Recommended reading / viewing / listening

More twins / Takes those meds / Wisdom from Damien Lewis / Healthier 2012 / How funny are you?

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. More US women having twins; rate at 1 in 30 babies
By Mike Stobbe | Associated Press | Jan. 4
“Some increase was expected as more women are delaying starting a family until they are over 30. For some unknown reason, mothers in their 30s are more likely to have twins than younger or older women.”

2. The books that shaped history: The Gutenberg Bible
By Melvyn Bragg | BBC News Magazine | Jan. 5
“The 15th-Century Gutenberg Bible changed the way books were received and read. It was the first real book to be mass-produced using movable type printing techniques – and so could be made in a fraction of the time it had previously taken scribes to write by hand.”

3. Taking your meds can save money, hospital trips
By Linda Johnson | Associated Press | Jan. 3
“Not filling prescriptions and even skipping doses can result in serious complications and lead to ER visits and hospital stays, even premature death.”

4. This much I know
By Tony Horkins | The Guardian | April 2009
“Damian Lewis, actor, 38, Los Angeles”

5. An Economist’s Guide to Dieting and Burning Calories
By Richard McKenzie | The Daily Beast | December 2011
“10 counterintuitive ideas to make calories more expensive and exercise more valuable in the New Year.”

6. Are You as Funny as You Think You Are?
By Susan K. Perry | Psychology Today | December 2011
“Not everything is equally amusing in the comedy writers’ room.”

7. Almonds for Calcium?
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | March 2010
“I have read that almonds are a good source of calcium and also that they can block calcium absorption. Which is correct?”

8. Before Hitler, Who Was the Stand-In for Pure Evil?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | October 2011
“The Egyptian Pharaoh, of course”

9. Five myths about NASA
By Eric Sterner | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | July 2011
“Today, many Americans have no memory of the moon landing, and NASA isn’t a source of pride but a budget line that needs to be cut. Why spend billions exploring an uninhabitable environment when many Americans don’t have health care? To understand the importance of our space program, it’s first necessary to debunk some misconceptions about what NASA is and how it operates.”

10. Civil War women: Anna Cora Mowatt
Civil War Women Blog | October 2011
“Anna Cora Mowatt (1819–1870) was an author, playwright and actress. She was the first upper-middle-class woman to make a career in the theater, and her successes helped to legitimize acting as an occupation for women. Mowatt is generally regarded as a significant contributor to the development of American drama.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Unfit college students / Putin’s dreams / Wisdom from Tony Bennett and Eddie Izzard / Nutritious acorns

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. Fitness often not a priority for college students
By Dorene Internicola | Reuters | Jan. 2
“Along with mother’s cooking and the family dog, regular exercise is too often among the childish things young adults leave behind when they make the move from home to college.”

2. Russia’s Putin dreams of sweeping Eurasian Union
By Peter Leonard | Associated Press | Jan. 3
“Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has a vision for a Soviet Union-lite he hopes will become a new Moscow-led global powerhouse. But, his planned Eurasian Union won’t be grounded in ideology: This time it’s about trade.”

3. This much I know
By Michael Odell | The Guardian | November 2008
“Tony Bennett, singer, 82, London”

4. This much I know
By Tom Templeton | The Guardian | January 2009
“Niall Ferguson, historian, 44, London”

5. Is the World Really Safer Without the Soviet Union?
By Mikhail Gorbachev | The Nation | Jan. 9
“What happened after the Soviet Union ended in 1991? Why were the opportunities to build what Pope John Paul II called a more stable, more just and more humane world order not realized?”

6. This much I know: Eddie Izzard
By Megan Conner | The Observer | December 2011
“The comedian, 49, on the Iron Man triathlon, spiders and doing stand-up in French”

7. A Call Against Arms
Activate :: Al Jazeera | November 2011
“Activist Sung Hee Choi is the leader of the resistance and, despite periods spent in detention and police brutality, she is determined to stop the project.”

8. Truth, Lies and Self-Deception
By Stephen A. Diamond | Psychology Today | November 2008
“None of us are beyond deceiving ourselves.”

9. Mighty Acorns
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | October 2009
“Can people eat acorns the way squirrels do?”

10. How Can You Increase Your IQ?
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | October 2011
“Stay in school (or just play some memory games)”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Allende’s suicide / Babymaking time / Cartels’ radio systems / Lazy in-laws / Fall of Berlin

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. Chile closes Allende case after confirming suicide
Associated Press | Dec. 29
“An international panel of experts convened by Judge Mario Carroza determined that Allende took his own life with an AK-47 while defending the presidential palace in Chile’s 1973 coup.”

2. It’s High Time for Conception: Studies Show Peak Times, Weather for Sex
By Anneli Rufus | The Daily Beast | Dec. 27
“Studies show the holiday season is prime time for baby making. Anneli Rufus reports on which day, at what time, and in what weather you stand the best chance of having sex.”

3. How to function after a sleepless night
By Ed Vanstone | Men’s Health | December 2011
“No sleep? No problem — if you follow our advice”

4. Gentleman’s Goal: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
By Patrick Wittwer | The Primer | September 2011
“After graduating college it’s easy to get caught in a rut. If you don’t make an active attempt at getting out of your comfort zone you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.”

5. Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system
By Michael Weissenstein | Associated Press | Dec. 26
“The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.”

6. Volcanic Cooling
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2009
“Could an increase in volcanic eruptions counter global warming with the resulting dust, smoke and debris?”

7. Revolutionary Daughters
By Kate Taunton | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“How two activists are challenging Indian society and transforming trafficked girls into the leaders of tomorrow.”

8. This Drone Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | Dec. 7
“Can unmanned spy planes be destroyed from afar?”

9. At the end of my tether with lazy, selfish, controlling in-laws
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“I get frustrated with both of them, but can’t live independently from my father-in-law for financial reasons. I wish I could give them a piece of my mind and make them shut up once and for all.”

10. The fall of Berlin
Witness :: BBC News | May 16
“The Red Army took control of the German capital Berlin, in May 1945. The Soviet soldiers had a terrifying reputation and civilians in their path feared looting and violence.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

How to pack / Voyager 1 / 9/11 myths / Iowa’s ad wars / Thatcher’s 1981 crisis

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. Guapura 101: How to pack for a long trip
By Sara Ines Calderon | NewsTaco | Dec. 26
“Many of us are either currently on a vacation, or will be taking one soon, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share a tip that I learned a few years ago that has made packing much easier.”

2. Iowa ad war: late starting but nasty
By Beth Fouhy | Associated Press | Dec. 29
“At least $12.5 million and counting has blanketed the airwaves ahead of next Tuesday’s Republican presidential caucuses, with hard-hitting commercials awash in ghoulish images and startling claims. Most are coming from a proliferation of new independent groups aligned with the candidates.”

3. Newly released files detail Thatcher’s 1981 crisis
By David Stringer | Associated Press | Dec. 29
“Official records for 1981 released by the National Archives depict a prime minister grappling with violent dissent, rising tensions in Northern Ireland and sharp criticism from her own allies. The papers were being made public just five days before the London premiere of ‘The Iron Lady,’ the film about Thatcher’s career starring Meryl Streep.”

4. Voyager 1 Speeds Toward The Brink Of Interstellar Space
By Bill Chappell | The Two-Way :: NPR | Dec. 28
“The craft is currently in what NASA calls, not undramatically, ‘the boundary between the solar wind from the Sun and the interstellar wind from death-explosions of other stars,’ an area that astrophysicists also call, less dramatically, a stagnation layer.”

5. Baby Bird Alert
By C. Claiborne Ray | Q&A :: The New York Times | July 2009
“When you find a baby bird on the ground, what should you do to rescue it?”

6. How to Stop a Multinational
By Rodrigo Vazquez | Activate :: Al Jazeera | October 2011
“Three Argentinians put themselves in harm’s way as they try to stop a gold mining company destroying their environment.”

7. DWI Versus DW-High
By Brian Palmer | Explainer :: Slate | Nov. 30
“Is it more dangerous to drive drunk or stoned?”

8. Five myths about 9/11
By Brian Michael Jenkins | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Sept. 2
“We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaeda launched its horrific attacks on the United States. In the decade since, no number of commissions, books, films and reports has been able to end the misconceptions about what 9/11 meant, America’s response to it and the nature of the ongoing threat.”

9. Civil War women: Olivia Clemens
Civil War Women Blog | Nov. 14
“Olivia Langdon Clemens was the wife of the famous American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, and was a major influence on his writing.”

10. Italian Bombing of Libya – 1911
Witness :: BBC News | May 10
“A young Italian flyer describes in a letter home how he mounted the world’s first ever aerial bombing run during an attack on Ottoman forces in Libya, in 1911.”