Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Obama turns 50 … Sex diaries … Underwater Roman ruins … The beauty of math … The science of doomed diets.

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. Seeing Catch-22 Twice
By Ron Rosenbaum | Slate.com | Aug. 2
“The awful truth people miss about Heller’s great novel.”

2. Starved Brain Cells May Cause Diets to Fail
By Jennifer Welsh | LiveScience | Aug. 2
“When a dieter starves themselves of calories, they starve their brain cells as well. New research finds that these hungry brain cells then release ‘feed me’ signals, which drive hunger, slow metabolism and may cause diets to fail.”

3. Why Math Works
By Mario Livio | Scientific American | Aug. 2
“Is math invented or discovered? A leading astrophysicist suggests that the answer to the millennia-old question is both”

4. Snorkeling for Roman Ruins
By Barbara A. Noe | IntelligentTravel :: National Geographic | Aug. 2
“In Italy, Roman ruins sprinkle the landscape like Parmesan cheese on pasta. In a twist of the typical, terrestrial way to see them, I recently donned a snorkel mask and fins on the Bay of Naples.”

5. Metropolitan Museum Returns Antiquities Found in King Tut’s Tomb to Egypt
By Marlon Bishop | WNYC | Aug. 2
“Last November, the Met agreed to give back the artifacts after an internal museum investigation determined it had no right to the antiquities — mostly non-museum quality pieces, ranging from small fragments to a tiny bronze dog — in the first place.”

6. Q&A: Adding International Keyboards to the iPad
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Aug. 2
“Is it possible to switch the iPad’s keyboard layout to French like you can do on a Mac?”

7. The top 1%
Fault Lines :: Al Jazeera | Aug. 2
“With 1% of Americans controlling 40% of the country’s wealth, we examine the gap between the rich and the rest.”

8. The Valentine’s Day Sex Diaries
Daily Intel :: New York Magazine | Feb. 15
“The 24-Year-Old Female Editorial Assistant on the Upper East Side. The 32-Year-Old Male Designer Up in the Boston Area. The 27-Year-Old Mom in the Bronx. The 27-Year Old Female Grad Student in Park Slope. The 21-Year-Old Female Fashion Student in Wicker Park, Chicago.”

9. Turning 50, President Obama becomes a Washington tweener
By Manuel Roig-Franzia | The Washington Post | Aug. 2
“Reaching the pinnacle of American power so early means Obama will have to figure out what to do with himself for a big chunk of his 50s, whether in 2013, when he could become a 51-year-old one-termer, or in 2017, when he could leave office as a 55-year-old two-termer.”

10. Australian evacuee
Witness :: BBC News | June 20
“During World War II, many British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs. Most went to the countryside but some went as far away as Australia.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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