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August 19, 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.

1. Pigs and squatters threaten Peru’s Nazca lines
By Miltra Taj | Reuters | Aug. 17
“The Nazca lines known as geoglyphs, declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, were produced over a period of a thousand years on a 200 square mile stretch of coastal desert.”

2. Mars can wait. Oceans can’t
By Amitai Etzioni | Commentaries :: CNN | Aug. 17
“While space travel still gets a lot of attention, not enough attention has been accorded to a major new expedition to the deepest point in the ocean, some 7 miles deep — the recent journey by James Cameron, on behalf of National Geographic.”

3. In the town Picasso made a symbol of destruction, creativity is booming again
By Giles Tremlett | The Observer :: The Guardian | Aug. 18
“A film about the painter’s vision of a key event in Spain’s civil war sheds light on a community finally overcoming the tragic scars of the past”

4. No longer a blank slate: Obama, 4 years later
By Jerry Schwartz | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“Four years have passed. We have watched Obama as commander in chief, waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and we have seen him accept the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Also see: Biographical information on Barack Obama

5. Michelle Obama: the person and the persona
By Jesse Washington | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“She is 5-foot-11 and world famous. Sometimes she inspires awe in her admirers. She has been accused of being the angry type. So when Michelle Obama meets people, she likes to bring things down to earth with a hug.”
Also see: Biographical information on Michelle Obama

6. The veep: A regular and not-so-regular Joe
By Adam Geller | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“After Joe Biden tripped up his boss by voicing support for same-sex marriage while the president remained on the fence, speculation was rampant about whether the remarks were spontaneous or deliberate. But to those who know Biden, there was no doubt. He was just speaking his mind.”
Also see: Biographical information on Joe Biden

7. Trying to see into the heart of the GOP candidate
By Helen O’Neill | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“Long before Mitt Romney became the millionaire candidate from Massachusetts, he was his father’s son, weeding the garden in the upscale suburb of Detroit where he grew up.”
Also see: Biographical information on Mitt Romney

8. Ann Romney proudly owns stay-at-home mom image
By Allen G. Breed | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“The 63-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 18 has embraced the homemaker image that Hillary Rodham Clinton so openly scorned. But … it’s clear she’s not going to be Mitt Romney’s silent partner.”
Also see: Biographical information on Ann Romney

9. Paul Ryan: Wisconsin roots, Washington clout
By David Crary | Associated Press | Aug. 18
“During his rapid political ascent, to become chief architect of love-it or hate-it Republican budget policy, many of his Democratic adversaries have coupled criticism of his ideology with praise for his cordiality, diligence and thoughtfulness.”

10. Robert Gould Shaw’s Gruesome Task
By Ronald S. Coddington | Disunion :: The New York Times | Aug. 12
“Perhaps no soldier was as profoundly moved by the losses at Cedar Mountain as Robert Gould Shaw.”

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