Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Video of asteroid near miss / Peruvian food around the world / Death in a Facebook status / Cronkite remembers the Battle of the Bulge

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. Near-Earth Asteroid Fly-By Captured by Observatory
Space.com | July 2012
“Asteroid 2002 AM31 flew by Earth on July 22nd. The Slooh Space Camera in the Canary Islands observatory was on hand to capture the space rock zoom by. It was about 3.2 million miles away on its closest approach.”

2. Peruvian Independence Day Celebrated With Google Map Of Peruvian Restaurants Around The World
The Huffington Post | July 28
” You don’t have to travel all the way to South America for a taste of Peru’s cuisine.”

3. Facebook, in Life and Death
By Rubina Madan Fillon | The Juggle :: The Wall Street Journal | July 25
“I’ve grown accustomed to finding out about friends’ milestones on Facebook: graduations, engagements, weddings, new jobs and children. But hearing about death that way — I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that.”

4. Gang Violence Smoulders On Hot Chicago Streets
By Scott Simon | Weekend Edition Saturday | July 28
“When the sun goes down behind the glimmering lakeshore skyline, blocks on the South and West Side of the city can ring with shots and sirens.”

5. She’s taking on everything that’s wrong with movies
By Karina Longworth | The Village Voice | July 25
“Julie Delpy materializes on the patio of Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont on a wave of nervous energy.”

6. Texting: Grammar suffering as a result, finds a new study
By Alexander Besant | GlobalPost | July 28
“Researchers from Penn State have found that teenagers who use text messages to communicate tend to have worse grammar skills than those who don’t.”

7. J.J. Abrams’ mystery box
TED | January 2008
“J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery … back to its magical beginnings.”

8. Fancy that: the golden age of the sexy geeky leading male
By Zoe Williams | The Guardian | July 27
“The home-grown actors making it big in Hollywood these days aren’t chiselled or buff, but funny, nerdy and strangely attractive”

9. Runaway Masters
By Daniel W. Crofts | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 22
“All hope vanished that the war might end soon, or that the old Union might somehow be restored intact.”

10. The Battle of the Bulge Remembered
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | December 2004
“Cronkite reflects on what remains the largest pitched battle in the history of American arms.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. NEVER AN EASY WAY Morcheeba
2. AIR Cuba Percussion & Klazz Brothers
3. WITH YOU Smoke City
4. ISOBEL Dido
5. LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
6. MAD MEN SUITE David Carbonara
7. I KNOW Fiona Apple
8. SEVEN YEARS Natalie Merchant
9. MAYBE I’M AMAZED Paul McCartney
10. CAN’T FIND MY WAY HOME Blind Faith

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Has Madonna gone crazy? / Sandals and flip-flop advice / NBC’s Olympics coverage slammed / U.S. Grant’s third star / Too many Agrippinas

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. The Truth About the Shoes of Summer, Sandals, Flip Flops and Wedges
By Steve Rosenberg | The Huffington Post | July 25
“Let the truth be told, most shoes are not designed for comfort — only for fashion.”

2. Nazis, breasts and guns: Has Madonna lost it?
By Laura Barcella | Salon | July 27
“Madonna’s European shows have included swastikas, sex and violence. Is it more than the usual button-pushing?”

3. NBC lambasted over banal butchering of opening ceremony
By Emma G. Keller | The Guardian | July 28
“Tim Berners-Lee? Who’s that? Madagascar? Oh, like the kids movie! If you’re going to make us wait hours to watch the ceremony live, NBC, the least you could have done is keep quiet”

4. Pot of crusader gold found where Richard I defeated Salahaddin
Al Arabiya | July 28
“The castle was used by the Crusaders as a stronghold between 1241 and its destruction in 1265 when it was attacked by the Egyptian Sultan Baybars.”

5. Lincoln, Congress, Grant, and the Lieutenant General Act
By Brooks D. Simpson | U.S. Capitol Historical Society | May 4
“The act made Ulysses S. Grant a lieutenant general and gave him command of the Union Army.”

6. They loaded mortars in the war, so now what?
By Pauline Jelinek | Associated Press | July 25
“U.S. combat troops patrol dusty pathways in Afghanistan, look for hidden roadside bombs, load and fire mortar shells at insurgents’ positions. So when they come home, how will that help them land a civilian job?”

7. Jakob Trollback rethinks the music video
TED | April 2008
“What would a music video look like if it were directed by the music, purely as an expression of a great song, rather than driven by a filmmaker’s concept?”

8. Sorting out the Agrippinas
By Mary Beard | A Don’s Life | July 24
“One of the problems of the first century AD is that there are simply too many Agrippinas.”

9. A Black Spy in the Confederate White House
By Lois Leveen | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 21
“Journalists, historians, even the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and the C.I.A. have celebrated the extraordinary Mary Bowser, yet most Americans have never heard of her.”

10. Mariel Boatlift from Cuba
Witness :: BBC News | May 25
“In 1980, more than 100,000 Cubans left the island in a boatlift from Mariel harbour.”

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TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the wonderful Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Ron Artis Family Band — You Can’t Lie To Grandma
2. Z-Tribe — Defending the Blues
3. Ian Moore — Pay No Mind
4. John Mayall — With You
5. Grace Potter — Stop The Bus
6. Jerry Forney Blues Band — I’ll Play The Blues
7. Preacher Stone — Old Fashion Ass Whoopin
8. The Buddaheads — Howlin’ At The Moon
9. Lost Immigrants — Can’t You See
10. Paul Thorn — Pimps & Preachers
11. Jeff Strahan — Amen To The Blues
12. Stony Larue — Solid Gone
13. Bob Seger — Come To Papa