Recommended reading / viewing / listening

11/11/11 … Seven wonders of the natural world … Surfing a 90-foot wave … Best foods for winter … Love in Mexico.

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. 11-11-11 brings lucky babies, bets and brides
By Matt Sedensky | Associated Press | Nov. 10
“In years to come, babies born Friday should have no trouble remembering the date — and in some cases, the exact minute — of their birth. The day marked the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011. From China to New York, people celebrated the convergence of 11s with a splash by placing bets, tying the knot or making a wish.”

2. Tweets before suicide point to teen’s sexual abuse
By Mike Tolson | Houston Chronicle | Nov. 9
“Ashley Billasano kept the pain locked inside her for years, allowing only a handful of people closest to her to have a glimpse. On Monday, the 18-year-old Rosenberg high school student let it all out in a torrent of messages on Twitter – the sexual abuse that she said ruined what should have been some of the best years of her life, her inability to see justice done on her behalf. Then she killed herself.”

3. Seven wonders of the natural world — in pictures
The Guardian | Nov. 10
“A list of the new seven wonders of the natural world is about to be announced following a global poll. But which sites will make the cut? We present the 10 most likely candidates”

4. Learn more about the Mars Curiosity lander
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Nov. 9
Learn some quick facts, get an overview of the mission, study the latest science on Mars and read about past and planned missions.

5. Surfer rides 90-foot wave, claims record
By Eric Lach | Weird Wide Web :: GlobalPost | Nov. 9
“Surfer Garrett McNamara is claiming a world record after riding what he says was a 90-foot wave, and he’s got video he says proves it.”

6. A road to Mecca
Al Jazeera English | Nov. 9
“More than 80 years ago, one man crossed the frontline between the Muslim world and the West — we retrace his journey.”

7. Best Comfort Foods for Winter, with Recipes and Photos
By Jaymi Heimbuch | Treehugger | Nov. 8
“Best Comfort Foods for Winter, with Recipes and Photos”

8. The rules of attraction are different in Mexico
NewsTaco | Nov. 9
“Two years have passed since the last time I spoke to her and a couple of days ago, I received a Facebook message from her. She wanted to know what happened to me. … She already has a wedding planned out.”

9. Airdrop Design Pulls Water From Air to Irrigate Deserts
By Jaymi Heimbuch | Treehugger | Nov. 8
“The winner of this year’s James Dyson Award is one that focuses on the water crisis in Australia. A continent faced with severe droughts, it is no wonder that Edward Linacre from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne wanted to come up with a solution that will provide fresh water where there is no source on the ground.”

10. Why Obama’s 2008 Coalition Won’t Save Him This Time
By William Galston | The New Republic | Nov. 8
“Individuals identifying with the Democratic Party are a smaller share of the American people than they were early in 2008, and their views are less representative of the people as a whole. This means that the Obama team, which faces the crucial choice of either doubling down on its 2008 winning mix of professionals, young people, and minorities or rebuilding support among Independents in the heartland, should emphasize the latter option.”



My soundtrack for today included:
1. I’M LIFE The Fixx
3. LOMBARD Jan Hammer
6. WHO ARE YOU John Murphy

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A self-checkout app … Herman Cain’s familiar style … A failed Russian probe … Shadows of a green life … Preparing for a major Midwest quake.

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. Why Green ‘Lifestyle Choices’ Will Never Save Us
By Sami Grover | Treehugger | Nov. 10
“Lights get left on when they shouldn’t. I drive places I probably don’t need to. And I confess that my wife and I still get a little lazy when it comes to line drying our clothes. All this lead to a conversation the other day about whether there is any hope.”

2. Is Money Wasted Preparing for a Major Midwest Quake?
By Richard Monastersky and Nature | Scientific American | Nov. 10
“The government says that a huge earthquake risk lurks in the heart of the country, where a series of large shocks hit 200 years ago. Seth Stein says that kind of warning is dead wrong”

3. Cain was known for casual style with staff at association
By Krissah Thompson and Aaron C. Davis | The Washington Post | Nov. 10
“As a boss, Herman Cain made it a habit to stop by and talk to his employees, even the lowest-ranking. Often, he suggested that staffers, men and women, continue the conversation over drinks or dinner — one of many ways he blurred lines between the social and professional.”

4. Russian Mars probe stuck in Earth’s orbit after engines fail to fire
Reuters | Nov. 9
“Spacecraft was to visit Martian moon of Phobos and bring back soil sample but looks like joining list of failed red planet missions”

5. Are cookbooks obsolete?
By Julia Moskin | The New York Times | Nov. 8
“Many early cooking apps were unsatisfying: slow, limited, less than intuitive and confined to tiny phone screens. Even avid cooks showed little interest in actually cooking from them. But with the boom in tablet technology, recipes have begun to travel with their users from home to the office to the market and, most important, into the kitchen.”

6. Obama improves on foreign affairs, struggles on fiscal matters
By Lydia Saad | | Nov. 9
“Approval on the economy, creating jobs, and the federal budget deficit is stuck near record lows”

7. Scan on a mission
By Jane Dornbusch | The Boston Globe | Nov. 9
“Stop & Shop’s new smartphone app works as a super-fast self-checkout”

8. Is ‘camioneta’ really more correct than ‘troca’?
NewsTaco | Nov. 7
“Isn’t language a means to communicate our reality? And if our reality is that ‘troca’ is a more recognizable term than ‘camioneta,’ it would seem to follow that this word should be in the dictionary. But it’s not, and that’s kind of sad.”

9. Clinton Aims for ‘AIDS-Free Generation’
By Donald G. McNeil Jr. | The New York Times | Nov. 8
“The interventions she endorsed, based on successes in clinical trials in the last two years, include circumcision for men, multidrug cocktails for pregnant women, and getting drugs to patients as soon as they are first infected rather than years later when they fall sick.”

10. The Reckoning Begins
By Michael Moran | The Reckoning :: Slate | Nov. 7
“Thanks to a catastrophic series of decisions by presidents of both parties that radically deregulated our financial system and arrogantly dismissed the “lessons of Vietnam” as dusty, irrelevant history, the United States has shortened the period during which it will remain the dominant power in the 21st century.”



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

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Where your favorite flavors come together

Melora Johnson's Muse

A writer blogging about writing, creativity and inspiration.

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