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

This week: The long shadow of Kristallnacht / The women who fought A&M and won / Troops on the U.S.-Mexico border / Lives of girls around the world / The fastest woman in the U.S.

This week: The long shadow of Kristallnacht / The women who fought A&M and won / Troops on the U.S.-Mexico border / Lives of girls around the world / The fastest woman in the U.S.

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. The Day of Fate
By David Frum | The Atlantic | November 2018
“Kristallnacht, on its 80th anniversary, still offers a potent lesson: We all face the choice between right and wrong, responsibility and recklessness, conscience and complicity.”

2. Meet the Women Whose Persistence Made Texas A&M Change Its Sexual Assault Policies
By Dan Solomon and Jessica Luther | Texas Monthly | November 2018
“The university implemented sweeping changes after members of Twelfth Woman and others went public with their experiences.”
Also see, from The New Yorker: One Year of #MeToo

3. Deployed Inside the United States: The Military Waits for the Migrant Caravan
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Helene Cooper | The New York Times | November 2018
“With little electricity, no combat pay and holidays away from home, the 5,600 American troops on the southwest border are on a mission ordered by a politically determined commander in chief and a Pentagon unable to convince him of its perils.”

4. Inside the harrowing trip to Jonestown: ‘Screams of shock and anguish filled the air’
By Larry Getlen | The New York Post | November 2018
“On Nov. 14, 1978, Jackie Speier, a 28-year-old legislative assistant to California Congressman Leo Ryan, flew with her boss to investigate the Jonestown commune in Guyana. Four days later, she lay sprawled on a runway, five bullets in her, the congressman dead nearby.”

5. Two girls from Afghanistan show us their lives by sharing diary entries, photos and dreams
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“Cultural gender norms, child marriage, poverty and a lack of schools are some of the reasons that contribute to lack of access to girls’ education in the country.”

6. An Open Letter from Guam to America
By Victoria-Lola M. Leon Guerrero | Boston Review | November 2018
“Today you occupy nearly one-third of our island, and station bombers and nuclear powered submarines here to flex your might to our neighbors. You play endless war games emitting fumes and dumping waste into our air, water, soil, bodies.”

7. How Everything Became the Culture War
By Michael Grunwald | Politico Magazine | November 2018
“America’s petty tribal arguments are now driving the bus on serious policy. Here’s why we should worry.”

8. Many women over 50 have leaky bladders, most don’t seek treatment
By Linda Carroll | Reuters | November 2018
“Nearly half of women over age 50 report bladder leakage and many say it’s a major problem for them, according to a new U.S. survey. Of the more than 1,000 women ages 50 to 80 who participated in the survey, 43 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds said they suffered from incontinence, as did 51 percent of those 65 and older. ”

9. Lady Leadfoot
By Amy Wallace | Sports Illustrated | October 2018
“She raced cars when few women dared. But more than trophies or prize money, it was the zen of driving that pulled her in. This is the story of Denise McCluggage, America’s once-fastest woman. ”

10. 30 years on since first migrant death, still no end to tragedies at sea
By Jesus Canas | El Pais | November 2018
“When the body of a Moroccan man washed up on a beach in Tarifa in 1988, no one knew that it would be the first of more than 6,700 fatalities”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

On wrong side of border fence / Texas redistricting’s cost / Mexican’s housewives wrestle / Contractors deal with Afghan risks / Orgasm rooted in the mind

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. Texans on wrong side of border fence grow anxious
By Christopher Sherman | Associated Press | Feb. 11
“In this lush area, the Rio Grande’s wide floodplain precluded building the fence right on the border so it was set back more than a mile in places, running behind the levees. The result is a no-man’s-land of hundreds of properties, and the people who work on them, on the wrong side of the divide.”

2. Slow Redistricting Lowers Clout of Texas Voters
By Ross Ramsey | The Texas Tribune | Feb. 10
“In a parallel political universe — one in which redistricting maps were in place and elections were on schedule — Texas would be getting national attention right now.”

3. The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician
By James Ryerson | Slate | Feb. 10
“In the July/August 2001 issue of the late, great magazine ‘Lingua Franca,’ James Ryerson published an enthralling article about an anonymous benefactor who was paying professors huge sums of money to review a strange 60-page philosophical manuscript.”

4. Mexican Housewives Wrestling. Seriously.
The Huffington Post | Feb. 11
“Sometimes you just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

5. Risks of Afghan War Shift From Soldiers to Contractors
By Rod Nordland | The New York Times | Feb. 11
“This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. ”

6. Orgasm: It’s All In Your Head
By Kayt Sukel | Dirty Minds :: Psychology Today | Feb. 11
“That’s right, we can orgasm without a single physical touch. All thanks to our brains.”

7. We Don’t Care What You Say, George: Han Shot First!
By Matt Blum | GeekDad :: Wired | Feb. 10
“Yes, Lucas is actually claiming that he only changed the appearance, not what actually happened, in the Han-shoots-Greedo scene in Mos Eisley in the (real) first film.”

8. Everything You Need to Survive Losing Your Laptop
By Kyle Wagner | Gizmodo | Feb. 10
“I’ve learned enough about the hell that that puts you through to have some advice if you end up unexpectedly computerless.”

9. Clint Eastwood helps reveal secrets of brain evolution
By Lisa Grossman | The New Scientist | Feb. 5
“It turns out that brain regions that do the same job in monkeys and humans aren’t always found in the same part of the skull.”

10. Archaeologists strike gold in quest to find Queen of Sheba’s wealth
By Dalya Alberge | The Guardian | Feb. 11
“A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba derived her fabled treasures”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. BAD TO THE BONE George Thorogood and the Destroyers
2. STILLNESS OF HEART Lenny Kravitz
3. GREEN RIVER Creedance Clearwater Revival
4. I NEED A MAN TO LOVE Janis Joplin
5. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE Cream
6. THREE MORE DAYS Ray MaMontagne
7. T.B. SHEETS Van Morrison
8. MANSION ON THE HILL (Live) Bruce Springsteen
9. I BELONG TO YOU Lenny Kravitz
10. LAKE OF FIRE (Unplugged) Nirvana