Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Call death what it is / The arc of Afghanistan / O. Henry’s house / Finding new life in alien oceans / The real Julius Caesar

This week: Call death what it is / The arc of Afghanistan / O. Henry’s house / Finding new life in alien oceans / The real Julius Caesar

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. This Report Could Make or Break the Next 30 Years of U.S. Astronomy
By Lee Billings | Scientific American | August 2021
“A battle for the future of American stargazing is about to begin — and the stakes are sky high”

2. A Better Place
By David Sedaris | The New Yorker | August 2021
“Why the euphemisms? My father did not ‘pass.’ Neither did he ‘depart.’ He died.”

3. Afghanistan’s arc from 9/11 to today: Once hopeful, now sad
By Kathy Gannon | Associated Press | August 2021
“From hundreds of years ago right up to the jumbled chaos of recent days as the United States pulled out of its air base and then the capital, the word ‘foreigner’ has meant many things in the Afghan context, from invaders to would-be colonizers. But in November 2001, in a mostly ruined Afghan capital where rutted roads were filled with bicycles and beat-up yellow taxis, it meant hope.”

4. Twenty Years After 9/11, Are We Any Smarter?
By Jordan Michael Smith | The New Republic | August 2021
“Our foreign policy wise people responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by embracing belligerence. What, if anything, have they learned?”

5. Most Arab countries now focus on domestic concerns, not unity
The Economist | August 2021
“But the presence of foreign powers is still dearly felt”

6. In the House of O. Henry
By David Maraniss | The Washington Post | December 1985
“He wrote about the downtrodden, the depressed, the out-of-luck, and yet usually, somewhere in his characters’ souls, he found that clean, clear whistle of hope, even romance.”

7. New Approach Could Boost the Search for Life in Otherworldly Oceans
By By Natalie Elliot | Scientific American | July 2021
“‘Ecological biosignatures’ hold promise for revealing alien organisms that may dwell within icy moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus”

9. ‘Welcome 2 America’: The Oral History of Prince’s Lost Album
By David Browne | Rolling Stone | July 2021
“A previously unreleased 2010 Prince record arrives this month. His collaborators look back on the sessions and offer a glimpse into the icon’s private world”

9. Roma, or the Art of Making Ruins
By Valeria Luiselli | The Criterion Collection | February 2020
“It’s very much a mirror of the city it portrays: an emotional earthquake, a world about to shatter, something about to end—but that doesn’t, because it’s all held together by the equilibrium, tenderness, and strength of a woman who can stand on one leg with her eyes closed.”
Also see: The Layers of Roma

10. Is Shakespeare History? The Plantagenets
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2014-2018
Also see: Thucydides | The Trinity | Julius Caesar | Truth

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Tragedy in Roma, Texas / Less NYC gay clubs / Letters of John Adams / Bernie Sanders and Eugene McCarthy / Google doodles

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This week: Tragedy in Roma, Texas / Less NYC gay clubs / Letters of John Adams / Bernie Sanders and Eugene McCarthy / Google doodles

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Gay Dance Clubs on the Wane in the Age of Grindr
By Michael Musto | The New York Times | April 26
“Night life veterans point to a variety of reasons, including cultural shifts, real estate pressures and technology.”

2. Prince’s Paisley Park Home to Become a Museum
By Sebastian Modak | Conde Nast Traveler | April 26
“Sheila E., Prince’s longtime musical collaborator, revealed plans to memorialize His Royal Badness within the walls of his estate on the outskirts of Minneapolis.”

3. ‘West Wing’ Meets White House: Allison Janney Greets Reporters in Press Room
Associated Press :: The Hollywood Reporter | April 29
“She took the podium normally reserved for spokesman Josh Earnest and told reporters she hoped to bring attention to the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

4. Roma, Texas: A Smuggler’s Paradise
By Jay Root | The Texas Tribune | April 21
“Multiple inflatable rafts on the water. Emotionally shaken kids in the back of Border Patrol vans. Dope worth a quarter-million dollars on the street, dumped on the river’s edge. Roadside apprehensions. People running, swimming and shouting obscenities in and alongside a river shared by two countries.”

5. Meet the man behind Google’s doodles
By Elizabeth Garone | BBC Capital | April 26
“His job and others like it says a lot about why art matters more than ever to the binary world of technology”

6. Against American exceptionalism: Gordon S. Wood on John Adams
Library of America | April 19
“Library of America sat down with editor Gordon Wood, Alva O. Way Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and the Pulitzer Prize?winning author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution, to discuss Adams’s complicated legacy, and the enduring appeal of his writings.”

7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Islamic State
By Marwan Hisham | Dispatch :: Foreign Policy | April 20
“An accidental tour into the heart of the caliphate’s oil smuggling economy.”

8. NASA has mapped every eclipse that will occur for the next 1,000 years
By Brian Resnick | Vox | April 29
“They even know the exact time, down to the fraction of a second, that the eclipses will occur.”

9. What Bernie Sanders Should Learn From Eugene McCarthy
By Julian E. Zelizer | Politico Magazine | April 21
“In 1968, the Democratic insurgent refused to support the establishment nominee — and it was disastrous”

10. A Style-Setting J.F.K. Appears With a 2014 Congressional Candidate
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | July 2014
“Recoiling from a famous photograph of President Calvin Coolidge in a Sioux headdress, which he considered comical, Kennedy almost always refused to wear unusual hats in public — including on the last morning of his life, when hosts at a Fort Worth breakfast pressed him, without success, to don a Stetson.”