Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Tracking whale sharks / How Nixon chased women / Dead vice presidents / Man-made eggs, woman-made sperm / Chronicling Syria’s bloodshed / Friday’s blues

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For this week:
Tracking whale sharks / How Nixon chased women / Dead vice presidents / Man-made eggs, woman-made sperm / Chronicling Syria’s bloodshed / Friday’s blues

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. Where the Whale Sharks Go
By Christopher Joyce | Morning Edition :: NPR | Aug. 22
“After tagging more than 800 whale sharks over nine years, the team discovered that after feeding, the sharks head off in seemingly random directions. Some travel thousands of miles, and they can dive a mile deep.”

2. How the Nixon Administration Tried to Woo Women
By Emma Green | The Atlantic | Aug. 22
“It turns out that the Republican strategy on women in the 1970s was about as nimble as ‘binders full of women’ ”

3. Have any vice presidents died in office?
By Anthony Bergen | Dead Presidents | August 2013
“Yes, quite a few of our Vice Presidents have died in office, actually — SEVEN out of 47 total, so about 15% of the VPs didn’t survive their term.”

4. Lab-Made Egg and Sperm Precursors Raise Prospect for Infertility Treatment
By David Cyranoski | Nature / Scientific American | Aug. 21
“A technical tour de force, which involved creating primordial germ cells from mouse skin cells, is prompting scientists to consider attempting this experiment with human cells”

5. Syria’s civil war: A chronicle of bloodshed
By Emily Lodish | GlobalPost | Aug. 21
“News of a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria follows a chain of deadly events. Here’s a look at the worst of the worst.”

6. The Latinos turning to Islam
By Katy Watson | Newshour :: BBC World News | August 2013
“With more than 50 million Hispanics living in the US, the Latino community is now the country’s biggest minority. ”

7. Covering Nixon
The New York Review of Books | Aug. 9
“The sheer number, variety, and viciousness of David Levine’s drawings of Nixon provide some sense of his place in The New York Review’s pages during the five and a half years of his presidency.”

8. Bezos, Heraclitus and the Hybrid Future of Journalism
By Arianna Huffington | LinkedIn | Aug. 14
“The future will definitely be a hybrid one, combining the best practices of traditional journalism — fairness, accuracy, storytelling, deep investigations — with the best tools available to the digital world — speed, transparency, and, above all, engagement.”

9. The Man Who Knew Too Much
By Marie Brenner | Vanity Fair | May 1996
“Angrily, painfully, Jeffrey Wigand emerged from the sealed world of Big Tobacco to confront the nation’s third-largest cigarette company, Brown & Williamson. Hailed as a hero by anti-smoking forces and vilified by the tobacco industry, Wigand is at the center of an epic multibillion-dollar struggle that reaches from Capitol Hill to the hallowed journalistic halls of CBS’s 60 Minutes.”

10. Are Apostrophes Necessary?
By Matthew J.X. Malady | Slate | May 2013
“Not really, no.”

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

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. Gary Moore — Texas Strut
2. Paul Rodgers & Gary Moore — She Moves Me
3. Dr. Wu — Storm Watch Warning
4. Needtobreathe — Prisoner
5. Rick Huckaby — Can’t Miss Kid
6. The Mark Knoll Band — High Time
7. Preacherstone — Old Fashioned Ass Whoopin’
8. Brian Burns & Ray Wylie Hubbard — Little Angel Comes A-Walkin
9. Cody Gill Band — Crazy
10. Ramblin Dawgs — Worse Without You
11. Pat Green & Cory Morrow — Stuck In The Middle With You
12. Bobby Manriquez — How We Started
13. WSNB — True Love
14. Shane Dwight — Boogie King

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Women’s political support / Requiring unemployed to volunteer / Nixon’s China decision / Bizarre science war / Battling birth control

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. Gender-bending model pushes limits of the runway
By Bonny Ghosh | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“He has the kind of face that makes even the vainest woman jealous: high cheekbones, flawless skin and plump, shapely lips. When he speaks, his ever-so-slight Adam’s apple is the first sign of his masculinity.”

2. The XX factor
The Economist | Feb. 11
“Can a woman candidate count on female voters’ support?”

3. How to become Anthony Bourdain
The Daily Dish :: The Los Angeles Times | Feb. 10
“It’s no secret that Bourdain has what most people would consider to be a dream job — he travels around the world eating and drinking with his friends while making ‘self-indulgent’ television.”

4. Senate Republicans Would Require The Unemployed To Volunteer
By Arthur Delaney | The Huffington Post | Feb. 10
“A bill introduced Thursday by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) would also require claimants drawing benefits six months or longer to search for work at least 20 hours a week.”

5. Mrs. Lincoln, I Presume? Well, as It Turns Out …
By Patricia Cohen | The New York Times | Feb. 11
“The story behind the picture was compelling: Mrs. Lincoln had Mr. Carpenter secretly paint her portrait as a surprise for the president, but he was assassinated before she had a chance to present it to him.”

6. Nixon’s great decision on China
By David Ignatius | The Washington Post | Feb. 10
“[H]ere’s a salute to inconsistency, cunning and other un-American traits that made Nixon’s opening to China possible. As we approach this week’s anniversary of his departure for Beijing, it’s useful to look back at one of the biggest — and best — flip-flops in American history.”

7. The Frog of War
By Dashka Slater | Mother Jones | January/February 2012
“When biologist Tyrone Hayes discovered that a top-selling herbicide messes with sex hormones, its manufacturer went into battle mode. Thus began one of the weirdest feuds in the history of science.”

8. This Story of Galactic Destruction and Time Will Blow Your Mind
By Jesus Diaz | Gizmodo | Feb. 11
“In 1995, the world was astonished by the image of a group of 4-light-year-tall columns located in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 light years from here. So unimaginable it was that someone called them the Pillars of Creation. The only problem is that the pillars didn’t really exist. Something had destroyed them more than a thousand years ago.”

9. War on birth control
By Rachel Maddow | The Washington Post | Feb. 10
“Hormonal contraceptives generally prevent an egg from being fertilized in the first place, but the at-least-theoretical possibility that they might also prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus was enough to raise the specter of birth control pills being viewed as an instrument of homicide.”

10. Napoleon’s failure: For the want of a winter horseshoe
By Saul David | BBC News Magazine | Feb. 8
“Of all the challenges faced by generals through history, moving armies has been one of the greatest – and Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia 200 years ago illustrates just how badly things can go wrong when it is underestimated.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Stephen Hawking / The real Downton Abbey / The real unemployment rate / Facebooking for organs / Growing nails

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. Stephen Hawking to turn 70, defying disease
By Maria Cheng | Associated Press | Jan. 5
“British scientist Stephen Hawking has decoded some of the most puzzling mysteries of the universe but he has left one mystery unsolved: How he has managed to survive so long with such a crippling disease.”

2. Make it federal
The Economist | December 2011
“If their country is to function, Iraqis need to share power”

3. Turkey’s Museum of Shame
By Jenna Krajeski | Foreign Policy | December 2011
“Diyarbakir Prison is a notorious site of torture and repression. Now, activists want to transform it into a symbol of Turkey’s long war against the Kurds.”

4. The Real Downton Abbey: Juiciest Bits From ‘The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle’
By Tom Sykes | The Daily Beast | Jan. 1
“Séances, Rothschild love children, the Curse of Tutankhamen. Tom Sykes on the shocking real-life history of Highclere Castle, the setting for the smash-hit British TV drama.”

5. Who Are the 6 Million?
By Derek Thompson | The Atlantic | December 2011
“If they counted toward unemployment, the official rate would be 11 percent rather than 8.6 percent. As the economy picks up, and these people re-join the job hunt, the unemployment rate will go up before it goes down.”

6. For some in need, Facebook is route to new kidney
By Donna Gordon Blankinship | Associated Press | Jan. 1
“Between the kid photos and reminiscences about high school, more and more pleas for help from people with failing kidneys are popping up. Facebook and other social media sites are quickly becoming a go-to place to find a generous person with a kidney to spare, according to the people asking for help and some national organizations that facilitate matches.”

7. Pakistan: The New Radicals
Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Activist Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi has dedicated his life to challenging the complex religious, economic and social divisions which threaten to strangulate Pakistan.”

8. The Toolbox of Self-Deception, Part I
By Sam Sommers | Psychology Today | September 2009
“To thine own self be true. But only some of the time.”

9. Watching Nails Grow
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | May 2011
“Why do fingernails grow faster than toenails? And why do the growth rates vary as I age?”

10. Justin Bieber’s One Time
By Forrest Wickman | Explainer :: Slate | November 2011
“Are virgins any more or less fertile than other people?”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:

1. ANGEL Massive Attack
2. LOVING’ TOUCHIN’ SQUEEZIN’ Journey
3. I WANT YOUR HANDS ON ME Sinead O’Connor
4. CREAM Prince
5. SENSUAL WOMAN The Herbaliser
6. MORNING HAS BROKEN Cat Stevens
7. IF YOU WERE THE WOMAN AND I WAS THE MAN Cowboy Junkies
8. HOLD ON Sarah McLachlan
9. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL Joe Cocker
10. READY FOR LOVE India.Arie

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Allende’s suicide / Babymaking time / Cartels’ radio systems / Lazy in-laws / Fall of Berlin

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. Chile closes Allende case after confirming suicide
Associated Press | Dec. 29
“An international panel of experts convened by Judge Mario Carroza determined that Allende took his own life with an AK-47 while defending the presidential palace in Chile’s 1973 coup.”

2. It’s High Time for Conception: Studies Show Peak Times, Weather for Sex
By Anneli Rufus | The Daily Beast | Dec. 27
“Studies show the holiday season is prime time for baby making. Anneli Rufus reports on which day, at what time, and in what weather you stand the best chance of having sex.”

3. How to function after a sleepless night
By Ed Vanstone | Men’s Health | December 2011
“No sleep? No problem — if you follow our advice”

4. Gentleman’s Goal: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
By Patrick Wittwer | The Primer | September 2011
“After graduating college it’s easy to get caught in a rut. If you don’t make an active attempt at getting out of your comfort zone you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.”

5. Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system
By Michael Weissenstein | Associated Press | Dec. 26
“The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.”

6. Volcanic Cooling
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2009
“Could an increase in volcanic eruptions counter global warming with the resulting dust, smoke and debris?”

7. Revolutionary Daughters
By Kate Taunton | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“How two activists are challenging Indian society and transforming trafficked girls into the leaders of tomorrow.”

8. This Drone Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 7
“Can unmanned spy planes be destroyed from afar?”

9. At the end of my tether with lazy, selfish, controlling in-laws
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I get frustrated with both of them, but can’t live independently from my father-in-law for financial reasons. I wish I could give them a piece of my mind and make them shut up once and for all.”

10. The fall of Berlin
Witness :: BBC News | May 16
“The Red Army took control of the German capital Berlin, in May 1945. The Soviet soldiers had a terrifying reputation and civilians in their path feared looting and violence.”