Recommended reading / viewing / listening

2012’s best photobombs / Take the 2012 news quiz / Our trash on the moon / The Soviet-Japanese War of 1939 / The 1927 school massacre


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 30 Most Powerful Photobombs Of 2012
By Jack Shepherd and Dave Stopera | BuzzFeed | Dec. 19
“Never stop ‘bombing, you guys. And stingrays.”

2. New Concordia Island
Dezeen Magazine | Dec. 19
“Sunken cruise ship the Costa Concordia would be transformed into a watery memorial garden in this competition-winning conceptual design by London architecture graduates Alexander Laing and Francesco Matteo Belfiore.”

3. The Trash We’ve Left on the Moon
By Megan Garber | The Atlantic | Dec. 19
“The lunar surface is strewn with hundreds of manmade items, from spacecraft to bags of urine to monumental plaques.”

4. Habitable planet discovered circling Tau Ceti, a star close to Earth
By Alexander Besant | GlobalPost | Dec. 19
“Tau Ceti, which is less than 12 light-years from Earth, has five planets orbiting it.”

5. How Obama’s win keeps on giving
By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake | The Fix :: The Washington Post | Dec. 19
“Whether or not a majority of Americans — or Members of Congress — believe that President Obama’s victory amounted to a mandate, it’s clear that the incumbent’s hand has been significantly strengthened by what happened on Nov. 6.”

6. Joy
By Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books | Jan. 10
“A lot of people seem to feel that joy is only the most intense version of pleasure, arrived at by the same road — you simply have to go a little further down the track. That has not been my experience.”

7. Nature and Fairy Stories
By Sara Maitland | The Huffington Post | Dec. 17
“A newer question though is whether landscape shapes, or more modestly perhaps becomes one of the things that shapes, whole cultures, their languages, their religion and their mythology; and of course therefore their responses to their artists and artistic forms.”

8. The Deadliest School Massacre in American History — in 1927
By Justin Peters | Slate | Dec. 18
“A school board member named Andrew Kehoe, upset over a burdensome property tax, wired the building with dynamite and set it off in the morning of May 18. Kehoe’s actions killed 45 people, 38 of whom were children.”

9. The Forgotten Soviet-Japanese War of 1939
By Stuart D. Goldman | The Diplomat | Aug. 28
“From May to September 1939, the USSR and Japan fought an undeclared war involving over 100,000 troops. It may have altered world history. ”

10. 2012 News Quiz
Associated Press | Dec. 20
“A superstorm that wasn’t so super, an election that seemed to go on forever and a rap video that took the world by storm — those were just a few of the stories that made news in 2012”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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