Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Prudish Southwest Airlines / Wars over Nixon may be over / Voyager I leaving solar system / Is Garcia Marquez finished? / Stopping sperm

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. Cover Your Cleavage for Takeoff: Southwest Airlines Screws Up Again
By Katie J.M. Baker | Jezebel | June 14
“On June 5th, Avital* was boarding a 6 AM flight from Las Vegas to New York in a comfy cotton dress, a loose open flannel shirt and a colorful scarf when she was told that her cleavage was ‘inappropriate.'”

2. Richard Nixed
By David Greenberg | The New Republic | June 8
“The extirpation of the old Nixonian propaganda came about because of an irony of history.”

3. Voyager I Is *This Close* to Leaving Our Solar System
By Rebecca J. Rosen | The Atlantic | June 13
“We’re on the cusp of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time, but we may not know when the moment strikes. Or, rather, there may be no moment.”

4. Human Microbiome Project reveals largest microbial map
By Smitha Mundasad | BBC News | June 13
“[R]esearchers were able to find over 10,000 different types of organisms as part of the healthy human microbiome.”

5. Garcia Marquez: Will he ever write again?
By Laura Steiner | The Huffington Post | June 14
“Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, a fellow novelist and journalist, and a close friend of Gabo — as Garcia Marquez is fondly called — describes how the 85 year-old author and master of magical realism has trouble recognizing his closest friends.”

6. Stalin & Hitler: Mass Murder by Starvation
By Timothy Snyder | The New York Review of Books | June 21
“In the decade between 1932 and 1942 some eleven million people in the Soviet Union starved to death, first as a result of Soviet policy, then as a result of German policy.”

7. Stop our sperm, please
By Irin Carmon | Salon | June 14
“Meet the men who want better male birth control — and want it badly.”

8. Q&A: Filtering Friends on Facebook
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 14
“One of my colleagues places way too many updates on Facebook about his church fund-raisers, his kids’ play dates, his wife’s book. … How do I block the alerts, but not defriend him?”

9. 11 Wars That Lasted Way Longer Than They Should Have
By Kathy Benjamin | Mental Floss | June 11
“Thanks to lost paperwork, diplomatic technicalities, or just plain forgetting they had declared war in the first place, many countries remained in a state of war long after the actual fighting had stopped.”

10. Cassini Sees Tropical Lakes on Saturn Moon
Jet Propulsion Laboratory | June 13
“NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spied long-standing methane lakes, or puddles, in the ‘tropics’ of Saturn’s moon Titan. One of the tropical lakes appears to be about half the size of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, with a depth of at least 3 feet.”

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TUNES

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. Darren J. — Panhandle Blues
2. Preacher Stone — Not Today
3. Austin Cunningham — Guns & Religion
4. Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners — Third Rail
5. Pride & Joy Band — Evil Thoughts
6. Driving Wheel — Ain’t Guilty
7. Anna Popovic — Get Back Home to You
8. Anna Popovic — Putting Out the APB
9. Greg Danton — Twister Town
10. The Vaughan Brothers — Good Texan
11. Rico Enriquez — Red House
12. Paul Thorn — That’s All I Know Right Now
13. The Smokin’ Mojo Kings — Blues Gutter
14. Austin Cunningham — Last Great D.J.

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Latinos ready to ‘teach’ … GOP candidate spouses … New approach to sex ed … The GOP debate … Rivers that go nowhere.

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. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. 11 ways to skip weight gain this Thanksgiving
The Dallas Morning News | Nov. 15
“Thanksgiving kicks off a season of plentiful food, parties and stress. Staying healthy, both mentally and physically, can be a challenge. Avoid common pitfalls with these healthy strategies, adapted from a story by health reporter Nancy Churnin.”

2. Couple forced to exchange Facebook passwords during divorce
By Michael Gartland | New York Post | Nov. 20
“The legal precedent, in the midst of a nasty custody battle between Stephen and Courtney Gallion, could mean more battling couples will be forced to give up their social-networking secrets.”

3. Aging in place: A little help can go a long way
By David Crary | Associated Press | Nov. 20
“According to surveys, aging in place is the overwhelming preference of Americans over 50. But doing it successfully requires both good fortune and support services. …”

4. Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond
By Jad Mouawad | The New York Times | Nov. 20
“Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. … The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.”

5. Not All Rivers Reach the Sea
By Rachel Nuwer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 17
“For six million years, the Colorado River ran its course from its soaring origins in the Rockies to a once-teeming two-million-acre delta, finally emptying 14 million acre-feet of fresh water into the Sea of Cortez. But now, a multitude of straws are drinking from the river. …”

6. GOP debate: Newt Gingrich beats back immigration critique
By Alexander Burns | Politico | Nov. 22
“Ascendant Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich delivered an unapologetic defense of his views on immigration Tuesday night, declaring in a foreign policy debate that the GOP should not adopt a platform on immigration that ‘destroys families that have been here a quarter-century.’

7. The meaning of 9/11’s most controversial photo
By Jonathan Jones | The Guardian | Sept. 2
“Thomas Hoepker’s photo of New Yorkers apparently relaxing as the twin towers smoulder says much about history and memory”

8. Teaching Good Sex
By Laurie Abraham | The New York Times Magazine | Nov. 16
“Across the country, the approach ranges from abstinence until marriage is the only acceptable choice, contraceptives don’t work and premarital sex is physically and emotionally harmful, to abstinence is usually best, but if you must have sex, here are some ways to protect yourself from pregnancy and disease.”

9. GOP candidate spouses — secret weapons or dangerous millstones?
By Chris McGreal | The Guardian | Nov. 18
“Gloria Cain helped dent harassment accusations against her husband but Anita Perry’s defence of Rick made things worse”

10. Latino men are always the most critical of me
NewsTaco | Nov. 18
“Latino men are the ones who have most insulted my intellect and tried to ‘teach me’ how I should navigate the world.”