Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Birds that can hear tsunamis / This fall’s biggest movies / Science struggles to understand Hurricane Ida / The Sino-Japanese War / The presidential anguish in ‘Fail-Safe’

This week: Birds that can hear tsunamis / This fall’s biggest movies / Science struggles to understand Hurricane Ida / The Sino-Japanese War / The presidential anguish in ‘Fail-Safe’

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. When Lord Kelvin Nearly Killed Darwin’s Theory
By Mano Singham | Scientific American | September 2021
“The eminent 19th-century physicist argued—wrongly, it turned out—that Earth wasn’t old enough to have let natural selection play out”

2. How abortion restrictions like Texas’ push pregnant people into poverty
By Chabeli Carrazana | The 19th | September 2021
“A study of hundreds of pregnant women over a decade found that 72 percent of those who were denied care ended up living in poverty.”

3. Birds Can Hear Tsunamis Way Before They Hit
By Hakai Magazine and Jason Gregg | The Atlantic | September 2021
“Scientists hope the ability can be turned into an early-warning system.”

4. The 9 Biggest Movies To Watch This Fall (And Other Films That Sound Intriguing)
By Bob Mondello | All Things Considered :: NPR | September 2021
“After stockpiling films for more than 16 months, Hollywood is practically bursting with prestige attractions ready to premiere.”

5. Back to School: Abe Lincoln’s Grammar Book
By Mark Dimunation | The Library of Congress | August 2021
“Abraham Lincoln never really had a ‘back to school’ moment, as the future president was raised on a farm and had less than a year of formal schooling. This didn’t mean he didn’t love learning, though. From an early age, he devoted intense effort to self-study through reading.”

6. American diplomats recall 20-hour days, sleeping in Kabul airport while helping those desperate to flee
By Joe Davidson | The Washington Post | September 2021
“Right up until the end, they were surprised that the situation deteriorated so quickly.”

7. After Hurricane Ida, researchers take stock
By Rachel Fritts and Jocelyn Kaiser | Science | September 2021
“Better preparations help avoid repeat of 2005 Katrina disaster”

8. Marie Tharp: Mapping the Ocean Floor
By Mike Klein | The Library of Congress | August 2021
“Marie Tharp was well-suited to the task of interpreting the texture and rhythm of the Earth’s surface, including the ocean floor — a space almost entirely unknown to humans, even after they began sailing the seas. A scientist, she had a background in mathematics, music, petroleum geology and cartography.”

9. Fail Safe: Very Little Left of the World
By Bilge Ebiri | The Criterion Collection | January 2020
“We can certainly understand the president’s anguish, but we don’t really see it — nor, interestingly, do we really feel it.”

10. Horace
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2014-2018
Also see: The Sino-Japanese War | Photosynthesis | The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam | The Philosophy of Solitude

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

This week: Texans we need to know about / The value of literary glory / Gender stereotypes endure / Trump’s 547 Twitter insults / Hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorist

This week: Texans we need to know about / The value of literary glory / Gender stereotypes endure / Trump’s 547 Twitter insults / Hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorist

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. 31 Texans Taking Charge
Texas Monthly | December 2018
“From gymnast Simone Biles and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner to political megadonor Tim Dunn, here are 31 Texans who are changing the way we think about politics, education, food, philanthropy, and, well, pretty much everything else.”

2. How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
By Emily Michot and Julie K. Brown | Miami Herald | November 2018
“Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. His victims have never had a voice, until now.”

3. Is Literary Glory Worth Chasing?
By Tim Parks | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | November 2018
“Is writing worth it? Does it make any sense at all to pursue literary glory? Are the writers we praise really the best anyway?”

4. Outdated Gender Stereotypes Are ‘Very Much Alive’
Home School :: The Atlantic | November 2018
“[P]arents shouldn’t dictate gender roles to their children.”

5. The 547 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List
By Jasmine C. Lee and Kevin Quealy | The Upshot :: The New York Times | (As of November 21)
You can organize it alphabetically or chronologically.

6. Inside the Hunt for the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist
By John P. Carlin | Politico Magazine | November 2018
“How a British hacker joined ISIS’s top ranks and launched a deadly global cyber plot.”

7. In the Era of #MeToo, Men Don’t ‘Know’ About Predatory Men — but Women Do
By Libby Lenkinski | Los Angeles Review of Books | November 2018
“One of the revelations of the #MeToo moment is the broad understanding that every woman in our society has endured sexual violence in one way or another and all of us carry the effects of those traumas with us in various ways in our lives. This is compounded by the intersectional realities of our identities — women of color face a different layer of discrimination than white women, as do Native women, fat women, Latina women, Jewish women, Muslim women, trans women.”

8. The Pugnacious Outlaw Women Behind My Protagonist
By Katrina Carrasco | LitHub | November 2018
“From Hellcat Maggie to the Great Sandwina, eight women who defied their era”

9. Standish Meacham and Multiculturalism in the Public University
By Carson Wright | Not Even Past :: Department of History, UT Austin | November 2018
“In both facets of his academic life, Dr. Meacham was devoted to the building up of marginalized groups. An academic background in the humanities — in History — shaped Dr. Meacham’s view in a way that drove him to make a positive impact at the University of Texas.”

10. 16 in a refugee camp: Here’s what her days are like
By Masuma Ahuja | Girlhood Around the World :: The Lily | October 2018
“Her teenage years are unfolding in the limbo of a refugee camp — a settlement that is inherently meant to be an in-between place, not one where you can expect to build a life or a future — and in the backdrop of a conflict that forced her family to flee from Syria.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Steinbeck the sadist / Burial in the Texas State Cemetery / Use more cash / Beekeeping superstars / Evacuations as a hurricane looms

This week: Steinbeck the sadist / Burial in the Texas State Cemetery / Use more cash / Beekeeping superstars / Evacuations as a hurricane looms

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. The Village Voice (1955–2018)
ArtForum | September 2018
“The Voice was a cultural necessity for decades, a breeding ground for generations of passionate and relentless journalists, critics, and writers, where they could hone their chops, flex their intellects, dig deep and deeper still into acts both heroic and criminal, whether civic or aesthetic.”

2. John Steinbeck was a sadistic womaniser, says wife in memoir
By Sian Cain | The Guardian | September 2018
“Gwyn Conger Steinbeck’s newly unearthed book tells of troubled marriage to author.”

3. Thousands of People Live in These Ancient Spanish Caves
By Alexandra Genova and Tamara Merino | National Geographic | August 2018
“The Sacromonte and Guadix caves in Granada have been occupied for centuries. See what life there is like today.”

4. What Do I Have to Do to Get Buried in the Texas State Cemetery
By David Courtney | The Texanist :: Texas Monthly | August 2018
“A Brownsville woman wants to spend eternity in close proximity to Ma and Pa Ferguson.”

5. Self-Care: A Working Definition
The New York Times | August 2018
“A collective, non-exhaustive list of behaviors and diagrams that keep us on point, compiled by some employees of The New York Times.”

6. Put away that credit card. You need to use cash more
By Neil Swidey | The Boston Globe Magazine | August 2018
“Big banks are the big winners when shoppers whip out the plastic. Meanwhile, Americans sink further into debt.”

7. Edward Snowden Reconsidered
By Tamsin Shaw | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | September 2018
“This summer, the fifth anniversary of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance passed quietly, adrift on a tide of news that now daily sweeps the ground from under our feet. It has been a long five years, and not a period marked by increased understanding, transparency, or control of our personal data.”

8. The Super Bowl of Beekeeping
By Jaime Lowe | The New York Times Magazine | August 2018
“Almond growing in California is a $7.6 billion industry that wouldn’t be possible without the 30 billion bees (and hundreds of human beekeepers) who keep the trees pollinated — and whose very existence is in peril.”

9. How to Evacuate Cities before Dangerous Hurricanes
By Leonardo Dueñas-Osorio, Devika Subramanian, Robert M. Stein | Scientific American | October 2018
“With new risk maps, authorities hope to avoid mass exoduses and blocked exits.”
Also see from Scientific American: Hurricane Is a Natural Selection Experiment

10. Why I fell in love with Salamanca
By John Clarke | El Pais | August 2018
“Erasmus student John Clarke recounts how the city and its 800-year-old university captured his heart.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How to survive an earthquake / New life in a coral reef cemetery / Resisting Obama / The best Texas bourbon / David Simon’s secrets

This week: How to survive an earthquake / New life in a coral reef cemetery / Resisting Obama / The best Texas bourbon / David Simon’s secrets

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. Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
By David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner | The New York Times | October 2018
“The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.”
Also see from the Columbia Journalism Review: The Times Trump investigation and the power of the long game

2. Traveling to Find Out
By Hanif Kureishi | London Review of Books | August 2018
“Legitimate anger turned bad; the desire for obedience and strong men; a terror of others; the promise of power, independence and sovereignty; the persecution of minorities and women; the return to an imagined purity. Who would have thought this idea would have spread so far, and continue to spread.”

3. The Marines Didn’t Think Women Belonged in the Infantry. She’s Proving Them Wrong.
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff | The New York Times | August 2018
“As Lieutenant Hierl issued orders against the din of rifle fire, she dropped her usually reserved, soft-spoken demeanor for a firm tone that left no doubt about who was in command.”

4. Forget Doorframes: Expert Advice on Earthquake Survival Strategies
By Robin George Andrews | Scientific American | August 2018
“Indonesia’s Lombok quake revives the question of taking cover versus running outside.”

5. A coral reef cemetery is home to life in the afterlife
By Kelli Kennedy | Associated Press | August 2018
“[T]he Neptune Memorial Reef is home to the cremated remains of 1,500 people, and any snorkeler or scuba diver can visit.”

6. Blood and Oil
By Seth Harp | Rolling Stone | September 2018
“Mexico’s drug cartels are moving into the gasoline industry — infiltrating the national oil company, selling stolen fuel on the black market and engaging in open war with the military. Can the country’s new populist president find a way to contain the chaos.”

7. He Was the Resistance Inside the Obama Administration
By David Dayen | The New Republic | September 2018
“Timothy Geithner’s refusal to obey his boss has had long-term political and economic consequences.”

8. Six Texas Bourbons to Drink Right Now
By Jessica Dupuy | Texas Monthly | September 2018
“Enjoy them straight, on the rocks, or in an inventive cocktail, such as the Tejas Ponche from Treaty Oak in Dripping Springs.”

9. The Guy Who Wouldn’t Write a Hit: An Interview with David Simon
By Claudia Dreifus | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | August 2018
“In the world of cookie-cutter television program-making, writer and producer David Simon is a creative maverick. For a quarter of a century, Simon, now turning fifty-eight, has been making unconventional dramas about the political and social problems of modern America.”

10. 7 strategies to keep your phone from taking over your life
By Chris Bailey | Ideas :: TED.com | August 2018
“We’re distracted like never before — and our phones are probably the biggest culprit. But there is a way you can live with one and still get things done.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Genius procrastination / Democrats face themselves / Women explain their abortions / Bittersweet breastfeediing / Future of Democracy

This week: Genius procrastination / Democrats face themselves / Women explain their abortions / Bittersweet breastfeediing / Future of democracy

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. Many Creative Geniuses May Have Procrastinated — but That Doesn’t Mean You Should
By Casey Lesser | Artsy.net | July 2018
“Some believe in a form of procrastination that fosters well-being and creativity, but others argue that certain types of behavior, in which someone intentionally delays their creative work, don’t actually constitute procrastination at all.”

2. A Watershed Moment in American History
By Matt Ford | The New Republic | July 2018
“Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh will deliver Republicans a majority on the Supreme Court. Will he also prompt a reckoning among Democrats”

3. ‘I Couldn’t Tell Anyone’: Women Around the World Reveal Intimate Stories of Abortion
By Josephine Sedgwick | The New York Times | July 2018
“When we invited readers to share their own stories, more than 1,300 responded from over 30 countries, showing the vast range of reasons, means and outcomes for abortion.”

4. Why breast-feeding is a mix of joy and suffering
By Maya Uppaluru | The Lily :: Washington Post | July 2018
“Is breast-feeding anti-feminist”

5. Reporting Is Ugly
By Barry Petchesky | The Concourse :: Deadspin | October 2015
“It is invaluable and messy and it not only doesn’t diverge from the most basic principles of journalism, it exemplifies them.”

6. The Democratic Coming Apart
By David Runciman and Joshua Cohen | Boston Review | July 2018
“Democracy … could either fail while remaining intact or evolve into something different — and possibly even better.”

7. And Now, Some Little-Known Facts About Texas
By David Courtney | Texas Monthly | July 2018
“In our new video series, David Courtney takes you into some of the weird, whimsical, and lesser-known aspects of our beloved state.”

8. Is Punching Nazis Impolite
By Barry Purcell | Arc Digital | July 2018
“Exploring the limits of civility”

9. The Americanization of Alfredo Corchado
By Sergio Troncoso | Texas Monthly | June 2018
“By telling his own story, the widely admired Dallas Morning News reporter reveals how Mexican Americans have changed the United States — and how the United States has changed Mexican Americans.”

10. What does ‘normal’ mean in abnormal times
By Steven Poole | The Guardian | April 2018
“From Donald Trump to Syrian bombs — in modern political times, ‘normal’ carries an extra moral nuance”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: White House chaos / A stolen puppy returns / Cardi B’s success / McMaster’s surrender / Racism in ‘National Geographic’

This week: White House chaos / A stolen puppy returns / Cardi B’s success / McMaster’s surrender / Racism in National Geographic

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. 32 Weeks: The making of a cop
By Emilie Eaton | San Antonio Express-News | March 2018
“A reporter and photographer from the San Antonio Express-News spent a year following a group of cadets to document their training at the San Antonio Police Department’s nationally recognized academy.”

2. Cabinet chaos: Trump’s team battles scandal, irrelevance
By Jonathan Lemire | Associated Press | March 2018
“One Cabinet member was grilled by Congress about alleged misuse of taxpayer funds for private flights. Another faced an extraordinary revolt within his own department amid a swirling ethics scandal. A third has come under scrutiny for her failure to answer basic questions about her job in a nationally televised interview. And none of them was the one Trump fired.”

3. A pardon expert emailed me his life’s work. Then he killed his two sons and himself.
By Gregory Korte | USA Today | March 2018
“A White House correspondent tries to reconcile a professor’s valuable contribution to the study of the presidential mercy with his horrific final acts.”

4. Does the Adult Brain Really Grow New Neurons?
By Helen Shen | Scientific American | March 2018
“The observation that the human brain churns out new neurons throughout life is one of the biggest neuroscience discoveries of the past 20 years. … But new findings in humans, reported online in Nature on Wednesday, pump the brakes on this idea. In a direct challenge to earlier studies, the authors report adults produce no new cells in the hippocampus, a key hub for processing memories.”

5. A Texas family had their dog stolen. It was returned the next day, injured and with a note.
By Fernando Ramirez | Houston Chronicle | March 2018
“Michelle Carnline, an Austin-area resident, said her family’s 6-month-old chocolate Great Dane disappeared from her backyard on a Sunday evening two weeks ago. At first, the family thought their dog, Landon, had somehow managed to escape. But after finding muddy human footprints in the backyard, it didn’t take long to realize what had happened.”

6. Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks Writing, President Trump, and Quitting Twitter For Good
By Doyin Oyeniyi | Texas Monthly | March 2018
“At his SXSW keynote speech, Coates shared the thoughts that he’ll no longer be tweeting.”

7. For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It
By By Susan Goldberg | National Geographic | April 2018
“We asked a preeminent historian to investigate our coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s what he found.”

8. Cardi B: The Artist Thriving in a System Not Meant for Her
By Amy Zimmerman | The Daily Beast | March 2018
“Cardi B’s remarkable story is one of merit shining through in an industry and a country that’s far from a meritocracy.”

9. Introduction to Reading Other Women
By Rafia Zakaria | Boston Review | September 2016
“Literature can be a primary engine of dialogue and empathy, but it — or rather, the reading public — is often complicit in the silencing of global women of color.”

10. Dereliction of Duty?
By Jonathan Stevenson | The New York Review of Books | March 2018
“His rationale — or at least his rationalization — was likely that the position would best be filled by a warrior-scholar with the spine and rectitude to protect the country against Trump’s rash leadership.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

This week: Lupe Valdez / James Mattis gets personal / Moira Donegan and her List / Ronan Farrow’s ascent / ISIS selfies in NYC / How to be alone

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. Oprah buzz sparks debate about celebrity presidents
By Niall Stange | The Memo :: The Hill | January 2018
“On one level, a Trump vs. Winfrey race seems too surreal a scenario to take seriously. But the idea of Trump becoming president in the first place was met with similar disbelief when he entered the race in June 2015, and Winfrey has hinted before at a run.”
Also, from The Hollywood Reporter: Gayle King [says] Oprah ‘Intrigued by the Idea’ of Running for President

2. Could Lupe Valdez (or Oprah?!) Be The Key to a New Texas?
By R.G. Ratcliffe | BurkaBlog :: Texas Monthly | January 2018
“The two campaigns have launched — kind of. Both are long shots to have any real effect on the state.”

3. Away from Washington, a more personal Mattis reveals himself
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | January 2018
“Mattis, now the Pentagon boss and perhaps the most admired member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is a storyteller. And at no time do the tales flow more easily than when he’s among the breed he identifies with most closely – the men and women of the military.”

4. I Started the Media Men List My name is Moira Donegan
By Moira Donegan | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“The anonymous, crowdsourced document was a first attempt at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.”
Also, from the Huffington Post: Moira Donegan Outs Herself As Creator Of ‘S**tty Media Men’ List
Also, from The New Yorker: The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and “Shitty Media Men” (October 2017)

5. Ronan Farrow, the Hollywood Prince Who Torched the Castle
By Marisa Guthrie | The Hollywood Reporter | January 2018
“Farrow is now a hot commodity, aggressively pursued on the speaker circuit, and though he only has one short-lived TV news-hosting gig under his belt, he is being courted by a wide array of outlets.”

6. The Biggest Secret
By James Risen | The Intercept | January 2018
“My life as a New York Times reporter in the shadow of the War on Terror.”

7. ‘ISIS selfies’ on New York streets are chilling
By Tina Moore and Ruth Brown | The New York Post | January 2018
“One shows a man wearing an ISIS-branded scarf over his face outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and right near an NYPD security camera. Pedestrians can be seen walking by on the snow-dusted street.”

8. When rivers die — and are reborn
By Victor Mallet | OUPblog :: Oxford University Press | October 2017
“Most of the great cities of the world were built on rivers, for rivers have provided the water, the agricultural fertility, and the transport links essential for most great civilizations. This presents a series of puzzles. Why have the people who depend on those rivers so often poisoned their own water sources?”

9. How to Get Better at Spending Time Alone
By Maggie Puniewska | The Cut :: New York | January 2018
“It can be difficult for some people to get onboard with alone time because it can seem, well, undesirable. … But amid all the dire warnings, it’s easy to miss the fact that loneliness and solitude aren’t interchangeable concepts.”

10. Will America Ever Have a Woman President?
Politico Magazine | November/December 2017
“A year ago, it seemed like a safe bet. Today, it feels further away than ever. 20 women consider what it would take to get there.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: 2017’s few, terrible disasters / The life of former president Obama / An Inca code cracked / David Attenborough talks retirement / Eudora Welty, Margaret Atwood and the mystery of Mary Trump

This week: 2017’s few, terrible disasters / The life of former president Obama / An Inca code cracked / David Attenborough talks retirement / Eudora Welty, Margaret Atwood and the mystery of Mary Trump

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. Disasters pound North America in 2017; overall down globally
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | December 2017
“Disasters kill about 30,000 people and affect about 215 million people a year. This year’s estimated toll was lower — about 6,000 people killed and 75 million affected. Was it random chance, statistical quirk or better preparedness? Experts aren’t certain, but say perhaps it’s a little bit of each.”

2. Obama’s post-presidential life: what does his second act have in store?
By Tom McCarthy | The Guardian | December 2017
“‘There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president,’ said John Quincy Adams — but a year on, what to make of our most newly minted ex?”

3. Favorite Visual Stories Of 2017
By Emily Bogle | NPR | December 2017
“In 2017, politics dominated the news cycle along with the solar eclipse and hurricane coverage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.”

4. Margaret Atwood: the unlikely style soothsayer of 2017
By Hannah Marriott | The Guardian | December 2017
“Thanks to two hit adaptations of her books, the writer has had a big impact on fashion this year.”

5. Harvard student helps crack mystery of Inca code
By Cristela Guerra | The Boston Globe | December 2017
“The discovery could be a first step to unlocking far more Inca history.”

6. Humans can spot small signs of sickness at a glance, research suggests
By Nikola Davis | The Guardian | January 2018
“Humans may use a host of facial cues – visible just hours after an infection starts – to avoid contracting illnesses from others, study indicates.”

7. David Attenborough: I’ll retire if my work becomes substandard
By Graham Ruddick | The Guardian | January 2018
“In rare comments on subject of retirement, Blue Planet II narrator says physical problems could also force him to quit”

8. The ‘Nuclear Button’ Explained: For Starters, There’s No Button
By Russell Goldman | The New York Times | January 2018
“William Safire, the former New York Times columnist and presidential speechwriter, tracked the origin of the phrase ‘finger on the button’ to panic buttons found in World War II-era bombers. A pilot could ring a bell to signal that other crew members should jump from the plane because it had been damaged extensively. But the buttons were often triggered prematurely or unnecessarily by jittery pilots.”

9. Eudora Welty, The Art of Fiction No. 47
By Linda Kuehl | The Paris Review | Fall 1972
“Once the interview got underway, she grew more at ease. As she herself might say, she was ‘not unforthcoming.’ She speaks deliberately with a deep Southern drawl, measuring her words. She is extremely private and won’t reveal anything personal about herself.”

10. The Mystery of Mary Trump
By Michael Kruse | Politico Magazine | November/December 2017
“Donald Trump reveres his father but almost never talks about his mother. Why not?”
Also: Presidents and Their Moms, A Short History

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Raul Castro’s legacy / Tracking bad Texas weather / Wall Street in 2017 and Trump in 2018 / Maria and Puerto Rico / Stockbrokers and opiods

This week: Raul Castro’s legacy / Tracking bad Texas weather / Wall Street in 2017 and Trump in 2018 / Maria and Puerto Rico / Stockbrokers and opiods

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. What will be Raúl Castro’s legacy?
By Richard E. Feinberg | Brookings | December 2017
“Raúl initiated some policy innovations, deepened and consolidated others, and merely watched while forces beyond his control drove other changes. Regardless, these changes have paved the way for the successor generation of leaders — if they dare — to push Cuba forward into the 21st century.”

2. Web tools and apps to track weather emergencies in Texas
John Tedesco | August 2017
“Texas weather can be wild and dangerous … so here are some techniques that have helped me track the impact of storms, floods and other natural disasters in San Antonio and other parts of the state:”

3. The Wall Street epidemic being kept behind closed doors
By Gregory Bresiger | The New York Post | December 2017
“While the opioid epidemic ravages rural America, Wall Street is not immune to its scourge. In fact, given its unique pressures, the securities industry leaves its professionals particularly vulnerable to drug problems.”

4. Trump in 2018
Brookings | December 2017
“Brookings experts predict what President Trump’s second year in office will entail with regards to a wide range of policy areas.”
Also, from the Associated Press: Trump barrels into 2018 with fresh foreign fights on Twitter

5. Scrapyard or museum? After 10 years, still no firm plans for former carrier USS John F. Kennedy
By Joe Daraskevich | Florida Times-Union :: Stars & Stripes | December 2017
“The Navy recently removed the Kennedy from the list of ships earmarked for donation despite efforts in New England to display the vessel permanently. But the same group that tried to turn the Saratoga into a museum is still making a push to change the Navy’s mind, and another group is ready to jump in if they don’t’ succeed.”

6. The year of Trump has laid bare the US constitution’s serious flaws
By Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian | December 2017
“I once wrote a hymn of praise to the achievements of the founding fathers. There’s still much to celebrate — but their inspirational vision needs an urgent update.”

7. Everything Went Right for Markets in 2017 — Can That Continue?
By Corrie Driebusch | The Wall Street Journal | December 2017
“The market notched the most closing highs for the index in a single calendar year. Volatility swooned to historic lows and many global stock markets finished the year at or near records or multiyear highs.”

8. Cory Booker Loves Donald Trump
By Michael Kruse | Politico Magazine | November 2017
“The junior senator from New Jersey has a religious disdain for hateful rhetoric, even against his political enemies. Is he too nice to take on the president?”

9. Maria’s Bodies
By Mattathias Schwartz and Matt Black | New York Magazine | December 2017
“The hurricane in Puerto Rico has become a man-made disaster, with a death toll threatening to eclipse Katrina’s.”

10. The 20 Best Podcasts of 2017
By Emma Dibdin | Esquire | December 2017
“Whether you want to make sense of Trump’s America or pretend it’s not happening entirely, online broadcasting’s got your back.”