Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Are you boring / Stalemated Afghan War / More U.S. muscle in Mideast / The Dark Knight philosophy / Wisdom from Michael Caine

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. Romney’s real problem
By Fareed Zakaria | Global Public Square :: CNN | Jan. 11
“In 2011-2012, we’ve learned that the tea party’s passion was not enough to change the Republican Party. However, something else is changing the party, and you can see it in the attack ads Romney’s opponents are running against him.”

2. U.S. intelligence report on Afghanistan sees stalemate
By Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud | The Los Angeles Times | Jan. 11
“The sobering judgments in a classified National Intelligence Estimate appear at odds with recent optimistic statements about the war by Pentagon officials.”

3. U.S. boosts its military presence in Persian Gulf
By David S. Cloud | The Los Angeles Times | Jan. 12
“Additional troops and warships are in place in the event a crisis erupts in the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, officials say.”

4. The Dark Knight Philosophizes?
By Forrest Wickman | Browbeat :: Slate | Jan. 5
“The films of Christopher Nolan, including his Batman trilogy, have always been more philosophical than your standard popcorn fare. But … The Dark Knight Rises may be the caped crusader’s thinkiest adventure yet.”

5. Fed’s image tarnished by newly released documents
By Zachary A. Goldfarb | The Washington Post | Jan. 12
“On Thursday, the Fed released transcripts of its meetings in 2006, offering a new window into what was on the minds of some of the nation’s top economic and financial thinkers just ahead of the financial crisis and subsequent great recession. ”

6. At 75, Marion Barry gears up for another campaign
By Ben Nuckols | Associated Press | Jan. 5
“He goes so far as to predict his victory margin in Ward 8, the neighborhood east of the Anacostia River where he remains popular, saying he’ll capture at least 70 percent in the April Democratic primary.”

7. This much I know
By John Hind | The Guardian | September 2009
“Michael Caine, actor, London”

8. Eight Tips to Know If You’re Being Boring
By Gretchen Rubin | Psychology Today | December 2009
“Although it sounds rude, interruption is actually a good sign”

9. Mental Melodies
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | March 2010
“Why do I find some of the melodic themes ‘playing’ in my mind for several days after a concert?”

10. You-Boat
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | September 2011
“Can you buy your own submarine?”