Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

This week: Adam Driver on acting / 2017’s best books / Lessons from 2017 film disasters / A new vision for UTSA DTC / Putin’s real desire

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. Adam Driver: ‘Compared with the military, acting isn’t that difficult’
By Emma Brockes | The Guardian | December 2017
“The Star Wars actor on leaving the Marines, filming nude scenes with Lena Dunham and getting in touch with his dark side”

2. The year in journalism: The big players, best feuds, and more
By Peter Vernon | Columbia Journalism Review | December 2017
“A guide to what happened in the mediaverse in 2017”

3. Past Debates Echo in Split Between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates
By John Eligon | The New York Times | December 2017
“Malcolm X was more open to using violence as a form of self-defense than Dr. King, even though their beliefs were more nuanced and overlapping than the popular perception. Whereas Du Bois pushed for an expansion of civil rights, Washington was more compromising, urging black people to look within … in order to minimize the terror they faced.”

4. 100 Notable Books of 2017
The New York Times Book Review | November 2017
The year’s best fiction, poetry, and non-fiction works.
From the Guardian: Best books of 2017
From Lit Hub: The 64 Best Book Covers of 2017 and The Best Reviewed Books of 2017 — History & Politics

5. 2017: the sequel … seven lessons for Hollywood after summer’s disasters
By Mark Sweney | The Guardian | December 2017
“Traditional box-office wisdom has been overturned — but new audiences are starting to emerge”

6. Three Months In, New UTSA President Lays Out Vision For Downtown Campus
By Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio | December 2017
“The idea is to make the downtown a destination, while increasing enrollment on the downtown campus. UTSA’s current enrollment on the downtown campus is about 4,000 out of a total enrollment of about 30,000.”

7. What Putin Really Wants
By Julia Ioffe | The Atlantic | January/February 2018
“Russia’s strongman president has many Americans convinced of his manipulative genius. He’s really just a gambler who won big.”

8. The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook
By Josh Meyer | Politico | December 2017
“An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.”

9. American Sounds
By Heather Radke | The Paris Review | July 2017
“On the old, weird days of National Public Radio”

10. How to Be a Writer on Social Media
LitHub | July 2017
“[W]e asked the opinions of four authors whose social media prowess we admire: Roxane Gay, Celeste Ng, Adam Grant and Alexander Chee.”

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.”

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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

Social media law enforcement / Tricking Hitler / Delving into the debates / The empty Social Security promise / The chaotic ’68 Dem convention

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. Police embrace emerging social media tool
By Terry Collins | Associated Press | Aug. 11
“Almost 6,000 law enforcement agencies are now deploying the public notification service Nixle to provide residents with real-time alerts on crimes in progress, traffic messes and missing children.”

2. How fiction fooled Hitler
By Jina Moore | Salon | Aug. 12
“Before there was James Bond, there was Gregory Sallust. Unlike Bond, who is just sexy fun, Sallust was out to trick the Nazis, defeat Hitler and save the world.”

3. Elite colleges transform online higher education
Terence Chea | Associated Press | Aug. 5
“The proliferation of so-called massive open online courses, or MOOCs, has the potential to transform higher education at a time when colleges and universities are grappling with shrinking budgets, rising costs and protests over soaring tuition and student debt.”

4. Debating Our Destiny
PBS NewsHour | 2012
“Throughout the last 20 years, Jim Lehrer has sat down with the presidential and vice presidential candidates to discuss one thing — the debates.”

5. Siri, Take This Down: Will Voice Control Shape Our Writing?
By Robert Rosenberger | The Atlantic | Aug. 1
“Do our writing means change our written ends?”

6. Social Security not deal it once was for workers
Associated Press | Aug. 6
“People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. It’s a historic shift that will only get worse for future retirees, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.”
Also see: How much I pay, how much I get | Who gets it? | You can’t get these returns today

7. Will Wright makes toys that make worlds
TED | July 2007
“In a friendly, high-speed presentation, Will Wright demos his newest game, Spore, which promises to dazzle users even more than his previous masterpieces.”

8. Mary Beard: the classicist with the common touch
By Vanessa Thorpe | The Observer :: The Guardian | April 29
“Her current TV series on the Romans has occasioned unkind remarks about her appearance, when, in fact, we should be celebrating her eruditon and ability to animate her subject”

9. White House on the Pamunkey
By Jonathan Horn | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 29
“The irony of the Union destroying a home so closely associated with its founding president was hardly lost on Southern commanders.”

10. Recalling the Mayhem of ’68 Convention
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | July 2004
“Tensions over Vietnam Upset Chicago Political Scene”

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TUNES

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. Lance Lopez — So Alone
2. Bernard Allison — Slide Master
3. Betty LaVette — I Still Want To Be Your Baby
4. Joe Bonamassa — Blues Delux
5. John Hiatt — My Baby
6. Cross Canadian Ragweed — Wanna Rock n’ Roll
7. Tina Turner & Eric Clapton — Tearing Us Apart
8. Robin Trower — Feel So Bad
9. Guitar Shorty — Old School
10. Lost Imigrants — Never Been To Spain
11. Los Lonely Boys — Oye Mamacita
12. Watermealon Slim — Newspaper Reporter
13. Otis Taylor — Rain So Hard