Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Adm. McRaven speaks to UT’s Class of 2014 / Humans’ interest in animals / Key tech at Normandy / What the NYT innovation report means

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This week: Adm. McRaven speaks to UT’s Class of 2014 / Humans’ interest in animals / Key tech at Normandy / What the NYT innovation report means

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. The Real Meaning of Julián Castro’s HUD Nomination
By Sara Ines Calderon | Todo Texas | May 19
“If the Castro brothers both go to Washington, Texas is gonna have to do some soul searching to find the next batch of rising stars.”

2. The leaked ‘New York Times’ innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age
By Joshua Benton | Nieman Journalism Lab | May 15
“It’s an astonishing look inside the cultural change still needed in the shift to digital — even in one of the world’s greatest newsrooms. Read it.”

3. The New York Times’ ‘Innovation Report’ Is a Disaster
By David Warsh | Politico Magazine | May 23
“Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. would be a fool to follow his son’s advice.”

4. To Change the World, Start by Making Your Bed
By William McRaven | University of Texas 2014 Commencement | May 2014
“If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.”

5. Thug: A Life of Caravaggio in Sixty-Nine Paragraphs
By Stephen Akey | The Millions | May 16
“23. In Rome, being a lot better than everybody else (with the sole exception of Annibale Carracci) and loudly proclaiming it to the world wasn’t necessarily a wise career move. The long knives came out.”

6. Animal magnetism
By David P. Barash | Aeon Magazine | May 2014
“Humans are fascinated by our fellow animals — is that just an evolutionary hangover or something more profound?”

7. The Misery Of Air Travel And What We Can Do About It
By Laren Stiller Rikleen | Cognoscenti :: WBUR | May 20
“On a regular basis, air travelers face inexplicable delays, over-booked flights, lost luggage, long waits on the tarmac, cabins that are too hot in one half and too cold in the other and diminished service at every stage of the process. Pricing is incomprehensible.”

8. 12 Pieces of Tech That Turned the Tide At Normandy
By Martin K.A. Morgan | Gizmodo | May 20
“The Allied Invasion of Normandy was one of the single most logistically and strategically complex maneuvers ever concocted by the U.S. military. With a strike force numbering in the hundreds of thousands and the momentum of the entire counter-offensive hanging in the balance, there was simply no room for failure.”

9. Look Up In The Sky And Live Big
By Adam Frank | 13.7 Cosmos and Culture :: NPR | May 20
“If you can get far enough out into the country, the Milky Way can be be seen in all its glory.”

10. The Collective Intelligence of the Web
By James Surowiecki | Elements :: The New Yorker | May 19
“It’s easy to see how the Web has transformed the way we shop, the way we consume media, and the way we communicate with one another. But it’s also begun to change the way we make decisions and even forecast the future.”

‘I have deprived my family’

Part 7 of this series focuses on Walter Scott, a 19th century British author who fought depression and debt late in life with the inspiration and energy gained from keeping a journal.

This special Stillness of Heart series explores the Morgan Library & Museum’s fascinating exhibit, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.”

Part 7 focuses on Walter Scott, a 19th century British author who fought depression and debt late in life with the inspiration and energy gained from keeping a journal. Four six years, the book became the place for him to ponder the depths and causes of his lifelong sadness, celebrate and record the famous people that moved in and out of his life, and preserve a private life he hoped his family would appreciate long after he was gone.

“November 20th. I have all my life regretted that I did not keep a regular [diary]. I have myself lost recollection of much that was interesting and I have deprived my family and the public of some curious information by not carrying this resolution into effect.”

Examine images of his powerful diary and listen to the museum’s audio guide here.

Entries in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the exhibit and Charlotte Brontë
Part 2: Frances Eliza Grenfell
Part 3: Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part 4: Paul Horgan
Part 5: John Newton
Part 6: Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet
Part 7: Walter Scott
Part 8: Bartholomew Sharpe
Part 9: Tennessee Williams
Part 10: John Ruskin

‘A strange vanity’

Part 5 of this series focuses on John Newton, a British slave trafficker and later a minister who wrote ‘Amazing Grace.’

This special Stillness of Heart series explores the Morgan Library & Museum’s fascinating exhibit, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.”

Part 5 focuses on John Newton, a British slave trafficker and later a minister who wrote “Amazing Grace.” Throughout his adult life, he struggled with his religious faith and with his views on slavery, and the diary captured in daily detail the long, tumultuous spiritual journey he made. In the end, as the exhibit essay explains, Newton simply hoped that someday he “would serve as inspiration to others.”

“I have been reading what I have recorded of my experience in the last year – a strange vanity. I find myself condemn’d in every page[.] But the Lord is good, O how gracious! How wonderfully has he born with my repeated backslidings! And yet the thought but faintly affects. What I can I will – Lord I am not able to praise thee, accept the desire, which I trust is thine own gift – deliver me from that pride, impurity & self seeking, which so fatally interrupt my progress.”

Examine images of the extraordinary diary and listen to the museum’s audio guide here.

Entries in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the exhibit and Charlotte Brontë
Part 2: Frances Eliza Grenfell
Part 3: Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part 4: Paul Horgan
Part 5: John Newton
Part 6: Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet
Part 7: Walter Scott
Part 8: Bartholomew Sharpe
Part 9: Tennessee Williams
Part 10: John Ruskin

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