Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Camilla and Queen Elizabeth II / The best of SXSW 2017 / Nixon’s lessons for Trump / Peruvian mudslides / Science and cuteness

This week: Camilla and Queen Elizabeth II / The best of SXSW 2017 / Nixon’s lessons for Trump / Peruvian mudslides / Science and cuteness

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. Critics’ Picks: The Best of SXSW 2017
By John DeFore, Michael Rechtshaffen, Sheri Linden, and David Rooney | The Hollywood Reporter | March 17
“A dazzling comedy from James Franco, a buzzy new Netflix series, an L.A. noir pairing Lola Kirke and Zoe Kravitz and docs dealing with race and police violence were among THR critics’ faves from the fest.”

2. ‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death
By Sam Knight | The Guardian | March 17
“She is venerated around the world. She has outlasted 12 US presidents. She stands for stability and order. But her kingdom is in turmoil, and her subjects are in denial that her reign will ever end. That’s why the palace has a plan.”

3. Delicate but Critical Dance for New U.N. Leader and New U.S. Envoy
By Sonia Sengupta | The New York Times | March 16
“He’s the new leader of the United Nations, an international diplomat who spent years focused on the plight of the world’s refugees. She’s a diplomatic neophyte representing an ‘America First’ administration that seeks travel bans for refugees and mocked the United Nations. It is an awkward relationship. But … it is a critical relationship for both the secretary general, António Guterres, and the United States ambassador, Nikki R. Haley.”

4. What is it with Trump and handshakes? This is getting awkward
By Moustafa Bayoumi | The Guardian | March 18
“From the Abe Assault to the Trudeau Standoff and the May Grab we now have: the Merkel Moment”

5. We lost a war: Russia’s interference in our election was much more than simple mischief-making
By Timothy Snyder | Daily Intelligencer :: The New York Daily News | March 19
“We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump. The war followed the new rules of the 21st century, but its goal was the usual one of political change.”

6. An Inside Job: Lessons from Watergate for the Trump Era
By Michael Bourne | The Millions | March 16
“[I]f there is any truth to leaked claims that Trump’s aides had contact with Russian intelligence officials involved in hacking into the Clinton campaign’s email servers during the 2016 election, Trump and his team would do well to heed the hard lessons of Nixon’s discovery of the Watergate leaker, Mark Felt.”

7. The new science of cute
By Neil Steinberg | The Long Read :: The Guardian | July 2016
“Kumamon, a cartoon bear created to promote tourism in an overlooked part of Japan, has become a billion-dollar phenomenon. Now, a new academic field is trying to pinpoint what makes things cute – and why we can’t resist them”

8. In Peru, Woman Narrowly Escapes Mudslide
The New York Times | March 16
“A woman managed to pull herself from debris and mud on the outskirts of Lima on Wednesday, after heavy rains triggered floods across the country. Since the beginning of the year, 550,000 people have been displaced and dozens killed by the flooding.”

9. Prince Charles’ Plan To Make Camilla ‘Queen’
By Tom Sykes | The Daily Beast | February 2017
“An informed Royal source tells the Daily Beast that there is a plan afoot to declare Prince Charles’s wife ‘queen’ soon after the present Queen’s death.”

10. Penn Station: A Place That Once Made Travelers Feel Important
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | January 2015
“Completed in 1910, the original Penn Station was intended to symbolize not only its powerful corporate owner but also New York’s status as the most vital city in a nation that was becoming a political and economic superpower.”

Book gems of 2016, Part 4

This week … a brief look at some of the best works on Latin America.

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Summer is upon us, and the season of leisure is the perfect time for new stories, characters, ideas, and adventures. Throughout the next few weeks, Stillness of Heart continues its occasional series of critical recommendations, from Civil War battle histories to memoirs, and from intellectual histories to photobooks almost as beautiful as the natural world they celebrate.

Read Part 1 of this 2016 series here and subsequent essays in this series here.

This week … a brief look at some of the best works on Latin America.

Emily Berquist Soule’s The Bishop’s Utopia: Envisioning Improvement in Colonial Peru (University of Pennsylvania Press, 320 pp., $36) tells the story of an incredible intellectual and scientific endeavor: the Spanish and Indian study of the cultures, botany, agricultural, and topography of northern Peru. Directing the project was Baltasar Jaime Martinez Companon, a Spanish bishop who also added to the collection of specimens a nine-volume series of books filled with images from throughout the region and painted by the Indians themselves. He intended to use the shipment of artwork and specimens to reassure Spanish officials that his part of Peru would be prosperous and peaceful. But for modern scholars, his efforts entrusted to us a snapshot of the era’s scientific understandings, Spanish cultural biases, and Indian artistic talents.

Karoline P. Cook’s Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 288 pp., $36) is a groundbreaking examination of the symbolic and religious significance of Moriscos — Muslims who converted to Christianity — in imperial Spain and in the Spanish New World. Spain would allow only Christians with long, verifiable Christian lineages to settle in the Spanish territories, but many moriscos secretly made the journey despite the mortal danger. Cook explores how these men and women, some still practicing Islam, introduced their faith to a new world, resisted Spanish persecution, and fought for their religious and political identities in hostile Spanish courtrooms. Cook’s work reminds today’s readers that personal struggles in this land over immigration, one’s place in society, religious freedom, and identity are nothing new, and neither are the moral determinations made to protect and defend those inherent human rights.

David F. Slade’s and Jerry W. Williams’s Lima fundada by Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo (University of North Carolina Press, 648 pp., $85) promises to be a magnificent achievement. In 1732, Peralta, a poet in Spanish Peru, wrote an epic poem that championed the notion that Peru belonged to the Peruvian descendants of Spanish conquerors. It criticized an imperial power structure that advanced the Spanish-born over the Peruvian-born. He considered it one of his greatest works. Since 1732, only fragments of his masterpiece have been republished, but the entire poem was never re-issued … until now, almost three centuries later.

Rafael Rojas’s Fighting over Fidel: The New York Intellectuals and the Cuban Revolution (Princeton University Press, 312 pp., $35, translated by Carl Good) is an incredible analysis of the searing currents of political thought coursing throughout New York City’s intellectual world and of the debate over the Cuban Revolution intensified that thinking. Rojas creates a vibrant swirling galaxy populated by brilliant writers, volatile artists, ambitious politicians, and fevered revolutionaries, all fighting over the ideals and consequences of Cold War ideologies, nationalist dreams, and personal affinities and hatreds.

Jonathan Colman’s The Cuban Missile Crisis: Origins, Course and Aftermath (Oxford University Press, 256 pp., $31.96) promises a definitive history of the Crisis, based on new primary sources and wide-ranging historical research and analysis. In the light of recent developments in U.S.-Cuban relations, Colman’s work arrives at the ideal time for readers and students seeking to understand the tumultuous Cold War and post-Cold War history that casts a long shadow over that relationship and still threatens the hope of so many Americans and Cubans for a brighter future.

Cruz Miguel Ortiz Cuadra’s Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture, and Identity (University of North Carolina Press, 408 pp., $27.95) is a classic of Puerto Rican culinary literature. It’s a virtual tour of Puerto Rican history that jumps from one essential food item to another, essentially combining them like ingredients into a complete and savory cultural meal. The framework also enables him to anchor his larger analysis of change over time, specifically how U.S. control of the island transformed how Puerto Ricans gathered, processed, and related to those foods, and what that means to Puerto Rican identity, citizenry, racial status, and economics.

For May 2017
Paulo Drinot’s and Carlos Aguirre’s The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment Under Military Rule (University of Texas Press, no other information available) should be an extraordinary analysis of an extraordinary time in Cold War-era Peru. More information to come.

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Book gems of 2016
An occasional series
Jan. 3: Antiquity, Civil War, World War II, and space
June 22: Presidents and the political world
June 29: Texas and Texas history
July 6: Latin America
July 13: Slavery and the Civil War era
July 20: World War I and II, science, culture, and literature

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Obama’s 2014 / Why grandmothers exist / Atahualpa’s tomb finally found? / The future of news / Widowed without warning

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This week: Obama’s 2014 / Why grandmothers exist / Atahualpa’s tomb finally found? / The future of news / Widowed without warning

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. 2013’s biggest media stories (and screw-ups)
By Dylan Byers and Hadas Gold | Politico | Dec. 22
“2013 was indeed exceptional: Edward Snowden released the biggest leak in U.S. history; President Barack Obama lost the goodwill of a press corps that not long ago had been accused of being in his pocket; and America’s most established news organizations came under new leadership, from Jeff Zucker at CNN to Jeff Bezos at The Washington Post, paving the way for a new and uncertain future.”

2. Official business behind him, Obama looks to 2014
By Josh Lederman | Associated Press | Dec. 27
“But as campaigning for House, Senate and governors’ mansions kicks into high gear in 2014, Obama may find his efforts to focus attention on his priorities drowned out by the political posturing that reaches a fever pitch in Washington every other year.”

3. How to Make Your Book a Bestseller
By Mary Kary Zuravleff | The Atlantic | Dec. 27
“An imagined guide to successful self-promotion”

4. Why Do Grandmothers Exist?
By Judith Shulevitz | The New Republic | January 2013
“[T]he grandmother hypothesis has gone from oddball conjecture to one of the dominant theories of why we live so long, breed so fast, and are so smart.”

5. I Find Myself in a Dark Wood
By Joseph Luzzi | Private Lives :: The New York Times | Dec. 18
“I had left the house that morning at 8:30 to teach a class; by noon, I was a father and a widower.”

6. The future of news is anticipation
By Amy Webb | Nieman Journalism Lab | December 2013
“One of the most important trends going into 2014 is the wave of sophisticated algorithms and processes that will forever change how journalism is both created and consumed.”

7. For Candidates, the End of the Year is a Deadline
By Ross Ramsey | The Texas Tribune | Dec. 23
“Political candidates are thinking they have a little over a week of fundraising left before an important deadline: Dec. 31 is the last day of contributions that can be reported on a required Jan. 15 campaign finance report.”

8. A toast to the bad old days
By Todd S. Purdum | Politico | Dec. 23
“If the past few weeks in the capital have shown anything, it is that the time-honored traits and tactics that modern politics loves to demonize in fact still have much to recommend them.”

9. Is this the lost tomb of the last Incan emperor?
The Daily Mail | Dec. 19
“The site, discovered by a multinational team of explorers, could be the tomb of Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Incas, who was executed by the Spanish after their conquest of South America.”

10. Doctor, Teacher, Soldier, Spy
By Melinda Miller and Rachel Smith Purvis | Discunion :: The New York Times | Dec. 18
“[Rufus Gillpatrick’s] curious career and violent death illustrates the porous line between civilian and soldier on the frontier.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Video of asteroid near miss / Peruvian food around the world / Death in a Facebook status / Cronkite remembers the Battle of the Bulge

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. Near-Earth Asteroid Fly-By Captured by Observatory
Space.com | July 2012
“Asteroid 2002 AM31 flew by Earth on July 22nd. The Slooh Space Camera in the Canary Islands observatory was on hand to capture the space rock zoom by. It was about 3.2 million miles away on its closest approach.”

2. Peruvian Independence Day Celebrated With Google Map Of Peruvian Restaurants Around The World
The Huffington Post | July 28
” You don’t have to travel all the way to South America for a taste of Peru’s cuisine.”

3. Facebook, in Life and Death
By Rubina Madan Fillon | The Juggle :: The Wall Street Journal | July 25
“I’ve grown accustomed to finding out about friends’ milestones on Facebook: graduations, engagements, weddings, new jobs and children. But hearing about death that way — I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that.”

4. Gang Violence Smoulders On Hot Chicago Streets
By Scott Simon | Weekend Edition Saturday | July 28
“When the sun goes down behind the glimmering lakeshore skyline, blocks on the South and West Side of the city can ring with shots and sirens.”

5. She’s taking on everything that’s wrong with movies
By Karina Longworth | The Village Voice | July 25
“Julie Delpy materializes on the patio of Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont on a wave of nervous energy.”

6. Texting: Grammar suffering as a result, finds a new study
By Alexander Besant | GlobalPost | July 28
“Researchers from Penn State have found that teenagers who use text messages to communicate tend to have worse grammar skills than those who don’t.”

7. J.J. Abrams’ mystery box
TED | January 2008
“J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery … back to its magical beginnings.”

8. Fancy that: the golden age of the sexy geeky leading male
By Zoe Williams | The Guardian | July 27
“The home-grown actors making it big in Hollywood these days aren’t chiselled or buff, but funny, nerdy and strangely attractive”

9. Runaway Masters
By Daniel W. Crofts | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 22
“All hope vanished that the war might end soon, or that the old Union might somehow be restored intact.”

10. The Battle of the Bulge Remembered
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | December 2004
“Cronkite reflects on what remains the largest pitched battle in the history of American arms.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. NEVER AN EASY WAY Morcheeba
2. AIR Cuba Percussion & Klazz Brothers
3. WITH YOU Smoke City
4. ISOBEL Dido
5. LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
6. MAD MEN SUITE David Carbonara
7. I KNOW Fiona Apple
8. SEVEN YEARS Natalie Merchant
9. MAYBE I’M AMAZED Paul McCartney
10. CAN’T FIND MY WAY HOME Blind Faith

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

21st century civil rights movement / David McCullough and the Brooklyn Bridge / Rewriting original American history / Touring the vibrator exhibit / Visiting Peru

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. Psychiatrist Who ‘Proved’ Gays Can Be Cured Says It Was All a Big Mistake
By Cassie Murdoch | Jezebel | May 21
“Not only does this ‘pray away the gay’ strategy not work, it’s actively damaging to patients who undergo it.”

2. Gays may have the fastest of all civil rights movements
By Mark Z. Barabak | The Los Angeles Times | May 20
“Public attitudes have shifted sharply in the last 10 years. Chalk it up to familiarity — among family, friends, co-workers and prime-time TV characters.”

3. Study Confirms That Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Really Do Go Together
By Leslie Horn | Gizmodo | May 21
“Researchers in the Netherlands determined the ‘music-listening doses’ (which is a real term they actually used) of 944 students ages 15-25.”

4. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge with David McCullough
By Anna Sale | The Takeaway | May 21
“[His book] explored American history not through the eyes of a Founding Father or a President, but through one of the most important public works projects of all time: the Brooklyn Bridge.”

5. Finding the First Americans
By Andrew Curry | The New York Times | May 19
“Over the years, hints surfaced that people might have been in the Americas earlier than the Clovis sites suggest, but the evidence was never solid enough to dislodge the consensus view.”

6. A night at the vibrator museum
By Tracy Clark-Flory | Salon | May 19
“Early vibrators were hand-cranked, two-person jobs — and prescribed by doctors. How far we’ve come since then”

7. Obama stumbles out of the gate
By Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei | Politico | May 25
“Nothing inspires Democrats like the Barack Obama swagger — the supreme self-confidence on stage, the self-certainty in private. So nothing inspires more angst than when that same Obama stumbles, as he has leaving the gate in 2012.”

8. Five Reasons To Visit Peru That Aren’t Machu Picchu
By Lacy Morris | The Huffington Post | May 21
“Dine with the Peruvian elite, walk a manmade island, or raft a canyon that requires a mule to get to; but whatever you do, don’t beeline for the Andes then skip town.”

9. Rereading: The Sea of Fertility tetralogy by Yukio Mishima
By Richard T. Kelly | The Guardian | June 3
“Mishima’s ritualistic suicide in 1970 will always overshadow his work, but his dark saga of 20th-century Japan is mesmerising …”

10. Memorial Day: Remembering fallen of decade at war
By Allen G. Breed | Associated Press | May 25
“About 2.2 million U.S. service members have seen duty in the Middle Eastern war zones, many of them veterans of multiple tours. And more than 6,330 have died — nearly 4,500 in Iraq, and more than 1,840 in Afghanistan.”

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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. Shane Dwight — Pretty, Young and Mean
2. Gary Moore — All Your Love
3. Blue Condition — Cheap Wine
4. Dr. Wu — I Don’t Care Blues
5. Los Lonely Boys — Outlaws
6. Diane Durrett — From The Heart Of The Soul
7. Commitments — Chain Of Fools
8. Ian Moore — Muddy Jesus
9. Johnny Winter — Come On In My Kitchen
10. Howlin Wolf — Smokestack Lightnin
11. The Geoff Everett Band — Hole In My Life
12. Beth Thornley — Birmingham
13. Big Head Todd & the Monsters — Boom, Boom
14. Tommy Castro — Me And My Guitar

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Understanding SOPA / The 5-Second Rule / Looking back at Election 2012 / MLK papers now online / Romney’s faith issue

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. Concerns about Romney’s faith quieter but not gone
By Rachel Zoll | Associated Press | Jan. 16
“The second time around, the shock has worn off. The prospect of a Mormon president appears to be less alien to South Carolina Republicans who are giving Mitt Romney a second look after his failed White House bid in 2008.”

2. Peruvian food put back on the map in Britain
By Sam Jones | The Guardian | Jan. 16
“Restaurants will offer a taste of Lima — with the help of a ‘sacred quartet’ of chillies”

3. 200,000 Martin Luther King Papers Go Online
Open Culture | Jan. 16
“The documents give you a good glimpse of Dr. King’s role as a scholar, father, pastor and catalyst for change.”

4. 10 Important Life Lessons You Learn From Living Abroad
By Whitney Cox | BootsNAll | Jan 16
“It’s a world of implicit triumphs and it’ll-be-funny-later humiliations. Unpack your bags and look forward to these life lessons”

5. Analysis: Wannabe stars, failed hopefuls and the GOP drama that wasn’t
By Steve Krakauer | CNN | Jan. 16
“How did we get here? Where’s the drama, the intrigue, the subplots worthy of intense media salivation? Let’s take a look back”

6. Split by Race and Wealth, but Discovering Similarities as They Study Steinbeck
By Winnie Hu | The New York Times | Jan. 16
“Westfield and Plainfield are linked by a railroad line, but little else connects their residents.”

7. What Is SOPA?
By Brian Barrett | Gizmodo | Jan. 17
“SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress…”

8. This much I know: Tim Robbins
By Emma John | The Observer | September 2010
“The actor and musician, 51, on hatred, ice hockey, and winning an Oscar”

9. The 5-Second Rule
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | February 2011
“You know the five-second rule for dropped food? Is it really safe if you pick it up in time?”

10. The Krakow Ghetto
Witness :: BBC News | March 2011
“The city of Krakow in Poland was home to a large Jewish community before World War II. But with the arrival of the Nazis many of its Jews were deported, or fled. Then in 1941 a Jewish ghetto was built.”

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

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Overpopulation myths … Obama’s reality … Sexy health benefits … Float the park … Canine PTSD

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. The origins of Peru’s mysterious Nasca Lines
By Suemedha Sood | Travelwise :: BBC Travel | Dec. 2
“Preserved by the hot sun and a dry climate, the Nasca Lines have been embedded with mystery ever since the Nasca civilization collapsed, around 600 AD.”

2. After Duty, Dogs Suffer Like Soldiers
By James Dao | The New York Times | Dec. 1
“If anyone needed evidence of the frontline role played by dogs in war these days, here is the latest: the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts.”

3. The city that floats
By Will Doig | Salon | Nov. 29
“Want more waterfront? Need room for garages or playgrounds? In the future, they’ll float — and the future is now.”

4. Sexual Healing
By Christie Aschwanden | Medical Examiner :: Slate | Dec. 1
“Does making love make you well?”

5. When ‘getting it done’ becomes impossible
By Danny Schechter | Al Jazeera | Nov. 30
“Obama started out with the idealistic ‘Yes We Can’, but now focuses on re-election and being the lesser of two evils.”

6. Q&A: Finding Other Ways to Record TV Shows
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | June 22
“Q: Can I digitally record TV shows without having to pay extra for the DVR equipment and service from the cable company?”

7. Obama 101
By Victor Davis Hanson | National Review | Nov. 30
“Few presidents have dashed so many illusions as Obama.”

8. 5 Things Afghan History Can Teach Us
By Suleiman Wali | The Hiuffington Post | Nov. 29
“[F]ive key points emerge that could help the country lay a better foundation for itself once American and NATO forces reduce their presence or leave altogether.”

9. Five myths about the world’s population
By Nicholas Eberstadt | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Nov. 4
“The world’s population hit 7 billion people this past week, according to United Nations estimates, launching another round of debates about ‘overpopulation,’ the environment and whether more people means more poverty. …”

10. Civil War women: Annie Haggerty Shaw
Civil War Women Blog | Sept. 28
“Annie Shaw died without ever seeing the Shaw Memorial on Boston Common. What many consider to be the greatest public sculpture in the United States, the high-relief bronze monument honors Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the African American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. It took sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens almost 14 years to complete.”

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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. Big Head Todd & The Monsters — House Burn Down
2. Big Head Todd & The Monsters — Sweet Home Alabama
3. Little Big Town — Boondocks
4. Hill Country Review — Let Me Love You
5. The Geoff Everett Band — On the Road Again
6. Robert Earl Keen — 10,000 Chinese Walk Into a Bar
7. Garry Moore — King of the Blues
8. The Mark Knoll Band — Lay It On the Line
9. Chris Rea — Truck Stop
10. Kenny Wayne Shepard — Was
11. Wes Jeans — Stratus
12. Clay McClinton — One of those Guys
13. Cactus — The Groover
14. The Pride and Joy Band — Evil Thoughts