Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Your dog’s mind / John Bercow, the unlikely hero / Baltimore, the fallen city / La Malinche / Slavery in the Pacific

This week: Your dog’s mind / John Bercow, the unlikely hero / Baltimore, the fallen city / La Malinche / Slavery in the Pacific

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. ‘I shouldn’t really be saying this’: John Bercow on Brexit, backbenchers and why nobody dreams of being speaker
By James Graham | Prospect | April 2019
“The speaker’s chair has become the crucible for the whole Brexit constitutional crisis. And John Bercow is loving it”

2. The Tragedy of Baltimore
By Alec MacGillis | ProPublica | March 2019
“Since Freddie Gray’s death in 2015, violent crime has spiked to levels unseen for a quarter century. How order collapsed in an American city.”

3. Inside the grand and sometimes slimy plan to turn octopuses into lab animals
By Ben Guarino | The Washington Post | March 2019
“In a cavernous laboratory here, scientists are raising thousands of octopuses, cuttlefish and their kin as part of the Cephalopod Program, a three-year-old initiative to transform these sea creatures into the next lab animals. Cephalopods ooze scientific appeal: They have complex bodies, unusual genetics, impressive spatial skills and intelligent minds. Yet the animals can be reluctant to breed, hard to raise and difficult to keep from escaping their tanks.”

4. Let’s Journey Through the Mind of a Dog
By Erica Tennenhouse | The Crux :: Discover | March 2018
“While our grasp of canine cognition may never approach what we know of the human psyche, the latest research has yielded tantalizing nuggets about the inner lives of dogs.”

5. The Democrats’ Dilemma
By Tim Alberta | Politico Magazine | March 2019
“What Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips tell us about the future of the Democratic Party.”

6. How Regime Change Breeds Demagogues
By Kristen Ghodsee | The New Republic | March 2019
“Economic liberalization can be just as traumatic as military intervention.”

7. Who Was La Malinche?
By Farah Mohammed | JSTOR Daily | March 2019
“La Malinche was a key figure in the conquest of the Aztecs. But was she a heroine or a traitor It depends on whom you ask.”

8. Richmond exhibit seeks to reimagine Confederate statues
By Denise Lavoie | Associated Press | March 2019
“The exhibit grew out of an international design competition that asked architects, planners, designers, and artists to reimagine Monument Avenue, a 5-mile historic urban boulevard where five giant statues of Confederate figures from Virginia stand, including Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Confederate naval commander Matthew Fontaine Maury.”

9. How the Daughters and Granddaughters of Former Slaves Secured Voting Rights for All
By Martha S. Jones | Smithsonian Magazine | March 2019
“[T]he history of black women and the vote is one about figures who, though subjected to nearly crushing political disabilities, emerged as unparalleled advocates of universal suffrage in its truest sense.”

10. The Trans-Pacific Slave Trade
By Christopher Rose | Not Even Past :: UT Austin Department of History | January 2016
“At the height of the Spanish Empire, the Manila Galleon – an annual flotilla between Manila and Acapulco – was considered the lifeline of Spain’s economy, bringing silver from the mines of New Spain to the markets of Asia. On the reverse trip, the galleons would be loaded with Asian luxury goods, such as spices, silks — and slaves.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Iran’s conquest of Iraq / Great Texas beach reads / Watermelon feta mint salad / What China truly fears / Corey Flintoff on Russia

This week: Iran’s conquest of Iraq / Great Texas beach reads / Watermelon feta mint salad / What China truly fears / Corey Flintoff on Russia

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. Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’
By Tim Arango | The New York Times | July 15
“From Day 1, Iran saw … a chance to make a client state of Iraq, a former enemy against which it fought a war in the 1980s so brutal, with chemical weapons and trench warfare, that historians look to World War I for analogies. If it succeeded, Iraq would never again pose a threat, and it could serve as a jumping-off point to spread Iranian influence around the region. In that contest, Iran won, and the United States lost.”

2. Brexit followed by Corbyn in No 10 would put UK flat on its back — Blair
By Peter Walker | The Guardian | July 15
“[Former Labor prime minister] Tony Blair has warned that the combination of Brexit followed by a Jeremy Corbyn government would soon leave Britain ‘flat on our back,’ arguing that a deeply divided country needs a fundamental rethink of its political ideas.”
Also: Read Blair’s article here.

3. Why China’s leaders are so terrified of dissent
By Fred Hiatt | The Washington Post | July 13
“The answer, I believe, has something to do with the story China’s rulers tell their people, and maybe themselves, to cling to power.”

4. Wonderful Political Tales for Beach Reading
By R.G. Ratcliffe | BurkaBlog :: Texas Monthly | July 10
“Books that will take your mind off of Russians and Special Sessions”

5. A Conversation with Corey Flintoff: The Resurgence of Russia
Texas Public Radio :: YouTube | July 12, 2017
“TPR, in partnership with the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, hosted [the discussion on] June 23, 2017, at the McNay Art Museum.”

6. Maryam Mirzakhani, groundbreaking mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies at 40
By Omar Etman | The Rundown :: PBS NewsHour | July 15
“She won the prize for a 172-page paper on the trajectory of a billiards ball around a polygonal table that has been hailed as a “titanic work” and the “beginning of a new era” in mathematics. Mirzakhani studied the complexities of curved surfaces such as spheres, doughnut shapes and hyperbolas.”
Also: Read her award-winning paper here.

7. Spain’s King Felipe VI addresses the British Parliament
SkyNews :: YouTube | July 12
The Spanish monarch’s speech followed a visit with Queen Elizabeth II.

8. Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint
ToriAvey.com | June 2011
“Even those of you who don’t like sweet, fruity salads may appreciate this one — the flavor is truly unique.”

9. How to Write an Internet Essay to Support Your Novel
By Gabe Habash | Coffee House Press :: LitHub | June 5
“You should probably write something about your book, now that it’s being published. But you are worried because you don’t have anything left to say about your book.”

10. Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire
By Marc Perry | The Guardian | August 2016
“The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins stirred controversy with her work on the crushing of the Mau Mau uprising. But it laid the ground for a legal case that has transformed our view of Britain’s past”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: 100 Days / Bannon strikes back / Secrets of meteorites / Hitchcock on Theresa May / Prince’s final songs / CNN’s Jake Tapper

This week: 100 Days / Bannon strikes back / Secrets of meteorites / Hitchcock on Theresa May / Prince’s final songs / CNN’s Jake Tapper

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. Hope. Fear. Elation and Angst in 100 Days
USA Today | April 26
“Donald Trump’s victory elicited strong emotional responses, ranging from shock to elation to fear. … But people across the political spectrum shared one overarching belief: the country remains deeply divided.”

2. Bannon reasserts influence in 100 days push
By Jonathan Easley | The Hill | April 28
“Keeping up a blistering pace punctuated by executive orders and tough talk, Trump appears to have recommitted himself to the nationalist-populist themes he rode into office when Bannon acted as his campaign chairman.”

3. How meteorites reveal the solar system’s history
By Sophia Chen | New Scientist | April 19
“Clever ways to find more space debris, and pinpoint where it came from, will help us rewrite what we know about the solar system’s turbulent youth”

4. How Many People Can Earth Support?
CrowdScience :: BBC World Service | April 27
“Our planet is getting rather cosy. In just over 200 years, the global population has grown from 1 billion to almost 7.5 billion — and the best estimates suggest it’s going to keep on increasing.”

5. Dial B for Brexit: how Hitchcock would explain Britain’s current politics
By Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian | April 19
“Here’s how the director might have plotted a Theresa May movie”

6. Prince’s ‘Deliverance’: An Impressive Collection of Unreleased Songs Shrouded in Controversy
By Stereo Williams | The Daily Beast | April 19
“A posthumous album is often an uncomfortable reality for any die-hard fan; it’s understandable that anyone would want to hear unearthed gems from an artist they hold dear, but it’s just as understandable for anyone to believe rummaging through the vault of a deceased genius is exploitative and greedy. ”

7. CNN’s Jake Tapper Is the Realest Man in ‘Fake News’
By Taffy Brodesser-Akner | GQ | April 18
“The CNN anchor’s ramrod brand of honest outrage has made him a bona fide star and prompted an unlikely question: How, in an age of lies, does a guy make righteous truth-telling so damn entertaining?”

8. The Loves of Lena Dunham
By Elaine Blair | The New York Review of Books | July 2012
“Dunham has set the viewer free from having to keep score on either the man’s or the woman’s behalf. We can admire the two actors’ chemistry together. We can feel the erotic charge of the scene in spite of its limitations, qua sex, for Hannah. We can contemplate Hannah’s lack of sexual confidence without condemning Adam. …”

9. Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years
By Michael Finkel | The Guardian | March 2017
“At the age of 20, Christopher Knight parked his car on a remote trail in Maine and walked away with only the most basic supplies. He had no plan. His chief motivation was to avoid contact with people.”

10. The Baghdad Road
By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad | London Review of Books | May 4
“Who cares about another dead body in a war that — in its many incarnations: sectarian cleansing, religious purification, national liberation — has haunted this highway for the last 14 years? The place is in ruins.”