Recommended reading / viewing / listening

The value of apostrophes / Obama and Nixon / Cicada secrets / Boston Marathon bombing PTSD / A long-lost WWII Marine’s diary

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Most of these great items come from my Twitter or Facebook feeds. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. WW2 Marine’s diary: A brief look at a brief life
By Janet McConnaughey | Associated Press | May 27
“Before Cpl. Thomas ‘Cotton’ Jones was killed by a Japanese sniper in the Central Pacific in 1944, he wrote what he called his ‘last life request’ to anyone who might find his diary: Please give it to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved. Davis did get to read the diary — but not until nearly 70 years later. …”

2. How Timbuktu’s manuscripts were saved from jihadists
By Sudarsan Raghavan | The Washington Post | May 26
“The scholarly documents depicted Islam as a historically moderate and intellectual religion and were considered cultural treasures by Western institutions — reasons enough for the ultraconservative jihadists to destroy them.”

3. Why Efforts to Bring Extinct Species Back from the Dead Miss the Point
Scientific American | May 27
“A project to revive long-gone species is a sideshow to the real extinction crisis”

4. There Are Plenty of Reasons Why Parents May Read More With Their Daughters
By Nanette Fondas | The Atlantic | May 21
“Understanding a new study that finds girls get more reading time with their parents than boys.”

5. As Boston recovers from Marathon attack, emotional trauma may be just setting in
By Marissa Miley | GlobalPost | May 24
“PTSD and related stress disorders can take weeks or months to develop — and local organizations are prepared to help.”

6. Obama’s speechwriter: from intern to top wordsmith
By Darlene Superville | Associated Press | May 25
“Current and former White House colleagues, all Obama campaign veterans, praise [Cody] Keenan’s writing skills and work ethic and what they describe as his sense of fairness, modesty and willingness to help.”

7. The Man Who Knew Too Much
By Marie Brenner | Vanity Fair | May 1996
“Angrily, painfully, Jeffrey Wigand emerged from the sealed world of Big Tobacco to confront the nation’s third-largest cigarette company, Brown & Williamson. Hailed as a hero by anti-smoking forces and vilified by the tobacco industry, Wigand is at the center of an epic multibillion-dollar struggle that reaches from Capitol Hill to the hallowed journalistic halls of CBS’s 60 Minutes.”

8. The secrets of cicada survival
By John Matson | Salon | May 24
“A new brood is set to emerge this summer for the first time in 17 years. What’s taken them so long?”

9. Why Obama Is Not Nixon
By Elizabeth Drew | NYR Blog :: The New York Review of Books | May 18
“Compared to Watergate, on the basis of everything we know about what are the current ‘scandals’ amount to a piffle. Watergate was a Constitutional crisis.”

10. Are Apostrophes Necessary?
By Matthew J.X. Malady | Slate | May 23
“Not really, no.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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