Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Snowflake secrets / Shirttail tips / Touch your true self / Viagra in a condom / 1998 embassy bombings

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. An expert’s take on snowflakes
By Amina Khan | Los Angles Times | Dec. 23
“Each one is different, but Caltech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht explains why there’s even more variety than we might imagine.”

2. Style Q&A: How Long Should the Front be of an Untucked Button Up Shirt?
By Grant Harris | The Primer | December 2011
“The most versatile button up shirt can be worn both tucked in and untucked. But with different lengths and cuts, it can be hard to tell if a shirt fits untucked.”

3. The Four I’s
By Jeremy Sherman | Psychology Today | September 2010
“The idea of getting in touch with one’s true self has become a joke, mostly because people who pledged to do so back in the 1980s were too earnest, and, well, out of touch.”

4. Ranked: Every Saturday Night Live Cast Member Ever, From Worst to Best
By Phil Nugent | Nerve | Dec. 19
“A highly scientific survey that will surely lead to no disagreements.”

5. Durex’s new ‘Viagra in a condom’ helps put lead in your pencil
By Jeff Mills | Nerve | Dec. 8
“The gel, or ‘erectogenic compound,’ from U.K. drugmaker Futura, is based on the chemical nitroglycerin, and boosts blood flow in the penis (and hopefully bedroom spirits).”

6. Will China Dominate Solar Power Forever?
Big Think | Dec. 21
“China’s ability to scale solar power production, thanks to enormous factories and a streamlined process of approving their construction, has made it the world’s leading producer.”

7. A Charley Horse in Bed
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | June 2009
“Why does one get muscle cramps while sleeping or resting?”

8. Can You Get a Good Night’s Rest in Your Airplane Seat?
By Forrest Wickman | Explainer :: Slate | Nov. 23
“The science of sit-sleep”

9. The Polyamorous Transman Getting It On to the Glee Soundtrack
Daily Intel :: New York Magazine | March 14
“Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek behind doors left slightly ajar. This week, the Polyamorous Transman Getting It On to the Glee Soundtrack: transman, 26, performance poet, Prospect Heights, in a polyamorous relationship with a primary partner.”

10. Al-Qaeda 1998 Embassy Bombings in Africa
Witness :: BBC News | May 3
“We remember the day in 1998 when al-Qaeda bombed America’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and hear the harrowing testimony of a man who was blinded for life in one of the blasts.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. PROTECTION Massive Attack
2. SLIP INTO SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE Kinobe
3. THE SWEETEST TABOO Sade
4. GOOD ENOUGH (The Freedom Sessions) Sarah McLachlan
5. CLIMBING UP THE WALLS Radiohead
6. ELSEWHERE Sarah McLachlan
7. ONLY LOVE Chris Coco
8. FEVER Peggy Lee
9. THE LOOK OF LOVE Susanna Hoffs
10. LOVER (Darkhorse remix) Sr Mandril

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Math gender gap / Herringbone sportcoats / Artistic genius / Stopping college suicide / Why balloons?

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. ID errors put hundreds in L.A. County jails
By Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard | Los Angeles Times | Dec. 25
“Wrongful incarcerations totaled 1,480 in the last five years, a Times inquiry finds.”

2. Martin Sheen, Family (Filmmaking) Man
By Melena Ryzik | Carpetbagger :: The New York Times | Dec. 20
“I’m not a student of politics. I played a politician. I have no interest in politics.”

3. Anything Boys Can Do…
By Sharon Begley | The New Republic | Dec. 26
“Biology may play only a minor role in the math gender gap”

4. The Casual Herringbone Sportcoat
By Grant Harris | The Primer | November 2011
“Herringbone is one of the safest ways to go for guys who are wary of getting too busy with patterns.”

5. Why Mozart Rocks So Hard. Artistic Genius Explained
By Megan Erickson | Big Think | Dec. 20
“Why is ‘The Magic Flute’ so enduring, while other classical compositions have been forgotten?”

6. Colleges and suicide threats: when to call home?
By Justin Pope | Associated Press | Dec. 26
“The issue of when colleges should notify parents their adult children may be suicidal remains fraught with legal, medical and ethical dilemmas. College policies, state laws and professional codes of conduct vary widely – and occasionally conflict.”

7. Birds of a Feather
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | June 2009
“How do birds know which species they are? That is, how do they recognize one another so they can flock together?”

8. Pakistan: The New Radicals
By Oliver Englehart | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Ali Abbas travels around Pakistan tackling fanaticism, but can he make a difference?”

9. This Party’s Blowin’ Up
By Forrest Wickman | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 13
“Why do we celebrate with balloons?”

10. Chanel No. 5
Witness :: BBC News | May 24
“In 1921 the most famous perfume ever, was launched in France.”

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TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Rob Paparozzi — She’s Too Good For Me
2. WSNB — True Love
3. Mr. TBA — Dirty Dog
4. Pat Green — Somewhere Between Texas & Mexico
5. Daddy Long Legs — Use Me
6. Gary Moore — Still Got The Blues For You
7. Bob Segar — Come to Papa
8. Tinsley Ellis — Grow a Pair
9. Kevin Ball — On the Streets of Mexico
10. Coco Montoya — Same Dog
11. Stevie Ray Vaughan — Superstition
12. The Homemade Jamz Blues Band — Hard Headed Woman
13. Rick Fowler — Walk Softly

Videos I Love: Happy baby

They reassure us that we inspire passionate love, keep us warm on cold nights, and refuse to let us fall flaccid into a doomed sedentary existence.

I’m occasionally sharing some light thoughts on a few videos that make me smile, make me think, or preferably do both. Read more from this special series here.

They’re always elated to see you — maybe not for the reasons we tell ourselves. Their little paws melt our self-deluded hearts. They reassure us that we inspire passionate love, keep us warm on cold nights, and refuse to let us fall flaccid into a doomed sedentary existence. Puppies — what would we do without your wet noses, floppy ears, dark loving eyes and little pink toes?

Embedding for this video was recently disabled, so check it out here.