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

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.”