Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Does Texas face a massive bug storm? / Brood X cicadas are coming / Black women want better births / The founding fathers / Care for a wounded manatee

This week: Does Texas face a massive bug storm? / Brood X cicadas are coming / Black women want better births / The founding fathers / Care for a wounded manatee

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. Do Thousands of Bat Deaths Mean Texans Will Face a Mosquito-Ridden Summer?
By Tara Haelle | Texas Monthly | March 2021
“Last month’s winter storm decimated the state’s populations of the winged mammals, which may have lasting ecological effects.”

2. In search of lost smell and taste
By Sasha von Oldershausen | The Believer | February 2021
“Mapping the sensory fallout from COVID-19”

3. Billions of cicadas may be coming soon to trees near you
By John Cooley and Chris Simon | The Conversation | March 2021
“Starting sometime in April or May, depending on latitude, one of the largest broods of 17-year cicadas will emerge from underground in a dozen states, from New York west to Illinois and south into northern Georgia. This group is known as Brood X, as in the Roman numeral for 10.”

4. Unmasked: Across Texas, elation and caution as COVID-19 restrictions end after a year
By Karen Brooks Harper, Duncan Agnew and Marissa Martinez | The Texas Tribune | March 2021
“A newly ‘open’ state will likely look very different in rural towns and suburban neighborhoods compared to more populous areas and coronavirus hot spots, residents and business owners say.”

5. Why Black Women Are Rejecting Hospitals in Search of Better Births
By Alice Proujansky | The New York Times | March 2021
“Some mothers are seeking alternatives, worried about Covid-19 and racial inequities in health care.”

6. One, two, tree: how AI helped find millions of trees in the Sahara
By Amy Fleming | The Guardian | January 2021
“Efforts to map the Earth’s trees are growing – and could change our understanding of the planet’s health”

7. The Physician Who Presaged the Germ Theory of Disease Nearly 500 Years Ago
By Ewan Morgan | Scientific American | January 2021
“Largely forgotten today, Girolamo Fracastoro was a seminal figure in our understanding of infectious illness”

8. The February Revolution of 1917
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: An Iranian Intellectual Visits Israel | Perspectives of the Founding Fathers | The Scramble for Africa | Islamic Extremism in the Modern World

9. How to Treat a Wounded Manatee
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | January 2021
“To accelerate healing, Peterson’s team uses antibiotics, cold-laser therapy and stem cells, as well as raw, unpasteurized honey.”

10. Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2012-2020
Also see: Literature | Heraclitus | Ptolemy and Ancient Astronomy | The Moon

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Olympics beefcake / Gore Vidal’s career as a dramatist, plus a reading list / Detroit, the dumping ground / Human sculpture found in Turkey /

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. The Olympics or Soft Porn? Female, Gay Fans Gawking at Male Athletes
By Tricia Romano | The Daily Beast | Aug. 3
“From Ryan Lochte to Tom Daley, the Web is awash with lascivious pictures of the men of the London Games. Did ‘Magic Mike’ set the stage for the worldwide gawkfest?”

2. Amazon Rainforest Gets Half Its Nutrients From a Single, Tiny Spot in the Sahara
By Alexis Madrigal | The Atlantic | Aug. 2
“At 17,100 square miles, the area is about a third of the size of Florida or 0.5 percent the size of the Amazon basin it supplies.”

3. Ben-Gore
By F.X. Feeney | Los Angeles Review of Books | Aug. 1
“There is an almost violent difference in scale and power between the novels that preceded [Vidal’s] career as a dramatist and those which come after.”

4. Washington’s War on Leaks, Explained
By Cora Currier | ProPublica | Aug. 2
“Leaks, of course, are nothing new in Washington, but now the Senate has jumped into the fray, with a new proposal to tighten control over the flow of information between intelligence agencies and the press.”

5. Gore Vidal’s reading list for America
By Michael Winship | Salon | Aug. 2
“The author’s recommendations were as brilliant and eccentric as he was”

6. Vacant Detroit becomes a dumping ground for the dead
By Corey Williams | Associated Press | Aug. 2
“It’s a pattern made possible by more than four decades of urban decay and suburban flight.”

7. Jonathan Harris: the Web’s secret stories
TED | July 2007
“With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we’re all feeling and looking for.”

8. Archeologists Unearth Extraordinary Human Sculpture in Turkey
Science Daily | July 30
“A beautiful and colossal human sculpture is one of the latest cultural treasures unearthed by an international team at the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) excavation site in southeastern Turkey.”

9. Fighting for Nightfall
By Will Hickox | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 27
“Rather than securing the rest they badly needed, the exhausted soldiers of Col. Elisha G. Marshall’s 13th New York Infantry began building breastworks.”

10. Civil Rights Era Almost Split CBS News Operation
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | May 2005
“Walter Cronkite recalls CBS-TV coverage of civil rights in the 1950s, and how it threatened to divide the news department from network management.”


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

1. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band — Watch It
2. Blackfoot — Sunshine Again
3. Susan Tedeschi — There’s A Break In The Road
4. Wiser Time — Devided
5. Curtis Salgado — Wiggle Outa This
6. Elvin Bishop — Midnight Hour Blues
7. Storyville — Fairplay
8. Chris Rea — Houston Angel
9. George Thorogood — I Drink Alone
10. Travis Tritt — The Storm
11. Flophouse — Everything Is Cool
12. The Stoney Curtis Band — Hard Livin’