Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Great iPhone apps / Smarties’ gadgets / Bachelor pad essentials / Writers’ libraries / Octopus intellect

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. Some New Little Treasures for the iPhone
By Bob Tedeschi | The New York Times | Dec. 21
“If you really want to turbocharge your device, combine these with last year’s picks. … Like last year’s list, this one includes many free picks.”

2. The Indispensable Gadgets of the World’s Smartest People
By Larry Greenemeier | Scientific American | Dec. 21
“We ask our board of advisers to choose the technologies that they could not live without.”

3. Nine Essentials for the Perfect Bachelor Pad
By Michael Carl | Carl’s Crush :: Vanity Fair | Dec. 21
“So here are the nine things you need to create the perfect apartment for ‘company’ (I’m trying to avoid saying ‘getting laid,’ O.K.?).”

4. Writers and Their Books: Inside Famous Authors’ Personal Libraries
By Maria Popova | The Atlantic | Dec. 21
“As a hopeless bibliophile, an obsessive lover of bookcases, and a chronic pursuer of voyeuristic peeks inside the minds of creators, I’m utterly spellbound by Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books — a vicarious journey into the personal libraries of thirteen favorite authors. …”

5. Trial of the Will
Vanity Fair | January 2012
“Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’ Oh, really?”

6. The Gulf War
By Raffi Khatchadourian | The New Yorker | March 14
“Were there any heroes in the BP oil disaster”

7. Deep Intellect
By Sy Montgomery | Orion Magazine | Nov./Dec. 2011
“Inside the mind of an octopus”

8. India, China Show Military Grit
By Nitin Gokhale | The Diplomat | Dec. 22
“The latest defense dialogue between the Chinese and Indian militaries had some constructive ideas for improving military ties. Can they follow through?”

9. Analysis: Republicans risk backlash in 2012
By Tim Reid | Reuters | Dec. 21
“This week’s tense standoff over how to extend payroll tax cuts for 160 million Americans offered an unflattering look at how conservative House Republicans occasionally have overreached in avoiding compromise, lawmakers, strategists and analysts say.”

10. Reagan assassination attempt
Witness :: BBC News | March 30
“On 30 March 1981, there was an attempt to assassinate the US President.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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