Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Great iPhone apps / Smarties’ gadgets / Bachelor pad essentials / Writers’ libraries / Octopus intellect

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. Some New Little Treasures for the iPhone
By Bob Tedeschi | The New York Times | Dec. 21
“If you really want to turbocharge your device, combine these with last year’s picks. … Like last year’s list, this one includes many free picks.”

2. The Indispensable Gadgets of the World’s Smartest People
By Larry Greenemeier | Scientific American | Dec. 21
“We ask our board of advisers to choose the technologies that they could not live without.”

3. Nine Essentials for the Perfect Bachelor Pad
By Michael Carl | Carl’s Crush :: Vanity Fair | Dec. 21
“So here are the nine things you need to create the perfect apartment for ‘company’ (I’m trying to avoid saying ‘getting laid,’ O.K.?).”

4. Writers and Their Books: Inside Famous Authors’ Personal Libraries
By Maria Popova | The Atlantic | Dec. 21
“As a hopeless bibliophile, an obsessive lover of bookcases, and a chronic pursuer of voyeuristic peeks inside the minds of creators, I’m utterly spellbound by Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books — a vicarious journey into the personal libraries of thirteen favorite authors. …”

5. Trial of the Will
Vanity Fair | January 2012
“Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’ Oh, really?”

6. The Gulf War
By Raffi Khatchadourian | The New Yorker | March 14
“Were there any heroes in the BP oil disaster”

7. Deep Intellect
By Sy Montgomery | Orion Magazine | Nov./Dec. 2011
“Inside the mind of an octopus”

8. India, China Show Military Grit
By Nitin Gokhale | The Diplomat | Dec. 22
“The latest defense dialogue between the Chinese and Indian militaries had some constructive ideas for improving military ties. Can they follow through?”

9. Analysis: Republicans risk backlash in 2012
By Tim Reid | Reuters | Dec. 21
“This week’s tense standoff over how to extend payroll tax cuts for 160 million Americans offered an unflattering look at how conservative House Republicans occasionally have overreached in avoiding compromise, lawmakers, strategists and analysts say.”

10. Reagan assassination attempt
Witness :: BBC News | March 30
“On 30 March 1981, there was an attempt to assassinate the US President.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Occupy Wall Street’s defeat … Another Obama Doctrine … MRIs and depression … Narcissistic jerk-wads … Tweeting WWII

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. US fugitive’s 41-year life on lam
By Alan Clendenning and Barry Hatton | Associated Press | Nov. 20
“The tale of Wright’s life on the run spans 41 years and three continents. It starts in New Jersey with a prison break, moves to Algeria on the hijacked plane, to Paris where he lived underground, to Lisbon where he fell in love, to the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau — and finally to an idyllic Portuguese seaside village, where he built a life as a respected family man.”

2. Longest serving Airman calls it a career
By Tech. Sgt. Richard Williams | U.S. Air Force | Nov. 21
“As the sun sets on the career of Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, he looks back with a sense of accomplishment.”

3. The World Isn’t Flat: The Well-Intentioned Lie That Led to Occupy Wall Street’s Downfall
By Alex Klein | The New Republic | Nov. 28
“Wall Street’s occupiers — and the mainstream left that supports them — have unintentionally propped up the arguments of their fiercest critics and helped hasten their own eviction.”

4. Civil War app takes on Virginia’s Chancellorsville
Associated Press | Nov. 21
“The application uses GPS technology and Apple’s iPhone platform to help visitors locate and learn more about the Chancellorsville battlefield.”

5. Obama’s Foreign Policy Doctrine Finally Emerges With ‘Offshore Balancing’
By Peter Beinart | The Daily Beast | Nov. 28
“The deadly NATO strike in Pakistan reveals that the president has decided to contain U.S. adversaries with an affordable strategy of maintaining our naval and air power while strengthening smaller nations.”

6. Using Search Engines for Higher Math
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 17
“The ability of search engines to calculate basic arithmetic right in the search box is well known, but some can handle higher math as well.”

7. Scan’t Evidence: Do MRIs Relieve Symptoms of Depression?
By Ferris Jabr | Scientific American | Nov. 28
“Researchers continue to explore whether magnetic fields produced by magnetic resonance imagers and other devices improve mood in those who suffer from depressive disorders.”

8. Narcissistic Jerk-Wads Make the Best Leaders, Study Says
By Nick Greene | The Village Voice | Nov. 19
“Frederick Allen, leadership editor of Forbes, writes that the study found ‘narcissism and hunger for attention lead to innovation and daring decision-making.’ In addition, 80% of narcissistic leaders believe that Carly Simon has written a song about them.”

9. The Tweets of War: What’s Past Is Postable
By Jennifer Schuessler | The New York Times | Nov. 27
“Volunteers have started translating the RealTimeWWII feed into Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Turkish, with talks under way for versions in French, Dutch and German.”

10. About Those Maps …
By Ross Ramsey | Inside Intelligence :: The Texas Tribune | Nov. 28
“Our insiders don’t have much desire to see lawmakers redo the maps after the elections, but there’s a contingent — 40 percent — who think the Legislature and not the courts should have the final say.”