Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Understanding your zodiac sign / Saving the butterflies / Pence lays groundwork for the future / Sharon Stone’s story / New insight into Pliny’s masterpiece

This week: Understanding your zodiac sign / Saving the butterflies / Pence lays groundwork for the future / Sharon Stone’s story / New insight into Pliny’s masterpiece

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. Save the Butterflies — but Not to Save Our Food Supply
By Erica Fleishman | Opinion :: Scientific American | March 2021
“These insects are lovely, but despite what many think, they aren’t significant contributors to pollinating agriculturally important plants”

2. How to Understand Every Zodiac Sign, by Element
The Cut :: New York Magazine | March 2021
“The signs are grouped into four elements — fire, water, earth, and air — with three signs in each.”

3. How to make sure Biden’s infrastructure plan can hold up to climate change – and save money
By Jeremy Bricker | The Conversation | March 2021
“In the Netherlands, some flood control systems are designed to adapt to future climate change.”

4. Insurrections, Indigenous Power, & The Empire for Slavery in the Southwest
By Max Flormen | Muster :: The Journal of the Civil War Era | March 2021
“The realities of Indigenous power, marronage, and Mexico’s emancipation policies haunted Anglo-American visions of a white supremacist imperial order in the trans-Mississippi West.”

5. Trump’s heir? Pence reemerges, lays groundwork for 2024 run
By Jill Colvin | Associated Press | March 2021
“The former vice president is steadily reentering public life as he eyes a potential run for the White House in 2024. He’s joining conservative organizations, writing op-eds, delivering speeches and launching an advocacy group that will focus on promoting the Trump administration’s accomplishments.”

6. Seeing Isaac Woodard
By Kirstin Butler | American Experience :: PBS | March 2021
“Remembering the WWII veteran beyond the vicious racist attack that blinded him.”

7. The Essential Larry McMurtry
By Tina Jordan | The New York Times Book Review | March 2021
“The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter explored the myths and legacies of the West in his work.”

8. Fishmeal—The Superfood That Never Was
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: Simone de Beauvoir and ‘The Second Sex’ | What Writing Can Tell Us About the Arabs before Islam | The Trans-Pacific Silver Trade and Early-Modern Globalization | Colonial Medicine and STDs in 1920s Uganda

9. Sharon Stone Is Telling Her Side of the Story
By Dave Itzkoff | The New York Times | March 2021
“The actress and star of films like Basic Instinct and Casino writes about her life, upbringing and brushes with death in a new memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice.”

10. President Ulysses S Grant
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2010-2019
Also see: The Unicorn | The Spanish Armada | The Delphic Oracle | Pliny’s Natural History

Videos I Love: The ‘Casino’ trailer

Friday night. You’re in the mood for a good movie. Here’s my suggestion, with the luscious trailer to whet your appetite.

I’m occasionally sharing some light thoughts on a few videos that make me smile, make me think, or preferably do both. Read more from this special series here.

Friday night. You’re in the mood for a good movie. Something substantive but not wearily pretentious. Something ambitious and sweeping in scope but not mentally exhausting. Something grand and maybe a little trashy. Something with a great story, great music, great acting, all in a great location.

Here’s my suggestion, with the luscious trailer to whet your appetite.