Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The princess myth / Cyborg jellyfish / Weekend loneliness / The United States of Mac ‘n’ Cheese / The history of quarantines

This week: The princess myth / Cyborg jellyfish / Weekend loneliness / The United States of Mac ‘n’ Cheese / The history of quarantines

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. Meghan Markle and the Myth of Happily Ever After
By Rhonda Garelick | The Cut :: New York Magazine | February 2020
There’s a reason fairy tales always end at the wedding.”

2. Why are pop songs getting sadder than they used to be?
By Alberto Acerbi | Aeon | February 2020
“All these hypotheses could be tested using the data described here as a starting point. Realising that there’s more work to be done to better understand the pattern is always a good sign in science. It leaves room for fine-tuning theories, improving analysis methods, or sometimes going back to the drawing board to ask different questions.”

3. As ‘On the Media’ drifts from original focus, some listeners take note
By Joey Peters | Current | January 2020
“In its place, OTM’s focus has shifted to dissecting narratives, or, as Garfield put it, ‘the stories we tell ourselves based largely on what we heard for our whole lives, often through the media.'”

4. Cyborg Jellyfish Could One Day Explore the Ocean
By Sophie Bushwick | Scientific American | February 2020
“An electronic device increases their speed, and later versions could control their direction as well”

5. Dust to Dust
By Christian Wallace | Boomtown :: Texas Monthly | December 2019
“A devastating bust transforms the Permian from the promised land into a wasteland.”

6. The agony of weekend loneliness: ‘I won’t speak to another human until Monday’
By Paula Cocozza | The Guardian | January 2020
“For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent. What can be done to break this toxic cycle?”

7. World Without End
By Martha Park | Guernica | January 2020
“Lately, I’ve found the language of apocalypse creeping up in my own life for the first time, and with increasing frequency.”

8. How mac ’n’ cheese was baked into American culture
By Josie Delap | 1843 :: The Economist | February / March 2020
“Macaroni cheese is now an American staple. But it probably arrived there via France — and Thomas Jefferson”

9. Does the naked body belong on Facebook? It’s complicated
By Barbara Ortutay| Associated Press | January 2020
“Artists can be suddenly left without their audience, businesses without access to their customers and vulnerable people without a support network. And it means that a company in Silicon Valley, whose online platforms have become not only our town squares but diaries, magazines, art galleries and protest platforms, gets final say on matters of free speech and self-expression.”

10. A History Of Quarantines, From Bubonic Plague To Typhoid Mary
By Eleanor Klibanoff | Goats and Soda :: NPR | January 2020
“The idea of putting a possibly sick person in quarantine goes back to the ancient texts. The book of Leviticus tells how to quarantine people with leprosy. Hippocrates covered the issue in a three-volume set on epidemics, though he came from a time in ancient Greece when disease was thought to spread from “miasmas,” or foul-smelling gas that came out of the ground.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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