Recommended reading / viewing / listening

More twins / Takes those meds / Wisdom from Damien Lewis / Healthier 2012 / How funny are you?

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. More US women having twins; rate at 1 in 30 babies
By Mike Stobbe | Associated Press | Jan. 4
“Some increase was expected as more women are delaying starting a family until they are over 30. For some unknown reason, mothers in their 30s are more likely to have twins than younger or older women.”

2. The books that shaped history: The Gutenberg Bible
By Melvyn Bragg | BBC News Magazine | Jan. 5
“The 15th-Century Gutenberg Bible changed the way books were received and read. It was the first real book to be mass-produced using movable type printing techniques – and so could be made in a fraction of the time it had previously taken scribes to write by hand.”

3. Taking your meds can save money, hospital trips
By Linda Johnson | Associated Press | Jan. 3
“Not filling prescriptions and even skipping doses can result in serious complications and lead to ER visits and hospital stays, even premature death.”

4. This much I know
By Tony Horkins | The Guardian | April 2009
“Damian Lewis, actor, 38, Los Angeles”

5. An Economist’s Guide to Dieting and Burning Calories
By Richard McKenzie | The Daily Beast | December 2011
“10 counterintuitive ideas to make calories more expensive and exercise more valuable in the New Year.”

6. Are You as Funny as You Think You Are?
By Susan K. Perry | Psychology Today | December 2011
“Not everything is equally amusing in the comedy writers’ room.”

7. Almonds for Calcium?
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | March 2010
“I have read that almonds are a good source of calcium and also that they can block calcium absorption. Which is correct?”

8. Before Hitler, Who Was the Stand-In for Pure Evil?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | October 2011
“The Egyptian Pharaoh, of course”

9. Five myths about NASA
By Eric Sterner | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | July 2011
“Today, many Americans have no memory of the moon landing, and NASA isn’t a source of pride but a budget line that needs to be cut. Why spend billions exploring an uninhabitable environment when many Americans don’t have health care? To understand the importance of our space program, it’s first necessary to debunk some misconceptions about what NASA is and how it operates.”

10. Civil War women: Anna Cora Mowatt
Civil War Women Blog | October 2011
“Anna Cora Mowatt (1819–1870) was an author, playwright and actress. She was the first upper-middle-class woman to make a career in the theater, and her successes helped to legitimize acting as an occupation for women. Mowatt is generally regarded as a significant contributor to the development of American drama.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

3d printing / Not good enough / 2012’s Medicare debate / The new Jessica Lynch / Stuck with fat

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. Codebreaker Alan Turing gets stamp of approval
By Caroline Davies | The Guardian | Jan. 1
“Gay mathematician convicted of gross indecency in 1952 among those to be celebrated in Royal Mail stamps in 2012”

2. Babies may be getting bigger, but questions remain
By Andrew M. Seaman | Reuters | Jan. 2
“The weights and lengths of babies born in southwestern Ohio have been growing in recent decades, a new study found, but no link to obesity later in childhood was seen.”

3. The Fat Trap
By Tara Parker-Pope | The New York Times Magazine | December 2011
“Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower.”

4. Jessica Lynch’s New Life
By Jessica Lynch and Abigail Pesta | Newsweek | December 2011
“The teenage soldier who famously became a prisoner of war in Iraq has a new title: college graduate.”

5. 2012 Medicare debate is all about the baby boomers
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | Associated Press | Jan. 1
“Baby boomers take note: Medicare as your parents have known it is headed for big changes no matter who wins the White House in 2012. You may not like it, but you might have to accept it.”

6. How to Stop a Multinational
Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Argentineans are used to hitting the streets to start revolutions. … But now they are demanding that their valuable water sources up in the Andean Mountains be protected from the multinational mining companies they say are endangering their communities.”

7. What if Your Best Qualities Still Aren’t Good Enough?
By Donna Barstow | Psychology Today | November 2011
“A cartoon about ignoring ignorant people.”

8. 3D Printing: A Coming of Age Story
Big Think | December 2011
“3D printing is taking on an increasingly large role in the manufacturing processes of large American companies like GE.”

9. Fireworks at the Beach
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | November 2011
“Recently, at the San Diego ocean beach at night, we watched light emanating from every wave crest. News reports said it was caused by the red tide. How does it work?”

10. Two Worlds Colliding
By Cindy Y. Hong | Explainer :: Slate | November 2011
“Could it really happen?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Gingrich and Clinton / Christmas stress / Marine recalls coming home / Teaching James Franco / SAD songs

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. Gingrich, Clinton had stormy partnership
By Laurie Kellman | Associated Press | Dec. 22
“To hear Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich tell it, he and Democratic President Bill Clinton were political partners in the 1990s, lowering unemployment, balancing the federal budget and keeping the nation’s economy in robust health.”

2. Brain strain: Christmas shopping when money tight
By Malcom Ritter | Associated Press | Dec. 18
“Plenty of Americans are having to hold back this year as the lure of flashy ads, tempting bargains and family expectations clashes with the realities of the economy. Experts in consumer behavior say that situation can strain the brain.”

3. Coming Home: A Marine Officer Remembers His Tours In Iraq
By Benjamin Busch | The Daily Beast | Dec. 19
“A Marine officer who served two tours of duty shares memories of his time in Iraq and what the return home has meant.”

4. What It’s Like To Be James Franco’s Professor
By R. John Williams | Slate | Dec. 20
“His English professor at Yale reveals that the actor rarely missed a discussion, even when filming in Detroit.”

5. Twenty Songs To Go With Your Seasonal Affective Disorder
By Dave Bry | The Awl | Dec. 22
Leonard Cohen, Bill Withers, Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen and more.

6. Q&A: Locking Up a USB Drive
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 2
“Q: I like to transfer files between machines with a portable USB drive. Is there a way to protect this drive with a password in case I ever lose it?”

7. Learn From A Dog: 15 Life Lessons From Your Pet
The Huffington Post | Dec. 22
“Dogs tend to be happy, active and well rested — things we could all stand to learn.”

8. Why women need fat
By Hannah Tepper | Salon | Dec. 18
“Evolution shows that women’s dieting beliefs aren’t just unrealistic — they’re unnatural. An expert explains.”

9. My overworked wife is becoming increasingly bitter toward me
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I’m tired of trying to hold my feelings in and am beginning to wonder if I have to continue living like this. Please give me some advice about how I should deal with my wife.”

10. The death of Kurt Cobain
Witness :: BBC News | April 5
“In April 1994 the lead singer of the grunge rock band Nirvana was found dead in his home in Seattle.”

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

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. Blue Condition — Lady from the Delta
2. Boogie Bone — Don’t Mean a Thing
3. Alejandro Escovedo — Castanets
4. Robert Earl Keen — Throwin’ Rocks
5. Bobby Blue Bland — Let’s Straighten It Out
6. Philosopher Stone — Sweet Charity
7. Dr. Wu — I Don’t Need No Woman Like You
8. Joe Bonamassa — Walking Blues
9. Lost Immigrants — Genevieve
10. The Insomniacs — 20-20
11. Zack Walther & The Conkites — Georgia Cane