Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Twain’s lost love / No more experts / Stalled computer / Cheney myth / Bombing of Guernica

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. Iraq: What Remains
Christopher de Bellaigue | NYR Blog :: The New York Review of Books | Dec. 21
“[M]any Americans continue to see in Iraq a reflection of their own country’s ideals and contradictions. They will remember Iraq as an American trauma. But it was, above all, an Iraqi trauma.”

2. Mark Twain in Love
By Ron Powers | Smithsonian | May 2010
“A chance encounter on a New Orleans dock in 1858 haunted the writer for the rest of his life ”

3. The Information
By Adam Gopnik | The New Yorker | Feb. 14
“How the Internet gets inside us”

4. Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert
By Maria Bustillos | The Awl | May 17
“If learners are indeed doers and not recipients, from whom are they learning? From one another, it appears; same as it ever was.”

5. My daughter longs to meet real dad despite his snubs
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I’m a woman in my 40s who got divorced when my daughter was 5 years old. I remarried a foreigner and we are currently living overseas. My daughter is now in high school and she misses her biological father.”

6. Q&A: Getting a Response From Stalled Software
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Oct. 13
“Q: What causes a long pause with “Not Responding” indicated at the top of a program’s window?”

7. Drunks on a Plane: The Top 10 Hottest Messes at 35,000FT
The Flying Pinto | November 2011
“In honor of holiday travel: a look at the airline industry’s most infamous inebriates.”

8. Five myths about Dick Cheney
By Stephen F. Hayes | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Sept. 9
“He’s been called Darth Vader, feared or derided as a trigger-happy, torture-loving puppet master who called the shots over the eight years of the George W. Bush White House. … But what about the former vice president is real, exaggerated, or outright myth?”

9. Civil War women: Fanny Kemble
Civil War Women Blog | Aug. 27
“Fanny Kemble was a famous British actress prior to her marriage to slaveholder Pierce Mease Butler, grandson of Founding Father Pierce Butler. Fanny was an independent and highly intelligent woman who had no idea how much her life would be affected by the institution of slavery in America.”

10. The bombing of Guernica
Witness :: BBC News | April 26
“It was one of the worst atrocities of the Spanish Civil War. German bombers, backing Franco’s fascist forces, virtually destroyed the Basque town.”

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?”

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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