Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Films on the environment / The perfect paper clip / Summer books for politicos / The Lucretius effect / The end of men?

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 Environment video collection
PBS :: American Experience | May 2012
“Ever wonder what would happen if Antarctica’s ice melted? Or whether you live near a nuclear power plant? Or what kind of rare and intriguing indigenous animals live on Cuba’s undeveloped islands? Find the best green indie films, and learn more about what you can do to help the Earth.”

2. The Perfection of the Paper Clip
By Sara Goldsmith | Slate | May 22
“It was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since.”

3. A better border is possible
By Katie Ryder | Salon | May 26
“A more enlightened boundary could make us richer, save lives and even help rescue the Rust Belt.”

4. Summer 2012 Reading List
By Gwen Ifill | Washington Week | May 26
“Looking for some good summer reading? Check out the books Gwen and the Washington Week panelists recommend for the beach, the car, the plane or the pool. From fiction to politics, history to biography, there is something for everybody. The smartest reporters in Washington, D.C. bring you their suggestions for the summer’s best reads.”

5. ‘The Swerve’: When an Ancient Text Reaches Out and Touches Us
By Jeffrey Brown | PBS NewsHour | May 25
“In his new book, ‘The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,’ author Stephen Greenblatt unearths the tale of a book collector whose discovery of poet Lucretius’ ‘On the Nature of Things’ helped change the direction of human thought.”

6. Infertility Genes Could Lead to Male Contraception
By Jennifer Welsh | LiveScience | May 24
“Infertility remains a sensitive topic, and about 25 percent of cases remain unexplained.”

7. The Demise of Guys
By Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan | Hero :: Psychology Today | May 23
“In record numbers, guys are flaming out academically, wiping out socially with girls, and failing sexually with women.”

8. Japan Tsunami Debris: Bones Expected To Wash Ashore, Oceanographer Says
Associated Press | May 23
“Anyone who discovers such remains should call 911 and wait for police. DNA may identify people missing since the March 2011 tsunami hit Japan.”

9. Feeding a hungry world — or meddling with laws of nature?
By Michael McCarthy | The Independent | May 25
“As scientists at Rothamsted’s GM trials plead with activists not to sabotage their work, Michael McCarthy visits the battle field”

10. Making iTunes Ignore the Gap
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | May 21
“I enjoy listening to opera on my iPhone, but the Music app treats the parts of an opera recording as if they were ‘songs.’ Because of this, there is always a gap between the tracks of an opera CD. Is there a way to defeat this feature so that an entire act of an opera is played back seamlessly?”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. 24 DEEP Brotha Lynch Hung
2. BLING BLING B.G.
3. MS. FAT BOOTY Mos Def
4. ELECTRIC RELAXATION A Tribe Called Quest
5. HEY MAMA Black Eyed Peas
6. NO FEAR Originoo Gunn Clappaz
7. HEART OF THE CITY Jay-Z
8. TOO CLOSE Next
9. COLD ROCK A PARTY MC Lyte
10. PICTURE ME ROLLIN’ 2Pac

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Postal cuts … Huge black holes … The classic Marine Corps … Dems and religious voters … Secrets of Roman buildings.

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. Web an increasing tool to link campaigns, voters
By Beth Fouhy | Associated Press | Dec. 3
“Online advertising, once used primarily as a way to reach young and heavily wired consumers, has emerged as an essential communications tool in the 2012 presidential contest.”

2. Postal cuts to slow delivery of first-class mail
By Hope Yen | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“The changes … could slow everything from check payments to Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.”

3. Study: Lawn care industry large source of income for Latinos
By Renee Saldana | NewsTaco | Dec. 5
“The authors do point out that the percentage of Latino-owned landscaping and lawn care industry is double the national average. …”

4. Literature of moment not a signal of decline
By T.R. Fehrenbach | San Antonio Express-News | Dec. 5
“From ‘Iliad’ to today’s vampires, they brighten our lives.”

5. Scientists find monster black holes, biggest yet
By Marcia Dunn | Associated Press | Dec. 5
“A team led by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered the two gigantic black holes in clusters of elliptical galaxies more than 300 million light years away. That’s relatively close on the galactic scale.”

6. Q&A: Radio Over Wi-Fi Airwaves
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 28
“Q: I want a small device that will allow me to listen to the BBC Radio 4’s live stream. … I could use my laptop but then I’d have to keep plugging and unplugging it into the peripherals. … Is there another way?”

7. Postwar Marines: smaller, less focused on land war
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“This moment of change happens to coincide with a reorienting of American security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, where China has been building military muscle during a decade of U.S. preoccupation in the greater Middle East. That suits the Marines, who see the Pacific as a home away from home.”

8. Democrats see opening among religious voters in 2012 election
By Josh Lederman | The Hill | Dec. 4
“Democrats are setting out to court faith-based voters by connecting their policies on economic issues to the values of equality, tolerance and humanitarianism.”

9. The Secrets of Ancient Rome’s Buildings
By Erin Wayman | Smithsonian | Nov. 16
“What is it about Roman concrete that keeps the Pantheon and the Colosseum still standing?”

10. The fresh ideas that can help save our world
By Yvonne Roberts | The Guardian | Dec. 3
“Climate change, ageing, joblessness, a healthcare crisis: tomorrow is a tangle of problems. The solution may lie not in politics, but in a ‘social innovation’ movement that is generating groundbreaking ideas”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A new Canary island … Scorsese’s best … al-Qaida in Africa … Bachmann’s journey … Girl gangs

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. Canary Island volcano: A new island in the making?
By Rob Hugh-Jones | The World and BBC News | Dec. 3
“An undersea volcano erupting just south of Spain’s Canary Islands may be the beginnings of a new island, or an extension to an existing one. For some, it’s a colourful spectacle — for others a major blow to their livelihood.”

2. Martin Scorsese’s greatest movies
By Matt Zoller Seitz | Salon | Dec. 3
“‘Raging Bull’s’ a contender, and ‘Taxi Driver.’ Which other films round out the iconic director’s best?”

3. Dreaming May Help Relieve a Bad Day
My HealthNewsDaily | Nov. 23
“The results show that during nighttime dreaming, also known as REM sleep, the brain processes emotional experiences in a ‘safe’ environment, or one in which stress chemicals are low. This processing may take the emotional edge off of difficult memories, the researchers said.”

4. Candy, cash — al-Qaida implants itself in Africa
By Rukmini Callimachi and Martin Vogl | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“The terrorist group has create a refuge in this remote land through a strategy of winning hearts and minds, described in rare detail by seven locals in regular contact with the cell.”

5. Bachmann, from Waterloo to White House contender
By Adam Geller | Associated Press | Dec. 3
“The choreographed repetition of modern presidential campaigns can turn the most personable candidate into an endless loop of talking points. But any close observer of Bachmann’s political career would be hard-pressed to dismiss her as two-dimensional.”

6. Plastic Bag Bans Spreading Across The United States
By Jordan Howard | The Huffington Post | Dec. 1
“Four cities in Oregon — Eugene, Corvallis, Newport and Ashland — are considering banning plastic bags at retail stores. The towns would join at least 10 other U.S. cities and counties that have prohibited plastic bags since 2008.”

7. Interesting readers, as well as writers
By Sarah Sweeney | Harvard Gazette | Dec. 1
“Book focuses on leading authors and the books they love”

8. Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name
By Amy Chozick | The New York Times | Dec. 3
“Her move to television was a career shift she initiated, having her close advisers arrange interviews with top network executives and at one point working with the powerful Creative Artists Agency.”

9. Which Faulkner Novels Should HBO Adapt?
By David Haglund | Browbeat :: Slate | Dec. 2
“Clearly this is a question for true Faulkner aficionados, so I posed it to a handful of writers who know his work intimately—starting with a novelist who’s no slouch himself when it comes to literary adaptations.”

10. Rise of the girl gangs
By Brad Hamilton | The New York Post | Dec. 3
“As ‘crews’ proliferate in New York’s housing projects, officials worry about the increasing brutality of all-female wolfpacks”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY Donna Summer
2. POSSESSION Sarah McLachlan
3. ELSEWHERE (The Freedom Sessions) Sarah McLachlan
4. EROTICA Madonna
5. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS Foreigner
6. WAIT (The Whisper Song) Ying Yang Twins
7. KILOMETER Sebastien Tellier
8. THE ORBITING SUNS Jens Gad
9. PUNCH DRUNK Sade
10. LINGER The Cranberries

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Latinos ready to ‘teach’ … GOP candidate spouses … New approach to sex ed … The GOP debate … Rivers that go nowhere.

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. 11 ways to skip weight gain this Thanksgiving
The Dallas Morning News | Nov. 15
“Thanksgiving kicks off a season of plentiful food, parties and stress. Staying healthy, both mentally and physically, can be a challenge. Avoid common pitfalls with these healthy strategies, adapted from a story by health reporter Nancy Churnin.”

2. Couple forced to exchange Facebook passwords during divorce
By Michael Gartland | New York Post | Nov. 20
“The legal precedent, in the midst of a nasty custody battle between Stephen and Courtney Gallion, could mean more battling couples will be forced to give up their social-networking secrets.”

3. Aging in place: A little help can go a long way
By David Crary | Associated Press | Nov. 20
“According to surveys, aging in place is the overwhelming preference of Americans over 50. But doing it successfully requires both good fortune and support services. …”

4. Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond
By Jad Mouawad | The New York Times | Nov. 20
“Carriers on international flights are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. … The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.”

5. Not All Rivers Reach the Sea
By Rachel Nuwer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 17
“For six million years, the Colorado River ran its course from its soaring origins in the Rockies to a once-teeming two-million-acre delta, finally emptying 14 million acre-feet of fresh water into the Sea of Cortez. But now, a multitude of straws are drinking from the river. …”

6. GOP debate: Newt Gingrich beats back immigration critique
By Alexander Burns | Politico | Nov. 22
“Ascendant Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich delivered an unapologetic defense of his views on immigration Tuesday night, declaring in a foreign policy debate that the GOP should not adopt a platform on immigration that ‘destroys families that have been here a quarter-century.’

7. The meaning of 9/11’s most controversial photo
By Jonathan Jones | The Guardian | Sept. 2
“Thomas Hoepker’s photo of New Yorkers apparently relaxing as the twin towers smoulder says much about history and memory”

8. Teaching Good Sex
By Laurie Abraham | The New York Times Magazine | Nov. 16
“Across the country, the approach ranges from abstinence until marriage is the only acceptable choice, contraceptives don’t work and premarital sex is physically and emotionally harmful, to abstinence is usually best, but if you must have sex, here are some ways to protect yourself from pregnancy and disease.”

9. GOP candidate spouses — secret weapons or dangerous millstones?
By Chris McGreal | The Guardian | Nov. 18
“Gloria Cain helped dent harassment accusations against her husband but Anita Perry’s defence of Rick made things worse”

10. Latino men are always the most critical of me
NewsTaco | Nov. 18
“Latino men are the ones who have most insulted my intellect and tried to ‘teach me’ how I should navigate the world.”