Recommended reading / viewing / listening

The fall of MySpace … Women in special operations … ‘Spy girls’ find each other in retirement … The aircraft carrier may be irrelevant … A boring Gorbachev.

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. Twilight of the $UPERfluous Carrier
By Henry J. Hendrix and J. Noel Williams | Proceedings | May 2011
“[T]he march of technology is bringing the supercarrier era to an end, just as the new long-range strike capabilities of carrier aviation brought on the demise of the battleship era in the 1940s.”

2. The Long, Lame Afterlife of Mikhail Gorbachev
By Anne Applebaum | Foreign Policy | July/August 2011
“A cautionary tale about what happens when you fail to see the revolution coming.”

3. The FP Twitterati 100
Foreign Policy | June 20
“Here are 100 Twitter users from around the world who will make you smarter, infuriate you, and delight you — 140 characters at a time.”

4. Heavy sentences
By Joseph Epstein | The New Criterion | June 2011
“Learning to write sound, interesting, sometimes elegant prose is the work of a lifetime. The only way I know to do it is to read a vast deal of the best writing available, prose and poetry, with keen attention, and find a way to make use of this reading in one’s own writing. The first step is to become a slow reader.”

5. Decades after duty in the OSS and CIA, ‘spy girls’ find each other in retirement
By Ian Shapira | The Washington Post | June 26
“Doris Bohrer and Elizabeth ‘Betty’ McIntosh met two years ago in a Prince William County retirement community. As their friendship developed, they realized they had both served as intelligence operatives during World War II.”

6. Female Special Operators Now in Combat
By Christian Lowe | | June 29
“Army Special Operations Command has deployed its first teams of female soldiers assigned to commando units in Afghanistan, and military officials are assessing their initial performance in theater as ‘off the charts.’ ”

7. Beauty and the Beasts: The Sight of a Pretty Woman Can Make Men Crave War
By Rebecca Coffey | Scientific American | June 25
“Show a man a picture of an attractive woman, and he might play riskier blackjack. With a real-life pretty woman watching, he might cross traffic against a red light. Such exhibitions of agility and bravado are the behavioral equivalent in humans of physical attributes such as antlers and horns in animals. ‘Mate with me,’ they signal to women. ‘I can brave danger to defend you and the children.’ ”

8. An A-Z of incredible uses for everyday things
The Guardian | May 7, 2007
“Did you know you can kill weeds with vodka? Remove stains on clothes with aspirin? Make jewellery gleam with tomato ketchup? Here are 40 surprising tips to save you time and money.”

9. Libya mission brings John McCain and John Kerry together again
By Paul Kane | The Washington Post | June 28
“Concerned about what they consider an isolationist and fearful drift in both of their parties, Kerry (D-Mass.) and McCain (R-Ariz.) are advocating an even more forceful role for America in the world.”

10. The Rise and Inglorious Fall of Myspace
By Feliz Gillette | Bloomberg Businessweek | June 22
“It once promised to redefine music, politics, dating, and pop culture. Rupert Murdoch fell in love with it. Then everything fell apart.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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