Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Teaching your daughters / ‘Project Runway’ and depression / Donald Glover / Women rewriting the story / Black fatherhood and ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’

This week: Teaching your daughters / ‘Project Runway’ and depression / Donald Glover / Women rewriting the story / Black fatherhood and ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’

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. Why I’m Teaching My Daughters to Be Rude
By Danielle Lazzarin | The Cut :: New York Magazine | February 2018
“I would no longer teach them that they owe anyone smiles or gratitude for being noticed. I would no longer train them to weaken their boundaries for the sake of being polite.”

2. How ‘Project Runway’ Helped Me ‘Make It Work’ When I Was Depressed
By Juliet Escoria | Vice | February 2018
“Although I hate to admit it because it makes me feel sappy and basic, the show is inspiring — and Tim Gunn is a literal angel.”

3. Donald Glover Has Always Been Ten Steps Ahead
By Bijan Stephen | Esquire | February 2018
“He’s become one of the most powerful and influential individuals in town. So what’s next? We sat down with the legend in the making.”

4. Pushing back: why it’s time for women to rewrite the story
By Sarah Churchwell | The Guardian | February 2018
“Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined. It’s time to put a stop to the gaslighting.”

5. A Kingdom of Dust
By Mark Arax, Trent Davis Bailey and Denise Nestor | The California Sunday Magazine | January 2018
“I grew up in the suburbs where our playgrounds were named after the pioneers of fruit and canals of irrigation shot through our neighborhoods to the farms we did not know. For half my life, I never stopped to wonder: How much was magic? How much was plunder?”

6. Radiation Will Tear Elon Musk’s Rocket Car to Bits in a Year
By Rafi Letzter | LiveScience | February 2018
“Down on Earth, a powerful magnetic field and the atmosphere largely protect human beings (and Tesla Roadsters) from the harsh radiation of the sun and cosmic rays. But spacefaring objects have no such protections.”

7. New members of the editorial board
By Kristen Epps | Muster :: The Journal of the Civil War Era | February 2018
“The talented historians joining us in 2018 are Tera Hunter, Fitzhugh Brundage, Laura Edwards, Pekka Hämäläinen, and Susannah Ural.”

8. Controlling the Chief
By Charlie Savage | The New York Review of Books | February 2018
“Trump’s generals — some still in uniform, some now civilians — are clearly trying to mitigate turmoil and curb potential dangers. That may be at once reassuring and disturbing.”

9. Port Aransas Isn’t Giving Up
By Rachel Pearson | Texas Monthly | January 2018
“Returning to my devastated hometown, I found my friends and family putting on a brave face in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.”

10. Deep Space Nine Is TV’s Most Revolutionary Depiction of Black Fatherhood
By Angelica Jade Bastien | Vulture | January 2018
“The family they represent is wholly unique on television: a window into the future of black identity that never forgets the trials of our past or the complexity of our humanity.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: FIFA president re-elected / Pregnancy and depression / Orson Welles memoir discovered / Uber in Mexico / Hastert scandal

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This week: FIFA president re-elected / Pregnancy and depression / Orson Welles memoir discovered / Uber in Mexico / Hastert scandal

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. Blatter Control: FIFA Head Wins New Term Despite Corruption Probe
By David Francis | Passport :: Foreign Policy | May 29
“The Justice Department appears to be building a mob-style case against him, flipping low-level officials in hopes of then using their testimony to snag higher-ups. Whether they’ll ever get to Blatter remains to be seen.”

2. CBS’ Bob Schieffer Retires Sunday As Last Of The Old-School TV Anchors
By Eric Deggans | The Two-Way :: NPR News | May 29
“Schieffer leaves CBS with impressive stats. He’s one of the few reporters to have covered the White House, Congress, the State Department and the Pentagon. He’s interviewed every president since Richard Nixon and moderated three presidential debates.”

3. The characters in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie have pretty weird names
By Reed Tucker | New York Post | May 29
“From Sio Bibble to Grand Moff Muzzer, names in the world of Star Wars have always had their own special charm.”

4. Shields and Brooks on Dennis Hastert charges, Ashton Carter Iraq comments
Shields & Brooks :: PBS Newshour | May 29
“[T]he indictment and allegations of misconduct against former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s comments about the Iraqi army’s defeat at Ramadi, 2016 campaign announcements from Rick Santorum and George Pataki.”

5. Mexico taxi drivers threaten to ‘hunt down’ Uber cars
By Camilo Smith | La Voz de Houston :: Houston Chronicle| May 29
“Earlier this week taxi drivers blocked traffic to protest the arrival of the ride share service and according to reports the head of a taxi organization told the press the hunt is on for Uber drivers.”

6. Fact-Checking San Andreas With a Seismologist
By Alissa Walker | Gizmodo | May 29
“Among the many luminaries invited to preview the film was Dr. Lucy Jones, the USGS seismologist who recently took me on a walk along the Hollywood Fault, which runs just a block from the theater where San Andreas premiered.”

7. How Do You Define a Gang Member?
By Daniel Alarcon | The New York Times Magazine | May 27
“Laws acros the country are being used to target young men who fit the description for gang affiliation. But what if they aren’t what they seem?”

8. Hastert hometown rocked by scandal
By Jake Sherman and Hillary Flynn | Politico | May 29
“In Yorkville, Ill., shock and disbelief over allegations against a beloved teacher and coach.”

9. Archivists Uncover an Unfinished Memoir By Orson Welles
By Erin Blakemore | Smithsonian.com | May 29
“Fragments of ‘Confessions of a One-Man Band’ discovered in a newly-acquired trove of documents”

10. The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy With Depression
By Andrew Solomon | The New York Times Magazine | May 28
“Pregnant women often fear taking the antidepressants they rely on. But not treating their mental illness can be just as dangerous.”

Kate Stone’s Civil War: Out of time

An early-spring Texas cold front has scattered Stone’s beloved flowers, and she sinks into a depression as friends suddenly turn their backs and her brother wants to fight his school nemesis again.

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From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, who chronicled her Louisiana family’s turbulent experiences throughout the Civil War era.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences. You can read the entire journal online here.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

An early-spring Texas cold front has scattered Stone’s beloved flowers, and she sinks into a depression as friends suddenly turn their backs and her brother wants to fight his school nemesis again.

April 1, 1865

Tyler, Texas

A wild March wind is howling around the house, scattering the glory of the white and pink blossoms that have made the town so lovely for the last week. The white and purple lilacs yesterday were in full bloom, great plumes, redolent of perfume, but today the rude norther has drifted the fragrant petals far and wide. On the mantle is our first spring bouquet, wreathes of flowering almond, tufts of brilliant phlox, a handful of the coral honeysuckle loved by the boys, gold and purple pansies, as large as those in Louisiana, and sweetest of all, the cluster of purple and white lilac. Lilacs grow so much better in this red soil than in the swamp.

Though the buds and flowers of fair spring are with us, we are feeling the truth of the poet’s song, “What is friendship but a name?” Our refugee friends, Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Savage, have grown cold toward us, and we do not know what is wrong. It worries Mamma very much. Though we may pretend not to feel the wound, it is no less painful. As to Mrs. Carson, Mamma long ago realized that she had no conception of real friendship. Her nature is too shallow to be true to anyone. The last friend is always the best with her. But Mamma had a right to look for real friendship at Mrs. Savage’s hands, but she has not secured it. Her friendship is … worthless. … She showed plainly in the affair of the house that Mamma’s interest was as nothing to her compared to Mrs. Alexander’s, a friend of a few months. Mamma is disturbed by it, for she considered Mrs. Savage one of her very best friends.

Mrs. Alexander sent to ask Mamma to let her keep the house, but that would deprive us entirely of a home as Mamma had given up the one we are in and planted a garden at the Alexander house. It was impossible and we will move in May. We will be glad to move to the Brazos this fall and put the past and its false friends behind us. …

Beauregard is all right. We hear that Gen. Sherman is dead. …

Johnny is in a dreadful humor and makes us all feel it because Mamma will not allow him to have another fight with Charley Ligruski. Boys of Johnny’s age are generally self-willed and disobedient, Mamma can do but little with him, and now he is of no assistance to her. Everything seems to be going wrong, most probably because I myself am out of time, and so no more scribbling until I am myself again.

Kate Stone’s Civil War: Season of general disaster

Sudden deaths shock Stone and break her heart. All optimism of the past year is shattered.

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From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, who chronicled her Louisiana family’s turbulent experiences throughout the Civil War era.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences. You can read the entire journal online here.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

Sudden deaths shock Stone and break her heart. All optimism of the past year is shattered.

Dec. 10, 1864

Tyler, Texas

Dear little Beverly, that angel upon earth, has left us. The pure spirit has winged its way to its Heavenly home. Darling little Beverly. What a sad despairing letter her father wrote bearing the bitter news of her death. They are utterly heartbroken. She was the one great treasure of their lives. The pure little spirit is freed now, but all the sunshine of life to them lies buried in that tiny grave. She died October 2 of sore throat at Selma, Ala. She was the one perfect being I have ever known in face, in figure, in mind, in heart not one improvement could be suggested. We have several times heard people who were not related to her say, after playing with her, “That child will not live to grow up; she is too perfect.” That seemed to be the general feeling of all their friends in Vicksburg who had known her always. She was too fair and frail a flower to blossom in this time of death and destruction. … There was never a sweeter, lovelier little creature than our “Swamp Lily,” as she loved us to call her. May Our Father comfort and strengthen her poor mother, for her life is bound up in the child’s.

We were shocked and distressed to hear of Mary Gustine’s death. We were there on one Thursday and she died on Sunday. Her mother seemed a little anxious, but no one else thought her much ill. A noble, generous, and beautiful woman, she was one of our most valued friends. This is the first break in the circle of happy girls who erstwhile met at Brokenburn. Her mother, who is in wretched health, will continue to live with Capt. Buckner, and she and Ella will take charge of the baby. That family is utterly broken up — one brother in prison and another desperately wounded — and not a month ago they were congratulating themselves on how wonderfully they had escaped all sorrow in this season of general disaster and despair.

Truly, “We know not what a day may bring forth.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Enduring sexism / LBJ and the Secret Service / Exercise and depression / The Roman Empire / The political Eva Longoria

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This week: Enduring sexism / LBJ and the Secret Service / Exercise and depression / The Roman Empire / The political Eva Longoria

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. Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere
By Jessica Williams | The Daily Show | Oct. 2
“Also, that’s redundant.”

2. L.B.J.’s Bravado and a Secret Service Under Scrutiny
By Michael Beschloss | The Upshot :: The New York Times | Oct. 2
“Not long after President Kennedy’s assassination, President Johnson chafed under his Secret Service protection.”

3. What made Japan’s deadly volcanic eruption so unpredictable?
By Judy Woodruff and Miles O’Brien | PBS NewsHour | Sept. 30
“More than 250 people were out hiking and enjoying a nice fall day, when a surprise eruption littered the mountain with falling boulders, thick smoke and piles of ash. At least 36 people were killed.”

4. This Is How Eva Longoria Is Trying to Win the Midterms
By Asawin Suebsaeng | The Daily Beast | Oct. 1
“From working behind the scenes in the midterms to making a new farm labor documentary, the former Desperate Housewife has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in liberal politics.”

5. How Exercise May Protect Against Depression
By Gretchen Reynolds | Well :: The New York Times | Oct. 1
“Exercise may help to safeguard the mind against depression through previously unknown effects on working muscles.”

6. The Elements of Style
By Sasha Weiss | The Sunday Book Review :: The New York Times | Oct. 3
“Watching other women, seeing how they’re dressed and how they pull it off, is the way most of us learn to become ourselves.”

7. Former Haiti president Duvalier dies
By Mike Wooldridge | BBC News | Oct. 4
“Duvalier was just 19 when in 1971 he inherited the title of “president-for-life” from his father, the notorious Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier. He was accused of corruption, human rights abuses and repression in his rule, which ended in a 1986 uprising.”

8. Catastrophic Coltrane
By Geoff Dyer | NYR Gallery :: New York Review of Books | Oct. 4
“The interest of recordings from this final phase — in which Coltrane’s playing became increasingly frenzied and the accompaniment more abstracted — lies partly in what they preserve and partly in any hints they contain as to where Trane might have headed next.”

9. The Aral Sea’s Disappearing Act
By Anna Nemtsova | The Daily Beast | Oct. 4
“Satellite photos show how the depredations of dictators have turned the world’s fourth largest inland sea into a poisonous desert.”

10. 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
By Timothy B. Lee | Vox | Aug. 19
“Two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD, Caesar Augustus died. … Under Augustus and his successors, the empire experienced 200 years of relative peace and prosperity. Here are 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire — its rise and fall, its culture and economy, and how it laid the foundations of the modern world.”

Kate Stone’s Civil War: Trouble and distress

A week of brutal Texas winter weather brings Stone and her family depression, boredom, and frustration as she dreads what the future may hold.

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From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, who chronicled her Louisiana family’s turbulent experiences throughout the Civil War era.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences. You can read the entire journal online here.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

A week of brutal Texas winter weather brings Stone and her family depression, boredom, and frustration as she dreads what the future may hold.

Jan. 7, 1864

Tyler, Texas

All the unimportant days so far fall on Friday, Christmas, New Year’s, and my twenty-third birthday, the day of ill omen, all on luckless Friday. Let us see what reputation we can give it on the last of the year, when we can scan the record.

In the last twelve months trouble and distress have been our portion. “We have swallowed our tears like water” and have sunk beneath the chastisement of Our Lord. “His hands hath been heavy upon us yet … He hath not utterly forsaken us,” and we can thank Him for many blessings left.

A monotonous week to all closely housed by the extreme cold. Mamma and Mrs. Carson both depressed. Jimmy more than usually solemn. Eddie silent and subdued. The little girls tired of their usual pursuits, even cats and dolls have lost their charm. Even Johnny, the merriest and most mirth-loving of boys, has quieted down and is busy with his books and studies. He misses his great chum, Jimmy Carson, who is still away much to his mother’s annoyance.

No news from My Brother for so many months. When will he come? We are weary watching for the sight of his face and the sound of his voice. Gen. Morgan’s daring escape is one piece of good news.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats prepared a 2013 annual report for Stillness of Heart.

The WordPress.com stats prepared a 2013 annual report for Stillness of Heart.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Psychology of Batman / Middle East’s future / Wedding depression / What’s Sorkin’s problem? / The HIV wars

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. What Makes Batman Tick?
By Linda Holmes | MonkeySee :: Weekend Edition Sunday | July 15
“When you look at Batman with a coldly analytical eye … a few things stand out as potential red flags: the secrecy, the lair, the attraction to danger, the blithe self-sacrifice, the … cape.”

2. The good, the bad, and the ugly: Three scenarios for the Middle East
By Stephen M. Walt | Foreign Policy | July 20
“Although most commentary tends to obsess about recent events (Will Assad fall? Was Hezbollah for the bombing in Bulgaria? Will there be war with Iran? Is the two-state solution really dead? etc.) today, I want to step back and ask what the larger implications of these various events might be.”

3. The Wedding Effect
By Maggie Shipstead | The New York Times | July 18
“There is something numbing about all this marrying. The thrill of the first friends’ weddings, when everybody was young and lifelong commitment seemed wild and transgressive, has worn off, and a jaded peanut gallery has sprung up …”

4. NASA’s Mars rover may be in for blind landing
By Irene Klotz | Reuters | July 16
“That’s because the satellite that NASA was counting on for real-time coverage of the Mars Science Laboratory’s descent into Gale Crater, located near the planet’s equator, was sidelined last month by a maneuvering system glitch.”

5. Sharks tagged off Scotland monitored online
BBC News | July 20
“The movements of eight basking sharks can now be followed online, after scientists fitted them with satellite tags.”

6. ABC’s Ross takes heat for another blunder
By Dylan Byers | Politico | July 20
“Ross came under attack again Friday when he reported that James Holmes … may have connections to the Tea Party — basing that on a single web page that listed an Aurora-based ‘Jim Holmes’ as a member of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots”

7. Jean-Baptiste Michel: The mathematics of history
TED | May 2012
“From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns.”

8. Aaron Sorkin versus reality
By Alex Pareene | Salon | July 19
“The increasingly unpleasant superiority complex of America’s most prominent liberal screenwriter”

9. Semicolons: A Love Story
By Ben Dolnick | Opinionator :: The New York Times | July 2
“To abjure semicolons was to declare oneself pure of heart, steely-eyed, sadly disillusioned.”

10. The early days of HIV/Aids
Witness :: BBC News | June 3
“It’s 30 years since the HIV virus was first identified by medical experts. In the early days, carriers of the virus were stigmatised and treatment was in its infancy.”

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

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. The Jeff Strahan Band — Supercool
2. The Jeff Strahan Band — Folsom Prison Blues
3. Anna Popovic — My Man
4. Los Lonely Boys — Road House Blues
5. Bernard Allison — The Other Side
6. Zed Head — Till I Lost You
7. Scott Weis Band — Hurricane
8. Blackberry Smoke — Up In Smoke
9. The Derek Trucks Band — Revolution
10. ZZ Top — Brown Sugar
11. Etta James — Purple Rain
12. Brandon Jenkins — Austin
13. The Red Hot Blues Sisters — Bring It On Home

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Texas influence / Children of depressed parents / Illustrating gay rights / New Lincoln find / Women and ‘Alien’

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. Gail Collins: Texas runs America
By Kyrie O’Connor | Salon | June 9
“In a Salon interview, the New York Times writer who made Mitt’s dog famous takes dead aim at the Lone Star State”

2. Should Depressed People Avoid Having Children?
By Maia Szalavitz | Healthland :: Time | June 5
“Do people with depression or other psychological problems have any moral obligation to forgo bearing children in order to avoid passing on their ‘bad’ genes?”

3. Gay rights in the US, state by state
The Guardian | May 8
“Gay rights laws in America have evolved to allow — but in some cases ban — rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, housing, employment and school bullying.”

4. ‘O Doctor, do what you can,’ Lincoln’s wife pleaded, says new find
By Richard Simon | The Chicago Tribune | June 5
“The 21-page handwritten copy of [Charles A.]Leale’s report was discovered about two weeks ago by researcher Helena Iles Papaioannou while she was poring through records at the National Archives in Washington.”

5. Woman: The Other Alien in ‘Alien’
By Tom Shone | Slate | June 6
“Why are academics so obsessed with Ridley Scott’s movie and its sequels? Plus: An ‘Alien’ bibliography.”

6. ‘Mad Men’s’ Jared Harris on Lane’s Shocking [SPOILER ALERT]
By Gwynne Watkins | The Stream :: GQ | June 4
“Lane Pryce was a tragic character from the beginning, a bumbling sadsack of an Englishman who desperately craved the respect he had never received from his employers, his father, his wife, or his coworkers.”

7. Team of Mascots
By Todd S. Purdum | Vanity Fair | July 2012
“Four years ago, Barack Obama said he wanted a Lincoln-esque “team of rivals” in his Cabinet. Thanks to his own temperament, the modern White House, and the 24-hour news cycle, what the president has created is something that doesn’t look Lincoln-esque at all.”

8. Obama’s friend in Turkey
By David Ignatius | The Washington Post | June 7
“Turkey’s ascendancy in the region may seem obvious now, but it was less so in 2009, when Obama began working to build a special relationship.”

9. 10 Reasons Why Cormac McCarthy Is A Badass
By David McMillan | Thought Catalog | June 5
“McCarthy is a poetic storyteller whose challenging novels explore themes of violence, good and evil, and human survival.”

10. 11 Sneaky Ways People Use to Ruin Their Relationships
By Stephen J. Betchen | Psychology Today | June 4
“What pulled you together may be pulling you apart.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CAFE Eddie Palmieri
2. AZUCAR DE CANA Trio Los Chasquis
3. I DECREE PEACE Aurah
4. OYE EL CONSEJO Ibrahim Ferrer
5. CHAN CHAN Buena Vista Social Club
6. BALDERRAMA Mercedes Sosa
7. HAPPY Bruce Springsteen
8. PRETTY BALLERINA The Left Banke
9. FOCUS ON SIGHT Thievery Corporation
10. HOME Zero 7

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Vets cope with injuries / Bachmann’s implosion / Daily health care deals / The narcissist / Don’t mention George W. Bush

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. Acting Out War’s Inner Wounds
By James Dao | The New York Times | Jan. 1
“The roadside bomb that separated Sgt. Matthew Pennington from his left leg in 2006 also shattered his right leg and scorched his lungs. Those injuries he understood. But then came the ones he did not, the ones inside his head.”

2. Topic: Why did Michele Bachmann implode?
By David Mark | The Arena :: Politico | December 2011
Weigh in on her political rollercoaster ride.

3. Uninsured turn to daily deal sites for health care
By Joseph Pisani | Associated Press | Jan. 1
“Merchants like the deals because it gives them exposure and a pop in business. Customers use them to try something new, to save money on something they already use, or both.”

4. The Dreamers
Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Viridiana Martinez only found out that she is considered ‘illegal’ upon graduating from high school and discovering that she could not work or apply to colleges. … But now Viridiana is fighting back — openly declaring her ‘illegal’ status. …”

5. Behind the Facade: The ‘False Self’ of the Narcissist
By Randi Kreger | Psychology Today | November 2011
“Narcissists can’t differentiate between their mask and their true self”

6. For the Depressed, Mothers Matter More
Big Think | December 2011
“Depressed people react more strongly to photos of their mother than healthy individuals, according to new research.”

7. Keeping Greens Green
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | November 2011
“When greengrocers drench vegetables with water every few minutes, does it keep them fresh or hasten spoilage?”

8. Carter’s advice to Obama: Don’t alienate voters
By Greg Bluestein | Associated Press | Jan. 3
“Carter said: ‘If your main goal is to get re-elected, avoid a controversial subject as much as you can in the first term.’ ”

9. George W. Bush barely mentioned in GOP campaign
By Beth Fouhy | Associated Press | Jan. 3
“While the candidates routinely lionize Ronald Reagan and blame President Barack Obama for the nation’s economic woes, none has been eager to embrace the Bush legacy of gaping budget deficits, two wars and record low approval ratings — or blame him for the country’s troubles either.”

10. Civil War women: Laura Towne
Civil War Women Blog | November 2011
“Begun in 1862, the Port Royal Experiment, the first large-scale government effort to help the newly freed slaves. Northern women like Laura Towne and Charlotte Forten volunteered, and made it their mission to educate the freedmen and prepare them for economic independence.”