Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Look back at the fall of the Soviet Union … Celebrating Clarence Clemons … The fight over the world’s longest river … Che’s diary published … Iraq’s unseen war.

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism.

1. The Secret History of Iraq’s Invisible War
By Noah Shachtman | Danger Room :: Wired | June 14
“In the early years of the Iraq war, the U.S. military developed a technology so secret that soldiers would refuse to acknowledge its existence, and reporters mentioning the gear were promptly escorted out of the country. That equipment -– a radio-frequency jammer –- was upgraded several times, and eventually robbed the Iraq insurgency of its most potent weapon, the remote-controlled bomb. But the dark veil surrounding the jammers remained largely intact, even after the Pentagon bought more than 50,000 units at a cost of over $17 billion.”

2. My First Time, Twice
By Ariel Levy | Guernica | June 2011
“After Josh broke my heart, my great regret was not that I had lost my virginity to him, but that I hadn’t. If I was going to be lovelorn, at least I would have liked the consolation of being able to brag that I’d had sex.”

3. New ‘Che’ Guevara diary of the revolution published in Cuba
GlobalPost | June 14
“‘Diary of a Combatant’ documents the three-year guerrilla campaign that resulted in the overthrow of Batista and Castro taking power.”

4. Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ This Year Predicted To Be Largest In History
By Cain Burdeau | HuffPost Green | June 14
“Each year when the nutrient-rich freshwater from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers pours into the Gulf, it spawns massive algae blooms. In turn, the algae consume the oxygen in the Gulf, creating the low oxygen conditions. Fish, shrimp and many other species must escape the dead zone or face dying.”

5. Struggle Over the Nile: A special report
Al Jazeera | June 2011
“It is the world’s longest river. A 7,000-km lifeline for almost 400 million people. It runs through 11 countries, including South Sudan, from the highlands in the heart of Africa to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a source of sustenance, but also of tension — and even potential conflict.”

6. Cold Specks | Holland
By David D. Robbins Jr. | Their Bated Breath | June 13
“This London by way of Toronto singer-songwriter has a voice that is unmistakable. So unmistakable, that as soon as I heard this new track, “Holland”, I knew right away who the singer was. She has a voice that knocks you in the gut, and you’ll never forget it.”

7. If chivalry is dead, blame it on the selfish feminists
By Lucy Jones | The Telegraph | June 15
“Thankfully, there are still men out there who will take your coat, pull out the chair and pay for dinner”

8. Remembering Clarence Clemons
Rolling Stone | June 18
“The legendary E Street Band saxophonist’s life in photos”

9. The Long Breakup
By Kathy Lally and Will Englund | The Washington Post | June 2011
“Twenty years ago, the Soviet Union came to an end. It was a drawn-out and difficult journey, full of passion, hope, anger, betrayal and re-awakening. Between now and the end of the year, The Post will track the major developments, in real time, of the last six months of the U.S.S.R.”

10. Japan Quake Released Hundreds of Years of Strain
By Brett Israel | Our Amazing Planet | June 15
“The March 11 earthquake is the fourth-largest ever recorded in the world. The quake struck off the coast of the Tohoku region of Japan, triggering a deadly tsunami that may have killed nearly 30,000 people.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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