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

Castro’s new memoir / New York-sized iceberg / Tweeting truckers / CIA holds back Cuba history / Seductive Super Bowl ads

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. Fidel Castro presents 2-volume memoir
By Anne-Marie Garcia | Associated Press | Feb. 4
“Fidel Castro spent six hours presenting a two-volume memoir to an audience at a Havana convention center, state media said Saturday. It was a rare appearance for the retired and increasingly reclusive former Cuban leader.”

2. Petraeus, with plenty of practice, sticks to message
By Greg Miller | Checkpoint :: The Washington Post | Feb. 3
“In his first extended public appearance as CIA director, David H. Petraeus this week did more than display his well-known discipline for staying on message. He did his best to bring other government voices back on message as well.”

3. Antarctica’s 19-Mile Ice Crack Will Produce New York-Sized Iceberg
By Carl Franzen | Talking Points Memo | Feb. 3
“[T]he great ice crack measures 19 miles long, 260 feet wide and 195 feet deep and the resulting iceberg will nearly 350 square miles, NASA reported.”

4. Palestina Amore
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“Some Italians have made it their mission to mobilise support on behalf of the Palestinian cause.”

5. Shake, Rattle and Roll
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | October 2011
“Can human actions cause earthquakes?”

6. Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Witness :: BBC News | January 25
“Horst Woit was just 10 years old when he and his mother boarded a ship in the hope of escaping Russian forces towards the end of World War II.”

7. The latest Twitter revolution
By Irin Carmon | Salon | Feb. 2
“Long-haul truckers gather in Mississippi to learn social media skills, burnish their image — and fight regulations”

8. CIA: Release of its History of the Bay of Pigs Debacle Would ‘Confuse the Public.’
By Nate Jones | Unredacted | Feb. 3
“Even if parts of the document truly are predecisional, only they can be withheld, the facts leading up to that decision — and histories are (hopefully) based primarily on facts — must be released.”

9. Super Bowl ads: The art of seduction
Company Town :: The Los Angeles Times | Feb. 3
“The art, and the challenge, is to weave a company’s brand and message into the story line of a commercial without making it feel forced or heavy-handed.”

10. Revisiting the power of Nazi propaganda
By Ellen Shapiro | Salon | Feb. 2
“A new Holocaust Museum exhibit provides unique insight into one of the world’s most devastating ad campaigns”