Recommended reading / viewing / listening

The consequences of LiLo / Celebrating Richard Ben Cramer / Lima’s ugly side / Unborn babies can learn language / Public sees harm from U.S. politics


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. Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie
By Stephen Rodrick | The New York Times Magazine | Jan. 10
“[Director Paul] Schrader thinks she’s perfect for the role. Not everyone agrees. Schrader wrote ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ and has directed 17 films. Still, some fear Lohan will end him.”

2. Hagel pick: Final snub of George W. Bush
By Alexandra Burns | Politico | Jan. 9
“[T]he most vehement objections have come from the conservative, interventionist foreign policy community — the so-called neoconservatives who created the ideological architecture for the wars Bush launched in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

3. What do think of Richard Ben Cramer now?
By Tom Junod | Esquire | Jan. 8
“Richard Ben Cramer is the only one I still read for that holy, misguided, and somewhat dangerous purpose — the only one whose blood I still welcome for the purposes of transfusion. The others carry the risk of infection, which is to say the risk of mannerism.”

4. Hiding From People-Search Sites
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Aug. 29
“I recently found my name, address and other personal information listed on this Web site called How do they get this information and can I delete it?”

5. Wodehouse and Fitzgerald — emblems of a lost age
By Robert McCrum | The Guardian | Jan. 7
“The two authors incarnated very different visions of England and the US between the wars”

6. From the Slums of Lima to the Peaks of the Andes
By Alastair Bland | Off the Road :: Smithsonian | Jan. 7
“That there could be anything in the world but dust, rubble, traffic, burning trash heaps, mangy dogs and slums seemed impossible as we rolled northward through Lima.”

7. Babies Seem to Pick Up Language in Utero
By Nicholas Bakalar | Well :: The New York Times | Jan. 7
“A baby develops the ability to hear by about 30 weeks’ gestation, so he can make out his mother’s voice for the last two months of pregnancy.”

8. Rebooting Republican Foreign Policy
By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Affairs | January/February 2013
“Needed: Less Fox, More Foxes”

9. Most in U.S. Say Politics in Washington Cause Serious Harm
By Frank Newport | Gallup | Jan. 7
“More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) say the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the United States, providing still another indicator of the low esteem in which Americans hold their elected officials. …”

10. Creative Aging: The Emergence of Artistic Talents
By Richard Senelick | The Atlantic | Jan. 4
“Depending which part of the brain is affected, different skills will be preserved or impaired in various types of cognitive decline and dementia. This gradual reformation is what may allow the emergence of new artistic abilities.”



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. J.J. Grey & Mofro — Country Ghetto
2. Dr. Wu — I Don’t Need No Woman Like You
3. Delta Moon — Ghost In My Guitar
4. ZZ Top — Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings
5. Stoney Curtis Band — That’s Right
6. Kelleys Lot — Drive
7. The Fabulous Thunderbirds — Stand Back
8. Jeff Powers & Dead Guys Blues Band — Bad Luck Boogie
9. Ian Moore — Pay No Mind
10. Ray Wylie Hubbard — Down Home Country Blues
11. The Stone Coyotes — Trouble Down In Texas
12. Lost Immigrants — Dixie Queen
13. Band Of Heathens — Hallelujah

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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