Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Arnold’s film career / A certain San Antonio fashion designer / The physics of Batman / Let the dog make the baby healthier / A girl with two lovers

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. Schwarzenegger Gears Up for Act 2 as an Action Hero
By Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes | The New York Times | July 12
“[I]t was lost on no one that Mr. Schwarzenegger’s appearance marks his return to a film career that will find him taking more substantial action roles, even though he will qualify for Medicare upon turning 65 this month.”

2. To these successful designers, the concept of outsourcing is out of fashion
By Michael Quintanilla | San Antonio Express-News | July 12
“‘Made in the U.S.A.’ — it’s a refreshing phrase in a world of outsourcing and overseas production.”

3. Batman could fly, but he’d crash and die
By Michael Holden | Reuters | July 9
“Holy crash landing Batman! The crime-fighting caped crusader could fly but if he did, he would smash into the ground and probably die, a group of British physics students have calculated.”

4. Another Stab at the U.S. Constitution
Room for Debate :: The New York Times | July 9
“As the United States prepares to mark the 225th anniversary of its Constitution, we have the benefit of hindsight that the framers lacked. What should be omitted, clarified or added?”

5. Remember Iraq? Still A Mess, but the US Needs to Stay Out
By Robert Dreyfuss | The Nation | July 9
“Still, it’s important for liberals, the left and the antiwar movement to remember Iraq by borrowing the phrase, ‘Never again.’ And here’s what the Obama administration ought to do about violence in Iraq: Nothing.”

6. Babies in dog-owning families may be healthier
By Andrew M. Seaman | Reuters | July 9
“Dogs are no longer just man’s best friend: The furry family members may also protect infants against breathing problems and infections, a new study suggests.”

7. More public schools splitting up boys, girls
By Jessie L. Bonner and Heather Hollingsworth | Associated Press | July 8
“Proponents argue the separation allows for a tailored instruction and cuts down on gender-driven distractions among boys and girls, such as flirting. But critics decry the movement as promoting harmful gender stereotypes and depriving kids of equal educational opportunities.”

8. Woman With Two Lovers Trying to Hide the Bruises
Daily Intel :: New York Magazine | May 9
“Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek behind doors left slightly ajar. This week, the Woman With Two Lovers Trying to Hide Bruises From Rough Sex: female, fashion buyer, 24, Williamsburg, straight, single.”

9. Rereading: A candid view of Candide
By Julian Barnes | The Guardian | July 1
“Julian Barnes pays tribute to Voltaire’s Candide, a satire that remains as fresh and pertinent today as when it was written in the 18th century”

10. The death of Pushkin
Witness :: BBC News | February 11
“Pushkin died after a duel with a Frenchman. Rumours about the other man’s relationship with Pushkin’s much younger wife had led to the stand-off.”

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Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the wonderful Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Preacher Stone — Come On In
2. Preacher Stone — Judge Me Not
3. Ian Moore — Nothing
4. Big Head Tod & The Monsters — House Burn Down
5. The Geoff Everett Band — Hole In My Life
6. Los Lonely Boys — Evil Ways
7. Johnny Lang — Living For The City
8. JJ Gray & Mofro — All
9. Demian Bell — Long Way Up
10. Gerry Joe Weise — Who’s Calling
11. Jane Crow & Blues Inc — Back For More
12. Rocky Jackson — Goin’ Back To Texas
13. Joss Stone — Right To Be Wrong
14. Tommy Crain — Take Me To The River

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

February’s celestial delights / Civil War telegrams / Girlfriend wants a baby / Romney’s Secret Service protection / U.S. citizenship

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. 7 amazing sights to see in the February night sky
By Adam Holisky | USA Today | Feb. 3
“There are several planets visible, and the Orion constellation is guarding the evening heavens. Canis Major and the brightest star in our night sky are also perfectly visible this month for all stargazers to enjoy.”

2. How to automatically enlarge thumbnails online
By Rob Lightner | CNET | Feb. 3
“If you’ve ever found yourself giving up while clicking through an online photo gallery or grinding your teeth in frustration at an online vendor’s tiny thumbnails, help is on the way.”

3. Analysis: When is getting better good enough?
By Ben Feller | Associated Press | Feb. 3
“The stronger the economy gets, the more the presidential race comes down to what voters believe: Are things actually getting better? Or is it all still a mess?”

4. Huntington acquires trove of Lincoln, Civil War telegrams, codes
By Mike Boehm | The Los Angeles Times | January 2012
“The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens purchases a collection of telegrams from Abraham Lincoln and Union generals, plus code books.”

5. Please Advise: I think my girlfriend is trying to get pregnant
Nerve | Feb. 2
“She thinks a child will force me to commit.”

6. Where Romney goes, the Secret Service now follow
By Aine Kerr | Storyful | Feb. 3
“GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is now being trailed by men in black suits with dark glasses on the campaign trail in Nevada.”

7. ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Strikes 40
By Adam Chandler | The Atlantic | Feb. 2
“Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation remains influential — but not for all the reasons we expect”

8. Images of Revolution
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“The stories behind the iconic images of the Arab uprisings as told by those who filmed them.”

9. Should All Americans Have to Earn Their Citizenship?
By Eric Liu | The Atlantic | Feb. 2
“With an eye toward the children of illegal immigrants, some politicians are trying to end birthright citizenship. Imagine what that might mean for the rest of us.”

10. Lost in Space
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | October 2011
“Science-fiction films often depict people being killed by going out an airlock into space. What would that be like?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Screaming babies / Clinton: The consensus candidate / Gay-friendly wisdom / GOP love for Puerto Ricans / ‘Downton Abbey’ addicts

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. Why screaming babies are so hard to ignore
By Nick Collins | The Telegraph | Jan. 21
“Few situations are more infuriating than taking your seat on an aeroplane or train, closing your eyes, and hearing a baby at the other end of the cabin open its lungs with the gusto of an Italian tenor. ”

2. Bill Clinton: Someone We Can All Agree On
By Charles P. Pierce and Mark Warren | Esquire | February 2012
“Even his staunchest enemies now regard his presidency as the good old days. He has become the rare consensus figure in a country that has lost all sense of consensus. So we talked to him about where it went, and how we might get it back.”

3. How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
By Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher | The New York Times | Jan. 21
“Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.”

4. How I became a ‘Downton Abbey’ addict
By Lizz Winstead | The Guardian | Jan. 22
“Yes, I know it’s just a glossy drama about the idle rich and their servants, but these idle rich are so classy compared with ours”

5. Houston’s Mayor stresses Economic Benefits of Marriage Equality
By Emily Deprang | The Texas Observer | Jan. 22
“In other words: being gay-friendly brings home the bacon.”

6. Are Puerto Ricans the Key to a Republican Victory?
By Justin Velez-Hagan | Politic365 | Jan. 23.
“Puerto Ricans already account for the second largest group of Hispanics in the U.S. (they make up 10% of all Hispanics), but are growing at an increasingly rapid pace, especially in Florida. More importantly, so is their voting power.”

7. Exploring Stories With Deep Dive
By David Erwin | Beta620 :: The New York Times | January 2012
“Deep Dive … allows users to discover something then focus their attention deeper based on that piece of content.”

8. This much I know: Elmore Leonard
By John O’Connell | The Observer | December 2010
“The author, 85, on Dizzy Gillespie, not being frightened, and being a good guy”

9. As the Worm Turns
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | August 2011
“Do earthworms have any sense of place or direction? When they are dug up in the garden and put back down someplace else, do they just return to work, or do they try to get back to their former location?”

10. The Lindbergh kidnapping
Witness :: BBC News | February 2011
“When the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh disappeared it was assumed he had been kidnapped.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

3d printing / Not good enough / 2012’s Medicare debate / The new Jessica Lynch / Stuck with fat

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. Codebreaker Alan Turing gets stamp of approval
By Caroline Davies | The Guardian | Jan. 1
“Gay mathematician convicted of gross indecency in 1952 among those to be celebrated in Royal Mail stamps in 2012”

2. Babies may be getting bigger, but questions remain
By Andrew M. Seaman | Reuters | Jan. 2
“The weights and lengths of babies born in southwestern Ohio have been growing in recent decades, a new study found, but no link to obesity later in childhood was seen.”

3. The Fat Trap
By Tara Parker-Pope | The New York Times Magazine | December 2011
“Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower.”

4. Jessica Lynch’s New Life
By Jessica Lynch and Abigail Pesta | Newsweek | December 2011
“The teenage soldier who famously became a prisoner of war in Iraq has a new title: college graduate.”

5. 2012 Medicare debate is all about the baby boomers
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | Associated Press | Jan. 1
“Baby boomers take note: Medicare as your parents have known it is headed for big changes no matter who wins the White House in 2012. You may not like it, but you might have to accept it.”

6. How to Stop a Multinational
Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Argentineans are used to hitting the streets to start revolutions. … But now they are demanding that their valuable water sources up in the Andean Mountains be protected from the multinational mining companies they say are endangering their communities.”

7. What if Your Best Qualities Still Aren’t Good Enough?
By Donna Barstow | Psychology Today | November 2011
“A cartoon about ignoring ignorant people.”

8. 3D Printing: A Coming of Age Story
Big Think | December 2011
“3D printing is taking on an increasingly large role in the manufacturing processes of large American companies like GE.”

9. Fireworks at the Beach
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | November 2011
“Recently, at the San Diego ocean beach at night, we watched light emanating from every wave crest. News reports said it was caused by the red tide. How does it work?”

10. Two Worlds Colliding
By Cindy Y. Hong | Explainer :: Slate | November 2011
“Could it really happen?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A president’s generals / Massacre’s secrets uncovered / Newton goes digital / GOP’s southern battles / Biden eyes 2016

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. Sir Isaac Newton’s Papers & Annotated Principia Go Digital
OpenCulture | Dec. 13
“The initial archive features 4,000 pages of scanned materials (roughly 20% of the complete Newton archive), and eventually Cambridge will add material from Charles Darwin, another famous alum, and other scientific figures.”

2. MIT researchers unravel the physics of how cats drink
By Carolyn Y. Johnson | The Green Blog :: The Boston Globe | Nov. 11
“Dogs take a straightforward approach, using their tongues as ladles to literally scoop water into their mouths. Cats, on the other hand, solve a delicate physics, fluid mechanics, and engineering problem with every gulp.”

3. The South is up for grabs
By Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin | Politico | Dec. 12
“Republican presidential nominations have traditionally been forged here — in South Carolina, especially — and any successful challenger to Mitt Romney would most likely have to dominate among heavily conservative, evangelical Southern voters.”

4. The President and the Generals
By Richard A. Clarke | The New York Times | Dec. 12
“History provides ample evidence of bad judgment on the part of American military commanders, and some of our best presidents have had the courage to overrule them.”

5. Biden 2016?
By Byron Tau | Politco 44 :: Politico | Dec. 14
“Vice President Biden — who ran for president in 1988 and 2008 — refused to rule out a run when asked, telling NBC’s ‘Today’ show recently that ‘I’m never ready to close the door on anything.’ ”

6. Q&A: Defending Your PC Online
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 26
“Q: Does antivirus software protect my PC from hackers?”

7. Talking to Parents About Fat Babies
By Anahad O’Connor | Well :: The New York Times | Dec. 12
“Obesity in teenagers and adolescents is a major concern for pediatricians. But the discussion gets tricky when it turns to a weight crisis in infants.”

8. Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq
By Michael S. Schmidt | The New York Times | Dec. 14
“The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq.”

9. Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits
TED Talks | May 2011
“When she was 19, Amy Purdy lost both her legs below the knee. And now … she’s a pro snowboarder.”

10. Yuri Gagarin
Witness :: BBC News | April 12
“The young cosmonaut became a hero around the world and a poster boy for Soviet technological achievement.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Extreme weather coming … American exceptionalism … Invisible commandos … The Mediterranean diet … The new Mass.

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. Science panel: Get ready for extreme weather
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Nov. 19
“Think of the Texas drought, floods in Thailand and Russia’s devastating heat waves as coming attractions in a warming world. That’s the warning from top international climate scientists and disaster experts after meeting in Africa.”

2. NASA Mars mission to test planet for ability to sustain life
By Marc Kaufman | The Washington Post | Nov. 18
“If the unmanned Mars Science Laboratory lifts off and travels a 354 million-mile path to Mars, it will lower to the surface a sedan-size rover called Curiosity, which has the potential to change our understanding of the cosmos.”

3. Decline of American Exceptionalism
By Charles M. Blow | The New York Times | Nov. 18
“Is America exceptional among nations? Are we, as a country and a people and a culture, set apart and better than others? Are we, indeed, the “shining city upon a hill” that Ronald Reagan described? Are we “chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world” as George W. Bush said?”

4. Special Ops Wants Commandos to Have Invisible Faces
By Katie Drummond | Danger Room :: Wired | Nov. 18
“In 2008, the Army Military Research Office boasted that they were a mere two or three years away from developing metamaterials that could deflect light to conceal a given object. Since then, experts at various institutions have made impressive progress.”

5. A different view of Washington
The Washington Post | Nov. 17
“D.C. would have a very different look if these alternative designs and proposed buildings had came to fruition.”

6. Eat like a Mediterranean — but how?
By Karen Ravn | The Los Angeles Times | Nov. 20
“Here’s what the research says — and doesn’t say — about the Mediterranean diet.”

7. U.S. births dip for the third straight year
Associated Press | Nov. 19
“A federal report released Thursday showed declines in the birth rate for all races and most age groups. Teens and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic dip, to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s. Also, the rate of cesarean sections stopped going up for the first time since 1996.”

8. Catholics priests prepare to usher in Mass changes
By Kate Shellnutt | Houston Chronicle | Nov. 19
“At the start of Advent on Nov. 27, Catholics will adopt changes that make the words spoken during Mass in English closer to the church’s official Latin, adding dozens of small substitutions to the liturgy many Catholics pray instinctively. It’s the biggest shift in the Mass since Vatican II.”

9. Seven Tips for Better Group Portraits
By Roy Furchgott | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 17
“Andrew Boyd, a photojournalist and educator, has written extensively about group shots on his blog, The Discerning Photographer. Here’s his recipe for getting it right.”

10. Does America need Wall Street?
By Jeff Madrick | The Washington Post | Nov. 18
“Wall Street jet-fuels capitalism and innovation, we are told, and that’s what makes America prosperous; Wall Street is full of job-creators. But Alfred Chandler, the respected business historian, argued persuasively that most investment during the nation’s industrialization came from corporate profits, not money raised by Wall Street bankers.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. ME AND BOBBY McGEE Janis Joplin
2. 4 + 20 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
3. ROSIE (Live) Jackson Browne
4. SOMEBODY SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT Elton John
5. I’M ON FIRE Bruce Springsteen
6. ANGEL Rod Stewart
7. WILD HORSES The Sundays
8. RADIATION RULING THE NATION Massive Attack & Mad Professor
9. FEEL SO GOOD Lovespirals
10. FORBIDDEN LOVE Madonna