Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Surprise Google street views / Man stays in motel with corpse / Spanking children / ‘Downton’ creator on the end / Obama’s secret army

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. U.S. Special Ops Forces Killed in African Spy Plane Crash
By Spencer Ackerman | Danger Room :: Wired | Feb. 20
“Four Air Force Special Operators on a spy mission over east Africa died when their U-28 plane crashed as it was returning to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. It’s another reminder of the hidden costs of the U.S.’ expanding shadow wars in Africa.”

2. The street views Google wasn’t expecting you to see — in pictures
The Guardian | Feb. 20
“Artist Jon Rafman’s photo project The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, named after the nine lenses mounted on a Google Street View car, collects the strange and beautiful images they capture by accident from around the world.”

3. Man Stayed In Motel Room With Girlfriend’s Corpse For 2 Days
The Huffington Post | Feb. 20
“A suburban Chicago man faces several felony charges after allegedly staying in a Joliet, Ill. motel room with his dead girlfriend’s corpse for two days — and buying alcohol with her money instead of immediately notifying authorities.”

4. US Interventions in the World since WWII
By Juan Cole | Informed Comment | Feb. 20
An interactive graphic explores the dozens of incidents since the Cold War began.

5. Spanking may worsen a child’s aggression
By Deborah Kotz | The Boston Globe | Feb. 13
“As the mother of two sons, I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to break up one of their physical fights with a smack on their bottoms. I’ve been able to hold myself back, and that’s likely a good thing. …”

6. Julian Fellowes Overcomes His Scruples and Looks Back at Season 2 of ‘Downton Abbey’
By Dave Itzkoff | ArtsBeat :: The New York Times | Feb. 19
“[He] spoke about the many story lines at play in Season 2; the American television series he is influenced by; and when, if ever, ‘Downton Abbey’ might come to a conclusion.”

7. WikiLeaks, a Postscript
By Bill Keller | The New York Times | Feb. 19
“It was a hell of a story and a wild collaboration, but it did not herald, as the documentarians yearn to believe, some new digital age of transparency. In fact, if there is a larger point, it is quite the contrary.”

8. In ‘Downton Abbey,’ a Glimpse of Texas’ Energy Future
By Terrence Henry | The Texas Tribune | Feb. 20
“While dealing with the intricacies and politics of inheritance, servile romance and afternoon tea, the characters of the show also have to adapt to a time of rapid innovation.”

9. Navy SEALs: Obama’s Secret Army
By Daniel Klaidman | The Daily Beast | Feb. 20
“At a time when many Americans think their government is inept, the ‘Special Operators’ get the job done. Just ask the President, who is doubling down on the Navy SEALs.”

10. Making History: Christopher Heaney
By Jen Eckel | Not Even Past | Feb. 7
“In the interview, Christopher tells us about how he stumbled upon Hiram Bingham, the subject of his undergraduate thesis and first book, and how he combined his love of archaeology and history to become a historian of Latin American history.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CHASE Jan Hammer
2. ONE MORE NIGHT Phil Collins
3. GOD MOVING OVER THE FACE OF THE WATERS Moby
4. THE TALK Jan Hammer
5. THE BOYS OF SUMMER Don Henley
6. VOICES Russ Ballard
7. DRIVE The Cars
8. YOU BELONG TO THE CITY Glenn Frey
9. EVAN Jan Hammer
10. DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER Crowded House

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Condi’s life / Returning stuff / Flight attendants don’t hate you / Obama’s foreign policy / Being unsociable

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. Take that back! Returns are big for the holidays
By Anne D’Innocenzio | Associated Press | Dec. 14
“People who rushed to snag discounts on TVs, toys and other gifts are quickly returning them for much-needed cash. The shopping season started out strong for stores, but it looks like the spending binge has given way to a holiday hangover.”

2. The Rocky Ascent of Condoleezza Rice
By Joseph Lelyveld | The New York Review of Books | Dec. 22
“What she carries is the albatross of Iraq and her shaky, complicit performance in the White House as national security adviser, which is only partially offset by her gradual emergence as a reasonably effective foreign policymaker in her own right as secretary of state.”

3. Iraq, a War Obama Didn’t Want, Shaped His Foreign Policy
By Mark Lander | The New York Times | Dec. 17
“[T]he lessons of that war still hang over the administration’s foreign policy — shaping, and sometimes limiting, how the president projects American power in the world. ”

4. Why Can’t Linda Carswell Get Her Husband’s Heart Back?
By Marshall Allen | ProPublica | Dec. 15
“Grief-stricken families like the Carswells desperately want the answers that an autopsy can provide. But they often do not know their rights in dealing with either coroners or medical examiners, who investigate unnatural deaths, or health-care providers, who delve into natural ones.”

5. I’m unsociable and scared of new environments
Troubleshooter :: The Yomiuri Shimbun | Dec. 16
“When I think of the future, I feel uneasy. I know I’m being immature. How can I become more active?”

6. Q&A: Playing YouTube Videos on the TV
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 23
“Q: Is it possible to connect my iPad to the TV and play videos from the YouTube app on the TV?”

7. US foreign policy, Republican style
Al-Jazeera English | Dec. 17
“What are the common themes and divisions among Republican presidential candidate front-runners on US foreign policy?”

8. Army: Manning Kept a Copy of His Chatroom Confession
By Kim Zetter | Threat Level :: Wired | Dec. 18
“Forensic investigators searching Bradley Manning’s computers and removable media found a full log of the online chats Manning conducted with former hacker Adrian Lamo in which Manning described his alleged leaking of classified information. …”

9. That’s Rediculous!! No. We don’t hate you.
Flying Bachelorette | August 2011
“For every complaint about a flight attendant — we’ve probably got five on the rudeness of passengers towards each other and crewmembers.”

10. Leonardo da Vinci v Michelangelo
Witness :: BBC News | March 23
“When Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance painter, was invited to paint a huge fresco in Florence — he could not have imagined that he would end up in direct competition with Michelangelo.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. BOOGIE WOOGIE COUNTRY GIRL Big Joe Turner
2. HE CALLED ME BABY Candi Staton
3. I’M IN THE MOOD John Lee Hooker
4. GRANDMA’S HANDS Bill Withers
5. BABY PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME Buddy Guy
6. I’D RATHER GO BLIND Etta James
7. TO HEAR YOU SAY YOU’RE MINE Candi Staton
8. BALL OF CONFUSION The Temptations
9. TRUST IN ME Etta James & Riley Hampton
10. RECONSIDER ME Johnny Adams