Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Cut back on non-friends / What Obama knew / Future of OWS / New treasures in Istanbul / Why do we yawn?

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. Unfriend Everyone
By Sam Biddle | Gizmodo | Jan. 20
“You have too many Facebook friends. You’re following too many people on Twitter. You’re connected to too many people who don’t care too much about you. Get rid of them. Get rid of all of them.”

2. Courts Moving Too Slow for April Primary Elections
By Ross Ramsey | The Texas Tribune | Jan. 20
“The Democratic and Republican political parties hold their state conventions June 7-9.”

3. Italy Finds a Heroic Foil for Its Scorned Captain
By Elisabetta Povoledo | The New York Times | Jan. 19
“Easily adapting to the national propensity for dualism, Italians have got themselves a hero to play against their antihero, a champion to their villain …”

4. Obama warned about skyrocketing debt before he took office
By Donovan Slack | Politico 44 :: Politico | Jan. 23
“Economic advisers warned President Obama before he took the oath of office that he would have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to help right the economy and such spending could run up the highest national debt since World War II. …”

5. What Future for Occupy Wall Street?
By Michael Greenberg | The New York Review of Books | Feb. 9
“Occupy Wall Street’s expansion to many other cities seems to have been preordained, but at the time it caught even its most committed supporters off guard.”

6. After Being Stricken by Drought, Istanbul Yields Ancient Treasure
By Jennifer Pinkowski | The New York Times | Jan. 23
“In the last dig season alone, the archaeologists uncovered port walls, elaborate buildings, an enormous cistern, a Byzantine church and stone roads spanning more than 1,000 years of occupation.”

7. Too many tests? Routine checks getting second look
By Lauran Neergaard | Associated Press | Jan. 23
“The worry: If given too often, these tests can waste time and money, and sometimes even do harm if false alarms spur unneeded follow-up care. It begs the question: Just what should be part of my doctor’s visit?”

8. Confident Obama Knows Wild Cards Can Loom Large
By Jackie Calmes | The New York Times | Jan. 23
“Democrats are enjoying the show, though mindful that much could change in the nine months before Election Day — as it often has in Mr. Obama’s term, and not for the better. ”

9. This Much I Know: Robert Duvall
By Tony Horkins | The Observer | February 2010
“The Hollywood legend, 79, on football, Brando and the tango”

10. The Yawning Gap
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | June 2011
“Do people yawn when they are asleep? Why do they yawn in the first place?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Holiday wisdom / USS Iowa’s new home / A beautiful comet / Take time for Timeline / Occupy’s disappointment

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. A Sinverguenza Holiday Guide: Gifts, Resolutions and Lessons
By El Guapo | NewsTaco | Dec. 22
“Be forewarned — buy chones that are too big and you think she’s fat. Buy them too small and you’re saying that’s the size she should be. It’s like Russian roulette without the empty chamber.”

2. WWII battleship USS Iowa nearing final voyage
Associated Press | Dec. 22
“The last surviving World War II battleship without a home is docked at the Port of Richmond, where it is being prepared for its journey to the Port of Los Angeles for a new mission as a museum and memorial to Navy might.”

3. Turkey’s Biodiversity, at Risk Yet Largely Ignored
By Jim Robbins | Green :: The New York Times | Dec. 22
“A new paper by biologists in Turkey and the United States warns that while Turkey’s rich biodiversity is unique and globally important, it remains poorly researched and faces growing threats, especially from development.”

4. The Most Amazing View of a Comet Ever
By Brent Rose | Gizmodo | Dec. 22
“When you see someone who’s constantly seeing wondrous things filled with awe, there’s something very special about it.”

5. Why Don’t They Sell Eggnog Year-Round?
By Matthew S. Schwartz | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 22
“People only buy it when it’s cold outside.”

6. Thinner brains may be more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease
By Karen Kaplan | Booster Shots :: The Los Angeles Times | Dec. 21
“A new study from the journal Neurology reports that an ‘AD signature’ can predict which people with normal brain function are most likely to suffer cognitive decline in the relatively near future.”

7. Christmas, Inc: American trees take over Mexico
By Ioan Grillo | GlobalPost | Dec. 20
“This holiday season alone, more than a million trees have been imported over the Rio Grande to decorate homes celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Mexico’s Environment Department reported.”

8. Review: Take the time to curate Facebook Timeline
By Anick Jesdanun | Associated Press | Dec. 21
“Once you’re ready for Timeline, you have a week to airbrush your life before it replaces your current profile. That’s not a lot of time when you have (cough, cough) years of your life to go through.”

9. Occupy protests trigger envy, ire in Generation X
By Jennifer Peltz | Associated Press | Dec. 18
“The generation that gave the term ‘slacker’ new meaning is looking with measures of rivalry, regret and tart bewilderment at a movement its successor mobilized in the name of ‘the 99 percent.’ ”

10. Air strikes on Libya 1896
Witness :: BBC News | March 14
“They lasted for less than 12 minutes, but US air strikes against targets in Libya in April 1986, shook the country.”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTASY Sarah McLachlan
2. VICTIM OF LOVE The Eagles
3. JET AIRLINER Steve Miller Band
4. THE WIND CRIES MARY Jimi Hendrix
5. SMALL TOWN Morcheeba
6. I AIN’T SUPERSTITIOUS Rod Stewart
7. TRINITY DUB Massive Attack & Mad Professor
8. MY CULTURE Maxi Jazz & Robbie Williams
9. FALLEN FROM GRACE Mark Lee Scott
10. DESPERADO The Eagles

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Occupy Wall Street’s defeat … Another Obama Doctrine … MRIs and depression … Narcissistic jerk-wads … Tweeting WWII

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. US fugitive’s 41-year life on lam
By Alan Clendenning and Barry Hatton | Associated Press | Nov. 20
“The tale of Wright’s life on the run spans 41 years and three continents. It starts in New Jersey with a prison break, moves to Algeria on the hijacked plane, to Paris where he lived underground, to Lisbon where he fell in love, to the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau — and finally to an idyllic Portuguese seaside village, where he built a life as a respected family man.”

2. Longest serving Airman calls it a career
By Tech. Sgt. Richard Williams | U.S. Air Force | Nov. 21
“As the sun sets on the career of Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, he looks back with a sense of accomplishment.”

3. The World Isn’t Flat: The Well-Intentioned Lie That Led to Occupy Wall Street’s Downfall
By Alex Klein | The New Republic | Nov. 28
“Wall Street’s occupiers — and the mainstream left that supports them — have unintentionally propped up the arguments of their fiercest critics and helped hasten their own eviction.”

4. Civil War app takes on Virginia’s Chancellorsville
Associated Press | Nov. 21
“The application uses GPS technology and Apple’s iPhone platform to help visitors locate and learn more about the Chancellorsville battlefield.”

5. Obama’s Foreign Policy Doctrine Finally Emerges With ‘Offshore Balancing’
By Peter Beinart | The Daily Beast | Nov. 28
“The deadly NATO strike in Pakistan reveals that the president has decided to contain U.S. adversaries with an affordable strategy of maintaining our naval and air power while strengthening smaller nations.”

6. Using Search Engines for Higher Math
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 17
“The ability of search engines to calculate basic arithmetic right in the search box is well known, but some can handle higher math as well.”

7. Scan’t Evidence: Do MRIs Relieve Symptoms of Depression?
By Ferris Jabr | Scientific American | Nov. 28
“Researchers continue to explore whether magnetic fields produced by magnetic resonance imagers and other devices improve mood in those who suffer from depressive disorders.”

8. Narcissistic Jerk-Wads Make the Best Leaders, Study Says
By Nick Greene | The Village Voice | Nov. 19
“Frederick Allen, leadership editor of Forbes, writes that the study found ‘narcissism and hunger for attention lead to innovation and daring decision-making.’ In addition, 80% of narcissistic leaders believe that Carly Simon has written a song about them.”

9. The Tweets of War: What’s Past Is Postable
By Jennifer Schuessler | The New York Times | Nov. 27
“Volunteers have started translating the RealTimeWWII feed into Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Turkish, with talks under way for versions in French, Dutch and German.”

10. About Those Maps …
By Ross Ramsey | Inside Intelligence :: The Texas Tribune | Nov. 28
“Our insiders don’t have much desire to see lawmakers redo the maps after the elections, but there’s a contingent — 40 percent — who think the Legislature and not the courts should have the final say.”