Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Celebrating Amelia Earhart / The power of male friendships / The Marines in Lebanon / Bringing down Saddam Hussein / The beautiful game around the world

This week: Celebrating Amelia Earhart / The power of male friendships / The Marines in Lebanon / Bringing down Saddam Hussein / The beautiful game around the 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. Holy Wars and the Founding of Saudi Arabia
By Eric Czuleger | Ozy.com | November 2016
“Because he may have been the original jihadist”

2. Who suffers when local news disappears
By Kyle Pope | Columbia Journalism Review | July 2018
“We need to move away from the arguments that the country should care about laid-off reporters or that the suits should be held to account. This can’t be about us.
It has to be about why the country should care if local news goes away, which is the trajectory we now find ourselves on.”

3. Amelia Earhart’s Mysterious Death Shouldn’t Overshadow Her Life
By Keith O’Brien | LitHub | July 2018
“Worse still, perhaps, with the focus squarely on Earhart, history has all but erased the other women who flew with her in the 1920s and 30s — female pilots who made daring flights of their own in a time when many men believed women had no business flying airplanes.”

4. Football, Free on the Streets
By Garnette Cadogan | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | July 2018
“The sight of people playing football daily in public spaces around the world is visual testimony of how the presence of bodies can turn the commonplace into the marvelous; proof, too, that football is a world game not because of the millions drawn to watch the World Cup, but because of the millions for whom the game is alive every day on the street, tournament or none.”

5. Male Friendships
By Nastaran Tavakoli-Far | The Why Factor :: BBC World Service | July 2018
“From the Obama-Biden bromance to the transformative experience of the men’s group … what men can get from their friendships with other men that is unique.”

6. Yes, sit-stand desks may help people sit less at work
By Lisa Rapaport | Reuters | July 2018
“Workers who use sit-stand desks may reduce the amount of time they spend in a chair by more than an hour a day, according to a review of research on the best ways to curb sedentary time at the office. ”

7. When the Marines Came to Lebanon
By Anthony Elghossain | The New Republic | July 2018
“Sixty years later, a classic Middle Eastern intervention under Eisenhower now looks like a symbol of a dysfunctional relationship.”

8. Crypto Rico: Blockchain for a Broken Paradise
The Documentary :: BBC World Service | July 2018
“Whilst many thousands of Puerto Ricans are leaving the island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, a small group of wealthy ‘crypto-preneurs’, are moving to this US territory. They harbour hopes to reboot paradise using blockchain technology … and bring prosperity back to this financially struggling island.”

9. Scientists say black hole discovery proves Einstein was right
By Ruth Brown | The New York Post | July 2018
“Scientists have observed for the first time a star’s light being warped by a supermassive black hole — and they say it backs up Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity while rebuking Newton’s ideas about gravity.”

10. Saddam Hussein: My part in his downfall
By Adnan Sarwar | 1843 :: The Economist | August / September 2018
“Adnan Sarwar went from praying in the mosques of Burnley to patrolling the streets of Basra. Fifteen years on, he remembers the sun, sex and bomb disposal”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Monica Lewinsky and #MeToo / The last days of John Kelly? / Remembering the 2017 Oscar disaster / Hitler’s, Mao’s and Stalin’s death tolls / Inside the U.S. embassy in Havana

This week: Monica Lewinsky and #MeToo / The last days of John Kelly? / Remembering the 2017 Oscar disaster / Hitler’s, Mao’s and Stalin’s death tolls / Inside the U.S. embassy in Havana

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. Emerging from ‘the House of Gaslight’ in the Age of #MeToo
By Monica Lewinsky | Hive :: Vanity Fair | February 2018
“On the 20th anniversary of the Starr investigation, which introduced her to the world, the author reflects on the changing nature of trauma, the de-evolution of the media, and the extraordinary hope now provided by the #MeToo movement.”

2. ‘The Newsroom Feels Embarrassed’: Backfires and Explosions at The New York Times as a Possible Future Chief Re-Invents the Paper’s Opinion Pages
By Joe Pompeo | Hive :: Vanity Fair | February 2018
“A yoga-pants refusenik, a climate-science skeptic, and a tech writer with a neo-Nazi pal, among other offenders, have put James Bennet in the crosshairs.”
Also, from the Washington Post: ‘Criticize our work privately’: NYT editorial page chief sends a 1,500-word treatise to colleagues

3. How Long Can John Kelly Hang On?
By Matt Flegenheimer | The New York Times | February 2018
“Last year, Democrats and Republicans alike agreed that if anyone could bring order to the Trump administration, it was the retired four-star Marine general. Were they wrong?”

4. “They Got the Wrong Envelope!”: The Oral History of Oscar’s Epic Best Picture Fiasco
By Scott Feinberg | Hollywood Reporter | February 2018
“One year after the craziest, most improbable and downright embarrassing moment in Academy Awards history, 29 key players open up (many for the first time) about the onstage chaos, backstage bickering and who’s really to blame for Envelopegate and the two minutes and 23 seconds that ‘La La Land’ beat ‘Moonlight.'”
Also, from the Hollywood Reporter: They’re Back: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway to Present Oscars Best Picture

5. Personal Connections with the Civil War West
By Maria Angela Diaz | Muster :: Journal of the Civil War Era | February 2018
“While listening to the papers of my own panel, walking around the book exhibit, and attending several of the other panels, it got me thinking about being a Mexican-American woman, a historian of the Civil War era, and how I’ve related to, or at times not been able to relate to, the field that I’ve chosen to study.”

6. How showing vulnerability helps build a stronger team
By Daniel Coyle | Ideas :: TED.com | February 2018
“If you’d like trust to develop in your office, group or team — and who wouldn’t? — the key is sharing your weaknesses”

7. When Government Drew the Color Line
By Jason DeParle | The New York Review of Books | February 2018
“Government agencies used public housing to clear mixed neighborhoods and create segregated ones. Governments built highways as buffers to keep the races apart. They used federal mortgage insurance to usher in an era of suburbanization on the condition that developers keep blacks out. From New Dealers to county sheriffs, government agencies at every level helped impose segregation — not de facto but de jure.”

8. The Instagram matchmaking queer women via old school personal ads
By Biju Belinky | Dazed Digital | February 2018
“Spoiler alert: it’s led to cross-country love affairs”

9. The Sound and the Fury: Inside the Mystery of the Havana Embassy
By Tim Golden and Sebastian Rotella | ProPubilica | February 2018
“More than a year after American diplomats began to suffer strange, concussion-like symptoms in Cuba, a U.S. investigation is no closer to determining how they were hurt or by whom, and the FBI and CIA are at odds over the case.”

10. Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?
By Ian Johnson | The New York Review of Books | February 2018
“[T]he Hitler and Stalin numbers invite questions that Mao’s higher ones do not. Should we let Hitler, especially, off the hook for combatant deaths in World War II? It’s probably fair to say that without Hitler, there wouldn’t have been a European war.”

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

Inside the Costa Concordia / What women want / Army recruits lose the BCGs / Confederate Heroes Day / Easing combat stress

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.

1. Military dumps infamous ‘BCG’ eyeglasses
By Patricia Kime | Army Times | Jan. 20
“Military recruits who wear glasses no longer will have to endure the embarrassment of sporting BCGs — those beloved standard-issue specs, technically called S9s, which are universally known as ‘Birth Control Glasses’ because they’re supposedly so unattractive.”

2. Today’s Women: Newfound Power, Persistent Expectations
Schawk | January 2012
“[W]omen still feel the age-old pressure to do it all, look good and be liked. Anthem’s original research suggests that this creates a tension in women’s lives, and that traditional marketing messages that leverage these pressures might not be as effective as marketers think.”

3. Inside the Wreck of the Costa Concordia
By Alan Taylor | In Focus :: The Atlantic | Jan. 20
“Rescue workers have spent the past seven days rappelling from helicopters, scaling the hull, scrambling inside and diving beneath the wreckage, racing against the clock to find anyone alive inside the massive wreck.”

4. Celebrating Confederate Heroes Day in East Texas
By Forrest Wilder | The Texas Observer | Jan. 20
“The official state holiday is a day for Confederacy apologists to strut their stuff.”

5. Diagramming the Costa Concordia Disaster
By Heather Murphy and Vivian Selbo | Slate | Jan. 20
“An annotated look at the cruise ship fiasco.”

6. Wars lessons being applied to ease combat stress
By Julie Watson | Associated Press | Jan. 18
“When the Marine unit that suffered the greatest casualties in the 10-year Afghan war returned home last spring, they didn’t rush back to their everyday lives. Instead, the Marine Corps put them into a kind of decompression chamber. …”

7. Famous Photogs Pose With Their Most Iconic Images
By Jakob Schiller | Raw File :: Wired | Jan. 20
“Many of us can automatically recall these photos in our heads, but far fewer can name the photographers who took them. Even fewer know what those photographers look like.”

8. This much I know: Robert Harris
By John O’Connell | The Observer | April 2010
“The novelist, 53, on Polanski, his Hitler house, and Bob Monkhouse”

9. Flies in the Dark
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | June 2011
“Where do flies go at night? In summer in Australia, flies are everywhere in the daytime but seem to disappear at night.”

10. People Power in the Philippines
Witness :: BBC News | February 22
“In 1986, thousands of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital, Manila. Just days later, President Ferdinand Marcos was forced from power.”

**************

TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Kenny Wayne Shepherd — Everybody Gets The Blues
2. Mark Kerr — Every Dog Has It’s Day
3. Doyle Bramhall — Jealous Sky
4. The Mark Knoll Band — You’ve Got A Lot To Learn
5. Grady Champion — Policeman Blues
6. The Shawn Fussell Band — Tulia, TX
7. Too Slim & The Tail Draggers — Been Through Hell
8. ZZ Top — Just Got Back From Babys
9. Brian Burns with Ray Wylie Hubbard — Little Angel
10. Johnny Lang — Livin’ For The City
11. Bleu Edmondson — 50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown
12. Dennis McClung Blues Band — The Red Rooster

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Gingrich and Clinton / Christmas stress / Marine recalls coming home / Teaching James Franco / SAD songs

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. Gingrich, Clinton had stormy partnership
By Laurie Kellman | Associated Press | Dec. 22
“To hear Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich tell it, he and Democratic President Bill Clinton were political partners in the 1990s, lowering unemployment, balancing the federal budget and keeping the nation’s economy in robust health.”

2. Brain strain: Christmas shopping when money tight
By Malcom Ritter | Associated Press | Dec. 18
“Plenty of Americans are having to hold back this year as the lure of flashy ads, tempting bargains and family expectations clashes with the realities of the economy. Experts in consumer behavior say that situation can strain the brain.”

3. Coming Home: A Marine Officer Remembers His Tours In Iraq
By Benjamin Busch | The Daily Beast | Dec. 19
“A Marine officer who served two tours of duty shares memories of his time in Iraq and what the return home has meant.”

4. What It’s Like To Be James Franco’s Professor
By R. John Williams | Slate | Dec. 20
“His English professor at Yale reveals that the actor rarely missed a discussion, even when filming in Detroit.”

5. Twenty Songs To Go With Your Seasonal Affective Disorder
By Dave Bry | The Awl | Dec. 22
Leonard Cohen, Bill Withers, Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen and more.

6. Q&A: Locking Up a USB Drive
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Nov. 2
“Q: I like to transfer files between machines with a portable USB drive. Is there a way to protect this drive with a password in case I ever lose it?”

7. Learn From A Dog: 15 Life Lessons From Your Pet
The Huffington Post | Dec. 22
“Dogs tend to be happy, active and well rested — things we could all stand to learn.”

8. Why women need fat
By Hannah Tepper | Salon | Dec. 18
“Evolution shows that women’s dieting beliefs aren’t just unrealistic — they’re unnatural. An expert explains.”

9. My overworked wife is becoming increasingly bitter toward me
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I’m tired of trying to hold my feelings in and am beginning to wonder if I have to continue living like this. Please give me some advice about how I should deal with my wife.”

10. The death of Kurt Cobain
Witness :: BBC News | April 5
“In April 1994 the lead singer of the grunge rock band Nirvana was found dead in his home in Seattle.”

**************

TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Blue Condition — Lady from the Delta
2. Boogie Bone — Don’t Mean a Thing
3. Alejandro Escovedo — Castanets
4. Robert Earl Keen — Throwin’ Rocks
5. Bobby Blue Bland — Let’s Straighten It Out
6. Philosopher Stone — Sweet Charity
7. Dr. Wu — I Don’t Need No Woman Like You
8. Joe Bonamassa — Walking Blues
9. Lost Immigrants — Genevieve
10. The Insomniacs — 20-20
11. Zack Walther & The Conkites — Georgia Cane

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Postal cuts … Huge black holes … The classic Marine Corps … Dems and religious voters … Secrets of Roman buildings.

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. Web an increasing tool to link campaigns, voters
By Beth Fouhy | Associated Press | Dec. 3
“Online advertising, once used primarily as a way to reach young and heavily wired consumers, has emerged as an essential communications tool in the 2012 presidential contest.”

2. Postal cuts to slow delivery of first-class mail
By Hope Yen | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“The changes … could slow everything from check payments to Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.”

3. Study: Lawn care industry large source of income for Latinos
By Renee Saldana | NewsTaco | Dec. 5
“The authors do point out that the percentage of Latino-owned landscaping and lawn care industry is double the national average. …”

4. Literature of moment not a signal of decline
By T.R. Fehrenbach | San Antonio Express-News | Dec. 5
“From ‘Iliad’ to today’s vampires, they brighten our lives.”

5. Scientists find monster black holes, biggest yet
By Marcia Dunn | Associated Press | Dec. 5
“A team led by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered the two gigantic black holes in clusters of elliptical galaxies more than 300 million light years away. That’s relatively close on the galactic scale.”

6. Q&A: Radio Over Wi-Fi Airwaves
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 28
“Q: I want a small device that will allow me to listen to the BBC Radio 4’s live stream. … I could use my laptop but then I’d have to keep plugging and unplugging it into the peripherals. … Is there another way?”

7. Postwar Marines: smaller, less focused on land war
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | Dec. 4
“This moment of change happens to coincide with a reorienting of American security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, where China has been building military muscle during a decade of U.S. preoccupation in the greater Middle East. That suits the Marines, who see the Pacific as a home away from home.”

8. Democrats see opening among religious voters in 2012 election
By Josh Lederman | The Hill | Dec. 4
“Democrats are setting out to court faith-based voters by connecting their policies on economic issues to the values of equality, tolerance and humanitarianism.”

9. The Secrets of Ancient Rome’s Buildings
By Erin Wayman | Smithsonian | Nov. 16
“What is it about Roman concrete that keeps the Pantheon and the Colosseum still standing?”

10. The fresh ideas that can help save our world
By Yvonne Roberts | The Guardian | Dec. 3
“Climate change, ageing, joblessness, a healthcare crisis: tomorrow is a tangle of problems. The solution may lie not in politics, but in a ‘social innovation’ movement that is generating groundbreaking ideas”