Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Psychology of Batman / Middle East’s future / Wedding depression / What’s Sorkin’s problem? / The HIV wars

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. What Makes Batman Tick?
By Linda Holmes | MonkeySee :: Weekend Edition Sunday | July 15
“When you look at Batman with a coldly analytical eye … a few things stand out as potential red flags: the secrecy, the lair, the attraction to danger, the blithe self-sacrifice, the … cape.”

2. The good, the bad, and the ugly: Three scenarios for the Middle East
By Stephen M. Walt | Foreign Policy | July 20
“Although most commentary tends to obsess about recent events (Will Assad fall? Was Hezbollah for the bombing in Bulgaria? Will there be war with Iran? Is the two-state solution really dead? etc.) today, I want to step back and ask what the larger implications of these various events might be.”

3. The Wedding Effect
By Maggie Shipstead | The New York Times | July 18
“There is something numbing about all this marrying. The thrill of the first friends’ weddings, when everybody was young and lifelong commitment seemed wild and transgressive, has worn off, and a jaded peanut gallery has sprung up …”

4. NASA’s Mars rover may be in for blind landing
By Irene Klotz | Reuters | July 16
“That’s because the satellite that NASA was counting on for real-time coverage of the Mars Science Laboratory’s descent into Gale Crater, located near the planet’s equator, was sidelined last month by a maneuvering system glitch.”

5. Sharks tagged off Scotland monitored online
BBC News | July 20
“The movements of eight basking sharks can now be followed online, after scientists fitted them with satellite tags.”

6. ABC’s Ross takes heat for another blunder
By Dylan Byers | Politico | July 20
“Ross came under attack again Friday when he reported that James Holmes … may have connections to the Tea Party — basing that on a single web page that listed an Aurora-based ‘Jim Holmes’ as a member of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots”

7. Jean-Baptiste Michel: The mathematics of history
TED | May 2012
“From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns.”

8. Aaron Sorkin versus reality
By Alex Pareene | Salon | July 19
“The increasingly unpleasant superiority complex of America’s most prominent liberal screenwriter”

9. Semicolons: A Love Story
By Ben Dolnick | Opinionator :: The New York Times | July 2
“To abjure semicolons was to declare oneself pure of heart, steely-eyed, sadly disillusioned.”

10. The early days of HIV/Aids
Witness :: BBC News | June 3
“It’s 30 years since the HIV virus was first identified by medical experts. In the early days, carriers of the virus were stigmatised and treatment was in its infancy.”

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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. The Jeff Strahan Band — Supercool
2. The Jeff Strahan Band — Folsom Prison Blues
3. Anna Popovic — My Man
4. Los Lonely Boys — Road House Blues
5. Bernard Allison — The Other Side
6. Zed Head — Till I Lost You
7. Scott Weis Band — Hurricane
8. Blackberry Smoke — Up In Smoke
9. The Derek Trucks Band — Revolution
10. ZZ Top — Brown Sugar
11. Etta James — Purple Rain
12. Brandon Jenkins — Austin
13. The Red Hot Blues Sisters — Bring It On Home