Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The myth of Robert E. Lee / The liberalism of Islam / Comey’s intellectual history / Trump’s credibility / Writing in a library

This week: The myth of Robert E. Lee / The liberalism of Islam / Comey’s intellectual history / Trump’s credibility / Writing in a library

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. The Myth of the Kindly General Lee
By Adam Serwer | The Atlantic | June 4
“Lee had beaten or ordered his own slaves to be beaten for the crime of wanting to be free, he fought for the preservation of slavery, his army kidnapped free blacks at gunpoint and made them unfree — but all of this, he insisted, had occurred only because of the great Christian love the South held for blacks.”

2. There Is No Better Place to Write than the Library
By Joe Kanon | Atria :: LitHub | June 8
“For over twenty years I have been writing in the New York Public Library — eight novels and a ninth underway — and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

3. In defense of ‘The Skimm’
By Kaitlin Ugolik | Columbia Journalism Review | June 6
“Yes, the news is often complicated. Yes, we should encourage readers to pay attention for more than a few minutes each day. But when we imply that there is only one ‘right’ way to consume the news, or to be informed, we exclude people who don’t — or can’t — fit that mold.”

4. NASA Jobs: The Application, Selection Process For How To Become An Astronaut
By Nina Godlewski | International Business Times | June 7
“There’s no set schedule for how frequently NASA puts out a call for applicants. Since 2000 it has announced classes in 2004, 2009, 2013 and now 2017. … So if you’ve been dreaming of space, you may have to wait a few more years to get your next shot at the stars.”

5. James Comey’s Intellectual History
By Nicholas Schmidle | The New Yorker | June 7
“After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, in 1985, Comey clerked for Judge John Walker, Jr., George H. W. Bush’s cousin, in the Southern District of New York. Comey became a Republican. In public, however, he portrayed himself as nonpartisan.”

6. ‘The Leftovers,’ Life, Death, Einstein and Time Travel
By Maureen Ryan | Variety | May 2017
“‘The Leftovers’ is about quantum mechanics. Don’t let the sex cults and post-death karaoke distract you. It is essentially a showcase for physics.”

7. The 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong
By Harold Evans | The Guardian | June 5
“Have you made a flagrant error, in confusing your alternative choices? The legendary Fleet Street editor Harold Evans proscribes this glossary to solve your language dilemmas”

8. AP FACT CHECK: Trump contradicts homeland security secretary
By Calvin Woodward and Jim Drinkard | Associated Press | June 5
“President Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad.”

9. Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam
By Christopher de Bellaigue | The Guardian | February 2017
“The president and his advisers paint Muslims as enemies of modernity. The neglected history of an age of Middle Eastern liberalism proves them wrong”

10. Governor Struggles to Lead as Texas Republicans Splinter Into Factions
By Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery | The New York Times | June 5
“Mr. Abbott is facing a fundamental question: How conservative is conservative enough for the governor of a state that defines the right in America as much as California defines the left?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Loving Moscato / Stephen Hawking at 70 / Manscaping / Our desire / The blues

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. Sweet, sparkly Moscato pops with celebrity props
By Lisa Baertlein | Reuters | December 2011
“Hip-hop artists sing about it, a famous housewife sells it and the wine world is abuzz about Moscato, a sweet, lightly fizzy drink that is the biggest thing to hit the wine business since White Zinfandel.”

2. Stephen Hawking at 70: still the brightest star in the scientific universe
The Observer | December 2011
“As the author of A Brief History of Time approaches 70, eminent former students celebrate an awe-inspiring intellect still pushing at the frontiers of physics”

3. Why ‘Manscaping’ Isn’t Just for Porn Stars Anymore
By Lizzie Crocker | The Daily Beast | December 2011
“The Atlantic recently reported that female pubic hair is on the fast track to extinction. But grooming experts say the latest hair-removal trend isn’t targeted at women. Lizzie Crocker on the ‘manscaping’ boom.”

4. Fearful, Iraq’s Sunnis leave mixed neighborhoods
By Rebecca Santana | Associated Press | Jan. 1
“Baghdad and the rest of Iraq are already highly segregated places. Running from bombs, death squads and their own neighbors at the height of violence in 2006 and 2007, Sunnis and Shiites fled neighborhoods that were once mixed.”

5. Revolutionary Daughters
Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“[T]hey seek to challenge perceptions of women and revolutionise their role in Indian society.”

6. 7 Days to Our Heart’s Desire
By Rita Watson | Psychology Today | December 2011
“Our inner voice is leading us to our heart’s desire.”

7. If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?
By Daniel Honan | Big Think | December 2011
“Warren Buffet is fond of saying that the first rule of investing is never lose money and rule number two is never forget rule number one.”

8. Picky Palates
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | August 2011
“Why am I such a fussy eater? Does each person have a distinct set of taste buds, or is my fussiness just in my head?”

9. Are Campus Police Like Regular Cops?
By Daniel Engber | Explainer :: Slate | November 2011
“How much power do they really have?”

10. The Gotti trial
Witness :: BBC News | April 4
“John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped prison for years. In April 1992 he was finally convicted on several counts of murder – and was jailed for life.”

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

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. Rick Fowler — Preacher
2. Mississippi Heat — Say Something Good
3. Delta Moon — Money Changes Everything
4. Driving Wheel — Southern Bell Blues
5. Rocky Jackson — Blues For Texas
6. Robert Allen — Rainbow Blues
7. Aerosmith — Eyesight To The Blind
8. Super Stack — High Again
9. Mick Fleetwood Blues Band — Rattle Snake Shake
10. Aunt Kizzy’s Boys — Thrill Is Gone
11. Cliff Temple — Miss You Crazy
12. Los Super Seven — Heard It On The X

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

A president’s generals / Massacre’s secrets uncovered / Newton goes digital / GOP’s southern battles / Biden eyes 2016

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. Sir Isaac Newton’s Papers & Annotated Principia Go Digital
OpenCulture | Dec. 13
“The initial archive features 4,000 pages of scanned materials (roughly 20% of the complete Newton archive), and eventually Cambridge will add material from Charles Darwin, another famous alum, and other scientific figures.”

2. MIT researchers unravel the physics of how cats drink
By Carolyn Y. Johnson | The Green Blog :: The Boston Globe | Nov. 11
“Dogs take a straightforward approach, using their tongues as ladles to literally scoop water into their mouths. Cats, on the other hand, solve a delicate physics, fluid mechanics, and engineering problem with every gulp.”

3. The South is up for grabs
By Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin | Politico | Dec. 12
“Republican presidential nominations have traditionally been forged here — in South Carolina, especially — and any successful challenger to Mitt Romney would most likely have to dominate among heavily conservative, evangelical Southern voters.”

4. The President and the Generals
By Richard A. Clarke | The New York Times | Dec. 12
“History provides ample evidence of bad judgment on the part of American military commanders, and some of our best presidents have had the courage to overrule them.”

5. Biden 2016?
By Byron Tau | Politco 44 :: Politico | Dec. 14
“Vice President Biden — who ran for president in 1988 and 2008 — refused to rule out a run when asked, telling NBC’s ‘Today’ show recently that ‘I’m never ready to close the door on anything.’ ”

6. Q&A: Defending Your PC Online
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 26
“Q: Does antivirus software protect my PC from hackers?”

7. Talking to Parents About Fat Babies
By Anahad O’Connor | Well :: The New York Times | Dec. 12
“Obesity in teenagers and adolescents is a major concern for pediatricians. But the discussion gets tricky when it turns to a weight crisis in infants.”

8. Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq
By Michael S. Schmidt | The New York Times | Dec. 14
“The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq.”

9. Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits
TED Talks | May 2011
“When she was 19, Amy Purdy lost both her legs below the knee. And now … she’s a pro snowboarder.”

10. Yuri Gagarin
Witness :: BBC News | April 12
“The young cosmonaut became a hero around the world and a poster boy for Soviet technological achievement.”

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