Recommended reading / viewing / listening

On wrong side of border fence / Texas redistricting’s cost / Mexican’s housewives wrestle / Contractors deal with Afghan risks / Orgasm rooted in the mind

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. Texans on wrong side of border fence grow anxious
By Christopher Sherman | Associated Press | Feb. 11
“In this lush area, the Rio Grande’s wide floodplain precluded building the fence right on the border so it was set back more than a mile in places, running behind the levees. The result is a no-man’s-land of hundreds of properties, and the people who work on them, on the wrong side of the divide.”

2. Slow Redistricting Lowers Clout of Texas Voters
By Ross Ramsey | The Texas Tribune | Feb. 10
“In a parallel political universe — one in which redistricting maps were in place and elections were on schedule — Texas would be getting national attention right now.”

3. The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician
By James Ryerson | Slate | Feb. 10
“In the July/August 2001 issue of the late, great magazine ‘Lingua Franca,’ James Ryerson published an enthralling article about an anonymous benefactor who was paying professors huge sums of money to review a strange 60-page philosophical manuscript.”

4. Mexican Housewives Wrestling. Seriously.
The Huffington Post | Feb. 11
“Sometimes you just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

5. Risks of Afghan War Shift From Soldiers to Contractors
By Rod Nordland | The New York Times | Feb. 11
“This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. ”

6. Orgasm: It’s All In Your Head
By Kayt Sukel | Dirty Minds :: Psychology Today | Feb. 11
“That’s right, we can orgasm without a single physical touch. All thanks to our brains.”

7. We Don’t Care What You Say, George: Han Shot First!
By Matt Blum | GeekDad :: Wired | Feb. 10
“Yes, Lucas is actually claiming that he only changed the appearance, not what actually happened, in the Han-shoots-Greedo scene in Mos Eisley in the (real) first film.”

8. Everything You Need to Survive Losing Your Laptop
By Kyle Wagner | Gizmodo | Feb. 10
“I’ve learned enough about the hell that that puts you through to have some advice if you end up unexpectedly computerless.”

9. Clint Eastwood helps reveal secrets of brain evolution
By Lisa Grossman | The New Scientist | Feb. 5
“It turns out that brain regions that do the same job in monkeys and humans aren’t always found in the same part of the skull.”

10. Archaeologists strike gold in quest to find Queen of Sheba’s wealth
By Dalya Alberge | The Guardian | Feb. 11
“A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba derived her fabled treasures”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. BAD TO THE BONE George Thorogood and the Destroyers
2. STILLNESS OF HEART Lenny Kravitz
3. GREEN RIVER Creedance Clearwater Revival
4. I NEED A MAN TO LOVE Janis Joplin
5. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE Cream
6. THREE MORE DAYS Ray MaMontagne
7. T.B. SHEETS Van Morrison
8. MANSION ON THE HILL (Live) Bruce Springsteen
9. I BELONG TO YOU Lenny Kravitz
10. LAKE OF FIRE (Unplugged) Nirvana

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Meryl the Great / The OWS revolution / The tech election / Swallowed by a whale / Why we cry

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. Deep Streep?
By Martin Filler | NYRBlog :: The New York Review of Books | Jan. 12
“Among the impenetrable mysteries of modern life is how Meryl Streep can be universally regarded as the greatest dramatic film actress of our time. In my opinion, Streep is easily at her best as a comedienne, not in the high-serious roles she has favored.”

2. Young women more involved in campaign coverage
By Ginger Gibson and Dylan Byers | Politico | Jan. 12
“As campaign ’embeds,’ they are the ones riding the candidates’ buses from state-to-state, event-to-event, recording every word out of the candidates’ mouths — good or gaffe — and filing endless daily stories about incremental developments.”

3. Revolution Number 99
By Max Chafkin | Vanity Fair | February 2012
“America was full of angry people in September 2011, when a few hundred citizens decided to make their anger count. V.F.’s oral history of Occupy Wall Street shows how the spark was lit in Zuccotti Park as a disparate, passionate mix of activists, celebrities, and accidental protesters changed the national conversation.”

4. Project Dreamcatcher
By Sasha Issenberg | Slate | Jan. 13
“How cutting-edge text analytics can help the Obama campaign determine voters’ hopes and fears.”

5. Swallowed by a whale — a true tale?
By Ben Shattuck | Salon | Jan. 15
“Everyone knows the story of Jonah. But my quest was to find evidence that man, gulped whole, had really survived”

6. My partner says I am too loud in bed
By Pamela Stephenson Connolly | Sexual Healing :: The Guardian | Jan. 15
“There’s nothing wrong with you, but you may want to explore some options that work for both of you”

7. The 2012 tech primary
By Kim Hart | Politico | Jan. 16
“The tech giants are offering candidates new ways to advertise — Mitt Romney has spots on YouTube and Rick Perry’s Facebook ads target Christian college kids in South Carolina — and hiring political consultants, sponsoring debates and poaching from each other’s ad sales teams to jockey for the top spot in political social media circles.”

8. Are Child Molesters Really the Most Hated People in Prison?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | November 2011
“They’re tied with snitches.”

9. This much I know: 50 Cent
By Luke Bainbridge | The Observer | December 2009
“The rapper, 34, in his own words”

10. This Vale of Tears
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | January 2011
“Is it true that women’s tears contain an enzyme that can be released only by crying, meaning they are quicker to cry under emotional stress?”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. SET ADRIFT ON MEMORY BLISS P.M. Dawn
2. SLOWMOTION Kinobe
3. MORE THAN THIS Charlie Hunter & Norah Jones
4. UNDERTOW Ivy
5. SUNLIGHT IN THE RAIN Kelli Ali
6. LETTING GO Nitin Sawhney
7. FUTURES Zero 7
8. CAN’T GET YOU OFF MY MIND Lenny Kravitz
9. SURE THING St. Germain
10. I’VE GOT A CAT Method

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