Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Castro’s new memoir / New York-sized iceberg / Tweeting truckers / CIA holds back Cuba history / Seductive Super Bowl ads

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. Fidel Castro presents 2-volume memoir
By Anne-Marie Garcia | Associated Press | Feb. 4
“Fidel Castro spent six hours presenting a two-volume memoir to an audience at a Havana convention center, state media said Saturday. It was a rare appearance for the retired and increasingly reclusive former Cuban leader.”

2. Petraeus, with plenty of practice, sticks to message
By Greg Miller | Checkpoint :: The Washington Post | Feb. 3
“In his first extended public appearance as CIA director, David H. Petraeus this week did more than display his well-known discipline for staying on message. He did his best to bring other government voices back on message as well.”

3. Antarctica’s 19-Mile Ice Crack Will Produce New York-Sized Iceberg
By Carl Franzen | Talking Points Memo | Feb. 3
“[T]he great ice crack measures 19 miles long, 260 feet wide and 195 feet deep and the resulting iceberg will nearly 350 square miles, NASA reported.”

4. Palestina Amore
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“Some Italians have made it their mission to mobilise support on behalf of the Palestinian cause.”

5. Shake, Rattle and Roll
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | October 2011
“Can human actions cause earthquakes?”

6. Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Witness :: BBC News | January 25
“Horst Woit was just 10 years old when he and his mother boarded a ship in the hope of escaping Russian forces towards the end of World War II.”

7. The latest Twitter revolution
By Irin Carmon | Salon | Feb. 2
“Long-haul truckers gather in Mississippi to learn social media skills, burnish their image — and fight regulations”

8. CIA: Release of its History of the Bay of Pigs Debacle Would ‘Confuse the Public.’
By Nate Jones | Unredacted | Feb. 3
“Even if parts of the document truly are predecisional, only they can be withheld, the facts leading up to that decision — and histories are (hopefully) based primarily on facts — must be released.”

9. Super Bowl ads: The art of seduction
Company Town :: The Los Angeles Times | Feb. 3
“The art, and the challenge, is to weave a company’s brand and message into the story line of a commercial without making it feel forced or heavy-handed.”

10. Revisiting the power of Nazi propaganda
By Ellen Shapiro | Salon | Feb. 2
“A new Holocaust Museum exhibit provides unique insight into one of the world’s most devastating ad campaigns”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Texas health care / Send your scholar overseas / Iranian women as ninjas / Avocado and egg breakfast / Super Bowl apps

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. Roseanne Barr seeks Green Party presidential nod
By Andrew Miga | Associated Press | Feb. 3
“The actress-comedian said in a statement that she’s a longtime supporter of the party and looks forward to working with people who share her values. She said the two major parties aren’t serving the American people.”

2. Texas Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz: Spanish is Ghetto
By Sara Ines Calderon | NewsTaco | Feb. 3
“Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Texas Ted Cruz recently followed Newt Gingrich’s lead in calling Spanish that language of the ghetto.”

3. App Smart Extra: Super Bowl Apps
By Bob Tedeschi | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Feb. 3
“Most football fans will be forced to spend at least part of the weekend away from televised Super Bowl coverage. For those not willing to endure that sort of pain, the N.F.L. this week released three apps to help.”

4. Bake an Egg in an Avocado for a Fast and Healthy Breakfast Treat
By Alan Henry | Lifehacker | Feb. 3
“Avocados are amazing things — they’re delicious on their own, but they also have a lot of healthy fats, dietary fibers, and vitamins, and despite their high caloric value, they’re remarkably easy to prepare.”

5. Why Thousands of Iranian Women Are Training to Be Ninjas
By Max Fisher | The Atlantic | Feb. 3
“In a society that treats them like children, sports — and especially martial arts — offer a way to express strength and independence.”

6. Outsource Your Kid
By Charles Kenny | Foreign Policy | Jan. 30
“Trying to save money on a university and still get a good education? Forget the local community college — send your kid to school overseas.”

7. Interactive: Enrollment in Texas’ Health-Care Programs Increasing
By Becca Aaronson | The Texas Tribune | Feb. 1
“There were nearly 3.6 million Texans enrolled in Medicaid as of June 2011, the most current available data — a 16 percent increase in enrollment compared with June 2009.”

8. Gaza Lives On
Al Jazeera World | October 2011
“The Israeli blockade may have taken a heavy toll on Gazans, but this film reveals life and hope among the devastation.”

9. This much I know: Gillian Anderson
By Shahesta Shaitly | The Observer | October 2011
“The actor, 43, on Britishness, growing older and the importance of being wrong”

10. Ups and Downs
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | November 2011
“As a gardener, I plant seeds any which way, and they invariably send shoots up. How do they know which way is up?”

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