

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