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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

March 27, 2012

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. Prominent Kuwaiti Muslim scholar says ‘freedom comes before Shariah’
Al Arabiya | March 25
“The scholar who said that it is liberals who eradicated slavery in Islam and not the Islamists, added, ‘A human being is free in his movements and where he wants to belong, and convictions are what move people, and not force. …’ ”

2. On-screen literary characters that worked, and ones that didn’t
By Mark Caro and Christopher Borrelli | Printers Row :: Chicago Tribune | March 25
“Here are some of our choices for on-screen literary characters that hit the mark, and others that definitely missed.”

3. Going To Church Linked With Better Mood, Study Finds
By Amanda L. Chan | The Huffington Post | March 25
“The researchers found that people who frequently attend church had 3.36 positive emotions a day, on average. However, the positive emotions among people who never go to church numbered 3.08 per day, on average.”

4. Chechen first lady unveils Islamic fashion in Dubai
AFP :: Al Arabiya | March 25
“Chechnya’s first lady, Medni Kadyrova, has displayed her Islamic fashion collection to a captivated audience in Dubai, faithful to the politics of her husband who has sought to impose Islamic dress codes in the Caucasus republic.”

5. Financial struggles common among military families
By Donna Gordon Blankinship | Associated Press | March 25
“While laws give active-duty soldiers extra combat pay, provide housing allowances and exempt them from taxes, experts say, families are straining under multiple deployments, frequent relocations and the difficulty spouses have in getting and keeping jobs in new cities.”

6. Mariana Trench: James Cameron completes record-breaking mission
By Ben Child | The Guardian | March 26
“Titanic director becomes first person to perform solo voyage to floor of seven-mile-deep canyon — the oceans’ deepest point.”

7. Low credit, no problem: Americans pile into junk
By Matthew Craft | Associated Press | March 25
“Stock prices have doubled in the past three years, and everyday investors keep pulling money out of stocks. But they’re happy to lend billions of dollars to companies with deep debts and embarrassing credit scores.”

8. Asteroid 2012 DA14 Won’t Kill Us (Yet), But Ought to Scare Us Into Action
By Daniel Honan | Big Think | March 7
“And yet, it will still be coming in way too close for comfort (17,000 miles away–closer than many orbiting satellites), and may hit us the next time around, in 2020, or on another orbit in the more distant future.”

9. A Passionate Persona Forged in a Brutal Defeat
By Katherine Q. Seelye | The Long Run :: The New York Times | March 16
“Rick Santorum’s prospects for re-election to the Senate were not rosy when friends and advisers urged him in 2005 not to risk making things worse.”

10. It’s a twice in a lifetime moment: the transit of Venus across the Sun
By Robin McKie | The Observer :: The Guardian | March 24
“On 6 June, an event that takes place only four times every two centuries will enthral the world’s astronomers, as it has ever since the 1600s – but now it can provide priceless data in the hunt for habitable planets in deep space.”

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