Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A new Canary island … Scorsese’s best … al-Qaida in Africa … Bachmann’s journey … Girl gangs

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. Canary Island volcano: A new island in the making?
By Rob Hugh-Jones | The World and BBC News | Dec. 3
“An undersea volcano erupting just south of Spain’s Canary Islands may be the beginnings of a new island, or an extension to an existing one. For some, it’s a colourful spectacle — for others a major blow to their livelihood.”

2. Martin Scorsese’s greatest movies
By Matt Zoller Seitz | Salon | Dec. 3
“‘Raging Bull’s’ a contender, and ‘Taxi Driver.’ Which other films round out the iconic director’s best?”

3. Dreaming May Help Relieve a Bad Day
My HealthNewsDaily | Nov. 23
“The results show that during nighttime dreaming, also known as REM sleep, the brain processes emotional experiences in a ‘safe’ environment, or one in which stress chemicals are low. This processing may take the emotional edge off of difficult memories, the researchers said.”

4. Candy, cash — al-Qaida implants itself in Africa
By Rukmini Callimachi and Martin Vogl | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“The terrorist group has create a refuge in this remote land through a strategy of winning hearts and minds, described in rare detail by seven locals in regular contact with the cell.”

5. Bachmann, from Waterloo to White House contender
By Adam Geller | Associated Press | Dec. 3
“The choreographed repetition of modern presidential campaigns can turn the most personable candidate into an endless loop of talking points. But any close observer of Bachmann’s political career would be hard-pressed to dismiss her as two-dimensional.”

6. Plastic Bag Bans Spreading Across The United States
By Jordan Howard | The Huffington Post | Dec. 1
“Four cities in Oregon — Eugene, Corvallis, Newport and Ashland — are considering banning plastic bags at retail stores. The towns would join at least 10 other U.S. cities and counties that have prohibited plastic bags since 2008.”

7. Interesting readers, as well as writers
By Sarah Sweeney | Harvard Gazette | Dec. 1
“Book focuses on leading authors and the books they love”

8. Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name
By Amy Chozick | The New York Times | Dec. 3
“Her move to television was a career shift she initiated, having her close advisers arrange interviews with top network executives and at one point working with the powerful Creative Artists Agency.”

9. Which Faulkner Novels Should HBO Adapt?
By David Haglund | Browbeat :: Slate | Dec. 2
“Clearly this is a question for true Faulkner aficionados, so I posed it to a handful of writers who know his work intimately—starting with a novelist who’s no slouch himself when it comes to literary adaptations.”

10. Rise of the girl gangs
By Brad Hamilton | The New York Post | Dec. 3
“As ‘crews’ proliferate in New York’s housing projects, officials worry about the increasing brutality of all-female wolfpacks”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY Donna Summer
2. POSSESSION Sarah McLachlan
3. ELSEWHERE (The Freedom Sessions) Sarah McLachlan
4. EROTICA Madonna
5. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS Foreigner
6. WAIT (The Whisper Song) Ying Yang Twins
7. KILOMETER Sebastien Tellier
8. THE ORBITING SUNS Jens Gad
9. PUNCH DRUNK Sade
10. LINGER The Cranberries

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Today’s intellectuals … Herman Cain fallout … Hating while bored … The new YouTube … Latin America’s new alliance.

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. The Literary Cubs
By Alex Williams | The New York Times | Nov. 30
“Fueled by B.Y.O.B. bourbon, impressive degrees and the angst that comes with being young and unmoored, members spend their hours filling the air with talk of Edmund Wilson and poststructuralism.”

2. Grudge Lust
By Elizabeth Greenwood | The New Inquiry | Nov. 23
“Sometimes, especially in arduous and boring times, like a long flight or a dull class, I will pick someone out of a crowd to be my nemesis. My nemeses need not have harmed me, per se, but she or he will be selected for some ghastly, unforgivable trait.”

3. 10 political lessons from Herman Cain’s campaign
Naked Politics :: The Miami Herald | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain’s campaign is gone, but the political takeaways live on”

4. YouTube Gets Its Biggest Makeover Ever, Becomes More Google-Like
By Chris Taylor | Mashable Tech | Dec. 1
“So what’s the change all about? One word: channels. The world’s most popular online video service now sees itself as a descendent of cable TV, with millions of channels rather than hundreds — and it’s doing its darndest to encourage you to use it that way.”

5. Dear Important Novelists: Be Less Like Moses and More Like Howard Cosell
By Dwight Garner | The New York Times Magazine | Sept. 16
“It’s worth suggesting, though, that something more meaningful may be going on here; these long spans between books may indicate a desalinating tidal change in the place novelists occupy in our culture.”

6. Herman Cain Exits
By Amy Davidson | Close Read :: The New Yorker | Dec. 3
“Really, we promise — we’ll manage. Cain suspending his campaign means that we will no longer have to suspend our disbelief about the seriousness of his candidacy, or about what’s become of our political culture.”

7. Understanding the Battle Over Texas Redistricting
By Justin Dehn and Thanh Tan | The Texas Tribune | Dec. 2
“Months after the Legislature established its maps, it’s still not clear who Texans will be voting for in next year’s congressional and state House and Senate races. The Trib’s Thanh Tan and Ross Ramsey explain why.”

8. How Herman Cain benefits from dropping out: Money and political power
By Brad Knickerbocker | The Christian Science Monitor | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain may no longer be a presidential candidate, but he doesn’t need to sulk. His promise to endorse one of the other candidates means political power, and his books and other endeavors will bring him more money.”

9. Chavez lauds new Latin American alliance
Al Jazeera | Dec. 3
“Venezuelan president, battling cancer, appears energetic at founding of 33-member bloc meant to counter United States.”

10. Susan Wallace
Civil War Women Blog | Nov. 28
“Susan Arnold Elston Wallace was an American author and poet and wife of Civil War soldier and author Lew Wallace.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. OH SWEET NUTHIN’ The Velvet Underground
2. THE TRUTH Handsome Boy Modeling School
3. I’LL TAKE YOU THERE The Staple Singers
4. WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE Domaje
5. WHIPPING POST The Allman Brothers Band
6. THIS NIGHT Black Lab
7. GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE Elbow
8. I’LL FLY AWAY Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
9. ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD Paul Simon
10. ELECTRIC CITY Black Eyed Peas