Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Dealing with your cat’s death / The final chapter of Queen Elizabeth II / Learning to appreciate spring beauty again / The imperial governors / Exploring Antarctica

This week: Dealing with your cat’s death / The final chapter of Queen Elizabeth II / Learning to appreciate spring beauty again / The imperial governors / Exploring Antarctica

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. The Excruciating Decision to End a Cat’s Life
By Martha Cooley | LitHub | April 2021
“I cannot tell my cat that I don’t want her days to be full of stress. Nor can I tell her how grateful I am for her quickness and humor, her curiosity, her regular gestures of what I receive as affection, her discretion.”

2. Queen enters ‘twilight’ of reign after farewell to Philip
By Danica Kirka | Associated Press | April 2021
“While most observers say the queen is unlikely to abdicate given her lifelong commitment to public service, she has already started to turn over more responsibilities to Prince Charles, 72, her eldest son. That process is likely to accelerate following Philip’s death.”

3. How to Help St. Vincent Amid Volcanic Disaster
By Claire Lampen | The Cut :: Vulture | April 2021
“Thankfully, residents were evacuated 24 hours ahead of time, so no one was injured or killed by the event itself. But now, an estimated 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and the island faces a growing humanitarian crisis.”

4. Pandemic puts tulips, bluebells, cherry blossoms in hiding
By Raf Casert | Associated Press | April 2021
“From Japan’s cherry blossom trees, to the endless Keukenhof tulip fields in the Netherlands, to the riot of purple bluebells in the Hallerbos south of Brussels, everything looks its best this spring when conditions are at its worst.”

5. Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe
By Cornel West and Jeremy Tate | The Washington Post | April 2021
“The Western canon is, more than anything, a conversation among great thinkers over generations that grows richer the more we add our own voices and the excellence of voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else in the world. We should never cancel voices in this conversation, whether that voice is Homer or students at Howard University. For this is no ordinary discussion.”

6. The end of the imperial governorship
By Nick Niedzwiadek | Politico Magazine | April 2021
“Lawmakers across the country want to curtail the sweeping powers of state executives after the pandemic led governors to flex their muscles in historic new ways.”

7. It is time to reassess our obsession with women’s fertility and the number 35
By Arwa Mahdawi | The Guardian | April 2021
“A study extending women’s reproductive years offers a chance to look again at how the age of 35 has been treated as a fertility cliff”

8. Violent Policing of the Texas Border
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: Slavery and Abolition | Slave-Owning Women in the Antebellum U.S. | The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science | Albert Einstein – Separating Man from Myth

9. Meet the introverts who are dreading a return to normal
By Roxanne Roberts | The Washington Post | April 2021
“Social scientists correctly predicted that introverts were best suited to weather the stress of the past year. After months of lockdown, the question now is whether introverts can teach the rest of us something about moving forward.”

10. Nero
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2010-2019
Also see: Antarctica | Mathematics’ Unintended Consequences | Ibn Khaldun | The Samurai

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Ron Paul’s worldview / History of the glitter bomb / Women in combat / Cuba’s young boxers / Huge science achievement

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. Ron Paul’s Flinty Worldview Was Forged in Early Family Life
By David M Halbfinger | The New York Times | Feb. 5
“His parents married two days before the crash of 1929. He was reared on nightmarish stories of currency that proved worthless, told by relatives whose patriarch had fled Germany in the dark of night when his debts were about to ruin him.”

2. The West’s First War with China
By Tonio Andrade | China Power :: The Diplomat | Feb. 8
“Westerners still tend to underestimate Chinese military prowess, viewing China as a historically peaceful nation frequently invaded by bellicose neighbors: Huns, Mongols, Manchus, and, of course, Japanese.”

3. Mysterious sounds reported around the world
By Benjamin Radford | DiscoveryNews | Feb. 8
“The explanations are almost as varied as the sounds themselves.”

4. A Brief Photographic History of Glitter-Bombs
By Tara Godvin | Swampland :: Time | Feb. 8
“Receiving a shower of sparkles from gay rights activists has become something of a rite of passage for Republican candidates this year.”

5. Women in combat policy could change
By Barbara Starr | Security Clearance :: CNN | Feb. 8
“The current policy, in place since 1994, effectively restricts women from serving in small infantry or other ground units directly involved in combat.”

6. Women More Attracted To Green Behavior
By Tara Kelly | The Huffington Post | Feb. 8
“While the findings are encouraging for eco-singles looking for love, Timberland probably has some financial incentive to sponsor such a survey, especially since they sell outdoor clothes and to customers with a green conscious.”

7. Black Hole Eats Asteroids, Burps Out X-Rays
By Adam Mann | Wired | Feb. 8
“A new study finds that asteroids at least 12 miles wide falling into the black hole would account for the regular bright x-ray flares seen through telescopes.”

8. Cuba looks to kids to recover faded boxing glory
By Anne-Marie Garcia | Associated Press | Feb. 8
“Boxing-mad Cuba is putting its athletes in the ring earlier than ever. The idea is that those who start young will have a critical edge in the sport’s motions and techniques when they start competing more seriously down the road.”

9. In scientific coup, Russians reach Antarctic lake
By Vladimir Isachenkov and Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Feb. 8
“Opening a scientific frontier miles under the Antarctic ice, Russian experts drilled down and finally reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake, an achievement the mission chief likened to placing a man on the moon.”

10. Crossing Antarctica
Witness :: BBC News | January 18
“The Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ousland spent more than two months skiing alone across the continent of Antarctica.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Costa Concordia a personal disaster / Russians reach Antarctic lake / Father/son presidencies / Gingrich and Huckabee / Where does love come from?

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. The Flub Watch Never Stops for Obama’s Team
By Helene Cooper | The New York Times | Feb. 5
“In the rarefied world that is dedicated to getting Mr. Obama re-elected, the battle has never been viewed through the prism of how to beat Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. It has always been about Mitt Romney.”

2. Looking for love
By Karen Weintraub | The Boston Globe | Feb. 6
“Surveys also show that whom we fall in love with is largely influenced by who we are; our personality traits and values drive our choices.”

3. Life with Trig
By Sarah Palin | Newsweek | Feb. 6
“He’s nearing his fourth birthday. He has Down syndrome. And he greets every day with a round of applause.”

4. Mike Huckabee is Newt Gingrich’s new role model
By Jonathan Martin | Politico | Feb. 6
“Running a seat-of-his-pants campaign that was short on cash but long on one-liners, the former Baptist preacher enjoyed early 2008 success, hit a rough patch and then had what turned out to be a meaningless rebound when the race turned to his native South.”

5. Earth Station: The Afterlife of Technology at the End of the World
By Alexis Madrigal | The Atlantic | Feb. 6
“This is the story of one of the old, weird ties between Earth and space.”

6. Presidential Fathers and Sons
By Michael Medved | The Wall Street Journal | Feb. 6
“For the seventh consecutive election, the winning candidate will be either a privileged prince with an adored, powerful patriarch, or an up-from-nothing scrapper with no relationship with his biological dad.”

7. 10 Bright Ideas to Get You Through February
Innovations :: Scientific American | Feb. 6
“The Super Bowl is over and now we have to face an ugly reality. It’s February and we’re only one week in. With the hope of lifting your spirits, here are 10 examples of innovative thinking to remind you that better things are coming.”

8. Russians drill into previously untouched Lake Vostok below Antarctica
By Marc Kaufman | The Washington Post | Feb. 6
“It has taken the Russians more than 20 years to drill into the lake, operating in some of the most brutal weather conditions in the world.”

9. For Reporter, Cruise Ship Disaster Is A Local Story
By Sylvia Poggioli | NPR | Feb. 5
“Bad weather has thus far prevented salvage workers from pumping out the half-million gallons of fuel onboard. But the ship has already started polluting the shallow shoreline with leaks of some of the other toxic substances onboard — detergents, paints, solvents, chlorinated swimming pool water and more than 1,300 gallons of olive oil.”

10. Vincent Cassel: ‘You can’t escape from what you are’
By Elizabeth Day | The Guardian | Feb. 4
“The actor, trained ballet dancer, and husband of Monica Bellucci is a man of hidden depths. In his latest role, he plays an anarchic disciple of Sigmund Freud. ”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Obama and TR … Afghanistan’s future … Flash drive lifespan … Voyager 1 flies on … ‘Acceptable’ GOP candidate.

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. Planning Afghanistan’s future beyond 2014
By Anne Gearan and Juergen Baetz | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“Pakistan is seen as crucial player in the region because of its links and influence on insurgent groups that are battling Afghan government and foreign troops and that sometimes use Pakistan as a base for their operations.”

2. Hidden mountains make up Antarctica’s true terrain
Short Sharp Science :: New Scientist | Dec. 5
“Antarctica is hiding something. It may look like a fairly flat, snow-covered wasteland, but the BEDMAP project has pulled back the ice sheet to reveal the mountainous bed topography of the continent underneath.”

3. Republicans See Gingrich, Romney as ‘Acceptable’ Nominees
By Frank Newport | Gallup.com | Dec. 5
“All other candidates seen as unacceptable by half or more of Republicans.”

4. Rooftop Films Gives Occupy Wall Street Its Own Film Series
By Felicia R. Lee | ArtsBeat :: The New York Times | Dec. 5
“Rooftop Films is a nonprofit best known for showing movies outdoors (hence the name). In a statement released on Monday, Dan Nuxoll, the program director for Rooftop, said the series was prompted by a public outpouring over the events surrounding Occupy Wall Street.”

5. Before Obama Invites Teddy Roosevelt Comparisons, Read TR’s Words
By Mark Memmott | The Two-Way :: NPR | Dec. 6
“Roosevelt’s speech — delivered after he had left the White House and as he was beginning a bid to return there on the Bull Moose Party ticket (he didn’t succeed) — has become known for his words about ‘the square deal.’ ”

6. Q&A: The Lifespan of a Flash Drive
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | July 19
“Q: Several years ago when I bought a flash drive, the clerk said it would retain info for five years. Is this true as a general rule for flash drives? Do they wear out?”

7. From the archive, 6 December 1933: Liquor legal again in the United States. Mr Roosevelt’s appeal last night
The Guardian | Dec. 6
“In this the President called on all citizens to co-operate with the Government in its efforts to restore a greater respect for law by confining purchases of alcoholic beverages to licensed dealers or agencies. ”

8. Barack Obama channels Teddy Roosevelt
By Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jennifer Epstein | Politico | Dec. 6
“Just over a hundred years after the Bull Moose delivered his New Nationalism speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, Obama is scheduled to tout his own square deal — he’ll describe it as everyone getting a fair shot — there on Tuesday. The president will call for broader consumer protections and for the Senate to confirm his director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

9. The Future of Computing
Science :: The New York Times | Dec. 6
“This special issue takes a many-faceted look at a set of technologies that are changing the world in more ways than could ever have been foreseen.”

10. NASA spacecraft exploring solar system’s edge
By Alicia Chang | Associated Press | Dec. 5
“Voyager 1 still has a little way to go before it completely exits the solar system and becomes the first man-made probe to cross into interstellar space, or the vast space between stars.”