Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Screaming babies / Clinton: The consensus candidate / Gay-friendly wisdom / GOP love for Puerto Ricans / ‘Downton Abbey’ addicts

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. Why screaming babies are so hard to ignore
By Nick Collins | The Telegraph | Jan. 21
“Few situations are more infuriating than taking your seat on an aeroplane or train, closing your eyes, and hearing a baby at the other end of the cabin open its lungs with the gusto of an Italian tenor. ”

2. Bill Clinton: Someone We Can All Agree On
By Charles P. Pierce and Mark Warren | Esquire | February 2012
“Even his staunchest enemies now regard his presidency as the good old days. He has become the rare consensus figure in a country that has lost all sense of consensus. So we talked to him about where it went, and how we might get it back.”

3. How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
By Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher | The New York Times | Jan. 21
“Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.”

4. How I became a ‘Downton Abbey’ addict
By Lizz Winstead | The Guardian | Jan. 22
“Yes, I know it’s just a glossy drama about the idle rich and their servants, but these idle rich are so classy compared with ours”

5. Houston’s Mayor stresses Economic Benefits of Marriage Equality
By Emily Deprang | The Texas Observer | Jan. 22
“In other words: being gay-friendly brings home the bacon.”

6. Are Puerto Ricans the Key to a Republican Victory?
By Justin Velez-Hagan | Politic365 | Jan. 23.
“Puerto Ricans already account for the second largest group of Hispanics in the U.S. (they make up 10% of all Hispanics), but are growing at an increasingly rapid pace, especially in Florida. More importantly, so is their voting power.”

7. Exploring Stories With Deep Dive
By David Erwin | Beta620 :: The New York Times | January 2012
“Deep Dive … allows users to discover something then focus their attention deeper based on that piece of content.”

8. This much I know: Elmore Leonard
By John O’Connell | The Observer | December 2010
“The author, 85, on Dizzy Gillespie, not being frightened, and being a good guy”

9. As the Worm Turns
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | August 2011
“Do earthworms have any sense of place or direction? When they are dug up in the garden and put back down someplace else, do they just return to work, or do they try to get back to their former location?”

10. The Lindbergh kidnapping
Witness :: BBC News | February 2011
“When the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh disappeared it was assumed he had been kidnapped.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

MLK’s image still evolves / The Greatest turns 70 / A ‘Titanic’ tragedy at sea? / Matching fingerprints / ‘Acting’ gay

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. If You’re Mad for ‘Downton,’ Publishers Have Reading List
By Julie Bosman | The New York Times | Jan. 11
“Publishers are convinced that viewers who obsessively tune in to follow the war-torn travails of an aristocratic family and its meddling but loyal servants are also literary types, likely to devour books on subjects the series touches.”

2. Ali still the Greatest as he celebrates 70th
By Tim Dahlberg | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“The voice that used to bellow that he was ‘The Greatest’ is largely muted now, save for those times in the mornings when he is able to whisper his thoughts.”

3. Cruise tragedy conjures memories of doomed Titanic
By Tamara Lush | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“Are such comparisons to a 100-year-old tragedy fair?”

4. GOP’s Latino problem gets worse
By Thomas Schaller | Salon | Jan. 11
“Romney’s Spanish-language TV ads can’t overcome the party’s poor reputation among Hispanics”

5. Q&A: Turkey’s military and the alleged coup plots
By Bridget Kendall | BBC News | Jan. 6
“The former head of the Turkish armed forces, Gen Ilker Basbug, has become the biggest casualty yet of a huge crackdown on alleged conspirators against the government which has brought hundreds of military and security officers to trial.”

6. Pakistan’s Slow-Motion Coup
By C. Christine Fair | Foreign Policy | Jan. 5
“Islamabad’s generals are out to destroy Pakistani democracy. Obama should try to stop them.”

7. Towering legend, flawed man? King’s image evolving
By Brett Zongker and Samantha Gross | Associated Press | Jan. 15
“On the National Mall in Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. is a towering, heroic figure carved in stone. On the Broadway stage, he’s a living, breathing man who chain smokes, sips liquor and occasionally curses. As Americans honor King’s memory 44 years after he was assassinated, the image of the slain civil rights leader is evolving.”

8. Match Making
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | May 2010
“Is a voice print as distinctive as a fingerprint, or have I just been watching too much ’24’?”

9. When Do Gay Kids Start ‘Acting Gay’?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | September 2011
“Sometimes when they’re toddlers”

10. Weathermen radicals in the USA
Witness :: BBC News | March 2011
“In March 1970, three white middle-class revolutionaries from the Weatherman movement accidentally killed themselves at their New York safehouse.”

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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. Wiser Time — High Time Mind
2. Floyd Lee Band — Mean Blues
3. Eric Guitar Davis — Put Me Down
4. Pat Green — Wrapped
5. Rick Fowler — Back On My Good Foot
6. HoneyBoy Dupree — These Blues Is Killin’ Me
7. Jet — Are You Gonna Be My Girl
8. Electrofied — Put Your Hands In The Air
9. Delbert McClinton — Every Time I Roll The Dice
10. Rico Enriquez — Crossroadblues
11. Voodoo Snakes — Fire
12. Ernie Payne — Nothing Wrong With Texas
13. Los Lonely Boys — Polk Salad Annie
14. Los Lonely Boys — Evil Ways
*Outro song by Chris Duarte — Let’s Have A Party