Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How horses evolved / Spanish king does damage control / Humanity and Halley’s Comet / COVID’s sexual secrets / Kim Novak survived Hollywood’s abuses

This week: How horses evolved / Spanish king does damage control / Humanity and Halley’s Comet / COVID’s sexual secrets / Kim Novak survived Hollywood’s abuses

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. ‘What I Want Out of Life Is to Be Loved’: Kim Novak on Healing After Leaving Hollywood
By Scott Feinberg | The Hollywood Reporter | March 2021
“The icon of Vertigo — and Trump target at the 2014 Oscars — reveals what liberated her after years of studio system abuse, her bipolar diagnosis and the untold story behind her rumored romance with Sammy Davis Jr.”

2. A year on, what lessons have been learned from the pandemic?
Babbage :: The Economist | March 2021
“How past pandemics shaped society and can the ‘new normal’ be a better normal?”

3. 160 years later, Confederate constitution an ignoble relic
By Jay Reeves | Associated Press | March 2021
“Composed in faded ink on five large sheets of animal skin connected in a single scroll more than 12 feet (3.7 meters) long, the constitution is stored in a vault and rarely seen in public. By contrast, the U.S. Constitution is on display at the National Archives, visited by 1 million people in a typical year.”

4. In the Path of Halley’s Comet, Humanity Might Find Its Way Forward
By Henry DaCosta, Mitch Myers and Jeffery DelViscio | Scientific American | March 2021
“The work of decoding the cosmic traveler has surprising relevance right now”

5. A Year of Secrets
By Anna Silman | The Cut :: New York Magazine | March 2021
“COVID-era confessions, from ski trips to lovers to second jobs”

6. Spain’s King Felipe VI struggles to repair tarnished image of royal family
By Miguel Gonzalez | El Pais | March 2021
“The scandal over the alleged financial irregularities of his father, Juan Carlos I, has been compounded by his sisters’ decision to jump the Covid-19 vaccine line. Can the monarch fix the damage?”

7. Fences around the Capitol are a temporary fix. Here’s what we should do.
By Russel Honoré | Opinion :: The Washington Post | March 2021
“We don’t want to lose our democracy, but fences won’t protect it.”

8. Witch Hunting in Early Modern Europe
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: The Precolumbian Civilizations of Mesoamerica | Islam’s Enigmatic Origins | White Women of the Harlem Renaissance | The Harlem Renaissance

9. Why we need to take bad sex more seriously
By Katherine Angel | The Guardian | March 2021
“Consent has been portrayed as the cure for all the ills of our sexual culture. But what if the injunction to ‘know what you want’ is another form of coercion?”

10. Cave Art
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2020
Also see: The Trojan War | Marco Polo | Clausewitz and On War | The Evolution of Horses

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Hollywood in Trump’s America / Don’t be scared of the dark / The worldview of Sarah Sanders / The anthem of Puerto Rico / The future of journalism school

This week: Hollywood in Trump’s America / Don’t be scared of the dark / The worldview of Sarah Sanders / The anthem of Puerto Rico / The future of journalism school

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. Disruption, Consolidation, Uncertainty: Welcome to Hollywood’s Age of Anxiety
By Stephen Galloway | The Hollywood Reporter | July 2018
“Speak to writers, producers, actors and executives … and you’ll have trouble finding people who won’t admit to heightened feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, three interlinked mental-health issues that have escalated over the past decade in the entertainment sector.”

2. The Quiet Anger of Adam Schiff
By Andy Kroll | The California Sunday Magazine | July 2018
“Two years ago, he was a respected but little-known congressman from Los Angeles. Today, he’s the face of the Democrats’ opposition to Trump.”

3. What Is Less Scary in the Dark
By Cindi May | Scientific American | July 2018
“There is a way that the dark makes us feel safer — and this has implications for our health”

4. Never Trumpers Will Want to Read This History Lesson
By Joshua Zeitz | Politico Magazine | July 2018
“In the 1850s, disaffected Democrats made the wrenching choice to leave their party to save American democracy. Here’s what happened.”

5. The World Burns. Sarah Sanders Says This Is Fine.
By Megan Garber | The Atlantic | July 2018
“The White House press secretary has set a new precedent: Partisanship over patriotism. Victory over truth.”

6. U.S. Army Mirrored Amazon’s HQ2 Search Tactics in Choosing New Futures Command Location
By Michael Hardy | Texas Monthly | July 2018
“The Army chose Austin, citing its entrepreneurial culture and incentives from UT.”

7. The world’s top beaches: a statistician’s guide
By James Tozier | 1843 Magazine :: The Economist | July 2018
“Where to get the best tan for the best price”

8. Bomba: The Enduring Anthem of Puerto Rico
By Rose Marie Cromwell, Lauren Du Graf and Eve Lyons | The New York Times | July 2018
“The resurgence of a traditional Afro-Puerto Rican musical genre owes something to formal experimentation. But some traditionalists fear that its roots are at risk.”

9. 150 Cheers for the 14th Amendment
By Amanda Bellows | The New York Times | July 2018
“In the last 50 years, the Supreme Court’s evolving interpretations of the 14th Amendment have led to an expansion of civil rights. Its decisions have also produced a system of federalism that significantly differs from that of 1868 through the reallocation of power from the states to the federal government. Thanks to the 14th Amendment, with its plain text authorizing Congress to act in perpetuity, the contours of our federal system continue to shift.”

10. Do we need J-schools
By Bill Grueskin, Felix Salmon, and Alexandria Neason | Columbia Journalism Review | Spring/Summer 2018
“The role of a reporter is shifting, as are the economics of education. With this new calculus, does journalism school still have a place in our profession”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

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. Adam Driver: ‘Compared with the military, acting isn’t that difficult’
By Emma Brockes | The Guardian | December 2017
“The Star Wars actor on leaving the Marines, filming nude scenes with Lena Dunham and getting in touch with his dark side”

2. The year in journalism: The big players, best feuds, and more
By Peter Vernon | Columbia Journalism Review | December 2017
“A guide to what happened in the mediaverse in 2017”

3. Past Debates Echo in Split Between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates
By John Eligon | The New York Times | December 2017
“Malcolm X was more open to using violence as a form of self-defense than Dr. King, even though their beliefs were more nuanced and overlapping than the popular perception. Whereas Du Bois pushed for an expansion of civil rights, Washington was more compromising, urging black people to look within … in order to minimize the terror they faced.”

4. 100 Notable Books of 2017
The New York Times Book Review | November 2017
The year’s best fiction, poetry, and non-fiction works.
From the Guardian: Best books of 2017
From Lit Hub: The 64 Best Book Covers of 2017 and The Best Reviewed Books of 2017 — History & Politics

5. 2017: the sequel … seven lessons for Hollywood after summer’s disasters
By Mark Sweney | The Guardian | December 2017
“Traditional box-office wisdom has been overturned — but new audiences are starting to emerge”

6. Three Months In, New UTSA President Lays Out Vision For Downtown Campus
By Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio | December 2017
“The idea is to make the downtown a destination, while increasing enrollment on the downtown campus. UTSA’s current enrollment on the downtown campus is about 4,000 out of a total enrollment of about 30,000.”

7. What Putin Really Wants
By Julia Ioffe | The Atlantic | January/February 2018
“Russia’s strongman president has many Americans convinced of his manipulative genius. He’s really just a gambler who won big.”

8. The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook
By Josh Meyer | Politico | December 2017
“An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.”

9. American Sounds
By Heather Radke | The Paris Review | July 2017
“On the old, weird days of National Public Radio”

10. How to Be a Writer on Social Media
LitHub | July 2017
“[W]e asked the opinions of four authors whose social media prowess we admire: Roxane Gay, Celeste Ng, Adam Grant and Alexander Chee.”

Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 31: Gary Olsen

From Nov. 2016: “Gary and Colin talk about everything from Scorsese to Hitchcock, to D. W. Griffith and Spielberg (and how ‘Jaws’ may have both saved and ruined Hollywood).”

Gary Olsen lives in Virginia, but he grew up in the Boston area, where he studied film at Emerson College. After thirty years in the Justice Department, Gary now spends his retirement days lecturing on movies.

via Podcast 31: Gary Olsen — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Amerikan Rambler: Are Historians Too Hard on Hollywood History?

From March 2012: “Historians criticizing Hollywood is almost as old as Hollywood itself.”

While I understand historians’ desire, indeed duty, to make sure that filmmakers respect the integrity of a historical subject, my question is: should we be surprised when a movie — even a documentary — chooses drama or narrative flow over being true to the historical record? I think not.

via Are Historians Too Hard on Hollywood History? — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Bomb threat at UT Austin / What men and women really want / The presidency through Obama’s eyes / Codex of Archimedes

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. UT Bomb Threat Declared A Hoax, Response Questioned
By Audry White | The Texas Tribune | Sept. 14
“At about 8:35 a.m., a caller told university staff that bombs around campus would detonate 90 minutes from the call. UT officials, though, did not issue an emergency text alert to the campus until about 9:50, just 15 minutes before the supposed time of detonation.”

3. First Planets Found Around Sun-Like Stars in a Cluster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory :: NASA | Sept. 14
“NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars. … Although the newfound planets are not habitable, their skies would be starrier than what we see from Earth.”

2. Women from Venus? Men from Mars? The Real Sexual Gender Divide
By Michael Castleman | All About Sex :: Psychology Today | Sept. 13
“Men and women feel more similar about sex than most people imagine.”

4. Our Diplomats Deserve Better
By Prudence Bushnell | The New York Times | Sept. 13
“Diplomats don’t often make headlines until something horrible happens.”

5. Obama’s Way
By Michael Lewis | Vanity Fair | October 2012
“To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States — and this president in particular.”

6. The Salton Sea: Death and Politics in the Great American Water Wars
By Matt Simon | Wired Science | Sept. 14
“Considered to be among the world’s most vital avian habitats and — until recently — one of its most productive fisheries, the Salton Sea is in a state of wild flux, the scene of fish and bird die-offs of unfathomable proportions.”

7. William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes
TED | April 2012
“How do you read a two-thousand-year-old manuscript that has been erased, cut up, written on and painted over?”

8. Hollywood’s Spacesuits
By Diane Tedeschi | Air & Space Magazine | Sept. 13
“A sci-fi historian’s guide to movie spacesuits, from wacky to realistic.”

9. Working on the Railroad
By Rick Beard | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 11
“[O]ne of the most important public projects of the 19th century took 20 years to approve.”

10. Obama by the Numbers
By Mark Warren and Richard Dorment | Esquire | Sept. 14
“Here, as a service to clarity and sanity, is the story of the Obama administration in raw, irreducible numbers.”

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

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. Zed Head — Till I Lost You & Electraglide Shuffle
2. Dean Haitani — All Roads Lead To Rome
3. Freedom and Whiskey — Kettlebottom Blues
4. Josh Gracin — Please Come Home for Christmas
5. Marc Broussard –Home
6. Paul Rodgers — Muddy Water Blues
7. Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots — What You Want
8. Hill Country Review — Highway Blues
9. Too Slim and the Taildraggers — Testament
10. Kevin Ball — Mexi-Tele’ Blues
11. Duffy — Hanging On Too Long
12. Storyville — There’s a Light

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Smarter shopping … Wasting time online … High-speed rail derailed … Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich … Women’s pleasure

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. Smart Spending: Minimize your mall time
By Mae Anderson | Associated Press | Dec. 8
“With advance planning and a little know-how you can minimize your mall time — and save money.”

2. 10 Stupid Male Misconceptions About Female Masturbation
Sex :: The Frisky | Nov. 15
“Men, bless them. They love to think about us masturbating, at least the way they think we masturbate based on porn they’ve seen.”

3. Ron Paul, spoiler?
By George Will | The Washington Post | Dec. 9
“He is in the top tier in Iowa and would alienate Republican voters if he indicated an interest in bolting the party next autumn.”

4. Why the Odds Are Still Stacked Against Women in Hollywood
By Kim Masters | The Hollywood Reporter | Dec. 9
“A handful of women run studios, win Oscars and influence TV, but across the board, the gains females had begun to make in the entertainment industry are leveling off.”

5. The creative side of ‘doing nothing’ online
By Melissa Bell | The Washington Post | Dec. 9
“Beguiled by gifs of polar bear babies being tickled and people eating popcorn, we return, lemming-like, to dive off the cliff into the sea of Internet memes and Facebook posts.”

6. Golden Moche Bead Returned to Peru
Andean Air Mail and Peruvian Times | Dec. 9
“The gold bead, measuring 4.5cm tall by 7cm wide and most probably once on a necklace, was part of an exhibition on Art of Ancient America in the Palace of Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.”

7. Gingrich the candidate? GOP lawmakers grapple with the idea
By Kathleen Hennessey | The Washington Post | Dec. 9
“For some who had a close-up view of his tumultuous House leadership, his surge in the Republican race isn’t welcome. Others say he’s changed.”

8. The Misplaced Stuff: NASA loses moon, space rocks
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Dec. 8
“In a report issued by the agency’s Inspector General on Thursday, NASA concedes that more than 500 pieces of moon rocks, meteorites, comet chunks and other space material were stolen or have been missing since 1970.”

9. Requiem for a Train
By Will Oremus | Slate | Dec. 7
“High-speed rail is dead in America. Should we mourn it?”

10. Q&A: Ditching Dial-Up for 3G
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Dec. 5
“Q: We spend our weekends in a rural area that offers only dial-up Internet, which is very inconvenient. We do, however, have both AT&T and Verizon cellphone coverage. Can we use these cellphone networks to access the Internet? If so, will we need to pay by minutes of usage?”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CRAWLIN’ KINGSNAKE Buddy Guy
2. SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN’ Howlin’ Wolf
3. THE THINGS (THAT) I USED TO DO Stevie Ray Vaughan
4. DEATH LETTER (Organized Noize remix) Johnny Farmer
5. BALL N’ CHAIN Big Mama Thornton
6. BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN Albert King
7. AS THE YEARS GO PASSING BY Mighty Joe Young
8. HAVE YOU EVER LOVED A WOMAN Derek & The Dominoes
9. PRIDE AND JOY Stevie Ray Vaughan
10. TAKE ME Mable John