Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

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. García Márquez’s Five Favorite Cocktail Stories
By Santiago Mutis Duran, and translated by David Unger | The Paris Review | August 2019
“Santiago Mutis Durán, the son of Márquez’s close friend Álvaro Mutis, gathered together small author-less stories that Márquez had written down or told over the course of his lifetime.”

2. How to avoid the traps that produce loneliness and isolation
By Arthur C. Brooks | The Washington Post | January 2020
“But the real question is why so many people feel isolated, when contact with others should be easier than ever. If we can answer that, we can craft a solution — if not societally, at least personally, to make our lives happier and better.”

3. A Man In Full
By Walter Shapiro | The New Republic | January 2020
“Joe Biden wants to be a normal president in a highly abnormal age.”

4. More than 60,000 Mexicans have been ‘disappeared’ amid drug war, officials say
By Mary Beth Sheridan | The Washington Post | January 2020
“Karla Quintana, head of Mexico’s National Search Commission, which coordinates the effort to find the missing, said at least 61,637 people had been reported disappeared and not been found — what she called ‘data of horror.’ The actual number is thought to be even higher, since many cases are never reported. The numbers confirm that Mexico is suffering one of the worst crises of ‘the disappeared’ in Latin American history.”

5. The Racist History of Tipping
By William J. Barber II | Politico Magazine | July 2019
“Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.”

6. The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings
By Rachel L. Swarns | The New York Times | August 2019
“America’s nuns are beginning to confront their ties to slavery, but it’s still a long road to repentance.”

7. The Great Boundary-Breaking Women of Fiction
By Louisa Treger | CrimeReads :: LitHub | August 2019
“Celebrating 10 strong women who refused to conform and who struggled to find their place in the world.”

8. One Year in Washington
By David Freelander | The Cut :: New York Magazine | January 2020
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reshaped her party’s agenda, resuscitated Bernie Sanders’s campaign, and hardly has a friend in town.”

9. Violent Policing of the Texas Border
By Augusta Dell’Omo | Not Even Past :: UT Austin Department of History | January 2019
“Between 1910 and 1920, an era of state-sanctioned racial violence descended upon the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Rangers, local ranchers, and U.S. soldiers terrorized ethnic Mexican communities, under the guise of community policing.”

10. Is your to-do list making you nuts? Start a to-don’t list instead
By Anna Phelan | Ideas :: TED.com | March 2019
“The TED speaker and podcast host shares 4 items from his to-don’t list — stuff he’s shed from his life to make him a happier and more effective human. Read it and learn.”

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.”

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