Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A president’s generals / Massacre’s secrets uncovered / Newton goes digital / GOP’s southern battles / Biden eyes 2016

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. Sir Isaac Newton’s Papers & Annotated Principia Go Digital
OpenCulture | Dec. 13
“The initial archive features 4,000 pages of scanned materials (roughly 20% of the complete Newton archive), and eventually Cambridge will add material from Charles Darwin, another famous alum, and other scientific figures.”

2. MIT researchers unravel the physics of how cats drink
By Carolyn Y. Johnson | The Green Blog :: The Boston Globe | Nov. 11
“Dogs take a straightforward approach, using their tongues as ladles to literally scoop water into their mouths. Cats, on the other hand, solve a delicate physics, fluid mechanics, and engineering problem with every gulp.”

3. The South is up for grabs
By Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin | Politico | Dec. 12
“Republican presidential nominations have traditionally been forged here — in South Carolina, especially — and any successful challenger to Mitt Romney would most likely have to dominate among heavily conservative, evangelical Southern voters.”

4. The President and the Generals
By Richard A. Clarke | The New York Times | Dec. 12
“History provides ample evidence of bad judgment on the part of American military commanders, and some of our best presidents have had the courage to overrule them.”

5. Biden 2016?
By Byron Tau | Politco 44 :: Politico | Dec. 14
“Vice President Biden — who ran for president in 1988 and 2008 — refused to rule out a run when asked, telling NBC’s ‘Today’ show recently that ‘I’m never ready to close the door on anything.’ ”

6. Q&A: Defending Your PC Online
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 26
“Q: Does antivirus software protect my PC from hackers?”

7. Talking to Parents About Fat Babies
By Anahad O’Connor | Well :: The New York Times | Dec. 12
“Obesity in teenagers and adolescents is a major concern for pediatricians. But the discussion gets tricky when it turns to a weight crisis in infants.”

8. Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq
By Michael S. Schmidt | The New York Times | Dec. 14
“The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq.”

9. Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits
TED Talks | May 2011
“When she was 19, Amy Purdy lost both her legs below the knee. And now … she’s a pro snowboarder.”

10. Yuri Gagarin
Witness :: BBC News | April 12
“The young cosmonaut became a hero around the world and a poster boy for Soviet technological achievement.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Less marriage / Buttercups’ secret / Facebook targets suicidal intent / Ongoing Iran war / Social media myths

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. Married couples at a record low
By Carol Morello | The Washington Post | Dec. 13
“Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on the brink of becoming a minority, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census statistics. …”

2. The Buck Stops Here: $1 Coins to Be Curtailed
By Jefrey Sparshott | The Wall Street Journal | Dec. 13
“More than 40% of the coins that are minted are returned to the government unwanted, the Treasury said. The rest apparently sit in vending machines — one of the few places they are widely used — or in the drawers of coin collectors.”

3. Secret to Buttercups’ Yellow Spotlight Revealed
By Wynne Parry | LiveScience | Dec. 13
“Children have long known that if you hold a little buttercup flower under your chin on a sunny day, the underside of your chin will be bathed in a yellow light.”

4. Hope in a Sea of Dictatorship
By Ahmed Rashid | NYR Blog :: The New York Review of Books | Dec. 13
“One of the uncomfortable results of Pakistan’s late November decision to close down US and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan is that it has forced Washington to rely more on the Central Asian countries that border Afghanistan to the north.”

5. Facebook offers counselling to suicidal users
By Emma Barnett | The Telegraph | Dec. 13
“Facebook has launched a new initiative which will allow those users with suicidal thoughts instant access to crisis counsellors via its instant messenger service.”

6. Iran war: Has it already begun?
By Noga Tarnopoisky | GlobalPost | Dec. 12
“Analysts say the war with Iran began years ago, and is now reaching its apex.”

7. Rives: A story of mixed emoticons
TED Talks | Feb. 2008
“Rives tells a typographical fairy tale that’s short and bittersweet ;)”

8. Five myths about social media
By Ramesh Srinivasan | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Sept. 15
Myth 1: “Social media gives power to the people”

9. Civil War women: Anna Surratt
Civil War Women Blog | Sept. 4
“Anna Surratt is remembered chiefly for her heartbreaking efforts to save her mother from being hanged by the U.S. government. After the guilty verdict, a tearful Anna tried to see President Andrew Johnson at the White House to plead for her mother’s life, but she was prevented from doing so.”

10. Waco siege
Witness :: BBC News | April 19
“In 1993, around 80 people died in the fire that ended the siege at the headquarters of a Christian cult in Waco, Texas.”