Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Texans we need to know about / The value of literary glory / Gender stereotypes endure / Trump’s 547 Twitter insults / Hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorist

This week: Texans we need to know about / The value of literary glory / Gender stereotypes endure / Trump’s 547 Twitter insults / Hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorist

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. 31 Texans Taking Charge
Texas Monthly | December 2018
“From gymnast Simone Biles and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner to political megadonor Tim Dunn, here are 31 Texans who are changing the way we think about politics, education, food, philanthropy, and, well, pretty much everything else.”

2. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
By Emily Michot and Julie K. Brown | Miami Herald | November 2018
“Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. His victims have never had a voice, until now.”

3. Is Literary Glory Worth Chasing?
By Tim Parks | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | November 2018
“Is writing worth it? Does it make any sense at all to pursue literary glory? Are the writers we praise really the best anyway?”

4. Outdated Gender Stereotypes Are ‘Very Much Alive’
Home School :: The Atlantic | November 2018
“[P]arents shouldn’t dictate gender roles to their children.”

5. The 547 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List
By Jasmine C. Lee and Kevin Quealy | The Upshot :: The New York Times | (As of November 21)
You can organize it alphabetically or chronologically.

6. Inside the Hunt for the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist
By John P. Carlin | Politico Magazine | November 2018
“How a British hacker joined ISIS’s top ranks and launched a deadly global cyber plot.”

7. In the Era of #MeToo, Men Don’t ‘Know’ About Predatory Men — but Women Do
By Libby Lenkinski | Los Angeles Review of Books | November 2018
“One of the revelations of the #MeToo moment is the broad understanding that every woman in our society has endured sexual violence in one way or another and all of us carry the effects of those traumas with us in various ways in our lives. This is compounded by the intersectional realities of our identities — women of color face a different layer of discrimination than white women, as do Native women, fat women, Latina women, Jewish women, Muslim women, trans women.”

8. The Pugnacious Outlaw Women Behind My Protagonist
By Katrina Carrasco | LitHub | November 2018
“From Hellcat Maggie to the Great Sandwina, eight women who defied their era”

9. Standish Meacham and Multiculturalism in the Public University
By Carson Wright | Not Even Past :: Department of History, UT Austin | November 2018
“In both facets of his academic life, Dr. Meacham was devoted to the building up of marginalized groups. An academic background in the humanities — in History — shaped Dr. Meacham’s view in a way that drove him to make a positive impact at the University of Texas.”

10. 16 in a refugee camp: Here’s what her days are like
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“Her teenage years are unfolding in the limbo of a refugee camp — a settlement that is inherently meant to be an in-between place, not one where you can expect to build a life or a future — and in the backdrop of a conflict that forced her family to flee from Syria.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Fidel Castro’s love affair / Celebrating the brilliance of “Scarface” / The secret power of ISIS / Molly Ringwald looks back / The British Empire’s shadow on today’s world

This week: Fidel Castro’s love affair / Celebrating the brilliance of Scarface / The secret power of ISIS / Molly Ringwald looks back / The British Empire’s shadow on today’s world

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. ‘My Dearest Fidel’: An ABC Journalist’s Secret Liaison With Fidel Castro
By By Peter Kornbluh | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“The untold story of how Lisa Howard’s intimate diplomacy with Cuba’s revolutionary leader changed the course of the Cold War.”

2. Revisiting the Controversy Surrounding Scarface
By Jason Bailey | Vulture | April 2018
“It landed on VHS and Betamax the following summer, at what may have been the perfect moment, as home video reached a penetration point and videotape rentals were becoming part of the average moviegoer’s diet.”

3. End of the American dream? The dark history of ‘America first’
By Sarah Churchwell | The Guardian | April 2018
“When he promised to put America first in his inaugural speech, Donald Trump drew on a slogan with a long and sinister history — a sign of what was to follow in his presidency”

4. How Trump Moved the Mexican Border North
By Emily Gogolak | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“It started in Texas. And the rest of the country is next.”

5. The ISIS Files
By Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times | April 2018
“We unearthed thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long.”

6. ‘The Clock Is Ticking’: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades
By William Langewiesche | Vanity Fair | April 2018
“A recording salvaged from three miles deep tells the story of the doomed ‘El Faro,’ a cargo ship engulfed by a hurricane.”

7. What About ‘The Breakfast Club’?
By Molly Ringwald | The New Yorker | April 2018
“Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.”

8. 5 Reasons Why a Writer Should Move to Tampa
By Arielle Silver | LitHub | April 2018
“Welcome to the lightning capital of North America.”

9. My Caribbean trip opened my eyes to the legacy of the British empire
By Lenny Henry | The Guardian | March 2018
“After Brexit, the Commonwealth could play a crucial trading role. But the historic associations with slavery still resonate.”

10. Essential Writing Advice from Virginia Woolf
By Emily Temple | LitHub | March 2018
“Woolf was a once-in-a-generation mind, and as both a writer and publisher, she had strong opinions about what made a piece of literature great (or, more often, mediocre). Luckily for us, she wrote many of her ideas down, in some of the many essays and letters she penned over the course of her life.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

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. Oprah buzz sparks debate about celebrity presidents
By Niall Stange | The Memo :: The Hill | January 2018
“On one level, a Trump vs. Winfrey race seems too surreal a scenario to take seriously. But the idea of Trump becoming president in the first place was met with similar disbelief when he entered the race in June 2015, and Winfrey has hinted before at a run.”
Also, from The Hollywood Reporter: Gayle King [says] Oprah ‘Intrigued by the Idea’ of Running for President

2. Could Lupe Valdez (or Oprah?!) Be The Key to a New Texas?
By R.G. Ratcliffe | BurkaBlog :: Texas Monthly | January 2018
“The two campaigns have launched — kind of. Both are long shots to have any real effect on the state.”

3. Away from Washington, a more personal Mattis reveals himself
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | January 2018
“Mattis, now the Pentagon boss and perhaps the most admired member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is a storyteller. And at no time do the tales flow more easily than when he’s among the breed he identifies with most closely – the men and women of the military.”

4. I Started the Media Men List My name is Moira Donegan
By Moira Donegan | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.”
Also, from the Huffington Post: Moira Donegan Outs Herself As Creator Of ‘S**tty Media Men’ List
Also, from The New Yorker: The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and “Shitty Media Men” (October 2017)

5. Ronan Farrow, the Hollywood Prince Who Torched the Castle
By Marisa Guthrie | The Hollywood Reporter | January 2018
“Farrow is now a hot commodity, aggressively pursued on the speaker circuit, and though he only has one short-lived TV news-hosting gig under his belt, he is being courted by a wide array of outlets.”

6. The Biggest Secret
By James Risen | The Intercept | January 2018
“My life as a New York Times reporter in the shadow of the War on Terror.”

7. ‘ISIS selfies’ on New York streets are chilling
By Tina Moore and Ruth Brown | The New York Post | January 2018
“One shows a man wearing an ISIS-branded scarf over his face outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and right near an NYPD security camera. Pedestrians can be seen walking by on the snow-dusted street.”

8. When rivers die — and are reborn
By Victor Mallet | OUPblog :: Oxford University Press | October 2017
“Most of the great cities of the world were built on rivers, for rivers have provided the water, the agricultural fertility, and the transport links essential for most great civilizations. This presents a series of puzzles. Why have the people who depend on those rivers so often poisoned their own water sources?”

9. How to Get Better at Spending Time Alone
By Maggie Puniewska | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“It can be difficult for some people to get onboard with alone time because it can seem, well, undesirable. … But amid all the dire warnings, it’s easy to miss the fact that loneliness and solitude aren’t interchangeable concepts.”

10. Will America Ever Have a Woman President?
Politico Magazine | November/December 2017
“A year ago, it seemed like a safe bet. Today, it feels further away than ever. 20 women consider what it would take to get there.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Bill Cosby / A historic mammoth / ISIS: The Magazine / Benefits of red wine / Cartels and Mexican politics

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This week: Bill Cosby / A historic mammoth / ISIS: The Magazine / Benefits of red wine / Cartels and Mexican politics

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. Bill Cosby and His Enablers
By Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic | Jan. 12
“Even victims of discrimination can look away from — and thereby enable — other forms of violence.”

2. Gingerly, Donald Trump Tries Out Some Campaign Conventions
By Maggie Haberman and Patrick Healy | The New York Times | Jan. 15
“The risk for Mr. Trump is that too much baby-kissing, people-pleasing, Mr. Nice Guy politicking will come across as inauthentic to voters who like that he is, in their view, a tough-talking realist about perceived threats from Muslims, illegal immigrants, and budget-busting Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington.”

3. FDR’s Nate Silver
By David Greenberg | Politico Magazine | Jan. 16
“How a self-taught data whiz from Michigan became the first person ever to poll for an American president — and turned into a national sensation.”

4. A Mysterious Mammoth Carcass Could Change Human History
By Maddie Stone | Gizmodo | Jan. 14
“Its discovery … might push back the timeline for when humans entered the northernmost reaches of the world — including the first entries into North America.”

5. Why Cartels Are Killing Mexico’s Mayors
By Ioan Grillo | Sunday Review :: The New York Times | Jan. 15
“These new cartels continue to traffic drugs. … But they have also used their armies of assassins to move into new endeavors: rackets, extortion, oil theft, even wildcat iron mining. And they are now muscling in on one of Mexico’s most lucrative businesses of all: local politics.”

6. Republican warnings about an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack, explained
By Philip Bump | The Fix :: The Washington Post | Jan. 15
“An EMP requires a very specific combination of things coming together in order to be effective.”

7. Why the United States can’t make a magazine like ISIS
By William McCants and Clint Watts | Brookings and The Daily Beast | Jan. 13
“Can you name a single U.S. government publication or online platform devoted to the anti-ISIS fight that is as informative or as widely-read as Dabiq? … We couldn’t come up with one either.”

8. Moving beyond Obama: How a transformational president became an impediment to change
By Elia Isquith | Salon | Jan. 16
“His romantic vision of America was once his greatest asset. But now it’s holding Obama and his country back”

9. Health Benefits of Red Wine vs. Grape Juice
By Karen Weintraub | Ask Well :: The New York Times | Jan. 8
“We keep hearing about the benefits of drinking red wine. Why not grape juice instead? It has the same benefits, plus no alcohol.”

10. Why Ike Wouldn’t Celebrate the D-Day Anniversary
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | May 2014
“Thus Ike spent the D-Day anniversary of Sunday, June 6, 1954, out of sight, with his family at Camp David.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

‘The Force Awakens’ (of course) / A highway marriage proposal / ‘Thriller’ makes history / Confessions of a cartel killer / Trump’s unpleasant talents

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This week: ‘The Force Awakens’ (of course) / A highway marriage proposal / ‘Thriller’ makes history / Confessions of a cartel killer / Trump’s unpleasant talents

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. Trump, Master of the Seven Deadly Sins
By Michael D’Antonio | Politico Magazine | Dec. 16
“How the GOP leader has succeeded for 40 years by bringing out the worst in people.”

2. Libya’s cultural heritage ‘being destroyed and plundered by Isis’
Associated Press :: The Guardian | Dec. 15
“Museums and UN say ancient artefacts and artwork are in danger of obliteration or being looted and sold illegally”

3. A Houston Marriage Proposal Stops Traffic
By Katie Rogers | The New York Times | Dec. 16
“Drivers did not give them more than a few seconds to celebrate. As the ecstatic couple hugged, the blare of car horns could be heard as people in trucks and S.U.V.s began to drive around the couple and their entourage, who were also recording.”

4. Alter Your Reading… Alternate History Picks Sure to Make You Wonder
By Billy Gschlecht | Bibliofile :: New York Public Library | Nov. 5
“Alternate history is an interesting and imaginative look at what might have been, sometimes for the better or worse, but certainly always different.”

5. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ sets new sales record
By Anthony McCartney | Associated Press | Dec. 16
“The album has sold 30 million copies in the United States, making Jackson the first artist to attain 30-time multiplatinum status …”

6. ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ Among 2015 National Film Registry Selections
Variety | Dec. 16
“Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 notable films to its permanent collection, ensuring that the titles will be preserved for generations to come.”

7. 30 lives extinguished, but no regrets: A killer’s story
By E. Eduardo Castillo | Associated Press | Dec. 15
“This is a story from the other side, the tale of a man who kidnaps, tortures and kills for a drug cartel. His story is the mirror image of those recounted by survivors and victims’ families, and seems to confirm their worst fears: Many, if not most, of the disappeared likely are never coming home.”

8. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: The fanboy dissection of a film that restores faith
By Michael Cavna and David Betancourt | Comic Riffs :: The Washington Post | Dec. 16
“With John Williams’s soaring score still ringing in our ears, and the uplift of this soon-to-be globally embraced film still dizzying our senses, here is Comic Riffs’ fanboy dissection of the Star Wars franchise reawakened …”

9. Revisiting ‘Star Wars’ Before ‘The Force Awakens’
Here & Now :: NPR | Dec. 14
“That was back in the day when the first Apple II computers went on sale and Space Mountain was opening at Disneyland.”

10. When T.R. Saw Lincoln
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | May 2014
“For Theodore Roosevelt’s family, Lincoln’s cortege was no abstract public ceremony. “

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Reviews of ‘True Detective’ and ‘OITNB’ / Tracking the Islamic State in the U.S. / Happy birthday to George H.W. Bush / Women try to understand ‘Goodfellas’ / New b/w photos of Paris

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This week: Reviews of ‘True Detective’ and ‘OITNB’ / Tracking the Islamic State in the U.S. / Happy birthday to George H.W. Bush / Women try to understand ‘Goodfellas’ / New b/w photos of Paris

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. ‘True Detective’ Season 2: TV Review
By Tim Goodman | The Hollywood Reporter | June 11
“Let’s just say it’s no season 1.”

2. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Is Somehow Funnier and Sadder Than It’s Ever Been
By Richard Lawsom | Vanity Fair | June 11
“This season, bawdy pubic-hair gags bump up against jokes about economics and spiritualism, the grime of prison life allowing for visceral, intimate revulsion, but also serving as a kind of blank canvas for larger metaphor.”

3. ‘George H.W. Bush’
American Experience :: PBS | 2008
“The life and career of our 41st president, from his service in World War II and his early career in Texas to his days in the Oval Office, first as vice president to Ronald Reagan, then as the leader who presided over the first Gulf War. Drawing upon Bush’s personal diaries and interviews with his closest advisors and most prominent critics, the film also explores Bush’s role as the patriarch of a political family whose influence is unequaled in modern American life.”

4. Climate Hope City: how Minecraft can tell the story of climate change
By Keith Stuart | The Guardian | June 12
“As part of our Keep it in the Ground campaign, the Guardian has commissioned a Minecraft map exhibiting a city filled with real-world climate initiative”

5. Two Women Try Their Hardest To Understand ‘Goodfellas’
By Lauren Duca and Eric Whitney | The Huffington Post | June 11
“I immediately threw my Godfather Blu-ray box set in the trash of overflowing tissues; I clearly just watched those to fuel the anti-violence protest rallies I go to after Wednesday book club. What do we do? Do you want to bring over a couple pints and consult Carrie Bradshaw for advice? My whole world is changing.”

6. Serge Ramelli captures Paris in black and white
Architectural Digest | June 2015
“Serge Ramelli’s striking black-and-white photography of Paris is the subject of a forthcoming book from teNeues. Through Ramelli’s lens, the City of Light and its notable landmarks are rendered dark and moody.”

7. Visiting Presidential Libraries
By Nina Kendall | On the Road with the Histocrats | February 2015
“Are you looking to connect more with history? Are you planning a trip with friends or family who isn’t as excited about history as you? Consider adding a Presidential Library visit to your calendar.”

8. Busted
By Grace Na | Slate | June 11
“Why the women on Orange Is the New Black are serving time, one by one.”

9. Map: Is Islamic State in a neighborhood near you?
By Adam Goldman | WorldViews :: The Washington Post | June 11
“U.S. authorities have charged more than three dozen men and women around the country in connection with the Islamic State. Men outnumber women in those cases by a margin of nearly 5 to 1. The average age of the individuals — some have merely been charged, others have been convicted — is 26. One is a minor.”

10. D-Day Wasn’t the First Time Eisenhower Felt as if He Had Lost a Son
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | Jun 2014
“Almost a half-century later, Eisenhower called this ‘the greatest disappointment and disaster in my life, the one I have never been able to forget completely.’ “