Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The Chinese naval legend / Defeat in Afghanistan / Barbecue’s plan for war in Haiti / Romance and single motherhood / Icebergs that trigger tsunamis

This week: The Chinese naval legend / Defeat in Afghanistan / Barbecue’s plan for war in Haiti / Romance and single motherhood / Icebergs that trigger tsunamis

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. The legendary Chinese seafarer the West overlooks
By Alissa Greenberg | NOVA | August 2021
“In the 1400s, Zheng He sailed thousands of miles around Asia and Africa in ships the size of soccer fields, spreading Chinese innovations like compasses and gunpowder in the process.”

2. The Incoherence of American History
By Osita Nwanevu | The New Republic | August 2021
“We ascribe too much meaning to the early years of the republic.”

3. Why it takes months to subdue some wildfires
By Keith Ridler | Associated Press | August 2021
Why so long? Have wildfires changed? Is wildfire suppression in the past playing a role now?

4. The U.S. reckons with defeat in Afghanistan
By Ishaan Tharoor | The Washington Post | August 2021
Many of the same doyens of the Washington establishment who are now outraged that the Taliban is back in power have been less vocal about the failures and shortcomings of the two decades spent keeping the militants at bay ”

5. Why You Need to Protect Your Sense of Wonder — Especially Now
By David P. Fessell and Karen Reivich | Harvard Business Review | August 2021
“As the pandemic era goes on, more than ever we need ways to refresh our energies, calm our anxieties, and nurse our well-being. The cultivation of experiences of awe can bring these benefits and has been attracting increased attention due to more rigorous research.”

6. His Name Is Barbecue — and He’s Ready to Plunge Haiti Into War
By Jonathan Alpeyrie | The Daily Beast | August 2021
“Already devastated by an earthquake and rampant corruption, the people of Haiti have another problem to worry about: the rise of powerful gang bosses like Barbecue.”

7. Swiping right in the fertility doctor’s office: On pursuing romance and single motherhood at once
By Sophie Sills | Salon | August 2021
“Why do unmarried women have to choose between motherhood and a love life? Can’t we try for both at the same time?”

8. Wandering icebergs could trigger tsunamis
By Robby Berman | Big Think | August 2021
“Icebergs aren’t just a threat to unsinkable ships. Their ability to cause underwater landslides poses a danger to coastal cities.”

9. Hurricanes may not be becoming more frequent, but they’re still more dangerous
By Carolyn Gramling | Science News | July 2021
“There aren’t more of the storms now than there were roughly 150 years ago, a study suggests”

10. Moonstruck: Life in the In-Between
By Emily VanDerWerff | The Criterion Collection | November 2020
“Life is made up of binaries, sure, but it is also made up of all the spaces in between their oppositions.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Birds that can hear tsunamis / This fall’s biggest movies / Science struggles to understand Hurricane Ida / The Sino-Japanese War / The presidential anguish in ‘Fail-Safe’

This week: Birds that can hear tsunamis / This fall’s biggest movies / Science struggles to understand Hurricane Ida / The Sino-Japanese War / The presidential anguish in ‘Fail-Safe’

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. When Lord Kelvin Nearly Killed Darwin’s Theory
By Mano Singham | Scientific American | September 2021
“The eminent 19th-century physicist argued—wrongly, it turned out—that Earth wasn’t old enough to have let natural selection play out”

2. How abortion restrictions like Texas’ push pregnant people into poverty
By Chabeli Carrazana | The 19th | September 2021
“A study of hundreds of pregnant women over a decade found that 72 percent of those who were denied care ended up living in poverty.”

3. Birds Can Hear Tsunamis Way Before They Hit
By Hakai Magazine and Jason Gregg | The Atlantic | September 2021
“Scientists hope the ability can be turned into an early-warning system.”

4. The 9 Biggest Movies To Watch This Fall (And Other Films That Sound Intriguing)
By Bob Mondello | All Things Considered :: NPR | September 2021
“After stockpiling films for more than 16 months, Hollywood is practically bursting with prestige attractions ready to premiere.”

5. Back to School: Abe Lincoln’s Grammar Book
By Mark Dimunation | The Library of Congress | August 2021
“Abraham Lincoln never really had a ‘back to school’ moment, as the future president was raised on a farm and had less than a year of formal schooling. This didn’t mean he didn’t love learning, though. From an early age, he devoted intense effort to self-study through reading.”

6. American diplomats recall 20-hour days, sleeping in Kabul airport while helping those desperate to flee
By Joe Davidson | The Washington Post | September 2021
“Right up until the end, they were surprised that the situation deteriorated so quickly.”

7. After Hurricane Ida, researchers take stock
By Rachel Fritts and Jocelyn Kaiser | Science | September 2021
“Better preparations help avoid repeat of 2005 Katrina disaster”

8. Marie Tharp: Mapping the Ocean Floor
By Mike Klein | The Library of Congress | August 2021
“Marie Tharp was well-suited to the task of interpreting the texture and rhythm of the Earth’s surface, including the ocean floor — a space almost entirely unknown to humans, even after they began sailing the seas. A scientist, she had a background in mathematics, music, petroleum geology and cartography.”

9. Fail Safe: Very Little Left of the World
By Bilge Ebiri | The Criterion Collection | January 2020
“We can certainly understand the president’s anguish, but we don’t really see it — nor, interestingly, do we really feel it.”

10. Horace
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2014-2018
Also see: The Sino-Japanese War | Photosynthesis | The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam | The Philosophy of Solitude

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Do you know your ‘type’? / The women who must self-erase / Living apart together: the solution for some couples / The scientist who tried to control hurricanes / The warnings from volcanoes

This week: Do you know your ‘type’? / The women who must self-erase / Living apart together: the solution for some couples / The scientist who tried to control hurricanes / The warnings from volcanoes

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. Forget cat ladies: the eight real tribes of modern dating – from fantasists to routiners
By Ellie Hunt | The Guardian | January 2020
“Finding a mate now involves navigating the perils of sword enthusiasts, 9/11 ‘truthers’ and the risk that it’s your beagle they really want, rather than you.”

2. The Crane Wife
By C. J. Hauser | The Paris Review | July 2019
“To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work. She never sleeps. She plucks out all her feathers, one by one.”

3. Two Houses Is Better Than a Divorce
By Emily Alford | Jezebel | January 2020
“There are myriad reasons to sleep apart that don’t involve a fight or indicate a dead bedroom.”

4. The people trying to save scents from extinction
By Miguel Trancozo Trevino | BBC Future | January 2020
“The smells of ordinary life, from traditional pubs to old books, are part of our culture and heritage — and many of them are in danger of being lost.”

5. ‘I Want Him on Everything’: Meet the Woman Behind the Buttigieg Media Frenzy
By David Freelander | Politico Magazine | April 2019
“How hard-charging New York operative Lis Smith helped turn an obscure Indiana mayor into a national name.”

6. Zen and the art of opening an iPhone box
By Tom Vanderbilt | 1843 :: The Economist | August / September 2019
“You do not merely open an iPhone. You are welcomed inside.”

7. The Chemist Who Thought He Could Harness Hurricanes
By Sam Kean | The Atlantic | September 2017
“Irving Langmuir’s ill-fated attempts at seeding storms showed just how difficult it is to control the weather.”

8. We’re Barely Listening to the U.S.’s Most Dangerous Volcanoes
By Shannon Hall | The New York Times | September 2019
“A thicket of red tape and regulations have made it difficult for volcanologists to build monitoring stations along Mount Hood and other active volcanoes. ”

9. The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison
By Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah | The New York Times Magazine | April 2015
“Morrison is a woman of guardrails and many boundaries; she keeps them up in order to do the work.”

10. The ‘Servant Girl Annihilator’
By Augusta Dell’Omo | Not Even Past :: UT Austin Department of History | January 2018
“The serial killer phenomenon was so new that some even went so far as to speculate that Jack the Ripper was the same person.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Impeachment right out of the gate / Saving Houston from hurricanes / Turkey won’t spark WWIII / The Twitter essay / Pregnancy changes the brain

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This week: Impeachment right out of the gate / Saving Houston from hurricanes / Turkey won’t spark WWIII / The Twitter essay / Pregnancy changes the brain

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. The Case for Donald Trump’s Impeachability
By Jesse Singal | Daily Intelligencer :: New York Magazine | Dec. 20
“Republicans control Congress now. … But [should] Trump’s popularity slip low enough, or should some new scandal engulf him, maybe the political calculus will change, too.”

2. Hell and High Water
By Neena Satija, Kiah Collier, Al Shaw, and Jeff Larson | The Texas Tribune, Reveal, and ProPublica | March 2016
“Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it’s a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Learn why Texas isn’t ready.”
December 2016 update: Obama signs bill that may boost Texas hurricane protection study

3. This Isn’t 1914, and the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Isn’t Franz Ferdinand
By Joshua Keating | Slate | Dec. 19
“What appears to be an attack by an extremist against a Russian diplomat on Turkish soil will provide a pretext for closer cooperation rather than conflict.”

4. In Defense of the Twitter Essay
By Jeet Heer | New Republic | Dec. 19
“Some find it obnoxious, but threading tweets is a unique writing form that creates vibrant, democratic conversations.”

5. Sigourney Weaver: ‘I’m asked to play awful people all the time’
By Emma Brockes | The Guardian | Dec. 17
“Her parents thought she was an unlikely star, but decades after Alien, Sigourney Weaver is still in the spotlight, with more monster-wrestling on the way”

6. Pregnancy Causes Lasting Changes in a Woman’s Brain
By Catherine Caruso | Scientific American | Dec. 19
“New mothers showed evidence of neural remodeling up to two years after giving birth”

7. Scanning reveals what pregnancy does to a mother’s brain
The Economist | Dec. 19
“New mothers experience reduction in the volume of grey matter in their brains”

8. The Man Behind the Most Important Chart of 2016
By James Watkins | Ozy.com | Dec. 19
“Because he can explain the appeal of Trump, Bernie, Brexit and all the rest of it in one chart.”

9. A perfect storm: Margaret Atwood on rewriting Shakespeare’s Tempest
By Margaret Atwood | The Guardian | September 2016
“How do you update a play about a castaway sorcerer, a malevolent creature and an air spirit?”

10. Locations of Presidential TV Speeches Can Give Signals
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | September 2014
“Truman began a tradition in which presidents have been inclined to deliver some of their most important addresses into the TV camera from [the Oval Office] — most memorably, John Kennedy on Oct. 22, 1962, revealing that there were Soviet missiles in Cuba and describing his response, and Richard Nixon on Aug. 8, 1974, resigning the presidency.”