Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Old Tippecanoe / The Obama transformation / Goodbye to military meat / Date nights / What your bad dog ate

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. Commander in Chief: For 31 Days
By Gail Collins | Command Post | Feb. 9
“William Henry Harrison arrived in Washington to huge crowds and a snowstorm on February 9, his sixty-eighth birthday.”

2. The political transformation of Barack Obama
By Jim Vandehei | Politico | Feb. 9
“It’s debatable whether Obama is more crudely political than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan. But what’s transpired over the past several weeks isn’t debatable: He’s made a series of calculated, overtly political gestures that are far more transactional than transformational.”

3. Life in Antarctic lake? It’s everywhere else
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“If scientists find microbes in a frigid lake two miles beneath the thick ice of Antarctica, it will illustrate once again that somehow life finds a way to survive in the strangest and harshest places. And it will offer hope that life exists beyond Earth.”

4. Hold the mystery meat: Military food gets upgrade
By Nancy Benac | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“Hold the mystery meat: Military bases will soon be serving more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dishes under the first program in 20 years to improve nutrition standards across the armed services.”

5. Date Nights: They Make Your Marriage Work
By Tamy Nelson | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“But dates don’t have to be complicated; in fact, some of my suggestions for dates may surprise you.”

6. The FBI files of the rich and famous
By Daniel Nasaw | BBC News Magazine | Feb. 9
“The FBI has released its investigative file on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Who else did its agents keep tabs on, and why?”

7. Sh*t My Pets Ruined
By Katia McGlynn | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“Anyone who’s ever come home to find food, furniture, shoes or other household items destroyed by a pet knows it’s a conflicting feeling.”

8. Galveston Makes Lemonade
By Sonia Smith | Texas Monthly | February 2012
“After the island lost more than 35,000 trees to Hurricane Ike, a group of artists carved 35 stumps into beautiful and intricate sculptures.”

9. Rereading: The Tunnel by Ernesto Sábato
By Colm Toibin | The Guardian | May 21
“The Argentinian writer’s work explored his country’s darkest days and helped to bring the military regime to account”

10. Five myths about why the South seceded
By James W. Loewen | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Feb. 25
“As the nation begins to commemorate the anniversaries of the war’s various battles — from Fort Sumter to Appomattox — let’s first dispense with some of the more prevalent myths about why it all began.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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