Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: 100 Days / Bannon strikes back / Secrets of meteorites / Hitchcock on Theresa May / Prince’s final songs / CNN’s Jake Tapper

This week: 100 Days / Bannon strikes back / Secrets of meteorites / Hitchcock on Theresa May / Prince’s final songs / CNN’s Jake Tapper

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.

1. Hope. Fear. Elation and Angst in 100 Days
USA Today | April 26
“Donald Trump’s victory elicited strong emotional responses, ranging from shock to elation to fear. … But people across the political spectrum shared one overarching belief: the country remains deeply divided.”

2. Bannon reasserts influence in 100 days push
By Jonathan Easley | The Hill | April 28
“Keeping up a blistering pace punctuated by executive orders and tough talk, Trump appears to have recommitted himself to the nationalist-populist themes he rode into office when Bannon acted as his campaign chairman.”

3. How meteorites reveal the solar system’s history
By Sophia Chen | New Scientist | April 19
“Clever ways to find more space debris, and pinpoint where it came from, will help us rewrite what we know about the solar system’s turbulent youth”

4. How Many People Can Earth Support?
CrowdScience :: BBC World Service | April 27
“Our planet is getting rather cosy. In just over 200 years, the global population has grown from 1 billion to almost 7.5 billion — and the best estimates suggest it’s going to keep on increasing.”

5. Dial B for Brexit: how Hitchcock would explain Britain’s current politics
By Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian | April 19
“Here’s how the director might have plotted a Theresa May movie”

6. Prince’s ‘Deliverance’: An Impressive Collection of Unreleased Songs Shrouded in Controversy
By Stereo Williams | The Daily Beast | April 19
“A posthumous album is often an uncomfortable reality for any die-hard fan; it’s understandable that anyone would want to hear unearthed gems from an artist they hold dear, but it’s just as understandable for anyone to believe rummaging through the vault of a deceased genius is exploitative and greedy. ”

7. CNN’s Jake Tapper Is the Realest Man in ‘Fake News’
By Taffy Brodesser-Akner | GQ | April 18
“The CNN anchor’s ramrod brand of honest outrage has made him a bona fide star and prompted an unlikely question: How, in an age of lies, does a guy make righteous truth-telling so damn entertaining?”

8. The Loves of Lena Dunham
By Elaine Blair | The New York Review of Books | July 2012
“Dunham has set the viewer free from having to keep score on either the man’s or the woman’s behalf. We can admire the two actors’ chemistry together. We can feel the erotic charge of the scene in spite of its limitations, qua sex, for Hannah. We can contemplate Hannah’s lack of sexual confidence without condemning Adam. …”

9. Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years
By Michael Finkel | The Guardian | March 2017
“At the age of 20, Christopher Knight parked his car on a remote trail in Maine and walked away with only the most basic supplies. He had no plan. His chief motivation was to avoid contact with people.”

10. The Baghdad Road
By Ghaith Abdul-Ahad | London Review of Books | May 4
“Who cares about another dead body in a war that — in its many incarnations: sectarian cleansing, religious purification, national liberation — has haunted this highway for the last 14 years? The place is in ruins.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A surprise oasis / Dustin Hoffman on ‘Luck’ / Old bitterness for Bill Clinton / Surviving Antarctica / How do you talk to an alien?

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. Underground oasis found below Earth’s driest desert
By Lisa Grossman | New Scientist | Feb. 18
“A thriving community of microorganisms nestles two metres below the surface of the ultra-arid Atacama desert in Chile.”

2. US intelligence officials offer grim words on Afghanistan
By Ken Dilanian | Stars & Stripes | Feb. 17
“Senior U.S. intelligence officials offered a bleak view of the war in Afghanistan in testimony to Congress on Thursday, an assessment they acknowledged was more pessimistic than that of the military commanders in charge.”

3. The .0000063% Election
By Ari Berman | Mother Jones | Feb. 16
“How American politics became the politics of the superrich.”

4. Big screen or small, Dustin Hoffman feels ‘Luck’-y
By Scott Timberg | The Los Angeles Times | Feb. 17
“The Oscar-winning actor says at age 74, he is fortunate to have landed such a richly written part in HBO’s new horse-racing series.”

5. Some Arkansas Dems still waiting for Clinton’s ‘thank you’
By Suzi Parker | She the People :: The Washington Post | Feb. 16
“For many party activists in Clinton’s home state, the subject of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky evokes bitterness even after 14 years. Privately, some grumble even now about how Clinton betrayed them, too.”

6. Rereading: Seamus Heaney on Czeslaw Milosz’s centenary
By Seamus Heaney | The Guardian | April 2011
“Czeslaw Milosz was a veteran of European turmoil. His fellow Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney pays tribute to a Polish poet poised between lyricism and witness”

7. A communist in the US
Witness :: BBC News | February 2011
“On 9 February 1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy began his hunt for communists in the US. Throughout the Cold War, people on the left of politics came under attack in the US.”

8. Rereading: Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth
By Charlottle Higgins | The Guardian | April 2011
“Not just a rollicking adventure, Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth, which has just been filmed, is a touching true story about love and loyalty. Charlotte Higgins looks back on a childhood favourite”

9. Crossing Antarctica
Witness :: BBC News | Jan. 18
“The Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ousland spent more than two months skiing alone across the continent of Antarctica.”

10. What Do You Say to an Alien?
By Sam Roberts | The New York Times | Feb. 12
“If we made contact, what would we say? And what answers would we anticipate?”

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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. Bettye LaVette — I Still Want To Be Your Baby
2. Michael Holt & The Trophy 500’s — To The River
3. Daddy Long Legs — Use Me
4. Marc Broussard — Home
5. Jimmy Warren — It Aint Fair
6. Hill Country Review — Highway Blues
7. ZZ Top — Double Back
8. Jacks O’Diamonds — Dusty Man
9. Old Southern Moonshine Revival — New Pair of Boots
10. Chris Rea — Texas Blue
11. Otis Taylor — Rain So Hard
12. Derek Trucks Band — Get What You Deserve
13. Paul Rodgers and Garry Moore — Tribute To Muddy Waters
14. The Informants — Goodnight My Love

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A new Canary island … Scorsese’s best … al-Qaida in Africa … Bachmann’s journey … Girl gangs

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. Canary Island volcano: A new island in the making?
By Rob Hugh-Jones | The World and BBC News | Dec. 3
“An undersea volcano erupting just south of Spain’s Canary Islands may be the beginnings of a new island, or an extension to an existing one. For some, it’s a colourful spectacle — for others a major blow to their livelihood.”

2. Martin Scorsese’s greatest movies
By Matt Zoller Seitz | Salon | Dec. 3
“‘Raging Bull’s’ a contender, and ‘Taxi Driver.’ Which other films round out the iconic director’s best?”

3. Dreaming May Help Relieve a Bad Day
My HealthNewsDaily | Nov. 23
“The results show that during nighttime dreaming, also known as REM sleep, the brain processes emotional experiences in a ‘safe’ environment, or one in which stress chemicals are low. This processing may take the emotional edge off of difficult memories, the researchers said.”

4. Candy, cash — al-Qaida implants itself in Africa
By Rukmini Callimachi and Martin Vogl | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“The terrorist group has create a refuge in this remote land through a strategy of winning hearts and minds, described in rare detail by seven locals in regular contact with the cell.”

5. Bachmann, from Waterloo to White House contender
By Adam Geller | Associated Press | Dec. 3
“The choreographed repetition of modern presidential campaigns can turn the most personable candidate into an endless loop of talking points. But any close observer of Bachmann’s political career would be hard-pressed to dismiss her as two-dimensional.”

6. Plastic Bag Bans Spreading Across The United States
By Jordan Howard | The Huffington Post | Dec. 1
“Four cities in Oregon — Eugene, Corvallis, Newport and Ashland — are considering banning plastic bags at retail stores. The towns would join at least 10 other U.S. cities and counties that have prohibited plastic bags since 2008.”

7. Interesting readers, as well as writers
By Sarah Sweeney | Harvard Gazette | Dec. 1
“Book focuses on leading authors and the books they love”

8. Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name
By Amy Chozick | The New York Times | Dec. 3
“Her move to television was a career shift she initiated, having her close advisers arrange interviews with top network executives and at one point working with the powerful Creative Artists Agency.”

9. Which Faulkner Novels Should HBO Adapt?
By David Haglund | Browbeat :: Slate | Dec. 2
“Clearly this is a question for true Faulkner aficionados, so I posed it to a handful of writers who know his work intimately—starting with a novelist who’s no slouch himself when it comes to literary adaptations.”

10. Rise of the girl gangs
By Brad Hamilton | The New York Post | Dec. 3
“As ‘crews’ proliferate in New York’s housing projects, officials worry about the increasing brutality of all-female wolfpacks”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY Donna Summer
2. POSSESSION Sarah McLachlan
3. ELSEWHERE (The Freedom Sessions) Sarah McLachlan
4. EROTICA Madonna
5. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS Foreigner
6. WAIT (The Whisper Song) Ying Yang Twins
7. KILOMETER Sebastien Tellier
8. THE ORBITING SUNS Jens Gad
9. PUNCH DRUNK Sade
10. LINGER The Cranberries