Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The mayoral presidency / Make yourself charming / Turkey and Kurdish culture / The new intellectual / Celebrating ‘The Sopranos’

This week: The mayoral presidency / Make yourself charming / Turkey and Kurdish culture / The new intellectual / Celebrating ‘The Sopranos’

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. America’s Mayor
By Jack Shafer | Politico | July/August 2017
“The 45th president is trying to run the White House like it’s city hall.”

2. Volcano Forecast? New Technique Could Better Predict Eruptions
By Annie Sneed | Scientific American | June 29
“Taking a cue from weather forecasters, researchers combine satellite measurements and models in attempt to predict volcanic activity”

3. The tricks to make yourself effortlessly charming
By Tiffanie Wen | Capital :: BBC News | June 28
“From the first moment you walk into a room people are making judgements about how much they like you. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your chances”

4. Amid Turkey’s Purge, a Renewed Attack on Kurdish Culture
By Patrick Kingsley | The New York Times | June 29
“Since the founding of the Turkish republic in 1923, which enshrined a monocultural national identity, the country’s sizable Kurdish minority — around 20 percent of the population — has often been banned from expressing its own culture or, at times, from speaking the Kurdish language.”

5. The Rise of the Thought Leader
By David Sessions | The New Republic | June 28
“How the superrich have funded a new class of intellectual.”

6. How Frank Lloyd Wright changed architecture
By Anthony Paletta | 1843 :: The Economist | June 28
“A gripping exhibition in New York unearths fresh insights into his work”

7. The Sopranos: 10 years since it finished, it’s still the most masterful show ever
By David Stubbs | The Guardian | June 8
“It’s been a decade since that final, agonisingly tense Soprano sitdown — and TV is still in thrall to this remarkably human, and inhuman, drama”

8. Why is One Hundred Years of Solitude Eternally Beloved?
By Scott Esposito | LitHub | June 6
“At 50 Years Old, García Márquez’s Masterpiece is as Important As Ever”

9. Will Trump’s presidency finally kill the myth of the special relationship?
By Geoffrey Wheatcroft | The Guardian | February 2017
“Ever since Winston Churchill invented it in 1946, successive prime ministers have discovered that the bond between the US and UK is anything but sacred. So, why does this absurd idea refuse to go away?”

10. Q&A: ‘Honey badger’ Brian Karem on taking a stand in White House press room
By Justin Ray | Columbia Journalism Review | June 28
“We talked to Karem about his experiences inside the White House press corps, reactions to his interjection, and the lesson he hopes journalists learn from the confrontation.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Saliva and our history / Research your home’s past / Purging to remake Turkey / Meet Dina Powell / Assad and U.S. presidents / LBJ and the Secret Service

This week: Saliva and our history / Research your home’s past / Purging to remake Turkey / Meet Dina Powell / Assad and U.S. presidents / LBJ and the Secret Service

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 770,000 Tubes of Saliva Reveal About America
Ancestry.com | April 2017
“This unique map shows this country’s great migrations, the echoes of our pioneer ancestors in our genes today.”

2. Has Trump Gone Washington?
By Niall Stanage | The Memo :: The Hill | April 15
“The Trump diehards are queasy at the notion that a president who ran as a proud outsider might be co-opted by a Washington establishment they loathe.”

3. Inside Turkey’s Purge
By Suzy Hansen | The New York Times Magazine | April 13
“As the ruling party expands the ranks of its enemies, life in a fragile democracy becomes stranger and stranger.”

4. How to research a property’s history using Bexar County’s free records search
By John Tedesco | JohnTedesco.net | November 2009
“Here you can search foreclosure notices, marriage licenses, business records — life’s important moments, all documented and filed at the county courthouse.”

5. Who’s Dina Powell? A rising Trump national security figure
By Catherine Lucey | Associated Press | April 13
“An Egyptian-American with international experience and fluency in Arabic, she was soon moved to the National Security Council, though she retains her economic title.”

6. Turkey will never be the same after this vote
By Henri Barkey | The Washington Post | April 11
“The consequences for Turkey are simple: A ‘no’ vote could potentially unleash a period of profound uncertainty and instability. By contrast, a ‘yes’ vote would institutionalize a populist authoritarian system that risks cataclysmic collapse …”

7. The Assad Family: Nemesis of Nine U.S. Presidents
By Robin Wright | The New Yorker | April 11
“Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have coaxed and cajoled, prodded and praised, and, most recently, confronted and condemned the Assads to induce policy changes.”

8. Can a coin dropped from the Empire State Building kill you?
By Reed Tucker | The New York Post | April 1
“From tumbling air conditioners to defective sidewalk grates to deli salad-bar tuna, there’s a random death potentially waiting around every corner in New York City.”

9. The spy who couldn’t spell: how the biggest heist in the history of US espionage was foiled
By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee | The Guardian | October 2016
“Ever since childhood, Brian Regan had been made to feel stupid because of his severe dyslexia. So he thought no one would suspect him of stealing secrets”

10. L.B.J.’s Bravado and a Secret Service Under Scrutiny
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | October 2014
“Johnson built an excellent relationship with the Secret Service. But as early as the week after the Dallas assassination, the F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover, who was an old Johnson friend and Washington neighbor, tried to sow seeds of doubt in the president’s mind about the service.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: George Michael dies / 2016’s best science stories / Texas and Planned Parenthood / What men should know by 22 / Plantations and public history

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This week: George Michael dies / 2016’s best science stories / Texas and Planned Parenthood / What men should know by 22 / Plantations and public history

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. Ex-Wham singer George Michael dies
BBC News | Dec. 25
“The star … is said to have ‘passed away peacefully at home.’ … Police say there were no suspicious circumstances.”

2. Ordered Deported, Berlin Suspect Slipped Through Germany’s Fingers
By Alison Smale, Carlotta Gall, and Gaia Pianigiani | The New York Times | Dec. 22
“Amri’s life and odyssey underscore a vexing problem, common in Europe: how to handle hundreds of thousands of virtually stateless wanderers who are either unwilling or unable to return home.”

3. ‘Life disappeared before my eyes’: photographer describes killing of Russian ambassador
By Burhan Ozbilici | The Guardian | Dec. 19
“Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici went to view an exhibition in Ankara but instead witnessed the assassination of Andrei Karlov”
Also, from the Associated Press: A look at the most significant attacks in Turkey in 2016

4. The Most Popular Science Stories of 2016
By Andrea Gawrylewski | Scientific American | Dec. 19
“The presidential election took center stage, but our readers were also fascinated by everything from particle physics and rage disorder to autism in girls and the polar vortex”

5. The Best TV Performances of 2016
By Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg | The Hollywood Reporter | Dec. 20
Sadness, fear, strength, vulnerability — 2016 had an incredible array of acting achievements.

6. Texas officially kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid
By Alexa Ura | The Texas Tribune | Dec. 20
“Planned Parenthood had previously received $3.1 million in Medicaid funding, but those dollars will be nixed in 30 days …”

7. 22 Things Men Should Know By Age 22
By Todd Brison | Medium | Dec. 15
“Most of the people in your life now will not be there in 5 years. Tell them how much they matter to you today.”

8. The Plantation Tour Disaster: Teaching Slavery, Memory, and Public History
By Niels Eichhorn | Muster :: Journal of the Civil War Era | Dec. 5
“Regardless whether a plantation does or does not cover slavery, they provide an interesting mechanism to teach about the institutions of the Old South, collective memory, and public history.”

9. Mexico: The Cauldron of Modernism
By J. Hoberman | NYR Daily :: The New York Review of Books | Dec. 12
“To a degree, ‘Paint the Revolution’ is the story of the three star muralists, Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, who along with the posthumously canonized Frida Kahlo, defined the new Mexican art.”

10. From White Knight to Thief
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | September 2014
“At the start of the terrifying market plunge of October 1929, he had bravely helped shore up the market by parading around the exchange floor, placing bids for shares of U.S. Steel, as well as other blue-chip holdings.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Impeachment right out of the gate / Saving Houston from hurricanes / Turkey won’t spark WWIII / The Twitter essay / Pregnancy changes the brain

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This week: Impeachment right out of the gate / Saving Houston from hurricanes / Turkey won’t spark WWIII / The Twitter essay / Pregnancy changes the brain

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 Case for Donald Trump’s Impeachability
By Jesse Singal | Daily Intelligencer :: New York Magazine | Dec. 20
“Republicans control Congress now. … But [should] Trump’s popularity slip low enough, or should some new scandal engulf him, maybe the political calculus will change, too.”

2. Hell and High Water
By Neena Satija, Kiah Collier, Al Shaw, and Jeff Larson | The Texas Tribune, Reveal, and ProPublica | March 2016
“Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it’s a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Learn why Texas isn’t ready.”
December 2016 update: Obama signs bill that may boost Texas hurricane protection study

3. This Isn’t 1914, and the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Isn’t Franz Ferdinand
By Joshua Keating | Slate | Dec. 19
“What appears to be an attack by an extremist against a Russian diplomat on Turkish soil will provide a pretext for closer cooperation rather than conflict.”

4. In Defense of the Twitter Essay
By Jeet Heer | New Republic | Dec. 19
“Some find it obnoxious, but threading tweets is a unique writing form that creates vibrant, democratic conversations.”

5. Sigourney Weaver: ‘I’m asked to play awful people all the time’
By Emma Brockes | The Guardian | Dec. 17
“Her parents thought she was an unlikely star, but decades after Alien, Sigourney Weaver is still in the spotlight, with more monster-wrestling on the way”

6. Pregnancy Causes Lasting Changes in a Woman’s Brain
By Catherine Caruso | Scientific American | Dec. 19
“New mothers showed evidence of neural remodeling up to two years after giving birth”

7. Scanning reveals what pregnancy does to a mother’s brain
The Economist | Dec. 19
“New mothers experience reduction in the volume of grey matter in their brains”

8. The Man Behind the Most Important Chart of 2016
By James Watkins | Ozy.com | Dec. 19
“Because he can explain the appeal of Trump, Bernie, Brexit and all the rest of it in one chart.”

9. A perfect storm: Margaret Atwood on rewriting Shakespeare’s Tempest
By Margaret Atwood | The Guardian | September 2016
“How do you update a play about a castaway sorcerer, a malevolent creature and an air spirit?”

10. Locations of Presidential TV Speeches Can Give Signals
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | September 2014
“Truman began a tradition in which presidents have been inclined to deliver some of their most important addresses into the TV camera from [the Oval Office] — most memorably, John Kennedy on Oct. 22, 1962, revealing that there were Soviet missiles in Cuba and describing his response, and Richard Nixon on Aug. 8, 1974, resigning the presidency.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: A Civil War quiz / Google’s underwater Street View / The man who saved Paris from the Nazis / Slave ship discovered / Hepburn the fashion icon

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This week: A Civil War quiz / Google’s underwater Street View / The man who saved Paris from the Nazis / Slave ship discovered / Hepburn the fashion icon

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. What Do You Know? A Civil War Pop Quiz.
By Megan Kate Nelson | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 4
“Where was the westernmost battle of the Civil War fought? Who issued the first Emancipation Proclamation? Who burned Atlanta?”

2. Three Steps on Perry’s Comeback Trail
By Ross Ramsey | The Texas Tribune | June 4
“The road ahead of Rick Perry is a difficult one, but it’s not that complicated. And the number of candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination helps him more than it hurts. If he can take care of three things, the former Texas governor will still be a presidential candidate at the start of 2016.”

3. Don’t Overthink It, Less Is More When It Comes to Creativity
By Jessica Schmerler | Scientific American | May 2015
“If the cerebellum plays a role in creativity, it could alter our understanding of how the brain functions.”

4. Google Street View goes underwater
Ny Nick Lavars | Gizmag | June 5
“In an effort to raise awareness ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8, Google has expanded its Street View service to let users explore a range of stunning coastal and underwater scenes.”

5. Paris Saved by a Bullitt
By Sam Roberts | Snapshot :: Foreign Affairs | June 2
“[O]n this 75th anniversary of the Fall of Paris, a close reading of [U.S. Ambassador William Bullitt’s] private papers, many of which have never been available to biographers before, and the personal accounts of several of his most intimate confidants, demonstrate conclusively that the characteristics that grated most on his critics — his cavalier cocksureness, his ambition, his relentless fraternizing with the French, and his unflagging faith in America’s global obligations — were exactly what the moment demanded.”

6. Grim History Traced in Sunken Slave Ship Found Off South Africa
By Helene Cooper | The New York Times | May 31
“The story of the São José, like the slave trade itself, spanned continents and oceans, from fishing villages in Africa to sheikhdoms where powerful chiefs plotted with European traders to traffic in human beings to work on plantations in the New World.”

7. Turkey’s Erdogan challenges opposition to find his golden toilet seat
By Humeyra Pamuk and Nick Tattersall | Oddly Enough :: Reuters | June 1
“Irritated by accusations of lavishness, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to resign if the leader of the main opposition can find a single golden toilet seat in his vast new palace.”

8. The Wife Bonus Is Imperfect, But It’s Not Prostitution
By Phoebe Maltz Bovy | New Republic | May 31
“It doesn’t suddenly become a form of prostitution if, temporarily or even permanently, the female partner in an opposite-sex relationship is the substantially lower earner, or is not working outside the home.”

9. How Katharine Hepburn Became a Fashion Icon
By Amy Henderson | Smithsonian.com | May 2015
“Hepburn was part of the post-suffrage generation of women, and her screen persona resonated with that generation’s modern spirit of independence. Despite RKO’s determination to brand her otherwise, Hepburn succeeded in inventing herself.”

10. For Incarcerated Japanese-Americans, Baseball Was ‘Wearing the American Flag’
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | June 2014
“By 1943, when some of those in the relocation camps were allowed to volunteer for war service, some of the ballplayers joined the Army’s almost all-Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which suffered grievous casualties in Europe and came to be called the most decorated military unit in American history.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / Search for the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

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This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / The race to find the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Donald Rumsfeld Hasn’t Learned a Damn Thing
By James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang | Politico Magazine | April 4
“Bush’s unrepentant defense secretary and the dark art of B.S.”

2. Clock ticking on search to find Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s black box
By Swati Pandey | Thomseon Reuters | April 4
“On Monday, it will be 30 days since the jetliner lost communications and disappeared from civilian radar.”

3. Letterman Wasn’t That Funny, Which Is Exactly Why He Matters
By Isaac Chotiner | The New Republic | April 4
“I can’t think of a mass cultural figure of such large importance who was so committed to his own idea of artistic integrity.”

4. Are We Entering a Golden Age of the Second Novel?
By Bill Morris | The Millions | April 4
“Writers get only one shot at becoming The Next Big Thing, which, to too many publishers, is The Only Thing. Failure to do so can carry a wicked and long-lasting sting.”

5. The Work Hitler Despised and the One from Above His Fireplace
By R.C. Baker | The Village Voice | April 2
“The art of hate.”

6. Allegheny Arsenal Explosion
By Maggie MacLean | Civil War Women | April 3
“On September 17, 1862, seventy-eight girls and young women were killed in an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — the worst civilian disaster of the Civil War.”

7. Bush 41 Reunion Looks to Burnish His Legacy
By Peter Baker | The New York Times | April 3
“This seems to be a season for presidential rehabilitation, if not for the incumbent then for his predecessors.”

8. Karzai Is Trying to Keep His Sway After Term Ends
By Matthew Rosenberg | The New York Times | April 3
“American officials have ignored him, and Afghanistan’s presidential contenders have tried to persuade voters that they will be different from him. But those hoping to see President Hamid Karzai slip into a quiet retirement may be disappointed in the months to come.”

9. Dynasty Isn’t Just for Monarchies Anymore
By Larry J. Sabato | Politico Magazine | March 31
“A Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 would hardly be unusual. American politics is more of a family affair than you think.”

10. Turkey Goes Out of Control
By Christopher de Bellaigue | The New York Review of Books | April 3
“Large parts of the civil service have been eviscerated, much of the media has been reduced to unthinking carriers of politically motivated revelation and innuendo, and the economy has slowed down after a decade of strong growth. The Turkish miracle is over.”

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

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. ZZ Top — Whats Up With That
2. Eddie Turner — I’m A Man
3. Carolyn Wonderland — Ain’t Nobody’s Business
4. Guitar Shorty — A Little Less Conversation
5. Jimi Hendrix — Electric Church Red House
6. Paul Rodgers — Walk In My Shadow
7. North Mississippi Allstars — Shake (Yo Mama)
8. Too Slim And The Taildraggers — Mexico
9. Walter Trout — May Be A Fool
10. The Black Keys — Hurt Like Mine
11. R.L Burnside — Goin Down South
12. Janiva Magness — Slipped,Tripped And Fell
13. Steve Miller — Driven Wheel
14. Bo Cox — Gone

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Kids of deported parents / Celebrating Neil Armstrong / English born in Turkey? / The dangerous sex study

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.

1. Parents deported, what happens to US-born kids?
By Helen O’Neill | Associated Press | Aug. 25
“It’s a question thousands of other families are wrestling with as a record number of deportations means record numbers of American children being left without a parent.”

2. Made ‘Giant Leap’ as First Man to Step on Moon
By John Noble Wilford | The New York Times | Aug. 25
“Charles F. Bolden Jr., the current NASA administrator, said, ‘As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.'”

3. NASA’s pioneering astronauts: Where are they now?
Associated Press | Aug. 26
“As space exploration has become more common and the number of astronauts has risen past 300, many names have faded into the background. But some will forever be associated with the golden age of space exploration.”
Also see: 12 men who walked on the moon, from 1969 to 1972 | Key dates in history of space exploration

4. Calls to grant astronaut Neil Armstrong a state funeral
By Adam Lusher and Matthew Holehouse | The Daily Telegraph | Aug. 26
“A state funeral would typically involve pallbearers from five branches of the US Armed Forces, a series of artillery salutes, a flypast and a number of bands and choirs.”

5. Neil Armstrong: ‘Diffident’ emissary of mankind
By Paul Rincon | BBC News | Aug. 25
“After smiling and waving through the ticker tape parades, public audiences and television interviews, Armstrong stepped out of the spotlight and tried to rediscover the obscurity from which he had emerged.”

6. Before landing on the moon, Armstrong trained as a pilot in Corpus Christi
By Katherine Rosenberg | Corpus Christi Caller-Times | Aug. 25
“He racked up flight hours at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi in 1950. …”

7. Tania Luna: My story of gratitude
TED New York | July 2012
“Tania Luna co-founded Surprise Industries, the world’s only company devoted to designing surprise experiences.”

8. English language ‘originated in Turkey’
By Jonathan Ball | BBC News | Aug. 25
“The New Zealand researchers used methods developed to study virus epidemics to create family trees of ancient and modern Indo-European tongues to pinpoint where and when the language family first arose.”

9. The End of the Gutbuster
By Pat Leonard | Disunion :: The New York Times | July 5
“The soldiers could not have known then, and would not know until years later, the immense impact on their lives that would be wielded by the single unassuming officer who entered their camps that day.”

10. Every man’s favorite sex study
By Tracy Clark-Flory | Salon | Aug. 25
“The headlines were provocative: Semen cures depression! But the study is 10 years old, and far from conclusive”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Olympics beefcake / Gore Vidal’s career as a dramatist, plus a reading list / Detroit, the dumping ground / Human sculpture found in Turkey /

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.

1. The Olympics or Soft Porn? Female, Gay Fans Gawking at Male Athletes
By Tricia Romano | The Daily Beast | Aug. 3
“From Ryan Lochte to Tom Daley, the Web is awash with lascivious pictures of the men of the London Games. Did ‘Magic Mike’ set the stage for the worldwide gawkfest?”

2. Amazon Rainforest Gets Half Its Nutrients From a Single, Tiny Spot in the Sahara
By Alexis Madrigal | The Atlantic | Aug. 2
“At 17,100 square miles, the area is about a third of the size of Florida or 0.5 percent the size of the Amazon basin it supplies.”

3. Ben-Gore
By F.X. Feeney | Los Angeles Review of Books | Aug. 1
“There is an almost violent difference in scale and power between the novels that preceded [Vidal’s] career as a dramatist and those which come after.”

4. Washington’s War on Leaks, Explained
By Cora Currier | ProPublica | Aug. 2
“Leaks, of course, are nothing new in Washington, but now the Senate has jumped into the fray, with a new proposal to tighten control over the flow of information between intelligence agencies and the press.”

5. Gore Vidal’s reading list for America
By Michael Winship | Salon | Aug. 2
“The author’s recommendations were as brilliant and eccentric as he was”

6. Vacant Detroit becomes a dumping ground for the dead
By Corey Williams | Associated Press | Aug. 2
“It’s a pattern made possible by more than four decades of urban decay and suburban flight.”

7. Jonathan Harris: the Web’s secret stories
TED | July 2007
“With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we’re all feeling and looking for.”

8. Archeologists Unearth Extraordinary Human Sculpture in Turkey
Science Daily | July 30
“A beautiful and colossal human sculpture is one of the latest cultural treasures unearthed by an international team at the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) excavation site in southeastern Turkey.”

9. Fighting for Nightfall
By Will Hickox | Disunion :: The New York Times | June 27
“Rather than securing the rest they badly needed, the exhausted soldiers of Col. Elisha G. Marshall’s 13th New York Infantry began building breastworks.”

10. Civil Rights Era Almost Split CBS News Operation
By Walter Cronkite | NPR | May 2005
“Walter Cronkite recalls CBS-TV coverage of civil rights in the 1950s, and how it threatened to divide the news department from network management.”

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

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

1. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band — Watch It
2. Blackfoot — Sunshine Again
3. Susan Tedeschi — There’s A Break In The Road
4. Wiser Time — Devided
5. Curtis Salgado — Wiggle Outa This
6. Elvin Bishop — Midnight Hour Blues
7. Storyville — Fairplay
8. Chris Rea — Houston Angel
9. George Thorogood — I Drink Alone
10. Travis Tritt — The Storm
11. Flophouse — Everything Is Cool
12. The Stoney Curtis Band — Hard Livin’

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Latino voting power / Fish pedicures / Sinan, the starchitect / Richard Nixon’s five wars / The end of ‘Mad Men’

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.

1. Latino Growth Not Fully Felt at Voting Booth
By Adam Nagourney | The New York Times | June 9
“Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support.”

2. Check Out All These Awesome Interpretations of the Old Twitter Logo
By Jesus Diaz | Gizmodo | June 10
“The new Twitter logo is anything you want it to be if you are a genius illustrator like Ape Lad.”

3. Baghdad Spa Offers Fish Pedicures
By Kay Johnson | The Huffington Post | June 10
“Dozens of beauty salons, cosmetic surgery centers and other enterprises have sprung up to cash in on war-weary Iraqis looking for pampering.”

4. Life returning to normal on Giglio Island after Costa Concordia
By Carolyn Lyons | The Los Angeles Times | June 10
“Giglio, a tiny vacation island off the Tuscany coast, is dotted with charming villages, clean beaches, quiet accommodations and waterside trattorias.”

5. Tracking Turkey’s First Starchitect
By Andrew Ferren | The New York Times | June 8
“Sinan (circa 1490-1588) was chief architect and civil engineer of the Ottoman Empire, working when the empire was at its apogee; his employers, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his heirs, were the most powerful men on earth.”

6. 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought
By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward | The Washington Post | June 8
“What was Watergate? It was Nixon’s five wars.”

7. As army grows, a unit highlights the challenges
By Kathy Gannon | Associated Press | June 10
“No one denies the Afghan National Army has an equipment problem. President Hamid Karzai says he is disturbed by problems such as the helmet shortage. The U.S. is providing the army with new, lighter helmets, but not all the soldiers have them.”

8. America’s Last Prisoner of War
By Michael Hastings | Rolling Stone | June 7
“Three years ago, a 23-year-old soldier walked off his base in Afghanistan and into the hands of the Taliban. Now he’s a crucial pawn in negotiations to end the war. Will the Pentagon leave a man behind?”

9. ‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner Reflects on the Season So Far
By Dave Itzkoff | Arts Beat :: The New York Times | June 10
“What are the long-term marital prospects for Megan and Don Draper? Will we ever see Peggy Olson again? How is everyone at the office coping with the sad fate of Lane Pryce?”

10. 12 Coolest Ridley Scott Moments
By Keith Staskiewicz | Entertainment Weekly | June 8
“Popping an alien through a chest; putting a hammer to Big Brother; revving up the stakes for ‘Thelma and Louise’; and more gems from the ‘Prometheus’ director”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. GIVE A DEMONSTRATION (Grant Phabao remix) Big Daddy Kane, Conne Price and the Keystones
2. BACK TO THE HOTEL N2Deep
3. IT WAS A GOOD DAY Ice Cube
4. SMOOTH Tha Dogg Pound
5. BE FAITHFUL Crooklyn Clan & Fatman Scoop
6. NASTY GIRL Avery Storm, Jagged Edge, Nelly, P. Diddy & The Notorious B.I.G.
7. NAS’ ANGELS Nas & Pharrell Williams
8. MO MONEY MORE PROBLEMS Mase, Puff Daddy & The Notorious B.I.G.
9. HEAD SPRUNG LL Cool J
10. HEY MAMA Black Eyed Peas

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Texas influence / Children of depressed parents / Illustrating gay rights / New Lincoln find / Women and ‘Alien’

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.

1. Gail Collins: Texas runs America
By Kyrie O’Connor | Salon | June 9
“In a Salon interview, the New York Times writer who made Mitt’s dog famous takes dead aim at the Lone Star State”

2. Should Depressed People Avoid Having Children?
By Maia Szalavitz | Healthland :: Time | June 5
“Do people with depression or other psychological problems have any moral obligation to forgo bearing children in order to avoid passing on their ‘bad’ genes?”

3. Gay rights in the US, state by state
The Guardian | May 8
“Gay rights laws in America have evolved to allow — but in some cases ban — rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, housing, employment and school bullying.”

4. ‘O Doctor, do what you can,’ Lincoln’s wife pleaded, says new find
By Richard Simon | The Chicago Tribune | June 5
“The 21-page handwritten copy of [Charles A.]Leale’s report was discovered about two weeks ago by researcher Helena Iles Papaioannou while she was poring through records at the National Archives in Washington.”

5. Woman: The Other Alien in ‘Alien’
By Tom Shone | Slate | June 6
“Why are academics so obsessed with Ridley Scott’s movie and its sequels? Plus: An ‘Alien’ bibliography.”

6. ‘Mad Men’s’ Jared Harris on Lane’s Shocking [SPOILER ALERT]
By Gwynne Watkins | The Stream :: GQ | June 4
“Lane Pryce was a tragic character from the beginning, a bumbling sadsack of an Englishman who desperately craved the respect he had never received from his employers, his father, his wife, or his coworkers.”

7. Team of Mascots
By Todd S. Purdum | Vanity Fair | July 2012
“Four years ago, Barack Obama said he wanted a Lincoln-esque “team of rivals” in his Cabinet. Thanks to his own temperament, the modern White House, and the 24-hour news cycle, what the president has created is something that doesn’t look Lincoln-esque at all.”

8. Obama’s friend in Turkey
By David Ignatius | The Washington Post | June 7
“Turkey’s ascendancy in the region may seem obvious now, but it was less so in 2009, when Obama began working to build a special relationship.”

9. 10 Reasons Why Cormac McCarthy Is A Badass
By David McMillan | Thought Catalog | June 5
“McCarthy is a poetic storyteller whose challenging novels explore themes of violence, good and evil, and human survival.”

10. 11 Sneaky Ways People Use to Ruin Their Relationships
By Stephen J. Betchen | Psychology Today | June 4
“What pulled you together may be pulling you apart.”

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

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CAFE Eddie Palmieri
2. AZUCAR DE CANA Trio Los Chasquis
3. I DECREE PEACE Aurah
4. OYE EL CONSEJO Ibrahim Ferrer
5. CHAN CHAN Buena Vista Social Club
6. BALDERRAMA Mercedes Sosa
7. HAPPY Bruce Springsteen
8. PRETTY BALLERINA The Left Banke
9. FOCUS ON SIGHT Thievery Corporation
10. HOME Zero 7