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This week: Peace in Colombia through hip-hop / The peak of intelligence in each of us / The beauty and power of a living wage / Why are psychopaths attractive? / The everlasting power of failure

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.

1. Colombia’s Hip-Hop Gardener Fuels a Green Resistance
By Jake Kincaid | OZY | March 2019
“Luis ‘AKA’ Ramírez brings young and old together to heal a traumatized slice of Medellín.”

2. TRADOC to take responsibility for Army Center of Military History
By Sean Kimmons | Army News Service | March 2019
“The Army Center of Military History will realign under Army Training and Doctrine Command April 1 to better promote history at schoolhouses across the force. …”

3. When Does Intelligence Peak
By Scott Barry Kaufman | Beautiful Minds :: Scientific American | March 2019
“Maybe that’s not even the right question.”

4. Dollars on the margins
By Matthew Desmond | The New York Times Magazine | February 2019
“A living wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect.”

5. Are psychopaths attracted to other psychopaths
By Scott Berry Kaufman | Beautiful Minds :: Scientific American | January 2019
“Psychopathic birds of a feather flock together”

6. The Silence of Classical Literature’s Women
By Sophie Gilbert | The Atlantic | September 2018
“Pat Barker’s retelling of The Iliad imagines the Trojan War from the perspective of a female slave fought over by two Greek heroes.”

7. What We Can Learn About Gender From The Matrix
By Andrea Long Chu | Vulture | February 2019
” He is, after all, an abortive man, a beta trapped in an alpha’s body. Those around him assume he is a leader, a provider, a president, but his greatest fear is that they are mistaken.”

8. How to Walk 100,000 Steps in One Day
By David Paul Kirkpatrick | Medium | January 2019
“At 66 years old, I challenged myself to reach a big fitness goal. That meant creating the right mindset as well as increasing my physical endurance.”

9. There’s a surprising power in not winning — here’s how to make it work for you
By Monica Wadhwa | Ideas :: TED.com | February 2019
“When we come this close to triumph, we gain potent energy that we can use to fuel later success”

10. The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
By Brooke Jarvis | The New York Times Magazine | November 2018
“What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Gayle King’s R Kelly interview / Mental illness as an evolutionary trait / The world built for men / Are you feeling love or lust? / The reign of komodo dragons

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.

1. The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here
By Ian Bogost | The Atlantic | March 2019
“An artificial-intelligence “artist” got a solo show at a Chelsea gallery. Will it reinvent art, or destroy it?”

2. Susceptibility to Mental Illness May Have Helped Humans Adapt over the Millennia
By Dana G. Smith | Scientific American | March 2019
“Psychiatrist Randolph Nesse, one of the founders of evolutionary medicine, explains why natural selection did not rid our species of onerous psychiatric disorders”

3. Kelly interview becomes a spotlight moment for Gayle King
By David Bauder | Associated Press | March 2019
“King proved unflappable as a crying Kelly leaped up in anger. … [S]he didn’t flinch from challenging the singer as he denied multiple allegations that he sexually abused underage girls and was controlling in his relationships. She drew praise for her performance.”

4. The deadly truth about a world built for men — from stab vests to car crashes
By Caroline Criado-Perez | The Guardian | February 2019
“Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of design that forgets about women — and puts lives at risk”

5. A Message in a Bottle Washed Up on Padre Island — 57 Years Later
By Dan Solomon | Texas Monthly | February 2019
“The missive was part of a 1962 study that attempted to track the flow of ocean currents.”

6. How Does Spotify Know You So Well
By Sophia Ciocca | Medium | October 2017
“A software engineer explains the science behind personalized music recommendations”

7. Is it lust or is it love How to tell — and how you can have both at once
By Terri Orbuch | Ideas: TED Talks | February 2018
“I’ve studied the romances and relationship patterns of thousands of people for three decades, and I’ve heard many of them talk about that wild, out-of-control feeling at the beginning of a new relationship. …”

8. Why do zebras have stripes Perhaps to dazzle away flies
By Danica Kirka | Associated Press | February 2019
“The researchers found that fewer horseflies landed on the cloaked horses than on the ones without striped coats, suggesting that zebra stripes may offer protection from blood-sucking insects that can spread disease.”

9. Former deputy chief inspector for NYPD dies at 104 years old
By Larry Celona and Ben Feuerherd | The New York Post | February 2019
“Former NYPD Deputy Chief Inspector John Downer, who joined the force in 1941 and served more than 30 years, died …”

10. Why Komodo Dragons Haven’t Conquered the World
By Veronique Greenwood | The New York Times | November 2018
“The razor-toothed predators are fierce, but scientists found that they’re real homebodies. “

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Garcia Marquez loved being a journalist / The way we remember George H.W. Bush / Loving midday naps / Why is an octopus smart? / The rhetoric that leads us to civil war

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.

1. Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a better one.
The Washington Post | February 2019
“It relies both on smart government intervention — and on transforming the relentless power of the market from an obstacle to a centerpiece of the solution.”

2. Is History Being Too Kind to George H.W. Bush?
By David Greenberg | Politico Magazine | December 2018
“The 41st president put self-interest over principle time and time again.”
Also see: The Economy and ‘Read My Lips,’ Not Ross Perot, Cost President Bush His 1992 Re-Election
Also see: Don’t Overlook George H.W. Bush’s Domestic Legacy

3. A midday nap is American ingenuity at its best
By Carolyn Hax | The Washington Post | March 2019
“Keep up the naps, books and bubble baths, by all means … at your usual pace except for one day a week. With that one exception, dedicate your time to a cause that’s meaningful to you.”

4. Yes, the Octopus Is Smart as Heck. But Why?
By Carl Zimmer | The New York Times | November 2018
“It has eight arms, three hearts — and a plan. Scientists aren’t sure how the cephalopods got to be so intelligent.”

5. Gabriel García Márquez, The Art of Fiction No. 69
By Peter H. Stone | The Paris Review | Winter 1981
“I’ve always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist. What I didn’t like about journalism before were the working conditions. Besides, I had to condition my thoughts and ideas to the interests of the newspaper. Now, after having worked as a novelist, and having achieved financial independence as a novelist, I can really choose the themes that interest me and correspond to my ideas.”

6. Battle Lines
By Gordon S. Wood | The New Republic | November 2018
“Recovering the profound divisions that led to the Civil War”

7. Roots of Spain’s Crisis: One Word Fought Over at Birth of Constitution
By Patrick Kingsley | The New York Times | March 2019
“The final text spoke not of nations — but of regions and nationalities.”

8. The Missing Malcolm X
By Garrett Felber | Boston Review | November 2018
“Our understanding of Malcolm X is inextricably linked to his autobiography, but newly discovered materials force us to reexamine his legacy.”

9. The Kilogram Is Dead. Long Live the Kilogram!
By Xiao Zhi Lim | The New York Times | November 2018
“After a vote (and a century of research), the standard measure for mass is redefined, and the long reign of Le Grand K is ended.”

10. Sweden ranks third in gender equality. Here’s what growing up there is like.
Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | November 2018
“In her diary entries, Miriam writes about looking at a new school in Stockholm, her mental health, and an all-consuming crush on a girl.”

New Additions to the San Antonio Black History Collection

What an incredible collection.

The Top Shelf

The San Antonio Black History Collection is rich in materials that reflect African-American Life in the 20th century. Many materials come from San Antonio funeral homes, schools, and churches. The collection has been arranged into the following series: businesses, churches, clubs and organizations, education, history, military, newspapers and magazines, and photographs.

Highlights of the collection include paper fans (or church fans), several African-American church records, and an incomplete run of SNAP magazine. The paper fans are undated, but reflect advertising for several San Antonio, Texas, mortuaries and funeral homes. Church materials include programs for Sunday services, yearbooks, and newsletters. Of note is a ledger for Ephesus Church of Seventh-Day Adventists (1873-1928) that lists church members names and addresses, and in some cases, the dates of death (bulk dates for the records are 1923-1928). The ledger also contains brief synopses of meetings among the reverend, church staff, and elders for the years…

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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Texans we need to know about / The value of literary glory / Gender stereotypes endure / Trump’s 547 Twitter insults / Hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorist

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.

1. 31 Texans Taking Charge
Texas Monthly | December 2018
“From gymnast Simone Biles and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner to political megadonor Tim Dunn, here are 31 Texans who are changing the way we think about politics, education, food, philanthropy, and, well, pretty much everything else.”

2. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
By Emily Michot and Julie K. Brown | Miami Herald | November 2018
“Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. His victims have never had a voice, until now.”

3. Is Literary Glory Worth Chasing?
By Tim Parks | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | November 2018
“Is writing worth it? Does it make any sense at all to pursue literary glory? Are the writers we praise really the best anyway?”

4. Outdated Gender Stereotypes Are ‘Very Much Alive’
Home School :: The Atlantic | November 2018
“[P]arents shouldn’t dictate gender roles to their children.”

5. The 547 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List
By Jasmine C. Lee and Kevin Quealy | The Upshot :: The New York Times | (As of November 21)
You can organize it alphabetically or chronologically.

6. Inside the Hunt for the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist
By John P. Carlin | Politico Magazine | November 2018
“How a British hacker joined ISIS’s top ranks and launched a deadly global cyber plot.”

7. In the Era of #MeToo, Men Don’t ‘Know’ About Predatory Men — but Women Do
By Libby Lenkinski | Los Angeles Review of Books | November 2018
“One of the revelations of the #MeToo moment is the broad understanding that every woman in our society has endured sexual violence in one way or another and all of us carry the effects of those traumas with us in various ways in our lives. This is compounded by the intersectional realities of our identities — women of color face a different layer of discrimination than white women, as do Native women, fat women, Latina women, Jewish women, Muslim women, trans women.”

8. The Pugnacious Outlaw Women Behind My Protagonist
By Katrina Carrasco | LitHub | November 2018
“From Hellcat Maggie to the Great Sandwina, eight women who defied their era”

9. Standish Meacham and Multiculturalism in the Public University
By Carson Wright | Not Even Past :: Department of History, UT Austin | November 2018
“In both facets of his academic life, Dr. Meacham was devoted to the building up of marginalized groups. An academic background in the humanities — in History — shaped Dr. Meacham’s view in a way that drove him to make a positive impact at the University of Texas.”

10. 16 in a refugee camp: Here’s what her days are like
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“Her teenage years are unfolding in the limbo of a refugee camp — a settlement that is inherently meant to be an in-between place, not one where you can expect to build a life or a future — and in the backdrop of a conflict that forced her family to flee from Syria.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How China eclipsed the U.S. / 2018’s best books / The library of and for the future / Death in the Atacama Desert / Histories of historians

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.

1. China Rules: A special report
By Philip Pan, Amy Qin, Javier C. Hernandez, Peter Goodman, Jane Perlez, Keith Bradsher, Li Yuan and Mark Landler | The New York Times | November 2018
Part 1: The Land That Failed to Fail
Part 2: How China’s Rulers Control Society: Opportunity, Nationalism, Fear Part 3: Money and Muscle Pave China’s Way to Global Power
Part 4: China’s Economy Became No. 2 by Defying No. 1
Part 5: The Road to Confrontation

2. Five Classic American Novels That I Enjoy Teaching
By Andrew Delbanco | LitHub | November 2018
“I’ve been teaching classic American literature to college students for almost 40 years, and while some books have been banished from the category of ‘classic’ and others have been invited in, certain works continue year after year to disturb, confuse, delight, or devastate my students — or, more likely, all of the above.”

3. 100 Notable Books of 2018
The New York Times Book Review | November 2018
“The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.”

4. From There to Here
Not Even Past :: Department of History, UT Austin | November 2018
“UT History faculty come from all over the world. Here are their stories.”

5. Pretentious, impenetrable, hard work … better? Why we need difficult books
By Sam Leith | The Guardian | November 2018
“This year’s Booker-winner Milkman has been criticized for being challenging. But are we confusing readability with literary value?”

6. This Library Has New Books by Major Authors, but They Can’t Be Read Until 2114
By Merve Emre | The New York Times Style Magazine | November 2018
“The Scottish artist Katie Paterson is collecting 100 unpublished works that won’t be released in their writers’ lifetimes.”

7. Rains bring death to the Atacama Desert
By David Szondy | New Atlas | November 2018
“Studying the effects of once-in-a-century rainfall in the hyper-arid core of the desert, a team of astrobiologists led by Cornell University found that instead of causing a bloom of growth, the unexpected abundance of water killed off three quarters to seven/eighths of the microbe species present.”

8. 70 Philosophy Books Everyone Should Read
IAI News | November 2018
“Last year, we spoke to a number of leading philosophers to ask them why philosophy matters and what it has meant to them in their personal and professional lives (which you can read here, alongside a poem by Kwame Anthony Appiah). This year, we have tried to do something special, asking experts across the discipline to put together a list of their recommended philosophy books that everyone should read.”

9. In Lagos, Space For My Thoughts To Fly
By Allyn Gaestel | Guernica | November 2018
“On nomadism, toxicity, and the question of home.”

10. She’s 15 in Brazil. These are her dreams.
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“Kaylane is studying sanitation at a public technical school in Recife. Outside of school, she’s part of her church choir and loves sports, with several athletic awards to her name.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Stan Lee’s final days / Women in difficult situations / The growing sex recession / Lost trust in a journalist / The history of the balloon whisk

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.

1. Stan Lee’s Final Year Marked by Chaos and Betrayal
By Gary Baum | The Hollywood Reporter | November 2018
“After the death of wife Joan in 2017, the Marvel Comics icon’s inner circle imploded in a sordid power struggle from which he never fully recovered.”​

2. Russia’s Perpetual Geopolitics
By Stephen Kotkin | Foreign Affairs | November 2018
“Beginning with the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century, Russia managed to expand at an average rate of 50 square miles per day for hundreds of years, eventually covering one-sixth of the earth’s landmass. By 1900, it was the world’s fourth- or fifth-largest industrial power and the largest agricultural producer in Europe.”​

3. But That’s What Happened
This American Life | November 2018
“Stories of women in unsettling situations. When they try to explain what’s wrong, they’re told that they don’t understand — that there’s nothing unsettling about it.”​

4. Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?
By Kate Julian | The Atlantic | December 2018
“Despite the easing of taboos and the rise of hookup apps, Americans are in the midst of a sex recession.”​

5. Heather Havrilesky: Digging for Something Real
By Mickie Meinhardt | Guernica | November 2018
“The author of “What If This Were Enough?” on honest writing, raising kids with social media, and the growing pains of a constantly-wired culture.”​

6. Broken trust at the Houston Chronicle
By Alexandria Neason | Columbia Journalism Review | November 2018
“The researchers on the case couldn’t find a number of people cited in Ward’s recent stories; when Barnes asked Ward for his notes, he said they’d been destroyed.”​

7. How a Difficult, Racist, Stubborn President Was Removed From Power — If Not From Office
By David Priess | Politico Magazine | November 2018
“Members of Congress and some in Andrew Johnson’s own Cabinet wanted him gone. They did the next best thing.”

8. Poisoning Daddy
By Skip Hollandsworth | Texas Monthly | July 1996
“How a loving daughter and star student stole barium acetate from her high school chemistry lab, put it in her father’s refried beans, and almost got away with murder.”

9. The balloon whisk: a stirring history
By Sybil Kapoor | 1843 :: The Economist | November 2018
“In 19th-century America, the fashion for muffins and meringues led to an ‘egg-beater bubble’ ”

10. Sophie is 16 in America. Here’s what scares her.
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“In her diary entries, Sophie writes about the end of a summer trip spent with family, the ever-relatable end-of-vacation road trip home, her love for books, her struggles with mental illness, and her aspirations and apprehensions about college.”

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