Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Guide to pliars / True sexuality in film / Dems fundraising / Zuckerberg still the boss / A Watergate reunion

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. The Skin Storm: Sex In Great & Meager Film
By David D. Robbins Jr. | The Fade Out | Feb. 2
“Is there a film that encompasses the erotic, the rich tapestry of thought, the complexity and introspective nature of it all?”

2. Pliers: A Modern Man’s Guide to Tools
By Jesse Stern | Primer | February 2012
“While man was blessed with nimbler, stronger gripping hands than most animals, they’re not quite small, or strong, enough for many jobs around the house. Enter: pliers.”

3. Dems outraised GOP majority in 2011
By Alex Isenstadt | Politico | Feb. 2
“Republicans aren’t panicking yet. Independent analysts estimate that if the election were held today, Democrats would be far short of winning the 25 seats they need to retake the House.”

4. Zuckerberg Remains the Undisputed Boss at Facebook
By Somini Sengupta | The New York Times | Feb. 2
“Zuckerberg’s success is an object lesson in what works in crowded, competitive Silicon Valley: Remain in charge, stave off potential predators and expand the company so quickly that no one can challenge the boss.”

5. The Storytellers of Empire
By Kamila Shamsie | Guernica | February 2012
“Captivated by an image of an atom bomb falling on Japan, Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie asks American writers why, ‘Your soldiers will come to our lands, but your novelists won’t.’ ”

6. John Dean has unexpected Watergate reunion at Nixon Library
The Reliable Source :: The Washington Post | Feb. 1
“John Dean was in Southern California for a legal symposium when he and a friend decided to check out the library’s exhibits. ”

7. A Symbol of Democracy Is Criticized as Undemocratic
By A.G. Sulzberger | The New York Times | Feb. 2
“Those in favor of the caucus format, in which party members typically attend meetings at a set time to vote, are worried that additional problems will further undermine a traditional system that has been in declining use, as more states move to the comparative convenience and reliability of a primary.”

8. The 9/11 decade
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“A special three-part series taking an in-depth look at the post 9/11 ‘war on terror’ ”

9. This much I know: America Ferrera
By Megan Conner | The Observer | November 2011
“Actress America Ferrera on the origins of her name and what follows Ugly Betty

10. The Big Sleep
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | December 2011
“Ever since childhood, I have needed more sleep than most. Why do some people need so much more sleep than others?”

Videos I Love: ‘Life is short. Let’s play a song’

If I have any friends left when I die, perhaps they’ll sing this for me.

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.

The season premiere of one of my favorite TV shows, “Treme,” was recently delayed until fall 2012.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from the heartbreaking series. A guitar player has been killed, and his friends gather to remember him in the only way they know how. If I have any friends left when I die, perhaps they’ll sing this for me.

Don’t fight back the tears.

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Advice for Facebook millionaires / New crocodile species / TV and iPad / The cruise liner treasure chest / Fall of Singapore

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.

1. Advice to new Facebook millionaires: take a breath
By Jennifer Hoyt Cummings | Reuters | Feb. 2
“The first thing the 1,000 or so new post-IPO Facebook millionaire employees might need: a reality check.”

2. Obama uses Jesus as justification for taxing the rich
By Talia Ralph | Global Post | Feb. 2
“At the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama said that his tax policy proposals are shaped by his religious beliefs.”

3. Enormous, shielded crocodile species discovered
By Josh Berlinger | Africa Emerges :: Global Post | Feb. 2
“A unique crocodile fossil is found to be that of a new, gargantuan species nicknamed ‘Shieldcroc’ ”

4. Blurring the Line Between iPad and TV
By Nick Wingfield | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Feb. 2
“[A] lot of Web video viewing is the entertainment equivalent of snacking — bite-sized sessions that last no more than a few minutes a day. … A San Francisco start-up called Remixation is trying to change that …”

5. Five Luxury Items You Will (Probably) Never Own
By Michael Carl | Carl’s Crush :: Vanity Fair | Feb. 2
“This list is all about things that will make you feel like a kid again — even if you’ll never get to own them.”

6. From shipwreck in Italy, a treasure now beckons
By Vanessa Gera | Associated Press | Feb. 2
“It may be just a matter of time before treasure hunters set their sights on the sunken spoils of the Costa Concordia, which had more than 4,200 people on board.”

7. This much I know: Tony Blair
By Tim Adams | The Observer | June 2011
“The envoy and politician, 58, on not being prime minister, reading the Qur’an every day and his personal wealth”

8. Fighting in the Fifth Dimension
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“Innovations in technology are changing the tactics of modern-day conflict, turning the cyberworld into a new frontline.”

9. A Matter of Time
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | December 2011
“I just noticed that my cholesterol-lowering prescription says it should be taken at bedtime, and I have always taken it in the morning. Does this reduce its effectiveness? Why does time of day matter for a once-a-day medication?”

10. Fall of Singapore
Witness :: BBC News | February 2011
“The fall of Singapore was one of the most serious losses suffered by the Allies during World War II. One British survivor of that battle tells his story.”

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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. Wiser Time — Revolution 09
2. Midnight Blues Band — Mercury Blues
3. Susan Tedeschi — Theres A Break In The Road
4. Chris Juergensen — Long Time Wondering
5. Paul Thorn — Crutches
6. Tinsely Ellis — Left Of Your Mind
7. Rick Huckaby — Can’t Miss Kid
8. Chris Rea — Lone Star Boogie
9. Rob Allen — Rainbow Blues
10. Robert Earl Keen — That Buckin’ Song
11. George Thorogood — Boogie Chillun
12. Van Wilks — Long Way To Crawl
13. Mick Fleetwood Blues Band — Rollin’ Man, Bayou Queen
14. Creed Williams — Finally Down