Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Dealing with your cat’s death / The final chapter of Queen Elizabeth II / Learning to appreciate spring beauty again / The imperial governors / Exploring Antarctica

This week: Dealing with your cat’s death / The final chapter of Queen Elizabeth II / Learning to appreciate spring beauty again / The imperial governors / Exploring Antarctica

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. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. The Excruciating Decision to End a Cat’s Life
By Martha Cooley | LitHub | April 2021
“I cannot tell my cat that I don’t want her days to be full of stress. Nor can I tell her how grateful I am for her quickness and humor, her curiosity, her regular gestures of what I receive as affection, her discretion.”

2. Queen enters ‘twilight’ of reign after farewell to Philip
By Danica Kirka | Associated Press | April 2021
“While most observers say the queen is unlikely to abdicate given her lifelong commitment to public service, she has already started to turn over more responsibilities to Prince Charles, 72, her eldest son. That process is likely to accelerate following Philip’s death.”

3. How to Help St. Vincent Amid Volcanic Disaster
By Claire Lampen | The Cut :: Vulture | April 2021
“Thankfully, residents were evacuated 24 hours ahead of time, so no one was injured or killed by the event itself. But now, an estimated 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and the island faces a growing humanitarian crisis.”

4. Pandemic puts tulips, bluebells, cherry blossoms in hiding
By Raf Casert | Associated Press | April 2021
“From Japan’s cherry blossom trees, to the endless Keukenhof tulip fields in the Netherlands, to the riot of purple bluebells in the Hallerbos south of Brussels, everything looks its best this spring when conditions are at its worst.”

5. Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe
By Cornel West and Jeremy Tate | The Washington Post | April 2021
“The Western canon is, more than anything, a conversation among great thinkers over generations that grows richer the more we add our own voices and the excellence of voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else in the world. We should never cancel voices in this conversation, whether that voice is Homer or students at Howard University. For this is no ordinary discussion.”

6. The end of the imperial governorship
By Nick Niedzwiadek | Politico Magazine | April 2021
“Lawmakers across the country want to curtail the sweeping powers of state executives after the pandemic led governors to flex their muscles in historic new ways.”

7. It is time to reassess our obsession with women’s fertility and the number 35
By Arwa Mahdawi | The Guardian | April 2021
“A study extending women’s reproductive years offers a chance to look again at how the age of 35 has been treated as a fertility cliff”

8. Violent Policing of the Texas Border
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: Slavery and Abolition | Slave-Owning Women in the Antebellum U.S. | The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science | Albert Einstein – Separating Man from Myth

9. Meet the introverts who are dreading a return to normal
By Roxanne Roberts | The Washington Post | April 2021
“Social scientists correctly predicted that introverts were best suited to weather the stress of the past year. After months of lockdown, the question now is whether introverts can teach the rest of us something about moving forward.”

10. Nero
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2010-2019
Also see: Antarctica | Mathematics’ Unintended Consequences | Ibn Khaldun | The Samurai

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Churchill’s brutal decision / How cats fall / Grieving for pets / Flying the Dawn spacecraft / A classic interview with Fidel Castro

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. An Interview with Fidel Castro
By Barbara Walters | Foreign Policy | Sept. 15, 1977
“Fidel Castro on communism, his own death, and the U.S. embargo.”

2. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Discovers Apollo 11 Rocket Engines at the Bottom of the Sea
By Rebecca J. Rosen | The Atlantic | March 28
“For four decades, the engines that powered Apollo 11 to the moon have lain at the bottom of the Atlantic. But they’ll soon rise again.”

3. How to Fly the Slowest Spacecraft in the Cosmos
By Jeffrey Kluger | Time Science | March 28
“You may never have heard of Dawn, and if you haven’t, you’re not alone.”

4. Grieving for Pets and Humans: Is There a Difference?
By Tara Parker-Pope | Well :: The New York Times | March 27
“Can the death of a pet hurt as much as the loss of a relative?”

5. The dirty little secret about second-term presidents
By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy | March 26
“Consider the last three two-term presidents: Reagan, Clinton, and Bush 43. I’ll grant this is a very small sample, but bear with me. Did their second-term policies look different from their first-term? You bectha.”

6. Who, What, Why: How do cats survive falls from great heights?
BBC News Magazine | March 24
“A cat in the US city of Boston survived a fall from a 19-storey window and only bruised her chest. How do cats survive falls from such great heights?”

7. Gingrich Stuck to Caustic Path in Ethics Battles
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg | The Long Run :: The New York Times | Jan. 28
“Newt Gingrich had an urgent warning for conservatives: Jim Wright, the Democratic speaker of the House, was out to destroy America.”

8. Rereading: RK Narayan
By Charles Nicholl | The Guardian | May 14
“A visit to the city that inspired RK Narayan’s fictional south Indian town, Malgudi, on the 10th anniversary of his death”

9. Churchill’s Deadly Decision
Secrets of the Dead :: PBS | May 13, 2010
“Churchill had to make a choice. He could either trust the promises of the new French government that they would never hand over their ships to Hitler. Or he could make sure that the ships never joined the German navy by destroying them himself.”

10. Assassination of Malcolm X
Witness :: BBC News | February 28
“In February 1965, the controversial black leader, Malcolm X, was assassinated in Harlem, New York.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Old Tippecanoe / The Obama transformation / Goodbye to military meat / Date nights / What your bad dog ate

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. Commander in Chief: For 31 Days
By Gail Collins | Command Post | Feb. 9
“William Henry Harrison arrived in Washington to huge crowds and a snowstorm on February 9, his sixty-eighth birthday.”

2. The political transformation of Barack Obama
By Jim Vandehei | Politico | Feb. 9
“It’s debatable whether Obama is more crudely political than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan. But what’s transpired over the past several weeks isn’t debatable: He’s made a series of calculated, overtly political gestures that are far more transactional than transformational.”

3. Life in Antarctic lake? It’s everywhere else
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“If scientists find microbes in a frigid lake two miles beneath the thick ice of Antarctica, it will illustrate once again that somehow life finds a way to survive in the strangest and harshest places. And it will offer hope that life exists beyond Earth.”

4. Hold the mystery meat: Military food gets upgrade
By Nancy Benac | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“Hold the mystery meat: Military bases will soon be serving more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dishes under the first program in 20 years to improve nutrition standards across the armed services.”

5. Date Nights: They Make Your Marriage Work
By Tamy Nelson | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“But dates don’t have to be complicated; in fact, some of my suggestions for dates may surprise you.”

6. The FBI files of the rich and famous
By Daniel Nasaw | BBC News Magazine | Feb. 9
“The FBI has released its investigative file on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Who else did its agents keep tabs on, and why?”

7. Sh*t My Pets Ruined
By Katia McGlynn | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“Anyone who’s ever come home to find food, furniture, shoes or other household items destroyed by a pet knows it’s a conflicting feeling.”

8. Galveston Makes Lemonade
By Sonia Smith | Texas Monthly | February 2012
“After the island lost more than 35,000 trees to Hurricane Ike, a group of artists carved 35 stumps into beautiful and intricate sculptures.”

9. Rereading: The Tunnel by Ernesto Sábato
By Colm Toibin | The Guardian | May 21
“The Argentinian writer’s work explored his country’s darkest days and helped to bring the military regime to account”

10. Five myths about why the South seceded
By James W. Loewen | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Feb. 25
“As the nation begins to commemorate the anniversaries of the war’s various battles — from Fort Sumter to Appomattox — let’s first dispense with some of the more prevalent myths about why it all began.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Abolition in D.C. … Muslims and evolution … Pets celebrating Christmas … GOP candidates on the issues … Sex talk vocabulary.

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. Doolittle’s raid recalled almost 70 years later
By Mary Foster | Associated Press | Dec. 5
“Coming just four months after the Imperial Japanese Navy savaged the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and with U.S. defense of the Philippines crumbling, the April 18, 1942, raid on Japan’s home islands electrified a world at war.”

2. Earth’s wild ride: Our voyage through the Milky Way
By Stephen Battersby | New Scientist | Dec. 5
“Weaving our way through the disc of the Milky Way, we have drifted through brilliant spiral arms, braved the Stygian darkness of dense nebulae, and witnessed the spectacular death of giant stars.”

3. Panama’s jailed former ruler Noriega to be sent home
BBC News | Dec. 7
“Noriega, aged 77, is also wanted in Panama for other crimes allegedly committed during his 1983-89 rule.”

4. Riding in PopPop’s Vulva
By Joanna Schroeder | The Good Men Project | Dec. 7
“While I agree that children should learn the proper names for their body parts, I don’t believe there is any magic to vagina, vulva, penis, clitoris or testicles aside from their accuracy”

5. Positions of the Republican candidates, in brief
By Calvin Woodward | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“A look at where the 2012 Republican presidential candidates stand on a selection of issues.”

6. Q&A: Creating a Queue of YouTube Clips
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 5
“Q: When I’m on the computer, how can I watch a bunch of YouTube videos all at once without having to select the next one each time?”

7. For pet-owners, holiday plans revolve around pets
By Sue Manning | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“Dexter’s social calendar this holiday season is chock-full of travel plans, party invites, new clothes, special meals and trips to see Santa Claus.”

8. Securing US border impossible
By Will Wissert | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“The U.S. Border Patrol says 873 miles of the border, about 44 percent, have been brought under operational control. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that ‘the border is better now than it ever has been.’ Still, that means full control isn’t even half met.”

9. Are evolution and religion compatible?
The Stream :: Al Jazeera | Dec. 7
“A growing number of Muslim biology students are walking out of lectures on evolution, according to a genetics professor in the United Kingdom. The students claim the course material is incompatible with their religious beliefs in creationism.”

10. Washington’s Black Codes
By Kate Masur | Disunion :: The New York Times | Dec. 7
“The messages at the heart of the abolitionist indictment of the Washington jail were threefold: Slavery was morally wrong, all free people had a right to equal treatment before the law, and the government should stand for freedom and equality, not slavery and oppression.”