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.”

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

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

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”