Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Colin Powell reflects / Political advice from Cicero / A parent’s suicide / Camp David’s relaxed influence / Video frames

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. Colin Powell on the Bush Administration’s Iraq War Mistakes
By Colin Powell | Newsweek | May 13
“Colin Powell reflects on lessons from the battlefield to the halls of power — including the mistakes of the Iraq War, his infamous U.N. speech, and the crimes at Abu Ghraib. ”

2. The spirit of 1812
The Economist | May 19
“The [U.S. Navy] hopes to restore its prestige by celebrating a forgotten conflict”

3. Campaign Tips From Cicero
By Quintus Tullius Cicero and James Carville | Foreign Affairs | May/June 2012
“[T]he author clearly knew a lot about Roman politics in the first century BC, which turn out to have a distinctly familiar feel.”

4. When a Parent Commits Suicide: A Psychiatrist’s Advice
By Harold S. Koplewicz | The Daily Beast | May 18
“It’s the kind of death that’s doubly painful for children, who often need help handling conflicting and disturbing feelings. How to help the kids who are left behind.”

5. Robert Caro’s Tristram Shandy Moment
By Dean Robinson | The 6th Floor :: The New York Times | May 18
“Two hundred and fifty years ago, another writer — albeit a fictional one, trapped inside a novel — got similarly bogged down trying biographize his own self. ”

6. Camp David and Thurmont: A mountain shared, a world apart
By David Zak | The Washington Post | May 17
“Town officials are prepared for the worst, expecting the best, and will support citizens who want to exercise their constitutional rights by chanting in the general direction of a campground they can’t get within four miles of.”

7. Dickens, Browning and Lear: what’s in a reputation?
By Robert Crum | The Guardian | May 17
“The bicentenaries of three great Victorian writers underline the capricious nature of literary afterlives”

8. Q&A: Capturing a Video Frame
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | May 14
“How can I extract a single frame of the video and change it into a still picture?”

9. Rereading: Mildred Pierce by James M Cain
By Sarah Churchwell | The Guardian | June 24
“Todd Haynes has adapted Mildred Pierce, James M Cain’s novel about a divorced mother in the depression, as a sumptuous TV mini-series. But what has been gained and what lost in the process?”

10. The Greensboro Four
Witness :: BBC News | February 1
“On 1 February 1960, four young black men began a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against the racial segregation of shops and restaurants in the US southern states.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CAN’T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING The Rolling Stones
2. DEEP DARK TRUTHFUL MIRROR (Unplugged) Elvis Costello
3. A STROKE OF LUCK Garbage
4. GIMME SHELTER The Rolling Stones
5. FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST (Unplugged) Rod Stewart
6. HARD TO MAKE A STAND Sheryl Crow
7. MUSIC Madonna
8. WE CAN WORK IT OUT (Unplugged) Paul McCartney
9. SHE’S WAITING Eric Clapton
10. HEY JOE Jimi Hendrix

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Bring back Bill Clinton / Science of gaydar / Cheating or open marriage / The GOP and FIdel / Writer Alice James

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. Time to bring back Bill Clinton
By David Maraniss | The Washington Post | Jan. 22
“Still feeling queasy about the character questions surrounding the Arkansas traveler’s sexual behavior? How does that hurt him in a world where Pope Limbaugh pronounces that it was a “mark of character” for Newt to ask his second wife for permission while cheating on her”

2. Science Unlocks the Key to Gaydar
By Cassie Murdoch | Jezebel | Jan. 23
“Gaydar — the ability to be able to tell who’s gay just by looking or talking to them — is a ‘skill’ of debatable merit, but many people like to brag about having finely calibrated systems of working out who’s gay and who’s not.”

3. The Gingrich Question: Cheating vs. Open Marriage
Room for Debate :: The New York Times | Jan. 23
“If more people considered such openness an option, would marriage become a stronger institution — less susceptible to cheating and divorce, and more attractive than unmarried cohabitation?”

4. When a party flirts with suicide
By Steve Kornacki | Opening Shot :: Salon | Jan. 23
“The last time GOP elites lost control of their nominating process, they got Barry Goldwater — and an epic landslide”

5. How the educated elite view government
By Suzy Khimm | WonkBlog :: The Washington Post | Jan. 23
“Around the world, distrust of government is on the rise, but the public — particularly the educated elite — believes there should be more regulation of business, according to a new survey.”

6. Fidel Castro: GOP race is ‘idiocy, ignorance’
By Mackenzie Weinger | Politico | Jan. 25
“The former Cuban president wrote he was too busy to spend any additional time evaluating the Republican field.”

7. This much I know: Slash
Shahesta Shaitly | The Observer | November 2010
“The musician, 45, on Stoke-on-Trent, groupies, and being addicted to cooking shows”

8. The Height Equation
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | August 2011
“Is there an upper limit to human growth? Why does one generation grow taller than the last?”

9. Five myths about women in combat
By Jane Blair | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | May 27
“Women are dying in combat, but Congress still officially bans us from serving in combat units that engage the enemy with deliberate, offensive action.”

10. Civil War women: Alice James
Civil War Women Blog | Oct. 14
“Born into a wealthy and intellectually active family — sister of novelist Henry James and psychologist and philosopher William James — Alice James soon developed the psychological and physical problems that would end her life at age 43. Alice never married and lived with her parents until their deaths. She is known mainly for the diary she kept in her final years.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Math gender gap / Herringbone sportcoats / Artistic genius / Stopping college suicide / Why balloons?

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. ID errors put hundreds in L.A. County jails
By Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard | Los Angeles Times | Dec. 25
“Wrongful incarcerations totaled 1,480 in the last five years, a Times inquiry finds.”

2. Martin Sheen, Family (Filmmaking) Man
By Melena Ryzik | Carpetbagger :: The New York Times | Dec. 20
“I’m not a student of politics. I played a politician. I have no interest in politics.”

3. Anything Boys Can Do…
By Sharon Begley | The New Republic | Dec. 26
“Biology may play only a minor role in the math gender gap”

4. The Casual Herringbone Sportcoat
By Grant Harris | The Primer | November 2011
“Herringbone is one of the safest ways to go for guys who are wary of getting too busy with patterns.”

5. Why Mozart Rocks So Hard. Artistic Genius Explained
By Megan Erickson | Big Think | Dec. 20
“Why is ‘The Magic Flute’ so enduring, while other classical compositions have been forgotten?”

6. Colleges and suicide threats: when to call home?
By Justin Pope | Associated Press | Dec. 26
“The issue of when colleges should notify parents their adult children may be suicidal remains fraught with legal, medical and ethical dilemmas. College policies, state laws and professional codes of conduct vary widely – and occasionally conflict.”

7. Birds of a Feather
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | June 2009
“How do birds know which species they are? That is, how do they recognize one another so they can flock together?”

8. Pakistan: The New Radicals
By Oliver Englehart | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Ali Abbas travels around Pakistan tackling fanaticism, but can he make a difference?”

9. This Party’s Blowin’ Up
By Forrest Wickman | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 13
“Why do we celebrate with balloons?”

10. Chanel No. 5
Witness :: BBC News | May 24
“In 1921 the most famous perfume ever, was launched in France.”

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

TUNES

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

1. Rob Paparozzi — She’s Too Good For Me
2. WSNB — True Love
3. Mr. TBA — Dirty Dog
4. Pat Green — Somewhere Between Texas & Mexico
5. Daddy Long Legs — Use Me
6. Gary Moore — Still Got The Blues For You
7. Bob Segar — Come to Papa
8. Tinsley Ellis — Grow a Pair
9. Kevin Ball — On the Streets of Mexico
10. Coco Montoya — Same Dog
11. Stevie Ray Vaughan — Superstition
12. The Homemade Jamz Blues Band — Hard Headed Woman
13. Rick Fowler — Walk Softly

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Less marriage / Buttercups’ secret / Facebook targets suicidal intent / Ongoing Iran war / Social media myths

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. Married couples at a record low
By Carol Morello | The Washington Post | Dec. 13
“Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on the brink of becoming a minority, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census statistics. …”

2. The Buck Stops Here: $1 Coins to Be Curtailed
By Jefrey Sparshott | The Wall Street Journal | Dec. 13
“More than 40% of the coins that are minted are returned to the government unwanted, the Treasury said. The rest apparently sit in vending machines — one of the few places they are widely used — or in the drawers of coin collectors.”

3. Secret to Buttercups’ Yellow Spotlight Revealed
By Wynne Parry | LiveScience | Dec. 13
“Children have long known that if you hold a little buttercup flower under your chin on a sunny day, the underside of your chin will be bathed in a yellow light.”

4. Hope in a Sea of Dictatorship
By Ahmed Rashid | NYR Blog :: The New York Review of Books | Dec. 13
“One of the uncomfortable results of Pakistan’s late November decision to close down US and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan is that it has forced Washington to rely more on the Central Asian countries that border Afghanistan to the north.”

5. Facebook offers counselling to suicidal users
By Emma Barnett | The Telegraph | Dec. 13
“Facebook has launched a new initiative which will allow those users with suicidal thoughts instant access to crisis counsellors via its instant messenger service.”

6. Iran war: Has it already begun?
By Noga Tarnopoisky | GlobalPost | Dec. 12
“Analysts say the war with Iran began years ago, and is now reaching its apex.”

7. Rives: A story of mixed emoticons
TED Talks | Feb. 2008
“Rives tells a typographical fairy tale that’s short and bittersweet ;)”

8. Five myths about social media
By Ramesh Srinivasan | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Sept. 15
Myth 1: “Social media gives power to the people”

9. Civil War women: Anna Surratt
Civil War Women Blog | Sept. 4
“Anna Surratt is remembered chiefly for her heartbreaking efforts to save her mother from being hanged by the U.S. government. After the guilty verdict, a tearful Anna tried to see President Andrew Johnson at the White House to plead for her mother’s life, but she was prevented from doing so.”

10. Waco siege
Witness :: BBC News | April 19
“In 1993, around 80 people died in the fire that ended the siege at the headquarters of a Christian cult in Waco, Texas.”