Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Healing in cold water / Selena thrives on TikTok / The benefits of oak trees / Microaggressions / Low tech interventions for loneliness

This week: Healing in cold water / Selena thrives on TikTok / The benefits of oak trees / Microaggressions / Low tech interventions for loneliness

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. Women Are Instrumental To Latin Music
By Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras | Alt Latino :: NPR | March 2021
“Latin music has a history of disenfranchising women. They’re often placed behind the mic or in the background — assuming they’re allowed to participate at all.”

2. Cold comfort: How cold water swimming cured my broken heart
By Wendell Steavenson | The Guardian | March 2021
“I never in a million years thought I would be a person who would enjoy swimming in cold water. I swam when the weather was hot, or did laps in indoor swimming pools; I spent a lot of time in the bath. I loved the water, but I was like a cat, I liked being warm more.”

3. Selena Is Still Alive on TikTok
By Daise Bedolla | The Cut :: New York Magazine | March 2021
“Selena impersonations are particularly popular around Halloween when fans and celebrities … transform themselves into la reina de Tejano. … But scroll through the app, and you’ll find much more than just impersonations.”

4. Why You Should Plant Oaks
By Margaret Roach | The New York Times | March 2021
“These large, long-lived trees support more life-forms than any other trees in North America. And they’re magnificent.”

5. In Hotter Climate, ‘Zombie’ Urchins Are Winning And Kelp Forests Are Losing
By Lauren Sommer | NPR | March 2021
“Kelp forests provide a crucial ecosystem for a broad range of other marine life and animals, so their demise threatens the ecology across the entire stretch of California coast.”

6. How Animal Intelligence Helps Us Speculate About the Alien Mind
By Arik Kershenbaum | Lit Hub | March 2021
“Intelligence evolves all the time to fit specific needs — it is not merely an inherited trait from the dawn of time.”

7. Microaggressions: Death by a Thousand Cuts
By Derald Wing Sue | Opinion :: Scientific American | March 2021
“The everyday slights, insults and offensive behaviors that people of marginalized groups experience in daily interactions cause real psychological harm”

8. Operation Intercept
By Christopher Rose, Joan Neuberger and Henry Wiencek | 15 Minute History :: UT Department of History | 2014-2020
Also see: Seven Skeletons | The Search for Family Lost in Slavery | Rethinking the Agricultural ‘Revolution’ | How Jews Translate the Bible and Why

9. Loneliness Is a Public Health Problem: This Low-Tech Intervention Can Help
By Kasra Zarei | Scientific American | March 2021
“Phone calls may be integral to connecting with people who are lonely and isolated”

10. Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow
By Melvyn Bragg | In Our Time :: BBC 4 | 2011-2019
Also see: The Druids | Xenophon | The Anatomy of Melancholy | Islamic Law and its Origins

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Old Tippecanoe / The Obama transformation / Goodbye to military meat / Date nights / What your bad dog ate

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. Commander in Chief: For 31 Days
By Gail Collins | Command Post | Feb. 9
“William Henry Harrison arrived in Washington to huge crowds and a snowstorm on February 9, his sixty-eighth birthday.”

2. The political transformation of Barack Obama
By Jim Vandehei | Politico | Feb. 9
“It’s debatable whether Obama is more crudely political than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan. But what’s transpired over the past several weeks isn’t debatable: He’s made a series of calculated, overtly political gestures that are far more transactional than transformational.”

3. Life in Antarctic lake? It’s everywhere else
By Seth Borenstein | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“If scientists find microbes in a frigid lake two miles beneath the thick ice of Antarctica, it will illustrate once again that somehow life finds a way to survive in the strangest and harshest places. And it will offer hope that life exists beyond Earth.”

4. Hold the mystery meat: Military food gets upgrade
By Nancy Benac | Associated Press | Feb. 9
“Hold the mystery meat: Military bases will soon be serving more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dishes under the first program in 20 years to improve nutrition standards across the armed services.”

5. Date Nights: They Make Your Marriage Work
By Tamy Nelson | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“But dates don’t have to be complicated; in fact, some of my suggestions for dates may surprise you.”

6. The FBI files of the rich and famous
By Daniel Nasaw | BBC News Magazine | Feb. 9
“The FBI has released its investigative file on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Who else did its agents keep tabs on, and why?”

7. Sh*t My Pets Ruined
By Katia McGlynn | The Huffington Post | Feb. 9
“Anyone who’s ever come home to find food, furniture, shoes or other household items destroyed by a pet knows it’s a conflicting feeling.”

8. Galveston Makes Lemonade
By Sonia Smith | Texas Monthly | February 2012
“After the island lost more than 35,000 trees to Hurricane Ike, a group of artists carved 35 stumps into beautiful and intricate sculptures.”

9. Rereading: The Tunnel by Ernesto Sábato
By Colm Toibin | The Guardian | May 21
“The Argentinian writer’s work explored his country’s darkest days and helped to bring the military regime to account”

10. Five myths about why the South seceded
By James W. Loewen | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | Feb. 25
“As the nation begins to commemorate the anniversaries of the war’s various battles — from Fort Sumter to Appomattox — let’s first dispense with some of the more prevalent myths about why it all began.”