Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Fight over Amazon / Appreciating gravity / Obama’s 2012 issues / The pizza-sized burger / Embracing sex

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. Saving the Amazon, from forest floor up
By Bradley Brooks | Associated Press | Dec. 11
“Just three years ago, the manmade fires here were so fierce smoke would blot out the Amazon sky, turning the days dark. Towering rainforest trees exploded in flames, their canopies cleared to let pasture grow for cattle.”

2. Gravity: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone
LiveScience | May 2011
“Here on Earth, we take gravity so for granted that it took an apple falling from a tree to trigger Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation. But gravity, which draws objects together in proportion to their mass, is about much more than fallen fruit.”

3. Obama decides high-profile issues ahead of 2012
By Erica Werner | Associated Press | Dec. 10
“On issues from air pollution to contraception, President Barack Obama has broken sharply with liberal activists and come down on the side of business interests and social conservatives as he moves more to the political middle for his re-election campaign.”

4. The First Taste Test: Burger King’s Pizza-Sized Burger
By Patrick St. Michel | Esquire | Dec. 9
“Half of the hulking sandwich gets done up like a regular Whopper; for the other half, customers can select a ‘fresh avocado’ or ‘cheese nacho’ variation.”

5. Why Russia’s Post-Putin Future May Not Be Democratic
By Paul Starobin | The New Republic | Dec. 12
“Vladimir Putin, rather suddenly, is shifting from Good Czar to Bad Czar in the minds of the Russian people.”

6. Q&A: Taking Action on Google+
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Aug. 22
“Q: If I block someone on Google+, can that person still see the things I post?”

7. Flaws and All, Gingrich Says Life Is an Open Book
By Trip Gabriel | The New York Times | Dec. 11
“Gingrich’s skill in facing criticisms head-on — sometimes fiercely rebutting them, sometimes apologizing for past errors in judgment — has only swelled his support.”

8. Saudi Arabia: Woman Convicted Of ‘Sorcery’ Executed
Associated Press | Dec. 12
“Saudi authorities have executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery.”

9. Stop Making Sex Taboo
By Hugo Martins | The Good Men Project | Dec. 9
“Make it clear. Make it simple. Make it right.”

10. Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling
TED Talks | May 2011
“iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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