Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Containing Iran / Romney administration’s first 100 days / Why Clinton’s speeches sparkle / The moment a tank shell strikes

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. Afghans use culture guides to cut ‘insider’ attacks
By Amie Ferris-Rolman | Reuters | Sept. 6
“Afghan Defense Ministry officials, trying to stop the alarming increase in ‘insider’ attacks, have given their troops tips on foreign culture, telling them not to be offended by a hearty pat on the back or an American soldier asking after your wife’s health.”

2. Five countries the U.S. is screwing over
By Alex Keane | Salon | Sept. 7
“From the drug war to the war on terror, the United States is wreaking havoc around the globe”

3. The Pentagon Doesn’t Have the Right Stuff
By Robert Haddick | Foreign Policy | Sept. 6
“The Navy can’t ‘contain’ Iran — even if we wanted it to.”

4. Why Bill Clinton’s Speeches Succeed
By James Fallows | The Atlantic | Sept. 6
“Because he treats listeners as if they are smart.”

5. 100 Days
Need To Know :: PBS | Sept. 7
“Need to Know spoke with three experts on what the first 100 days of a Romney administration or an Obama second term might look like.”

6. The Proper Way To Share Your Junk
By J.R. Reed | Sex and the Single Dad :: The Good Men Project | Sept. 7
“As technology advances so does our ability to move the proverbial line further and further away. The unsolicited penis picture crosses that line but fear not because I have some tips to keep you classy-ish with your photography.”

7. Rives: Reinventing the encyclopedia game
TED | April 2012
“Rives takes us on a charming tour through random (and less random) bits of human knowledge: from Chimborazo, the farthest point from the center of the Earth, to Ham the Astrochimp, the first chimpanzee in outer space.”

8. You Are Here: How Astronomical Surveys Are Pinpointing Our Place in the Cosmos
By John Matson | Scientific American | Sept. 6
“Upcoming telescope projects on Earth and in space will map out billions of stars and galaxies all around us”

9. Is Philosophy Literature?
By Jim Holt | The Stone :: The New York Times | June 30
“Is philosophy literature? Do people read philosophy for pleasure? Of course it is, and of course they do.”

10. Incredible Photograph Captures Exact Moment of Tank Shell Hitting Against Syrian Rebels
By Jesus Diaz | Gizmodo | Sept. 7
“This image sequence of a Syrian army tank firing against a group of rebels in a street of Aleppo is beyond stunning. It’s pure insanity.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Harry, Prince of Vegas / Obama: Romney has no ideas / The real Afghan War begins / HD video of Mars descent / Unknown Civil War soldier ID’d

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. Watch Out Mars! 1080 HD Video of Curiosity Descent
By Caleb. B. Scharf | Life, Unbounded :: Scientific American | Aug. 22
“Ok, so every so often something comes along that just blows away everything you’ve seen before. This is one of those things.”

2. Unknown soldier in famed Library of Congress Civil War portrait identified
By Charlie Wells | The New York Daily News | Aug. 22
“A chance encounter between the young soldier’s great-great granddaughter Patricia Mullinax and avid Civil War photography collector Tom Liljenquist led to the identification of Stephen Pollard.”

3. A paint-by-numbers portrait of changing nation
By Calvid Woodward and Christopher S. Rugaber | Associated Press | Aug. 25
“We’re heavier in pounds and hotter by degrees than Americans of old. We’re starting to snub our noses at distant suburbs after generations of burbs in our blood. Our roads and bridges are kind of a mess. There are many more poor, and that’s almost sure to get worse.”
Also see: Sign-of-the-times stats

4. Why Afghanistan Isn’t a Campaign Issue: Neither Obama nor Romney Have a Solution
By Tony Karon | Time World | Aug. 24
“The ‘systemic problem’ of uniformed Afghans attacking their American mentors raises questions about the viability of a bipartisan exit plan”

5. Ragtag Revolts in Parts of Afghanistan Repel Taliban
By Alissa J. Rubin and Matthew Rosenberg | The New York Times | Aug. 25
“[T]he movement has become another case study of a classic Afghan problem that directly challenges the Western goal of a stable country after the 2014 troop withdrawal: a threat posed by an armed group is answered by arming another group, which in turn becomes a game piece to be fought over by larger forces.”

6. Obama on Romney’s ‘extreme’ views
By Ben Feller | Associated Press | Aug. 25
“In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney lacks serious ideas, refuses to ‘own up’ to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president, and deals in factually dishonest arguments that could soon haunt him in face-to-face debates.”

7. Tania Luna: My story of gratitude
TED New York | July 2012
“Tania Luna co-founded Surprise Industries, the world’s only company devoted to designing surprise experiences.”

8. Las Vegas hails Prince Harry as a true son of Sin City
By Rory Carroll | The Guardian | Aug. 25
“Las Vegas is making the most of its role in a royal scandal — and young Britons are flocking to it for full-on fun”

9. The End of the Gutbuster
By Pat Leonard | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 5
“The soldiers could not have known then, and would not know until years later, the immense impact on their lives that would be wielded by the single unassuming officer who entered their camps that day.”

10. Does Self-Awareness Require a Complex Brain?
By Ferris Jabr | Brainwaves :: Scientific American | Aug. 22
“To be conscious is to think; to be self-aware is to realize that you are a thinking being and to think about your thoughts.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Mammogram questions / Romney and crisis / Fearing Obama / Witnesses to Empire State Building shooting / Social media at conventions

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. Mammograms and dense breasts — questions abound
By Lauran Neergaard | Associated Press | Aug. 20
“New York this summer became the fourth state to require that women be told if they have dense breasts when they get the results of a mammogram. That’s because women whose breast tissue is very dense have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women whose breasts contain more fatty tissue.”

2. Romney in Crisis: Two Dark Spots in Fortunate Life
By Sherly Gay Stolberg | The New York Times | Aug. 14
“The French car crash and Ann Romney’s illness provide such a narrative; they are dark moments — bookends of sorts — in what otherwise has seemed a charmed existence.”

3. Fear of a Black President
By Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic | September 2012
“As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be ‘twice as good’ and ‘half as black,’ Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.”

4. Witnesses tell dramatic story of shooting outside Empire State Building
By Aaron Feis, Bill Sanderson and Todd Venezia | The New York Post | Aug. 25
“Electrician Kevin O’Connell, 27, had been on a break when he heard the shots and looked out of a ninth-floor window of the Empire State Building to see a horrifying scene.”

5. New York’s World Class Subway Art, Identified
By Mallika Rao | The Huffington Post | Aug. 18
“Nearly 200 permanent works line the walls and floors of the city’s subways, commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit program.”

6. 2012 conventions embrace social media openness
By Jeffrey Collins and Tamara Lush | Associated Press | Aug. 17
“The Republicans call theirs a ‘convention without walls,’ while the Democrats say their gathering will be ‘the most open and accessible in history.’ ”

7. Raghava KK: What’s your 200-year plan?
TED | July 2012
“You might have a 5-year plan, but what about a 200-year plan?”

8. Cristina Kirchner: she’s not just another Evita
By Uki Goni | The Observer :: The Guardian | Feb. 4
“The Peronist leader combines glamour with political acumen, enormous popularity and a tough determination to beat down her rivals. And now she has put the Falklands back on the political agenda”

9. Schools for Soldiers
By Michael David Cohen | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 3
“To win the war, the Army had to create citizen-soldiers from scratch.”

10. The Massacre of Baghdad’s Jews
Witness :: BBC News | June 1
“Eye witness accounts of the killing of hundreds of Jews in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Bagdhad.”

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

TUNES

This weekend, I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. Edgar Winter — Texas Tornado
2. Marc Leon & Friends — Subway To Nowhere
3. Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots — What’d I Say
4. Rick Huckaby — City Life
5. 2 Slim & The Tail Dragers — Cowboy Boots
6. Albert Cummings — Party Right Here
7. Zed Head — Electri-Glide Shuffle
8. Old Southern Moonshine Revival — Two Shells
9. Mike Holt & The Trophy 500’s — Dimples
10. Robert Campbell — History Repeats Itself
11. George Thorogood — Hard Stuff
12. Capt. WAM — Skinny Woman
13. The Dennis McClung Blues Band — The Red Rooster
14. The Mark Knoll Band — Lay It On The Line

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

The supervolcano / Romney’s plan for August / Overthrowing Mossadegh / Background on Sikh religion / Plan out your next 200 years

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. ‘Super volcano’, global danger, lurks near Pompeii
By Antonio Denti | Reuters | Aug. 3
“Across the bay of Naples from Pompeii, where thousands were incinerated by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, lies a hidden ‘super volcano’ that could kill millions in a catastrophe many times worse, scientists say.”

2. The longevity of US presidents’ mothers
By Richard Knight | BBC News Magazine | Aug. 3
“The mothers of US presidents and presidential candidates live far longer than the mothers of British prime ministers and opposition leaders. Is that just a statistical quirk?”

3. Romney’s August to-do list
By Maggie Haberman | The Arena :: Politico | Aug. 5
“The fear for Democrats is how much of a cash advantage Romney will have over them when his campaign begins its own serious spending.”

4. A Crass and Consequential Error
By Roger Cohen | The New York Review of Books | Aug. 16
“Muhammad Mossadegh, the Iranian prime minister overthrown by US and British agents in 1953, was a man who declined a salary, returned gifts, and collected tax arrears from his beloved mother.”

5. David Axelrod: Barack Obama’s street fighter
By Paul Harris | The Observer :: The Guardian | Aug. 5
“For the second time, the ultimate campaign manager is determined to get his man into the White House. And now the gloves are off as he masterminds a brutal ad campaign against Mitt Romney”

6. 5 Things To Know About The Sikh Religion
The Huffington Post | Aug. 5
“Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world with a population of upwards of 30 million worldwide. There are an estimated 250,000 Sikhs in the United States having first arrived in the late 19th century.”

7. Raghava KK: What’s your 200-year plan?
TED | April 2012
“Artist Raghava KK …. shows how it helps guide today’s choices and tomorrow’s goals — and encourages you to make your own 200-year plan too.”

8. Where Daisy Buchanan Lived
By Jason Diamond | The Paris Review | July 23
“Founded in 1861, Lake Forest, Illinois, was originally built as a college town by Presbyterians.”

9. Before the Storm
By Ronald S. Coddington | Disunion :: The New York Times | May 7
“James E. McBeth was a modest young man of few words who in 1862 left his job as a law clerk on Wall Street and enlisted in the Union Army. Later, in a series of wartime letters to a friend, he detailed the experiences that sparked his transformation into a military zealot advocating total war.”

10. Decoding the Science of Sleep
By David K. Randall | The Wall Street Journal | Aug. 3
“In today’s always-on economy, we’re tired like never before. Caffeine and sleeping pills only do so much. How did we get this far away from our most basic, ancient habits? And how can we get back on track?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Rice and Romney / Obama’s lethal presidency / Did an asteroid bring water? / Designing the cigarette filter / Famine in Ukraine

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. 5 reasons Condi Rice will not be Mitt Romney’s VP pick
By Blake Hounshell | Passport :: Foreign Policy | July 13
“As Red State’s Eric Erickson colorfully put it, ‘I don’t know who is hitting the crack rock tonight in the rumor mill, but bull shiitake mushrooms.'”

2. The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama
By Tom Junod | Esquire | August 2012
“But no president has ever waged war by killing enemies one by one, targeting them individually for execution, wherever they are.”

3. Asteroid Crashes Likely Source Of Water On Earth, Scientists Say
Space.com | July 12
“The results contradict prevailing theories, which hold that most of our planet’s water originated in the outer solar system and was delivered by comets or asteroids that coalesced beyond Jupiter’s orbit, then migrated inward.”

4. Onward Southern Soldiers
By Traci Nichols-Belt and Gordon T. Belt | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 6
“Among the many reasons for the war lasting as long as it did, one of the most critical, and most often overlooked, is the role that this particular brand of faith played in the mind of the average soldier.”

5. How the West shaped China’s hidden battle of ideas
By Mukul Devichand | BBC Magazine | July 8
“A battle of ideas is under way in China before a Communist Party Congress in the autumn that will appoint a new generation of leaders. For outsiders, it is strikingly familiar — Left v. Right. That’s because while China exports just about everything else, it still imports policy ideas.”

6. Who Made That Cigarette Filter?
By Pagan Kennedy | The New York Times Magazine | July 6
“In the 1960s, Philip Morris scientists noticed that mouthpieces shed tiny fibers that could be inhaled into the lungs. The industry called it ‘fallout.’ ”

7. What if he’d made it earlier?
By David Runciman | London Review of Books | July 5
“Lyndon Johnson always believed he would be president.”

8. Q&A: Literary Agent Anna Stein
By Jamie Quatro | Ploughsares | July 5
“What do you look for in a first-time writer? In the manuscript itself? What does a good query letter look like?”

9. Rereading: The Go-Between by LP Hartley
By Ali Smith | The Guardian | June 17
“A story of lost innocence, hypocrisy and Britishness — but LP Hartley’s masterpiece can also be read as a sophisticated gay novel”

10. Ukraine Famine
Witness :: BBC News | April 29
“In the 1930s, a combination of bad weather and Soviet policy led to a devastating famine in Ukraine.”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. LOOKIN’ AT ME Mase
2. GANGSTA ZONE Daddy Yankee & Snoop Dogg
3. TRUTH OR DARE N.E.R.D.
4. COME TO ME Diddy
5. P.I.M.P. 50 Cent
6. SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DIE Notorious B.I.G.
7. CAN’T DENY IT Fabolous & Nate Dogg
8. THE POWER OF GOD LL Cool J
9. GET UR FREAK ON Missy Elliott
10. LET ME BLOW YA MIND Eve

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Romney in Kennedy’s shadow / ‘Year of the Woman,’ 20 years later / The new slacker / The search for water in Texas / Writers’ bedrooms

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. Kennedy Helped Shape Romney’s Career, and Still Haunts It
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg | The Long Run :: The New York Times | March 24
“But try as he might to distance himself, Mr. Romney cannot escape Mr. Kennedy’s influence.”

2. ‘ “Patriotic Gore” is Not Really Much Like Any Other Book by Anyone’
By David Blight | Slate | March 22
“Revisiting one of the most important and confounding books ever written about the Civil War.”

3. Twenty years on, ‘Year of the Woman’ fades
By Karen Tumulty | The Washington Post | March 24
“At a moment when gender politics is thick in the air, it is a good time to reconsider another spring, exactly 20 years ago, when an unprecedented wave of women set their sights on Washington.”

4. The Voice That Gets You Where You Need To Go
By Susan Stamberg | Weekend Edition Sunday :: NPR | March 25
“Carolyn Hopkins is the voice behind public service announcements at airports, subways and theme parks.”

5. The slacker is back — and this time she’s female
By Hermione Hoby | The Observer :: The Guardian | March 24
“As a whole new generation of graduates fail to find jobs and return home to live with their parents, the new female slacker has inspired a rich new and very funny crop of books, films and TV by and about women.”

6. Do You Worry About Access to Water?
By Saskia de Melker | The Rundown :: PBS Newshour | March 23
“All this week, PBS NewsHour has been reporting from Texas on the record high temperatures, depleted groundwater, vanishing lakes and how many are tapping into a wellspring of alternative approaches to adapt.”

7. Literary Style: 15 Writers’ Bedrooms
Apartment Therapy | March 23
“Whatever it may be, often what it is most is a space that reminds us that, genius aside, writers are people … just like you and I.”

8. Life’s Messy. Train Your Brain to Adapt
By Megan Erickson | Big Think | Feb. 19
“Those who have naturally strong self-regulation can handle the overload — and those who don’t are left feeling guilty and out of control.”

9. Rereading: Great food writers
By Bee Wilson | The Guardian | April 30
“A series of 20 tiny volumes of text from the best culinary authors reminds us that food writing is not just about food”

10. Libya 1969 coup
Witness :: BBC News | March 1
“When Colonel Muammar Gaddafi first took control in Libya in 1969 – few people had heard of him.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Solar tornadoes / The Mile High Club / Handsome presidents / Romney’s Hoover curse / An animated Robert Johnson

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. Tornado Season on the Sun?
VideoFromSpace | Feb. 14
“For a 30 hour spell (Feb 7-8, 2012) the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured plasma caught in a magnetic dance across the Sun’s surface. The results closely resemble extreme tornadic activity on Earth.”

2. Wendell Pierce Goes to Market
By Elizabeth Gettelman | Mother Jones | January/February 2012
“The ‘Treme’ and ‘The Wire’ actor on his career, launching a supermarket chain in New Orleans, and why Americans shy away from reality on television.”

3. Flamingo Air, Cincinnati Airline, Offers Mile High Sex To Customers
The Huffington Post | Feb. 16
“The airline, started by a group of pilot friends who dared each other that they couldn’t get one couple to pay for a mid-air romp, is now a successful airline that takes people into the sky and lets them get it on.”

4. The Man on Mao’s Right, at the Center of History
By David Barboza | The New York Times | Feb. 17
“But his language skills helped shape negotiations during one of the most important diplomatic missions of the past half-century.”

5. Creatures of the deep: terrifying macro pictures of polychaetes or bristle worms
The Telegraph | Feb. 19
“These tiny monsters may look like they are from another planet but they are in fact creatures from our deepest oceans.”

6. Our most handsome presidents
Lapham’s Quarterly | Feb. 20
TR wasn’t too bad looking when he was at Harvard.

7. Can Romney Break the Hoover Curse?
By Abby Ohlheiser | Slate | Feb. 20
“Americans haven’t put a successful CEO in office since 1928. If Romney is to end the drought, he’ll want to avoid appearing to be the second coming of our worst president.”

8. The women of the Mercury era
Mercury 13 | February 2012
“[Twenty-five] women, narrowed down to 13, who participated in and passed the very same physical and psychological tests that determined the original astronauts. ”

9. Three Science-Based Sex Tips for the Emotionally Intelligent Gentleman
By Jeremy Adam Smith | Good Men Project | Feb. 14
“From zebras to astronauts, Jeremy Adam Smith looked to science for some sex advice.”

10. The Legend of Bluesman Robert Johnson Animated
Open Culture | May 2011
“During his short life (1911-1938), Johnson recorded 29 individual songs. But they could not have been more influential.”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. HOY TENEMOS (Boyz from Brazil remix) Sidestepper
2. EL CUARTO DE TULA Buena Vista Social Club
3. SONEROS EN UNA CESTA Cesta All Stars
4. MECANICA DE AMOR Mi Son
5. UNA MUJER EN MI VIDA Ramito
6. VOLVER A VERTE Oscar DeLeon
7. CANDELA Buena Vista Social Club
8. BESAME MAMA Poncho Sanchez & Mongo Santamaria
9. EL CAMISON DE PEPA Compay Segundo
10. BABARABATIRI Tito Puente

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Costa Concordia a personal disaster / Russians reach Antarctic lake / Father/son presidencies / Gingrich and Huckabee / Where does love come from?

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 Flub Watch Never Stops for Obama’s Team
By Helene Cooper | The New York Times | Feb. 5
“In the rarefied world that is dedicated to getting Mr. Obama re-elected, the battle has never been viewed through the prism of how to beat Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. It has always been about Mitt Romney.”

2. Looking for love
By Karen Weintraub | The Boston Globe | Feb. 6
“Surveys also show that whom we fall in love with is largely influenced by who we are; our personality traits and values drive our choices.”

3. Life with Trig
By Sarah Palin | Newsweek | Feb. 6
“He’s nearing his fourth birthday. He has Down syndrome. And he greets every day with a round of applause.”

4. Mike Huckabee is Newt Gingrich’s new role model
By Jonathan Martin | Politico | Feb. 6
“Running a seat-of-his-pants campaign that was short on cash but long on one-liners, the former Baptist preacher enjoyed early 2008 success, hit a rough patch and then had what turned out to be a meaningless rebound when the race turned to his native South.”

5. Earth Station: The Afterlife of Technology at the End of the World
By Alexis Madrigal | The Atlantic | Feb. 6
“This is the story of one of the old, weird ties between Earth and space.”

6. Presidential Fathers and Sons
By Michael Medved | The Wall Street Journal | Feb. 6
“For the seventh consecutive election, the winning candidate will be either a privileged prince with an adored, powerful patriarch, or an up-from-nothing scrapper with no relationship with his biological dad.”

7. 10 Bright Ideas to Get You Through February
Innovations :: Scientific American | Feb. 6
“The Super Bowl is over and now we have to face an ugly reality. It’s February and we’re only one week in. With the hope of lifting your spirits, here are 10 examples of innovative thinking to remind you that better things are coming.”

8. Russians drill into previously untouched Lake Vostok below Antarctica
By Marc Kaufman | The Washington Post | Feb. 6
“It has taken the Russians more than 20 years to drill into the lake, operating in some of the most brutal weather conditions in the world.”

9. For Reporter, Cruise Ship Disaster Is A Local Story
By Sylvia Poggioli | NPR | Feb. 5
“Bad weather has thus far prevented salvage workers from pumping out the half-million gallons of fuel onboard. But the ship has already started polluting the shallow shoreline with leaks of some of the other toxic substances onboard — detergents, paints, solvents, chlorinated swimming pool water and more than 1,300 gallons of olive oil.”

10. Vincent Cassel: ‘You can’t escape from what you are’
By Elizabeth Day | The Guardian | Feb. 4
“The actor, trained ballet dancer, and husband of Monica Bellucci is a man of hidden depths. In his latest role, he plays an anarchic disciple of Sigmund Freud. ”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

February’s celestial delights / Civil War telegrams / Girlfriend wants a baby / Romney’s Secret Service protection / U.S. citizenship

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. 7 amazing sights to see in the February night sky
By Adam Holisky | USA Today | Feb. 3
“There are several planets visible, and the Orion constellation is guarding the evening heavens. Canis Major and the brightest star in our night sky are also perfectly visible this month for all stargazers to enjoy.”

2. How to automatically enlarge thumbnails online
By Rob Lightner | CNET | Feb. 3
“If you’ve ever found yourself giving up while clicking through an online photo gallery or grinding your teeth in frustration at an online vendor’s tiny thumbnails, help is on the way.”

3. Analysis: When is getting better good enough?
By Ben Feller | Associated Press | Feb. 3
“The stronger the economy gets, the more the presidential race comes down to what voters believe: Are things actually getting better? Or is it all still a mess?”

4. Huntington acquires trove of Lincoln, Civil War telegrams, codes
By Mike Boehm | The Los Angeles Times | January 2012
“The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens purchases a collection of telegrams from Abraham Lincoln and Union generals, plus code books.”

5. Please Advise: I think my girlfriend is trying to get pregnant
Nerve | Feb. 2
“She thinks a child will force me to commit.”

6. Where Romney goes, the Secret Service now follow
By Aine Kerr | Storyful | Feb. 3
“GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is now being trailed by men in black suits with dark glasses on the campaign trail in Nevada.”

7. ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Strikes 40
By Adam Chandler | The Atlantic | Feb. 2
“Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation remains influential — but not for all the reasons we expect”

8. Images of Revolution
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“The stories behind the iconic images of the Arab uprisings as told by those who filmed them.”

9. Should All Americans Have to Earn Their Citizenship?
By Eric Liu | The Atlantic | Feb. 2
“With an eye toward the children of illegal immigrants, some politicians are trying to end birthright citizenship. Imagine what that might mean for the rest of us.”

10. Lost in Space
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | October 2011
“Science-fiction films often depict people being killed by going out an airlock into space. What would that be like?”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Romney’s tax returns / Why we love Picasso / Appreciate the introvert / Love and Islam / Final JFK tapes unveiled

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. Mitt Romney’s tax returns shed some light on his investment wealth
By Lori Montgomery | PostPolitics :: The Washington Post | Jan. 23
“Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year — virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments.”

2. The Rude Welcome That Awaits Rick Perry Back in Texas
By Erica Grieder | The New Republic | Jan. 21
“According to Public Policy Polling, his approval rating in the state now stands at 42 percent. Surprisingly, that is lower than Barack Obama’s, at 44 percent.”

3. JFK library to release last of his secret tapes
By Bridget Murphy | Associated Press | Jan. 24
“The tapes include discussions of conflict in Vietnam, Soviet relations and the race to space, plans for the 1964 Democratic Convention and re-election strategy. There also are moments with his children.”

4. Nerve Endings: Female, 19, New York
Nerve | Jan. 24
“He was taking it well, until he showed up at my door, drunk and sobbing into the buzzer …”

5. Obama can win big with FDR formula
By Robert S. McElvaine | Politico | Jan. 23
“No president for more than 70 years has been reelected with unemployment above 7.5 percent — as it is likely to be in November. If we go a little further back, however, unemployment was at 16.9 percent in 1936.”

6. Lifting Veil on Love and Islam
Ny Neil MacFarquhar | The International Herald Tribune | Jan. 23
“Even as the editors, both American-born daughters of immigrants, sought to fight society’s tendency to consider all Muslims extremists, they also struggled with the cultural proscription against describing private lives in public.”

7. Time for introverts to get some appreciation
By Sharon Jayson | USA Today | Jan. 23
“Because introverts tend to be more socially aloof … introversion is related to certain types of disorders, such as social anxiety or depression.”

8. Why we love Picasso
By Blake Gopnik | Newsweek | Jan. 23
“Pablo Picasso was the most inventive artist the West has ever known, and his drawings let us watch him inventing.”

9. This much I know: Kazuo Ishiguro
By Chris Sullivan | The Observer | February 2011
“As the film adaptation of his bestselling novel Never Let Me Go hits the screens, the author reflects on past passions, fatherhood and critical abuse”

10. What Makes Teeth Chatter
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2011
“What might cause teeth to chatter other than the cold?”