Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Harry, Prince of Vegas / Obama: Romney has no ideas / The real Afghan War begins / HD video of Mars descent / Unknown Civil War soldier ID’d

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. Watch Out Mars! 1080 HD Video of Curiosity Descent
By Caleb. B. Scharf | Life, Unbounded :: Scientific American | Aug. 22
“Ok, so every so often something comes along that just blows away everything you’ve seen before. This is one of those things.”

2. Unknown soldier in famed Library of Congress Civil War portrait identified
By Charlie Wells | The New York Daily News | Aug. 22
“A chance encounter between the young soldier’s great-great granddaughter Patricia Mullinax and avid Civil War photography collector Tom Liljenquist led to the identification of Stephen Pollard.”

3. A paint-by-numbers portrait of changing nation
By Calvid Woodward and Christopher S. Rugaber | Associated Press | Aug. 25
“We’re heavier in pounds and hotter by degrees than Americans of old. We’re starting to snub our noses at distant suburbs after generations of burbs in our blood. Our roads and bridges are kind of a mess. There are many more poor, and that’s almost sure to get worse.”
Also see: Sign-of-the-times stats

4. Why Afghanistan Isn’t a Campaign Issue: Neither Obama nor Romney Have a Solution
By Tony Karon | Time World | Aug. 24
“The ‘systemic problem’ of uniformed Afghans attacking their American mentors raises questions about the viability of a bipartisan exit plan”

5. Ragtag Revolts in Parts of Afghanistan Repel Taliban
By Alissa J. Rubin and Matthew Rosenberg | The New York Times | Aug. 25
“[T]he movement has become another case study of a classic Afghan problem that directly challenges the Western goal of a stable country after the 2014 troop withdrawal: a threat posed by an armed group is answered by arming another group, which in turn becomes a game piece to be fought over by larger forces.”

6. Obama on Romney’s ‘extreme’ views
By Ben Feller | Associated Press | Aug. 25
“In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney lacks serious ideas, refuses to ‘own up’ to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president, and deals in factually dishonest arguments that could soon haunt him in face-to-face debates.”

7. Tania Luna: My story of gratitude
TED New York | July 2012
“Tania Luna co-founded Surprise Industries, the world’s only company devoted to designing surprise experiences.”

8. Las Vegas hails Prince Harry as a true son of Sin City
By Rory Carroll | The Guardian | Aug. 25
“Las Vegas is making the most of its role in a royal scandal — and young Britons are flocking to it for full-on fun”

9. The End of the Gutbuster
By Pat Leonard | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 5
“The soldiers could not have known then, and would not know until years later, the immense impact on their lives that would be wielded by the single unassuming officer who entered their camps that day.”

10. Does Self-Awareness Require a Complex Brain?
By Ferris Jabr | Brainwaves :: Scientific American | Aug. 22
“To be conscious is to think; to be self-aware is to realize that you are a thinking being and to think about your thoughts.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Mammogram questions / Romney and crisis / Fearing Obama / Witnesses to Empire State Building shooting / Social media at conventions

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. Mammograms and dense breasts — questions abound
By Lauran Neergaard | Associated Press | Aug. 20
“New York this summer became the fourth state to require that women be told if they have dense breasts when they get the results of a mammogram. That’s because women whose breast tissue is very dense have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women whose breasts contain more fatty tissue.”

2. Romney in Crisis: Two Dark Spots in Fortunate Life
By Sherly Gay Stolberg | The New York Times | Aug. 14
“The French car crash and Ann Romney’s illness provide such a narrative; they are dark moments — bookends of sorts — in what otherwise has seemed a charmed existence.”

3. Fear of a Black President
By Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic | September 2012
“As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be ‘twice as good’ and ‘half as black,’ Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.”

4. Witnesses tell dramatic story of shooting outside Empire State Building
By Aaron Feis, Bill Sanderson and Todd Venezia | The New York Post | Aug. 25
“Electrician Kevin O’Connell, 27, had been on a break when he heard the shots and looked out of a ninth-floor window of the Empire State Building to see a horrifying scene.”

5. New York’s World Class Subway Art, Identified
By Mallika Rao | The Huffington Post | Aug. 18
“Nearly 200 permanent works line the walls and floors of the city’s subways, commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit program.”

6. 2012 conventions embrace social media openness
By Jeffrey Collins and Tamara Lush | Associated Press | Aug. 17
“The Republicans call theirs a ‘convention without walls,’ while the Democrats say their gathering will be ‘the most open and accessible in history.’ ”

7. Raghava KK: What’s your 200-year plan?
TED | July 2012
“You might have a 5-year plan, but what about a 200-year plan?”

8. Cristina Kirchner: she’s not just another Evita
By Uki Goni | The Observer :: The Guardian | Feb. 4
“The Peronist leader combines glamour with political acumen, enormous popularity and a tough determination to beat down her rivals. And now she has put the Falklands back on the political agenda”

9. Schools for Soldiers
By Michael David Cohen | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 3
“To win the war, the Army had to create citizen-soldiers from scratch.”

10. The Massacre of Baghdad’s Jews
Witness :: BBC News | June 1
“Eye witness accounts of the killing of hundreds of Jews in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Bagdhad.”

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TUNES

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

1. Edgar Winter — Texas Tornado
2. Marc Leon & Friends — Subway To Nowhere
3. Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots — What’d I Say
4. Rick Huckaby — City Life
5. 2 Slim & The Tail Dragers — Cowboy Boots
6. Albert Cummings — Party Right Here
7. Zed Head — Electri-Glide Shuffle
8. Old Southern Moonshine Revival — Two Shells
9. Mike Holt & The Trophy 500’s — Dimples
10. Robert Campbell — History Repeats Itself
11. George Thorogood — Hard Stuff
12. Capt. WAM — Skinny Woman
13. The Dennis McClung Blues Band — The Red Rooster
14. The Mark Knoll Band — Lay It On The Line