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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

November 23, 2011

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. Whales in the desert: Fossil bonanza poses mystery
By Eva Vergara and Ian James | Associated Press | Nov. 20
“Experts say other groups of prehistoric whales have been found together in Peru and Egypt, but the Chilean fossils stand out for their staggering number and beautifully preserved bones. More than 75 whales have been discovered so far – including more than 20 perfectly intact skeletons.”

2. Goodbye, Golden Years
By Edward L. Glaeser | The New York Times | Nov. 19
“But lately, labor patterns haven’t conformed to historical precedent: recent increases in unemployment haven’t encouraged many older Americans into retirement. Why not?”

3. Why U.S. Needs Airpower Diplomacy
By Adam B. Lowther | The Diplomat | Nov. 22
“Better use of the U.S. Air Force is the most cost-effective and flexible approach to boosting the American presence in the Asia-Pacific.”

4. Chasing the Dragon in Tehran
By Roland Elliott Brown | Foreign Policy | Nov. 18
“Behind its façade of Muslim piety, Iran is one of the most drug-addled countries in the world.”

5. Court ends Doggett-Castro fight
By Tim Eaton | Postcards :: Austin American Statesman | Nov. 23
“When a panel of three federal judges in San Antonio released its redrawn congressional map today, it put an end to the anticipated race between U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and state Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who have been battling each other in an acrimonious fight for a proposed congressional district that would have extended from Austin to San Antonio.”

6. World’s Lightest Material Takes Hits Like a Champ
By Kevin Lee | GeekTech :: PC World | Nov. 21
“The material’s lightness comes from its extremely low density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimeter (mg/cc), which makes carbon nanotubes seem heavyset at 1.3-mg/cc.”

7. How to Decide When to Turn Down a Job Offer
Lifehacker | Nov. 21
“Even if you’ve been interested enough in a company to apply and go on an interview, when it comes time to sign on the dotted line, you should take time to consider whether or not this job is actually right for you. Here are some warning signs to look out for.”

8. American Zoetrope: In a galaxy not from Hollywood …
By John Patterson | The Guardian | Nov. 17
“If there had been no Zoetrope, the film studio founded by Francis Coppola and George Lucas in San Francisco in 1969, there would be no Star Wars, argues John Patterson”

9. Five myths about J. Edgar Hoover
By Kenneth D. Ackerman | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Nov. 7
“Hoover served as director of the FBI for 48 years, holding the job under eight presidents from Calvin Coolidge to Richard M. Nixon. But ask most people about J. Edgar Hoover, and the subject turns to sex.”

10. Civil War women: Lucy Webb Hayes
Civil War Women Blog | Oct. 6
“Among her children, relatives and friends, Lucy Hayes was known as a warm, charitable woman of humility. She played the piano and the guitar, and also used the newly installed telephone in the mansion. On numerous occasions, the First Lady invited African American musical groups to perform in the White House.”

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