Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Sinking Mexico City / The brief Trump presidency? / A lurking Hitler double / Michael Flynn’s symbolism / Big Mama Thornton’s soaring blues

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This week: Sinking Mexico City / The brief Trump presidency? / A lurking Hitler double / Michael Flynn’s symbolism / Big Mama Thornton’s soaring blues

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.

1. Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis
By Michael Kimmelman | The New York Times | Feb. 17
“Unlike traffic jams or crime, climate change isn’t something most people easily feel or see. It is certainly not what residents in Mexico City talk about every day. But it is like an approaching storm, straining an already precarious social fabric and threatening to push a great city toward a breaking point.”

2. The Thinning of Big Mama
By Cynthia Shearer | Oxford American | Feb. 15
“She seems to have dwelt by necessity in the margins of prosperity and material success. Considering the successes of her many contemporaries and collaborators, as we listen to her music today … Big Mama’s story raises a persistent question: How could she flourish this way (however briefly) but ultimately fail to thrive?”

3. Michael Flynn, General Chaos
By Nicholas Schmidle | The New Yorker | Feb. 18
“What the removal of Flynn as the national-security adviser reveals about Donald Trump’s White House. ”

4. Austrian authorities seeking Hitler double seen around birthplace
By Michael Shields | Reuters | Feb. 11
“The man, estimated to be 25 to 30 years old, was last seen in a local bookstore browsing through magazines about World War Two, adding he had identified himself in a local bar as ‘Harald Hitler.’ ”

5. These books were beloved. But what happens after their owner dies?
By Laura Krantz | The Boston Globe | Feb. 17
“In this region of intellectuals, used bookstores find themselves inundated with calls as more baby boomers die and others downsize. At the same time, many libraries have faced budget cuts that make them unable to accept the extra stock, and the Internet has rendered many reference books useless.”

6. An essential reading list for understanding Donald Trump
By Pete Vernon | Columbia Journalism Review | Feb. 14
“[T]he profiles and investigative pieces on the list range from skeptical to outright hostile. But despite being burned time and again, Trump seems addicted to the limelight that comes with attention from the media. From Wayne Barrett’s early investigations into a little-known, Queens-born developer to Maggie Haberman’s look at Trump’s life in the White House, the president has welcomed journalists into his life in ways few politicians ever have.”

7. The Talk
Austin American-Statesman | February 2017
“For generations, black parents have had The Talk with their children about how to survive interactions with police: Don’t argue. Don’t get shot. Don’t give them a reason. Come home.”

8. Donald Trump is on his Way to the Second or Third Shortest Presidency in American History
By Ronald L. Feinman | History News Network | Feb. 15
“[Vice President Mike] Pence could … invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4, with the approval of a majority of the cabinet, which would make Pence ‘Acting President.’ Some might call it a ‘palace coup’ but Pence could make a convincing case that it is too risky to leave Trump in power.”

9. The fire this time — the legacy of James Baldwin
By Lanre Bakare | The Guardian | Feb. 15
“His work fell foul of civil-rights-era binary racial and sexual politics but, as a new film shows, now Baldwin’s ideas are used to explain everything from Trump to Black Lives Matter”

10. The President Who Never Earned His Varsity Letter
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | November 2014
“When Nixon ran for president a second time, in 1968, he quietly pondered recruiting the Green Bay Packers’ Vince Lombardi for his ticket — until his campaign manager (and later attorney general) John Mitchell discovered that Lombardi was a Democrat.”

129. Mable John: “Take Me”

I could not agree more with this assessment. Her yearning tears my heart apart. This is one of my all-time favorite songs of any genre.

Motown Junkies

Tamla RecordsTamla T 54050 (B), November 1961

B-side of Actions Speak Louder Than Words

(Written by Andre Williams and Mickey Stevenson)


Note the mis-spelling of 'Mable'. Scan kindly provided by Robb Klein, reproduced by arrangement.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!A complete change of pace and mood from the big balladry of the A-side Actions Speak Louder Than Words, this is a louche, gospel-inflected quasi-blues, occasionally chaotically disorganised and occasionally near-devotional in its direct intensity.

It’s a much better record than the A-side, something which becomes obvious right off the bat. The band are up for it, despite a few lapses (including the bass player dropping right out of time very noticeably at the end, a flub which may have been enough to spike this as a potential A-side), opening the record identically to the Supremes’ Never Again before heading off in a whole different direction.

The backing singers are in full flow too, alternately gospel and blues, reminiscent of the best work of the choir who’d earlier…

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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / Search for the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

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This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / The race to find the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

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. Donald Rumsfeld Hasn’t Learned a Damn Thing
By James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang | Politico Magazine | April 4
“Bush’s unrepentant defense secretary and the dark art of B.S.”

2. Clock ticking on search to find Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s black box
By Swati Pandey | Thomseon Reuters | April 4
“On Monday, it will be 30 days since the jetliner lost communications and disappeared from civilian radar.”

3. Letterman Wasn’t That Funny, Which Is Exactly Why He Matters
By Isaac Chotiner | The New Republic | April 4
“I can’t think of a mass cultural figure of such large importance who was so committed to his own idea of artistic integrity.”

4. Are We Entering a Golden Age of the Second Novel?
By Bill Morris | The Millions | April 4
“Writers get only one shot at becoming The Next Big Thing, which, to too many publishers, is The Only Thing. Failure to do so can carry a wicked and long-lasting sting.”

5. The Work Hitler Despised and the One from Above His Fireplace
By R.C. Baker | The Village Voice | April 2
“The art of hate.”

6. Allegheny Arsenal Explosion
By Maggie MacLean | Civil War Women | April 3
“On September 17, 1862, seventy-eight girls and young women were killed in an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — the worst civilian disaster of the Civil War.”

7. Bush 41 Reunion Looks to Burnish His Legacy
By Peter Baker | The New York Times | April 3
“This seems to be a season for presidential rehabilitation, if not for the incumbent then for his predecessors.”

8. Karzai Is Trying to Keep His Sway After Term Ends
By Matthew Rosenberg | The New York Times | April 3
“American officials have ignored him, and Afghanistan’s presidential contenders have tried to persuade voters that they will be different from him. But those hoping to see President Hamid Karzai slip into a quiet retirement may be disappointed in the months to come.”

9. Dynasty Isn’t Just for Monarchies Anymore
By Larry J. Sabato | Politico Magazine | March 31
“A Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 would hardly be unusual. American politics is more of a family affair than you think.”

10. Turkey Goes Out of Control
By Christopher de Bellaigue | The New York Review of Books | April 3
“Large parts of the civil service have been eviscerated, much of the media has been reduced to unthinking carriers of politically motivated revelation and innuendo, and the economy has slowed down after a decade of strong growth. The Turkish miracle is over.”

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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. ZZ Top — Whats Up With That
2. Eddie Turner — I’m A Man
3. Carolyn Wonderland — Ain’t Nobody’s Business
4. Guitar Shorty — A Little Less Conversation
5. Jimi Hendrix — Electric Church Red House
6. Paul Rodgers — Walk In My Shadow
7. North Mississippi Allstars — Shake (Yo Mama)
8. Too Slim And The Taildraggers — Mexico
9. Walter Trout — May Be A Fool
10. The Black Keys — Hurt Like Mine
11. R.L Burnside — Goin Down South
12. Janiva Magness — Slipped,Tripped And Fell
13. Steve Miller — Driven Wheel
14. Bo Cox — Gone

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Tracking whale sharks / How Nixon chased women / Dead vice presidents / Man-made eggs, woman-made sperm / Chronicling Syria’s bloodshed / Friday’s blues

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For this week:
Tracking whale sharks / How Nixon chased women / Dead vice presidents / Man-made eggs, woman-made sperm / Chronicling Syria’s bloodshed / Friday’s blues

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. Where the Whale Sharks Go
By Christopher Joyce | Morning Edition :: NPR | Aug. 22
“After tagging more than 800 whale sharks over nine years, the team discovered that after feeding, the sharks head off in seemingly random directions. Some travel thousands of miles, and they can dive a mile deep.”

2. How the Nixon Administration Tried to Woo Women
By Emma Green | The Atlantic | Aug. 22
“It turns out that the Republican strategy on women in the 1970s was about as nimble as ‘binders full of women’ ”

3. Have any vice presidents died in office?
By Anthony Bergen | Dead Presidents | August 2013
“Yes, quite a few of our Vice Presidents have died in office, actually — SEVEN out of 47 total, so about 15% of the VPs didn’t survive their term.”

4. Lab-Made Egg and Sperm Precursors Raise Prospect for Infertility Treatment
By David Cyranoski | Nature / Scientific American | Aug. 21
“A technical tour de force, which involved creating primordial germ cells from mouse skin cells, is prompting scientists to consider attempting this experiment with human cells”

5. Syria’s civil war: A chronicle of bloodshed
By Emily Lodish | GlobalPost | Aug. 21
“News of a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria follows a chain of deadly events. Here’s a look at the worst of the worst.”

6. The Latinos turning to Islam
By Katy Watson | Newshour :: BBC World News | August 2013
“With more than 50 million Hispanics living in the US, the Latino community is now the country’s biggest minority. ”

7. Covering Nixon
The New York Review of Books | Aug. 9
“The sheer number, variety, and viciousness of David Levine’s drawings of Nixon provide some sense of his place in The New York Review’s pages during the five and a half years of his presidency.”

8. Bezos, Heraclitus and the Hybrid Future of Journalism
By Arianna Huffington | LinkedIn | Aug. 14
“The future will definitely be a hybrid one, combining the best practices of traditional journalism — fairness, accuracy, storytelling, deep investigations — with the best tools available to the digital world — speed, transparency, and, above all, engagement.”

9. The Man Who Knew Too Much
By Marie Brenner | Vanity Fair | May 1996
“Angrily, painfully, Jeffrey Wigand emerged from the sealed world of Big Tobacco to confront the nation’s third-largest cigarette company, Brown & Williamson. Hailed as a hero by anti-smoking forces and vilified by the tobacco industry, Wigand is at the center of an epic multibillion-dollar struggle that reaches from Capitol Hill to the hallowed journalistic halls of CBS’s 60 Minutes.”

10. Are Apostrophes Necessary?
By Matthew J.X. Malady | Slate | May 2013
“Not really, no.”

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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. Gary Moore — Texas Strut
2. Paul Rodgers & Gary Moore — She Moves Me
3. Dr. Wu — Storm Watch Warning
4. Needtobreathe — Prisoner
5. Rick Huckaby — Can’t Miss Kid
6. The Mark Knoll Band — High Time
7. Preacherstone — Old Fashioned Ass Whoopin’
8. Brian Burns & Ray Wylie Hubbard — Little Angel Comes A-Walkin
9. Cody Gill Band — Crazy
10. Ramblin Dawgs — Worse Without You
11. Pat Green & Cory Morrow — Stuck In The Middle With You
12. Bobby Manriquez — How We Started
13. WSNB — True Love
14. Shane Dwight — Boogie King

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

What not to wear on a plane / Navy adviser torpedoed / Heading into the Republican National Convention

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. Airlines can say: You can’t wear that
By David Koenig | Associated Press | Aug, 25
“Airlines give many reasons for refusing to let you board, but none stir as much debate as this: How you’re dressed.”
Also see: Airline rules on clothing are usually vague

2. Sunk
By Jeff Stein | The Washington Post Magazine | Aug. 21
“Why was a Navy adviser stripped of her career?”

3. A Media Personality, Suffering a Blow to His Image, Ponders a Lesson
By Christine Haughney | The New York Times | Aug. 19
“Just as quickly as his employers had questioned his credibility, they rallied around him.”

4. How Long Do You Want to Live?
By David Ewing Duncan | The New York Times | Aug. 25
“How many years might be added to a life? A few longevity enthusiasts suggest a possible increase of decades. Most others believe in more modest gains. And when will they come? Are we a decade away? Twenty years? Fifty years?”

5. Hubble Captures a Collection of Ancient Stars
ScienceDaily | Aug. 25
“Hubble Space Telescope has produced a beautiful image of the globular cluster Messier 56 (also known as M 56 or NGC 6779), which is located about 33,000 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Lyra (The Lyre).”

6. For some Republicans, convention could be springboard to future
By Peter Schroeder | The Hill | Aug. 26
“Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) will introduce Romney before he officially accepts the party’s nomination, while Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) is delivering the convention’s keynote address.”

7. Daniel Ogilvie: Why children believe they have souls
TED New York | July 2012
“Rutgers University Professor of Psychology Daniel Ogilvie is researching what causes people to believe in souls and the afterlife.”

8. A short history of the phony political convention
By Andrew O’Hehir | Salon | Aug. 25
“The GOP’s phony living-room stage is the latest twist in a history of carefully crafted, content-free spectacle”

9. The Author of the Civil War
By Cynthia Wachtell | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 6
“Sir Walter Scott not only dominated gift book lists on the eve of the Civil War but also dominated Southern literary taste throughout the conflict.”

10. The Mike Todd Party: Cronkite Recalls a TV Low
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | November 2004
“[W]hen the crowd got out of control, a bland publicity stunt turned into a giant food fight. Cronkite recalls the disastrous night.”

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TUNES

This weekend, 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. Zed Head — Nice To Love You
2. Zed Head — Kick Start
3. Hill Country Review — Let Me Love You
4. Marc Brousard — Home
5. Bleu Edmondson — Southland
6. Popa Chubby — Fire
7. Rocky Athas Group — Tearin’ Me Up
8. Keb Mo — Shave Yo Legs
9. Kenny Wayne Shepherd — Blue On Black
10. Ian Moore — Nothing
11. Clay McClinton — One Of Those Guys
12. Anna Popovic — How’d You Learn To Shake It Like That
13. ZZ Top — Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Olympics beefcake / Gore Vidal’s career as a dramatist, plus a reading list / Detroit, the dumping ground / Human sculpture found in Turkey /

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. The Olympics or Soft Porn? Female, Gay Fans Gawking at Male Athletes
By Tricia Romano | The Daily Beast | Aug. 3
“From Ryan Lochte to Tom Daley, the Web is awash with lascivious pictures of the men of the London Games. Did ‘Magic Mike’ set the stage for the worldwide gawkfest?”

2. Amazon Rainforest Gets Half Its Nutrients From a Single, Tiny Spot in the Sahara
By Alexis Madrigal | The Atlantic | Aug. 2
“At 17,100 square miles, the area is about a third of the size of Florida or 0.5 percent the size of the Amazon basin it supplies.”

3. Ben-Gore
By F.X. Feeney | Los Angeles Review of Books | Aug. 1
“There is an almost violent difference in scale and power between the novels that preceded [Vidal’s] career as a dramatist and those which come after.”

4. Washington’s War on Leaks, Explained
By Cora Currier | ProPublica | Aug. 2
“Leaks, of course, are nothing new in Washington, but now the Senate has jumped into the fray, with a new proposal to tighten control over the flow of information between intelligence agencies and the press.”

5. Gore Vidal’s reading list for America
By Michael Winship | Salon | Aug. 2
“The author’s recommendations were as brilliant and eccentric as he was”

6. Vacant Detroit becomes a dumping ground for the dead
By Corey Williams | Associated Press | Aug. 2
“It’s a pattern made possible by more than four decades of urban decay and suburban flight.”

7. Jonathan Harris: the Web’s secret stories
TED | July 2007
“With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we’re all feeling and looking for.”

8. Archeologists Unearth Extraordinary Human Sculpture in Turkey
Science Daily | July 30
“A beautiful and colossal human sculpture is one of the latest cultural treasures unearthed by an international team at the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) excavation site in southeastern Turkey.”

9. Fighting for Nightfall
By Will Hickox | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 27
“Rather than securing the rest they badly needed, the exhausted soldiers of Col. Elisha G. Marshall’s 13th New York Infantry began building breastworks.”

10. Civil Rights Era Almost Split CBS News Operation
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | May 2005
“Walter Cronkite recalls CBS-TV coverage of civil rights in the 1950s, and how it threatened to divide the news department from network management.”

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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. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band — Watch It
2. Blackfoot — Sunshine Again
3. Susan Tedeschi — There’s A Break In The Road
4. Wiser Time — Devided
5. Curtis Salgado — Wiggle Outa This
6. Elvin Bishop — Midnight Hour Blues
7. Storyville — Fairplay
8. Chris Rea — Houston Angel
9. George Thorogood — I Drink Alone
10. Travis Tritt — The Storm
11. Flophouse — Everything Is Cool
12. The Stoney Curtis Band — Hard Livin’

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

The ‘napalm girl’ photo / Exercise and get smarter / A looming galactic collision / Texas traffic / Living to 100

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. Cheever’s Art of the Devastating Phrase
By Brad Leithauser | Page-Turner :: The New Yorker | May 31
“The more you read Cheever, the more you feel his best work is often less about plot than about language — about poetry in the broadest sense.”

2. AP ‘napalm girl’ photo from Vietnam War turns 40
By Margie Mason | Associated Press | May 31
“‘I really wanted to escape from that little girl,’ says Kim Phuc, now 49. ‘But it seems to me that the picture didn’t let me go.’ ”

3. Exercise Makes You Smarter, Thanks To A Common Gene
The Huffington Post | May 31
“It turns out that exercise does a lot more than get the blood pumping: in about 60 percent of the population, it may be responsible for the expression of a gene that floods your cells with … a protein that is thought to help with mental acuity, learning and memory.”

4. Mexico’s Drug Corruption Arrests: Why Soldiers Make Bad Narco Agents
By Tim Padgett | Global Spin :: Time | May 31
“While putting soldiers on the streets might have provided some short-term relief, the fact remains that in the long run soldiers make lousy anti-drug agents … and the longer they’re kept in that role, the more problems you’re going to have.”

5. NASA Predicts Our Galaxy Will Collide With Another In 4 Billion Years
By Carl Franzen | Talking Points Memo | May 31
“Andromeda, which is located 2.5 million light-years away, is moving rapidly towards the Milky Way at a rate of 250,000 milers-per-hour, a clip that will only increase as the galaxies approach.”

6. Are you feeling sleepy? Here’s why …
By William Leith | The Daily Telegraph | May 31
“The pace of modern life forces us to ignore one of the most powerful parts of our brain — the body clock. But at what cost?”

7. Yes, Texas Traffic Really is That Bad
By Jason Cohen | Texas Monthly | May 31
“INRIX, which released its numbers last week, also found that Austin was the eighth most congested city in America.”

8. Is the vice presidency worth having?
By Chris Cillizza | The Fix :: The Washington Post | May 31
“[Here] are our most up-to-date rankings of the vice presidential field … . This month we decided to cut to the chase and give a single line about the good and the bad of each potential pick.”

9. The secret to living over 100 is optimism, genetic background
GlobalPost | May 30
“A new study on aging studied participants over 95 of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.”

10. The 1 Percent’s Problem
By Joseph E. Stiglitz | Vanity Fair | May 31
“Why won’t America’s 1 percent — such as the six Walmart heirs, whose wealth equals that of the entire bottom 30 percent — be a bit more … selfish? As the widening financial divide cripples the U.S. economy, even those at the top will pay a steep price.”

******************

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. Blake Havard — Love
2. Mark Guitar Miller — Tired
3. Rob Mcmahan — Trouble
4. Summer and the Sinners — Breakin’ Up
5. Kid Rock — Country Boy Can Survive
6. The Midnight Flyers — Down Low
7. Tommy Z — Can’t Hide My Feelings
8. Los Lonely Boys — Man to Beat
9. Bleu Edmondson — Dallas
10. Dana Fuchs — Lonely for a Life Time
11. Chris Aaron Band — Grain Of Salt
12. Voodoo Blu — Blues is my Business

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

21st century civil rights movement / David McCullough and the Brooklyn Bridge / Rewriting original American history / Touring the vibrator exhibit / Visiting Peru

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. Psychiatrist Who ‘Proved’ Gays Can Be Cured Says It Was All a Big Mistake
By Cassie Murdoch | Jezebel | May 21
“Not only does this ‘pray away the gay’ strategy not work, it’s actively damaging to patients who undergo it.”

2. Gays may have the fastest of all civil rights movements
By Mark Z. Barabak | The Los Angeles Times | May 20
“Public attitudes have shifted sharply in the last 10 years. Chalk it up to familiarity — among family, friends, co-workers and prime-time TV characters.”

3. Study Confirms That Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Really Do Go Together
By Leslie Horn | Gizmodo | May 21
“Researchers in the Netherlands determined the ‘music-listening doses’ (which is a real term they actually used) of 944 students ages 15-25.”

4. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge with David McCullough
By Anna Sale | The Takeaway | May 21
“[His book] explored American history not through the eyes of a Founding Father or a President, but through one of the most important public works projects of all time: the Brooklyn Bridge.”

5. Finding the First Americans
By Andrew Curry | The New York Times | May 19
“Over the years, hints surfaced that people might have been in the Americas earlier than the Clovis sites suggest, but the evidence was never solid enough to dislodge the consensus view.”

6. A night at the vibrator museum
By Tracy Clark-Flory | Salon | May 19
“Early vibrators were hand-cranked, two-person jobs — and prescribed by doctors. How far we’ve come since then”

7. Obama stumbles out of the gate
By Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei | Politico | May 25
“Nothing inspires Democrats like the Barack Obama swagger — the supreme self-confidence on stage, the self-certainty in private. So nothing inspires more angst than when that same Obama stumbles, as he has leaving the gate in 2012.”

8. Five Reasons To Visit Peru That Aren’t Machu Picchu
By Lacy Morris | The Huffington Post | May 21
“Dine with the Peruvian elite, walk a manmade island, or raft a canyon that requires a mule to get to; but whatever you do, don’t beeline for the Andes then skip town.”

9. Rereading: The Sea of Fertility tetralogy by Yukio Mishima
By Richard T. Kelly | The Guardian | June 3
“Mishima’s ritualistic suicide in 1970 will always overshadow his work, but his dark saga of 20th-century Japan is mesmerising …”

10. Memorial Day: Remembering fallen of decade at war
By Allen G. Breed | Associated Press | May 25
“About 2.2 million U.S. service members have seen duty in the Middle Eastern war zones, many of them veterans of multiple tours. And more than 6,330 have died — nearly 4,500 in Iraq, and more than 1,840 in Afghanistan.”

******************

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. Shane Dwight — Pretty, Young and Mean
2. Gary Moore — All Your Love
3. Blue Condition — Cheap Wine
4. Dr. Wu — I Don’t Care Blues
5. Los Lonely Boys — Outlaws
6. Diane Durrett — From The Heart Of The Soul
7. Commitments — Chain Of Fools
8. Ian Moore — Muddy Jesus
9. Johnny Winter — Come On In My Kitchen
10. Howlin Wolf — Smokestack Lightnin
11. The Geoff Everett Band — Hole In My Life
12. Beth Thornley — Birmingham
13. Big Head Todd & the Monsters — Boom, Boom
14. Tommy Castro — Me And My Guitar

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

John Updike fading? / The other marriage myth / The priceless database of Afghan war wounds / Salman Rushdie on censorship / Hillary Clinton’s legacy at State

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. Q&A: Seeking Better-Sounding Skype Calls
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | May 17
“Are there any ways to improve the audio quality of computer-to-computer Skype calls?”

2. First & Last: Opening/Closing Lines from Our Best Books of the Month
By Neal Thompson | Omnivoracious :: Amazon.com | May 10
“Every book begins with nothing. A blank screen or, if you’re Robert Caro, a blank page.”

3. Have we fallen out of love with John Updike?
By Sarah Crown | Books Blog :: The Guardian | May 15
“Three years after John Updike’s death, his reputation appears to be on the wane. But who else can match his deftness and grace?”

4. The Myth About Marriage
By Garry Wills | NYR Blog :: The New York Review of Books | May 9
“Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.”

5. Lessons in a Catalog of Afghan War Wounds May Be Lost
By C.J. Chivers | The New York Times | May 17
“[The] database is one part of a vast store of information recorded about the experiences of American combatants. But there are concerns that the potential lessons from such data could be lost, because no one has yet brought the information together and made it fully cohere. ”

6. On Censorship
By Salman Rushdie | Page-Tirner :: The New Yorker | May 15
“Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it.”

7. What will Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic legacy be?
By Richard Wolf | USA Today | May 17
“As she prepares to leave the national stage after a 20-year run, Clinton is winning bipartisan respect at home and admiration abroad for her role as the nation’s 67th secretary of State.”

8. Coffee linked to lower risk of death
By Amina Khan | The Los Angeles Times | May 16
“Subjects who averaged four or five cups per day fared best, though it’s not clear why.”

9. Luxury Liner’s Removal to Begin Off Italian Coast
By Gaia Pianigiani | The New York Times | May 18
“One of the most expensive and challenging salvage operations ever planned, the removal of the luxury liner Costa Concordia from granite rocks off the Tuscan coast, where it ran aground in January, will begin next week.”

10. Play Caesar: Travel Ancient Rome with Stanford’s Interactive Map
Open Culture | May 18
“Users of the model can select a point of origin and destination for a trip and then choose from a number of options to determine either the cheapest, fastest or shortest route.”

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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. Tom Petty — Lovers Touch
2. The Insomniacs — Maybe Sometime Later
3. Preacher Stone — Blood From A Stone
4. Ramblin Dawgs — You Let Me Down
5. Los Lonely Boys — Man To Beat
6. Ray Wylie Hubbard — Snake Farm
7. The Derek Trucks Band — Get What You Deserve
8. MonkeyJunk — Tiger In Your Tank
9. Jimmie Vaughan — Texas Flood
10. Paul Thorn — Long Way From Tupelo
11. Curtis Salgado — Wiggle Outa This
12. Pride & Joy Band — Texas Hoochie Coo
13. Polk Street Blues Band — 100 Pound Hammer
14. Tommy Castro — Ninety-Nine And One Half