Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Adm. McRaven speaks to UT’s Class of 2014 / Humans’ interest in animals / Key tech at Normandy / What the NYT innovation report means

IMG_1358

This week: Adm. McRaven speaks to UT’s Class of 2014 / Humans’ interest in animals / Key tech at Normandy / What the NYT innovation report means

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

1. The Real Meaning of Julián Castro’s HUD Nomination
By Sara Ines Calderon | Todo Texas | May 19
“If the Castro brothers both go to Washington, Texas is gonna have to do some soul searching to find the next batch of rising stars.”

2. The leaked ‘New York Times’ innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age
By Joshua Benton | Nieman Journalism Lab | May 15
“It’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shift to digital — even in one of the world’s greatest newsrooms. Read it.”

3. The New York Times’ ‘Innovation Report’ Is a Disaster
By David Warsh | Politico Magazine | May 23
“Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. would be a fool to follow his son’s advice.”

4. To Change the World, Start by Making Your Bed
By William McRaven | University of Texas 2014 Commencement | May 2014
“If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.”

5. Thug: A Life of Caravaggio in Sixty-Nine Paragraphs
By Stephen Akey | The Millions | May 16
“23. In Rome, being a lot better than everybody else (with the sole exception of Annibale Carracci) and loudly proclaiming it to the world wasn’t necessarily a wise career move. The long knives came out.”

6. Animal magnetism
By David P. Barash | Aeon Magazine | May 2014
“Humans are fascinated by our fellow animals — is that just an evolutionary hangover or something more profound?”

7. The Misery Of Air Travel And What We Can Do About It
By Laren Stiller Rikleen | Cognoscenti :: WBUR | May 20
“On a regular basis, air travelers face inexplicable delays, over-booked flights, lost luggage, long waits on the tarmac, cabins that are too hot in one half and too cold in the other and diminished service at every stage of the process. Pricing is incomprehensible.”

8. 12 Pieces of Tech That Turned the Tide At Normandy
By Martin K.A. Morgan | Gizmodo | May 20
“The Allied Invasion of Normandy was one of the single most logistically and strategically complex maneuvers ever concocted by the U.S. military. With a strike force numbering in the hundreds of thousands and the momentum of the entire counter-offensive hanging in the balance, there was simply no room for failure.”

9. Look Up In The Sky And Live Big
By Adam Frank | 13.7 Cosmos and Culture :: NPR | May 20
“If you can get far enough out into the country, the Milky Way can be be seen in all its glory.”

10. The Collective Intelligence of the Web
By James Surowiecki | Elements :: The New Yorker | May 19
“It’s easy to see how the Web has transformed the way we shop, the way we consume media, and the way we communicate with one another. But it’s also begun to change the way we make decisions and even forecast the future.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Afghan and U.S. soldiers / Penis sizes / ‘Downton’ prequel planned / Designer John Hockenberry / Moneymaking brains

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. Afghan troops get a lesson in American cultural ignorance
By Kevin Sieff and Richard Lieby | The Washington Post | Sept. 28
“Eleven years into the war in Afghanistan, NATO troops and Afghan soldiers are still beset by a dangerous lack of cultural understanding, officials say. …”

2. No, really: Penises are not shrinking
By Debby Herbenick | Salon | Sept. 27
“Rush Limbaugh is wrong about that. But here’s the long (and short) of what science really does tell us about size.”

3. Report Examines How Budget Cuts Affected Texas Schools
By Morgan Smith | The Texas Tribune | Sept. 27
“There are two immediate take-aways. First, districts absorbed the cuts in diverse ways. Second, many of them were unable to do that without laying off teachers.”

4. Julian Fellowes Plans ‘Downton Abbey’ Prequel
By Stuart Kemp | The Hollywood Reporter | Sept. 28
“The Oscar winning scribe says he wants to look at the early relationship between the characters currently played by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern in the new show.”

5. The Election Isn’t Over
By Pete Du Pont | The Wall Street Journal | Sept. 27
“Only fools and partisans think Obama has it locked up.”

6. If America had compulsory voting, would Democrats win every election?
Lexington’s Notebook :: The Economist | Sept. 28
“Democrats are pretty convinced that voter suppression is precisely what their Republican foes are up to, via a new law … that requires voters to show an up-to-date identity card with a photograph and expiry date, issued by one of a list of official authorities.”

7. John Hockenberry: We are all designers
TED | March 2012
“Journalist John Hockenberry tells a personal story inspired by a pair of flashy wheels in a wheelchair-parts catalogue — and how they showed him the value of designing a life of intent.”

8. The Right Drink for Every Situation
By Nicole McDermott | Healthland :: Time | Sept. 28
“From pickle juice to whiskey to cherry juice, these drinks can boost endurance, ease colds and even help beat upset stomachs.”

9. How Species Save Our Lives
By Richard Conniff | Specimens :: The New York Times | February 27
“We still scoff at naturalists today. We also tend to forget how much we benefit from their work.”

10. How Brains Make Money
Innovations :: Smithsonian.com | Sept. 28
“Meet the neuroeconomists, pioneers of sorts in an emerging field based on the notion that financial decisions have their roots in neuron connections.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

What your hair does for you / Inside Shuttle Atlantis / Cute baby animals / A lesser navy / Intel failure

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. In Kim’s Death, an Extensive Intelligence Failure
By Mark Lander and Choe Sang-Hun | The New York Times | Dec. 19
“As the United States and its allies confront a perilous leadership transition in North Korea — a failed state with nuclear weapons — the closed nature of the country will greatly complicate their calculations.”

2. Young women’s use of reproductive health services declines
By Shari Roan | Booster Shots :: The Los Angeles Times | Dec. 19
“This includes services such as Pap tests, pregnancy tests, contraception prescriptions, tests for sexually transmitted disease and other gynecological and obstetric care.”

3. The not-so-naked ape
The Economist | Dec. 17
“Human body hair, once thought to be an evolutionary relic, has a real job to do”

4. Last look inside space shuttle Atlantis
By Dean Putney | Boing Boing | Dec. 19
“It hadn’t occurred to me until now how little of the space shuttle I’ve seen.”

5. A Two-Ocean Navy No More?
By James R. Holmes | The Diplomat | Dec. 19
“With U.S. naval leaders more choosy amid fiscal austerity, a two-ocean strategy may be a luxury the U.S. can no longer afford. What does it mean for the Pacific?”

6. The top 6 incidents of ojo
By Sara Ines Calderon and Victor Landa | NewsTaco | April 2011
“Even though we all like to pretend that we’re modern and non-superstitious, you know that sometimes when someone is complimenting you, or when you all of a sudden fall ill for no reason, there’s that creeping suspicion that … could it be … alguien me echó ojo? But you don’t really believe in it, right?”

7. World’s Cutest Baby Wild Animals
By Clara Moskowitz | LiveScience | February 2011
Don’t deny it. You love them.

8. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decries nine ‘accounting tricks’ that hide government spending
Texas on the Potomac :: Houston Chronicle | Dec. 17
“The national debt is now more than $15 trillion. The budget deficit for this fiscal year alone will be more than $1 trillion. This mountain of debt is a growing obstacle to economic recovery. But for many in Washington, it’s business as usual.”

9. Carry-on Essentials for Air Travel
The Flying Pinto | September 2011
“The trick to stress free air travel is to be able to roll with the punches. The trick to being able to roll with the punches when flying is a well packed carry on!”

10. Victory in Europe Day
Witness :: BBC News | May 6
“On May 8 1945, Winston Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe. It meant defeat for Germany, but great rejoicing in Britain.”