Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Surprise Google street views / Man stays in motel with corpse / Spanking children / ‘Downton’ creator on the end / Obama’s secret army

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. U.S. Special Ops Forces Killed in African Spy Plane Crash
By Spencer Ackerman | Danger Room :: Wired | Feb. 20
“Four Air Force Special Operators on a spy mission over east Africa died when their U-28 plane crashed as it was returning to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. It’s another reminder of the hidden costs of the U.S.’ expanding shadow wars in Africa.”

2. The street views Google wasn’t expecting you to see — in pictures
The Guardian | Feb. 20
“Artist Jon Rafman’s photo project The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, named after the nine lenses mounted on a Google Street View car, collects the strange and beautiful images they capture by accident from around the world.”

3. Man Stayed In Motel Room With Girlfriend’s Corpse For 2 Days
The Huffington Post | Feb. 20
“A suburban Chicago man faces several felony charges after allegedly staying in a Joliet, Ill. motel room with his dead girlfriend’s corpse for two days — and buying alcohol with her money instead of immediately notifying authorities.”

4. US Interventions in the World since WWII
By Juan Cole | Informed Comment | Feb. 20
An interactive graphic explores the dozens of incidents since the Cold War began.

5. Spanking may worsen a child’s aggression
By Deborah Kotz | The Boston Globe | Feb. 13
“As the mother of two sons, I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to break up one of their physical fights with a smack on their bottoms. I’ve been able to hold myself back, and that’s likely a good thing. …”

6. Julian Fellowes Overcomes His Scruples and Looks Back at Season 2 of ‘Downton Abbey’
By Dave Itzkoff | ArtsBeat :: The New York Times | Feb. 19
“[He] spoke about the many story lines at play in Season 2; the American television series he is influenced by; and when, if ever, ‘Downton Abbey’ might come to a conclusion.”

7. WikiLeaks, a Postscript
By Bill Keller | The New York Times | Feb. 19
“It was a hell of a story and a wild collaboration, but it did not herald, as the documentarians yearn to believe, some new digital age of transparency. In fact, if there is a larger point, it is quite the contrary.”

8. In ‘Downton Abbey,’ a Glimpse of Texas’ Energy Future
By Terrence Henry | The Texas Tribune | Feb. 20
“While dealing with the intricacies and politics of inheritance, servile romance and afternoon tea, the characters of the show also have to adapt to a time of rapid innovation.”

9. Navy SEALs: Obama’s Secret Army
By Daniel Klaidman | The Daily Beast | Feb. 20
“At a time when many Americans think their government is inept, the ‘Special Operators’ get the job done. Just ask the President, who is doubling down on the Navy SEALs.”

10. Making History: Christopher Heaney
By Jen Eckel | Not Even Past | Feb. 7
“In the interview, Christopher tells us about how he stumbled upon Hiram Bingham, the subject of his undergraduate thesis and first book, and how he combined his love of archaeology and history to become a historian of Latin American history.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CHASE Jan Hammer
2. ONE MORE NIGHT Phil Collins
3. GOD MOVING OVER THE FACE OF THE WATERS Moby
4. THE TALK Jan Hammer
5. THE BOYS OF SUMMER Don Henley
6. VOICES Russ Ballard
7. DRIVE The Cars
8. YOU BELONG TO THE CITY Glenn Frey
9. EVAN Jan Hammer
10. DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER Crowded House

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Solar tornadoes / The Mile High Club / Handsome presidents / Romney’s Hoover curse / An animated Robert Johnson

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. Tornado Season on the Sun?
VideoFromSpace | Feb. 14
“For a 30 hour spell (Feb 7-8, 2012) the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured plasma caught in a magnetic dance across the Sun’s surface. The results closely resemble extreme tornadic activity on Earth.”

2. Wendell Pierce Goes to Market
By Elizabeth Gettelman | Mother Jones | January/February 2012
“The ‘Treme’ and ‘The Wire’ actor on his career, launching a supermarket chain in New Orleans, and why Americans shy away from reality on television.”

3. Flamingo Air, Cincinnati Airline, Offers Mile High Sex To Customers
The Huffington Post | Feb. 16
“The airline, started by a group of pilot friends who dared each other that they couldn’t get one couple to pay for a mid-air romp, is now a successful airline that takes people into the sky and lets them get it on.”

4. The Man on Mao’s Right, at the Center of History
By David Barboza | The New York Times | Feb. 17
“But his language skills helped shape negotiations during one of the most important diplomatic missions of the past half-century.”

5. Creatures of the deep: terrifying macro pictures of polychaetes or bristle worms
The Telegraph | Feb. 19
“These tiny monsters may look like they are from another planet but they are in fact creatures from our deepest oceans.”

6. Our most handsome presidents
Lapham’s Quarterly | Feb. 20
TR wasn’t too bad looking when he was at Harvard.

7. Can Romney Break the Hoover Curse?
By Abby Ohlheiser | Slate | Feb. 20
“Americans haven’t put a successful CEO in office since 1928. If Romney is to end the drought, he’ll want to avoid appearing to be the second coming of our worst president.”

8. The women of the Mercury era
Mercury 13 | February 2012
“[Twenty-five] women, narrowed down to 13, who participated in and passed the very same physical and psychological tests that determined the original astronauts. ”

9. Three Science-Based Sex Tips for the Emotionally Intelligent Gentleman
By Jeremy Adam Smith | Good Men Project | Feb. 14
“From zebras to astronauts, Jeremy Adam Smith looked to science for some sex advice.”

10. The Legend of Bluesman Robert Johnson Animated
Open Culture | May 2011
“During his short life (1911-1938), Johnson recorded 29 individual songs. But they could not have been more influential.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. HOY TENEMOS (Boyz from Brazil remix) Sidestepper
2. EL CUARTO DE TULA Buena Vista Social Club
3. SONEROS EN UNA CESTA Cesta All Stars
4. MECANICA DE AMOR Mi Son
5. UNA MUJER EN MI VIDA Ramito
6. VOLVER A VERTE Oscar DeLeon
7. CANDELA Buena Vista Social Club
8. BESAME MAMA Poncho Sanchez & Mongo Santamaria
9. EL CAMISON DE PEPA Compay Segundo
10. BABARABATIRI Tito Puente