Recommended reading / viewing / listening

What was Machu Picchu for? … Intricate revenge … Haiti’s new president … Al-Qaeda on the brink of collapse? … Alexander McQueen’s gift to his dogs.

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. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. A Revenge Plot So Intricate, the Prosecutors Were Pawns
By Dan Bilefsky | The New York Times | July 25
“Soon after Seemona Sumasar started dating Jerry Ramrattan, she had an inkling that something might be wrong.”

2. Haiti’s new president lacks power base, disappoints voters
Associated Press | July 26
“Haitian President Michel Martelly has styled himself as a man of the people, a showy former pop star who waded easily into adoring crowds. So the reception he received on his latest trip to his country’s north was a surprise: Protesters pelted his entourage with soft drink bottles and rocks.”

3. The ’27 Club’ — curse or myth?
By Drew Grant | Salon.com | July 26
“Is Amy Winehouse the latest victim of the same force that killed Hendrix and Cobain? Experts weigh in.”

4. U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda on brink of collapse
By Greg Miller | The Washington Post | July 26
“U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly convinced that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the toll of seven years of CIA drone strikes have pushed al-­Qaeda to the brink of collapse.”

5. What Was Machu Picchu For? Top Five Theories Explained
By Ker Than | National Geographic | July 21
“Popular ideas include a royal retreat and sacred memorial.”

6. The Abortion Trap
By Mara Hvistendahl | Argument :: Foreign Policy | July 26
“How America’s obsession with abortion hurts families everywhere.”

7. Castro Offers a Wave at Cuban Fete, but, Again, No Speech
By Damien Cave | The New York Times | July 26
“For the second year in a row, Raúl Castro left the rhetoric to his vice president.”

8. Alexander McQueen leaves $82,000 apiece to dogs
Weird Wide Web :: GlobalPost | July 27
“Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer who committed suicide last year at the age of 40, willed $82,000 to each of his three English bull terriers, Juice, Minter, and Callum.”

9. 14 Not-So-Fun Facts About Mosquitoes
Surprising Science :: Smithsonian.com | July 27
“1 ) There are around 3,500 species of mosquitoes, but only a couple hundred feast on human blood.”

10. Elian Gonzalez
Witness :: BBC News | June 28
“The little boy caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between Miami and Havana. When armed US agents stormed his relatives’ home in Miami a photographer, Alan Diaz, captured the fear on his face.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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