Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Romney’s way / The sexual marriage / The Mexican crimefighter / Fear of divorce / Mistletoe’s secrets

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. No votes, but things seem to be going Romney’s way
By Steve Peoples | Associated Press | Dec. 21
“[H]is preferred scenario is looking more plausible now, thanks to Ron Paul’s helpful ascent, Newt Gingrich’s slide and fractures among conservatives who have not rallied behind an alternative to Romney.”

2. Sex And Marriage: The Secret To Better Sex With Your Spouse
By Margaret Paul | The Huffington Post | Dec. 20
“Love-making in long-term relationships is the result of loving energy flowing between two people. If something is blocking this loving energy, the sexual energy between them often gets blocked as well.”

3. iProtest
By James Leong and Lynn Lee | Activate :: Al Jazeera | September 2011
“Activist Debby Chan takes on one of the world’s favourite brands in her fight for workers’ rights.”

4. A Crime Fighter Draws Plaudits, and Scrutiny
By Damien Cave | The New York Times | Dec. 23
“Like a boxer or wrestler, he treats his tough-guy image as a necessary tactic. In Tijuana, he punched a dead cartel gunman in the face as bystanders watched.”

5. Is Fear of Divorce Keeping People from Getting Married?
By Belinda Luscombe | Healthland :: Time | Dec. 22
“A new study suggests that young cohabiting couples are saying ‘I don’t’ so as to avoid the heavy toll of divorce”

6. Using Gmail’s Canned Responses
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 2
“If you are tired of sending out the same e-mail response from your Gmail account … the Canned Responses feature from Gmail Labs can save some time and typing”

7. What’s the Deal With Mistletoe?
By Christopher Beam | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 14
“How the plant came to be associated with Christmas kissing”

8. Sinaloa cartel OK’s Mexico’s newest drug ballads
By Galia Garcia-Palafox | Associated Press | Dec. 21
“The songs are filled with unusually explicit lyrics about decapitations and torture, and praise for one drug gang in particular: the Sinaloa cartel and its bosses, Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada and Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.”

9. My too-demanding overseas job makes me want to go home
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“There are so many things I want to do but haven’t done yet in the country where I live and work now, so I’m reluctant to leave everything behind. As a result, I feel mortified about using my sickness as an excuse to go back to Japan, and can’t forgive myself. What should I do? ”

10. The destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan
Witness :: BBC News | March 22
“When the Taleban were in control of Afghanistan they decreed that the largest standing statues of Buddha in the world were un-Islamic. It took them several weeks to destroy them using high explosives.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. NADIE LLORE Pepe Castillo & Cuatromania
2. JONNY’S BUGALU Grupo X
3. LA NATURALEZA Ismael Miranda & Andrés Jiménez
4. MENTIROSA Louie Ramirez & Ray de la Paz
5. BALCON DE SANTIAGO Compay Segundo
6. MALAGUENA SALEROSA Chingon
7. EL WATUSI Ray Barretto
8. JUVENTUD DEL PRESENTE Tito Puente
9. GUAGUANCO CALLEJERO Ibrahim Ferrer
10. TUMBAO PA’CHANGUITO Orlando “Maraca” Valle

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Holiday wisdom / USS Iowa’s new home / A beautiful comet / Take time for Timeline / Occupy’s disappointment

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. A Sinverguenza Holiday Guide: Gifts, Resolutions and Lessons
By El Guapo | NewsTaco | Dec. 22
“Be forewarned — buy chones that are too big and you think she’s fat. Buy them too small and you’re saying that’s the size she should be. It’s like Russian roulette without the empty chamber.”

2. WWII battleship USS Iowa nearing final voyage
Associated Press | Dec. 22
“The last surviving World War II battleship without a home is docked at the Port of Richmond, where it is being prepared for its journey to the Port of Los Angeles for a new mission as a museum and memorial to Navy might.”

3. Turkey’s Biodiversity, at Risk Yet Largely Ignored
By Jim Robbins | Green :: The New York Times | Dec. 22
“A new paper by biologists in Turkey and the United States warns that while Turkey’s rich biodiversity is unique and globally important, it remains poorly researched and faces growing threats, especially from development.”

4. The Most Amazing View of a Comet Ever
By Brent Rose | Gizmodo | Dec. 22
“When you see someone who’s constantly seeing wondrous things filled with awe, there’s something very special about it.”

5. Why Don’t They Sell Eggnog Year-Round?
By Matthew S. Schwartz | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 22
“People only buy it when it’s cold outside.”

6. Thinner brains may be more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease
By Karen Kaplan | Booster Shots :: The Los Angeles Times | Dec. 21
“A new study from the journal Neurology reports that an ‘AD signature’ can predict which people with normal brain function are most likely to suffer cognitive decline in the relatively near future.”

7. Christmas, Inc: American trees take over Mexico
By Ioan Grillo | GlobalPost | Dec. 20
“This holiday season alone, more than a million trees have been imported over the Rio Grande to decorate homes celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Mexico’s Environment Department reported.”

8. Review: Take the time to curate Facebook Timeline
By Anick Jesdanun | Associated Press | Dec. 21
“Once you’re ready for Timeline, you have a week to airbrush your life before it replaces your current profile. That’s not a lot of time when you have (cough, cough) years of your life to go through.”

9. Occupy protests trigger envy, ire in Generation X
By Jennifer Peltz | Associated Press | Dec. 18
“The generation that gave the term ‘slacker’ new meaning is looking with measures of rivalry, regret and tart bewilderment at a movement its successor mobilized in the name of ‘the 99 percent.’ ”

10. Air strikes on Libya 1896
Witness :: BBC News | March 14
“They lasted for less than 12 minutes, but US air strikes against targets in Libya in April 1986, shook the country.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTASY Sarah McLachlan
2. VICTIM OF LOVE The Eagles
3. JET AIRLINER Steve Miller Band
4. THE WIND CRIES MARY Jimi Hendrix
5. SMALL TOWN Morcheeba
6. I AIN’T SUPERSTITIOUS Rod Stewart
7. TRINITY DUB Massive Attack & Mad Professor
8. MY CULTURE Maxi Jazz & Robbie Williams
9. FALLEN FROM GRACE Mark Lee Scott
10. DESPERADO The Eagles