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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

June 22, 2011

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. Our Lefty Military
By Nicholas D. Kristof | The New York Times | June 15
“The United States armed forces knit together whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics from diverse backgrounds, invests in their education and training, provides them with excellent health care and child care. And it does all this with minimal income gap …”

2. Fulfilling My Dream of Becoming a Diplomat
By Shamim Kazemi | DipNote | June 16
“It allowed me, in my own way, to give back to the country that offered asylum and a new, safe home to my family. It also fulfilled the desire to serve a common humanity that my upbringing had afforded me to appreciate.”

3. Solomon P. Ortiz congressional papers provide trail through 30 years of South Texas history
By Rick Spruill | Corpus Christi Caller-Times | June 16
“The photographs, congressional correspondence, research papers, meeting minutes and other governmental documents span Ortiz’s congressional career, said Thomas Kreneck, the associate director for Special Collections & Archives at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.”

4. Art of lost Amazon culture a surprise
Archaeology News Network | June 2011
“It is one of the most enticing archaeological mysteries of the Americas — a long-overlooked ancient culture that existed for 900 years on an island at the mouth of Amazon River and then disappeared.”

5. Giant catfish caught in Thailand sets new record
By Emily Sohn | Discovery News | June 16
Welshman David Kent caught “a 260-pound Mekong giant catfish … in Thailand. The angler had baited his hook with a mere piece of sweet corn. It took him just under an hour to reel it in.”

6. A Wider View of Authorship: Eroticizing the Past
By Kenny McPhee | The Bombshell :: Bookslut | June 2011
“Early in Eavan Boland’s dazzling new book, ‘A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet,’ she tells a story: when she was a young poet and mother living in the suburbs of Dublin, she went into the city one day and happened to walk by an art gallery where she spied in the window a painting she immediately recognized as her mother’s work — her green vase, her beloved lily-of-the-valley, her pair of gloves.”

7. Election 101: Ten facts about Jon Huntsman and his presidential campaign
By Husna Haq | The Christian Science Monitor | June 21
“Dubbed ‘the Republican Democrats fear most,’ the tall, handsome, cerebral former governor of Utah often draws comparisons to Mr. Obama, the very man he’s struggling to distance himself from. Will that, and his centrist views and Mormon faith, keep him on the margins of the Republican field?”

8. True Stories: They Had Sex So I Didn’t Have To
By Molly Jong-Fast | Nerve | June 14
“A writer comes to terms with the sexual adventures of her parents.”

9. Sex, Buddhism and ballroom dancing: WikiLeaks reveals Beijing underbelly
By Michael Sheridan | The Australian | June 20
“US diplomats used to collect racy gossip linking Chinese leaders with mistresses and corruption, according to leaked cables reporting their conversations with political insiders and journalists.”

10. Hadrian’s buildings catch the Sun
By Eric Hand | NatureNews | June 16
“Hadrian’s villa 30 kilometres east of Rome was a place where the Roman Emperor could relax in marble baths and forget about the burdens of power. But he could never completely lose track of time, says Marina De Franceschini, an Italian archaeologist who believes that some of the villa’s buildings are aligned so as to produce sunlight effects for the seasons.”

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