Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Extreme weather coming … American exceptionalism … Invisible commandos … The Mediterranean diet … The new Mass.

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. Science panel: Get ready for extreme weather
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Nov. 19
“Think of the Texas drought, floods in Thailand and Russia’s devastating heat waves as coming attractions in a warming world. That’s the warning from top international climate scientists and disaster experts after meeting in Africa.”

2. NASA Mars mission to test planet for ability to sustain life
By Marc Kaufman | The Washington Post | Nov. 18
“If the unmanned Mars Science Laboratory lifts off and travels a 354 million-mile path to Mars, it will lower to the surface a sedan-size rover called Curiosity, which has the potential to change our understanding of the cosmos.”

3. Decline of American Exceptionalism
By Charles M. Blow | The New York Times | Nov. 18
“Is America exceptional among nations? Are we, as a country and a people and a culture, set apart and better than others? Are we, indeed, the “shining city upon a hill” that Ronald Reagan described? Are we “chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world” as George W. Bush said?”

4. Special Ops Wants Commandos to Have Invisible Faces
By Katie Drummond | Danger Room :: Wired | Nov. 18
“In 2008, the Army Military Research Office boasted that they were a mere two or three years away from developing metamaterials that could deflect light to conceal a given object. Since then, experts at various institutions have made impressive progress.”

5. A different view of Washington
The Washington Post | Nov. 17
“D.C. would have a very different look if these alternative designs and proposed buildings had came to fruition.”

6. Eat like a Mediterranean — but how?
By Karen Ravn | The Los Angeles Times | Nov. 20
“Here’s what the research says — and doesn’t say — about the Mediterranean diet.”

7. U.S. births dip for the third straight year
Associated Press | Nov. 19
“A federal report released Thursday showed declines in the birth rate for all races and most age groups. Teens and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic dip, to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s. Also, the rate of cesarean sections stopped going up for the first time since 1996.”

8. Catholics priests prepare to usher in Mass changes
By Kate Shellnutt | Houston Chronicle | Nov. 19
“At the start of Advent on Nov. 27, Catholics will adopt changes that make the words spoken during Mass in English closer to the church’s official Latin, adding dozens of small substitutions to the liturgy many Catholics pray instinctively. It’s the biggest shift in the Mass since Vatican II.”

9. Seven Tips for Better Group Portraits
By Roy Furchgott | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 17
“Andrew Boyd, a photojournalist and educator, has written extensively about group shots on his blog, The Discerning Photographer. Here’s his recipe for getting it right.”

10. Does America need Wall Street?
By Jeff Madrick | The Washington Post | Nov. 18
“Wall Street jet-fuels capitalism and innovation, we are told, and that’s what makes America prosperous; Wall Street is full of job-creators. But Alfred Chandler, the respected business historian, argued persuasively that most investment during the nation’s industrialization came from corporate profits, not money raised by Wall Street bankers.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. ME AND BOBBY McGEE Janis Joplin
2. 4 + 20 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
3. ROSIE (Live) Jackson Browne
4. SOMEBODY SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT Elton John
5. I’M ON FIRE Bruce Springsteen
6. ANGEL Rod Stewart
7. WILD HORSES The Sundays
8. RADIATION RULING THE NATION Massive Attack & Mad Professor
9. FEEL SO GOOD Lovespirals
10. FORBIDDEN LOVE Madonna

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