Recommended reading / viewing / listening

China’s navy … Women in Mexico’s drug war … Young Americans no dreamers … Brazil’s girl power … Studying the storm surge.

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. Mexico’s Drug War, Feminized
By Damien Cave | The New York Times | Aug. 13
“The number of women incarcerated for federal crimes has grown by 400 percent since 2007, pushing the total female prison population past 10,000.”

2. Troubled Waters: Why China’s Navy Makes Asia Nervous
By Austin Ramzy | Time | Aug. 10
“China’s armed forces are modernizing — military spending has grown by an annual average of 15% since 2000 — and after a decade-long charm offensive in East and Southeast Asia, Beijing has begun taking a more aggressive stand on territorial disputes.”

3. New hurricane scale puts more focus on storm surge
By Mary Wozniak | The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press | Aug. 14
“A newly patented hurricane scale better predicts the potential destruction from both wind and storm surge, but the National Hurricane Center won’t say whether it will be endorsed or used.”

4. Bachmann and Perry — a beautiful 2012 rivalry
By John Whitesides | Reuters | Aug. 14
“It was Michele Bachmann’s big moment in the political spotlight and Rick Perry stomped all over it.”

5. Generation Vexed: Young Americans rein in their dreams
By Tiffany Hsu and Shan Li | The Los Angeles Times | Aug. 14
“Amid so much economic uncertainty, many are rethinking career plans, putting off marriage and avoiding the stock market like the plague.”

6. Brazil’s Girl Power
By Cynthia Gorney | National Geographic | September 2011
“How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.”

7. The Hope That Flows From History
By Christina D. Romer | The New York Times | Aug. 13
“Adding to the despair is the oft-repeated notion that it took World War II to end the economic nightmare of the ’30s: If a global war was needed to return the economy to full employment then, what is going to save us today? Look more closely at history and you’ll see that the truth is much more complicated — and less gloomy.”

8. The Female Eunuch, 40 years on
By Rachel Cusk | The Guardian | Nov. 20, 2010
“Funny, angry, clever and hopeful – The Female Eunuch set out to transform women’s lives. Does Germaine Greer’s seminal tract still speak to feminists?”

9. The Single Guy Getting Over His On-Again, Off-Again Girlfriend
Daily Intel :: New York Magazine | May 23
“Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek behind doors left slightly ajar. This week, the Single Guy Getting Over His On-Again, Off-Again Girlfriend: Male, high school teacher, 39, Astoria, straight, single.”

10. Italian internees
Witness :: BBC News | June 10
“When Italy joined World War II in June 1940, British-Italian men were rounded up and interned.”


Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Mike Zito — 39 Days
2. Chris Rea — Lone Star Boogie
3. The Terry Quiett Band — Long Saturday Night
4. Lady Antebellum — Lookin’ for a Good Time
5. The Insomniacs — Angry Surfer
6. Anna Popovic — Get Back Home to You
7. Stevie Ray Vaughan — The Sky is Crying
8. Douglas Acres — Grand Theft Mojo
9. Tommy Crain & The Cross Town All Stars — For the Music
10. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals — Some Kind of Ride
11. Los Lonely Boys — Texican Style
12. Beau Hall — Hell & Ecstasy
13. Preacher Stone — Mother To Bed

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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