Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The future of the space station / Protect yourself from conspiracy theories / Decline of local news poses a new problem / A private tutor’s secret life / The adventures of fighting fires

This week: The future of the space station / Protect yourself from conspiracy theories / Decline of local news poses a new problem / A private tutor’s secret life / The adventures of fighting fires

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. What happens when NASA retires the International Space Station?
By Andrea Leinfelder | Houston Chronicle | October 2020
“The space station is authorized for human habitation through 2024, and Congress is expected to extend that to 2030. NASA believes the orbiting lab will survive at least another 10 years, and there’s precedent for long-lasting space hardware”

2. Ancient tectonic plate discovered beneath Canada, geologists claim
By Michael Irving | New Atlas | Ocotober 2020
“The face of the Earth has changed drastically over its life, with plates shifting and sinking. Now, geologists at the University of Houston claim to have found the remains of an ancient tectonic plate beneath Canada that was pushed under the surface tens of millions of years ago.”

3. Conspiracy theories: Why some people are susceptible and how to protect yourself
By Angela Haupt | The Washington Post | October 2020
“Conspiracy theories such as these swirl around us like noxious germs, targeting the mind instead of the body. And in the same way that our immune system can leave us more vulnerable to pathogens, our emotional state can make us more open to false — and potentially harmful — beliefs.”

4. How to Talk to Someone With Alzheimer’s
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | December 2019
“Approach someone with Alzheimer’s from the front. If the person doesn’t recognize you, say your name.”

5. The decline of local newsrooms could make it harder for us to detect the next disease outbreak
By Lauren Harris | Columbia Journalism Review | October 2020
“Here’s the irony: our society is better positioned to recognize the value of monitoring local journalism for viral warning signs—but the local news ecosystem is more beleaguered than ever.”

6. ‘One By Willie’
Texas Monthly | September 2020
“But this series isn’t just about the songs. It’s about what music really means to us — the ways it can change us, take care of us, and connect us all.”

7. First-class flights, chauffeurs and bribery: the secret life of a private tutor
By Emma Irving | 1843 :: The Economist | October 2020
“Tutoring has become a weapon in the global arms race in education. There’s no limit to what some parents will pay”

8. 3,000-Year-Old Orbs Provide a Glimpse of Ancient Sport
By Christopher Intagliata | Scientific American | October 2020
“Researchers say three ancient leather balls, dug up from the tombs of horsemen in northwestern China, are the oldest such specimens from Europe or Asia.”

9. ‘I got the bug’: a pioneering wildfire fighter on the thrills and threats of the job
By Gabrielle Canon | The Guardian | September 2020
“Sara Sweeney, the first woman to lead her unit, once couldn’t imagine fighting fires. Now she doesn’t want to stop”

10. What Just Happened in Peru? Understanding Vizcarra’s Sudden Impeachment
By Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg | Americas Quarterly | November 2020
“Expect more populism ahead in one of the world’s hardest-hit countries by COVID-19.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

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

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