Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

This week: How to avoid loneliness / Joe Biden in the Trump Era / 60,000 Mexicans ‘disappeared’ / The nuns who sold slaves / Racist tipping

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. García Márquez’s Five Favorite Cocktail Stories
By Santiago Mutis Duran, and translated by David Unger | The Paris Review | August 2019
“Santiago Mutis Durán, the son of Márquez’s close friend Álvaro Mutis, gathered together small author-less stories that Márquez had written down or told over the course of his lifetime.”

2. How to avoid the traps that produce loneliness and isolation
By Arthur C. Brooks | The Washington Post | January 2020
“But the real question is why so many people feel isolated, when contact with others should be easier than ever. If we can answer that, we can craft a solution — if not societally, at least personally, to make our lives happier and better.”

3. A Man In Full
By Walter Shapiro | The New Republic | January 2020
“Joe Biden wants to be a normal president in a highly abnormal age.”

4. More than 60,000 Mexicans have been ‘disappeared’ amid drug war, officials say
By Mary Beth Sheridan | The Washington Post | January 2020
“Karla Quintana, head of Mexico’s National Search Commission, which coordinates the effort to find the missing, said at least 61,637 people had been reported disappeared and not been found — what she called ‘data of horror.’ The actual number is thought to be even higher, since many cases are never reported. The numbers confirm that Mexico is suffering one of the worst crises of ‘the disappeared’ in Latin American history.”

5. The Racist History of Tipping
By William J. Barber II | Politico Magazine | July 2019
“Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.”

6. The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings
By Rachel L. Swarns | The New York Times | August 2019
“America’s nuns are beginning to confront their ties to slavery, but it’s still a long road to repentance.”

7. The Great Boundary-Breaking Women of Fiction
By Louisa Treger | CrimeReads :: LitHub | August 2019
“Celebrating 10 strong women who refused to conform and who struggled to find their place in the world.”

8. One Year in Washington
By David Freelander | The Cut :: New York Magazine | January 2020
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reshaped her party’s agenda, resuscitated Bernie Sanders’s campaign, and hardly has a friend in town.”

9. Violent Policing of the Texas Border
By Augusta Dell’Omo | Not Even Past :: UT Austin Department of History | January 2019
“Between 1910 and 1920, an era of state-sanctioned racial violence descended upon the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Rangers, local ranchers, and U.S. soldiers terrorized ethnic Mexican communities, under the guise of community policing.”

10. Is your to-do list making you nuts? Start a to-don’t list instead
By Anna Phelan | Ideas :: TED.com | March 2019
“The TED speaker and podcast host shares 4 items from his to-don’t list — stuff he’s shed from his life to make him a happier and more effective human. Read it and learn.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Prudish Southwest Airlines / Wars over Nixon may be over / Voyager I leaving solar system / Is Garcia Marquez finished? / Stopping sperm

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. Cover Your Cleavage for Takeoff: Southwest Airlines Screws Up Again
By Katie J.M. Baker | Jezebel | June 14
“On June 5th, Avital* was boarding a 6 AM flight from Las Vegas to New York in a comfy cotton dress, a loose open flannel shirt and a colorful scarf when she was told that her cleavage was ‘inappropriate.'”

2. Richard Nixed
By David Greenberg | The New Republic | June 8
“The extirpation of the old Nixonian propaganda came about because of an irony of history.”

3. Voyager I Is *This Close* to Leaving Our Solar System
By Rebecca J. Rosen | The Atlantic | June 13
“We’re on the cusp of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time, but we may not know when the moment strikes. Or, rather, there may be no moment.”

4. Human Microbiome Project reveals largest microbial map
By Smitha Mundasad | BBC News | June 13
“[R]esearchers were able to find over 10,000 different types of organisms as part of the healthy human microbiome.”

5. Garcia Marquez: Will he ever write again?
By Laura Steiner | The Huffington Post | June 14
“Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, a fellow novelist and journalist, and a close friend of Gabo — as Garcia Marquez is fondly called — describes how the 85 year-old author and master of magical realism has trouble recognizing his closest friends.”

6. Stalin & Hitler: Mass Murder by Starvation
By Timothy Snyder | The New York Review of Books | June 21
“In the decade between 1932 and 1942 some eleven million people in the Soviet Union starved to death, first as a result of Soviet policy, then as a result of German policy.”

7. Stop our sperm, please
By Irin Carmon | Salon | June 14
“Meet the men who want better male birth control — and want it badly.”

8. Q&A: Filtering Friends on Facebook
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 14
“One of my colleagues places way too many updates on Facebook about his church fund-raisers, his kids’ play dates, his wife’s book. … How do I block the alerts, but not defriend him?”

9. 11 Wars That Lasted Way Longer Than They Should Have
By Kathy Benjamin | Mental Floss | June 11
“Thanks to lost paperwork, diplomatic technicalities, or just plain forgetting they had declared war in the first place, many countries remained in a state of war long after the actual fighting had stopped.”

10. Cassini Sees Tropical Lakes on Saturn Moon
Jet Propulsion Laboratory | June 13
“NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spied long-standing methane lakes, or puddles, in the ‘tropics’ of Saturn’s moon Titan. One of the tropical lakes appears to be about half the size of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, with a depth of at least 3 feet.”

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

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. Darren J. — Panhandle Blues
2. Preacher Stone — Not Today
3. Austin Cunningham — Guns & Religion
4. Jeff Dale & the South Woodlawners — Third Rail
5. Pride & Joy Band — Evil Thoughts
6. Driving Wheel — Ain’t Guilty
7. Anna Popovic — Get Back Home to You
8. Anna Popovic — Putting Out the APB
9. Greg Danton — Twister Town
10. The Vaughan Brothers — Good Texan
11. Rico Enriquez — Red House
12. Paul Thorn — That’s All I Know Right Now
13. The Smokin’ Mojo Kings — Blues Gutter
14. Austin Cunningham — Last Great D.J.

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