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

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Abolition in D.C. … Muslims and evolution … Pets celebrating Christmas … GOP candidates on the issues … Sex talk vocabulary.

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. Doolittle’s raid recalled almost 70 years later
By Mary Foster | Associated Press | Dec. 5
“Coming just four months after the Imperial Japanese Navy savaged the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and with U.S. defense of the Philippines crumbling, the April 18, 1942, raid on Japan’s home islands electrified a world at war.”

2. Earth’s wild ride: Our voyage through the Milky Way
By Stephen Battersby | New Scientist | Dec. 5
“Weaving our way through the disc of the Milky Way, we have drifted through brilliant spiral arms, braved the Stygian darkness of dense nebulae, and witnessed the spectacular death of giant stars.”

3. Panama’s jailed former ruler Noriega to be sent home
BBC News | Dec. 7
“Noriega, aged 77, is also wanted in Panama for other crimes allegedly committed during his 1983-89 rule.”

4. Riding in PopPop’s Vulva
By Joanna Schroeder | The Good Men Project | Dec. 7
“While I agree that children should learn the proper names for their body parts, I don’t believe there is any magic to vagina, vulva, penis, clitoris or testicles aside from their accuracy”

5. Positions of the Republican candidates, in brief
By Calvin Woodward | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“A look at where the 2012 Republican presidential candidates stand on a selection of issues.”

6. Q&A: Creating a Queue of YouTube Clips
By J.D. Biersdorfer | Gadgetwise :: The New York Times | Sept. 5
“Q: When I’m on the computer, how can I watch a bunch of YouTube videos all at once without having to select the next one each time?”

7. For pet-owners, holiday plans revolve around pets
By Sue Manning | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“Dexter’s social calendar this holiday season is chock-full of travel plans, party invites, new clothes, special meals and trips to see Santa Claus.”

8. Securing US border impossible
By Will Wissert | Associated Press | Dec. 6
“The U.S. Border Patrol says 873 miles of the border, about 44 percent, have been brought under operational control. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that ‘the border is better now than it ever has been.’ Still, that means full control isn’t even half met.”

9. Are evolution and religion compatible?
The Stream :: Al Jazeera | Dec. 7
“A growing number of Muslim biology students are walking out of lectures on evolution, according to a genetics professor in the United Kingdom. The students claim the course material is incompatible with their religious beliefs in creationism.”

10. Washington’s Black Codes
By Kate Masur | Disunion :: The New York Times | Dec. 7
“The messages at the heart of the abolitionist indictment of the Washington jail were threefold: Slavery was morally wrong, all free people had a right to equal treatment before the law, and the government should stand for freedom and equality, not slavery and oppression.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Today’s intellectuals … Herman Cain fallout … Hating while bored … The new YouTube … Latin America’s new alliance.

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. The Literary Cubs
By Alex Williams | The New York Times | Nov. 30
“Fueled by B.Y.O.B. bourbon, impressive degrees and the angst that comes with being young and unmoored, members spend their hours filling the air with talk of Edmund Wilson and poststructuralism.”

2. Grudge Lust
By Elizabeth Greenwood | The New Inquiry | Nov. 23
“Sometimes, especially in arduous and boring times, like a long flight or a dull class, I will pick someone out of a crowd to be my nemesis. My nemeses need not have harmed me, per se, but she or he will be selected for some ghastly, unforgivable trait.”

3. 10 political lessons from Herman Cain’s campaign
Naked Politics :: The Miami Herald | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain’s campaign is gone, but the political takeaways live on”

4. YouTube Gets Its Biggest Makeover Ever, Becomes More Google-Like
By Chris Taylor | Mashable Tech | Dec. 1
“So what’s the change all about? One word: channels. The world’s most popular online video service now sees itself as a descendent of cable TV, with millions of channels rather than hundreds — and it’s doing its darndest to encourage you to use it that way.”

5. Dear Important Novelists: Be Less Like Moses and More Like Howard Cosell
By Dwight Garner | The New York Times Magazine | Sept. 16
“It’s worth suggesting, though, that something more meaningful may be going on here; these long spans between books may indicate a desalinating tidal change in the place novelists occupy in our culture.”

6. Herman Cain Exits
By Amy Davidson | Close Read :: The New Yorker | Dec. 3
“Really, we promise — we’ll manage. Cain suspending his campaign means that we will no longer have to suspend our disbelief about the seriousness of his candidacy, or about what’s become of our political culture.”

7. Understanding the Battle Over Texas Redistricting
By Justin Dehn and Thanh Tan | The Texas Tribune | Dec. 2
“Months after the Legislature established its maps, it’s still not clear who Texans will be voting for in next year’s congressional and state House and Senate races. The Trib’s Thanh Tan and Ross Ramsey explain why.”

8. How Herman Cain benefits from dropping out: Money and political power
By Brad Knickerbocker | The Christian Science Monitor | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain may no longer be a presidential candidate, but he doesn’t need to sulk. His promise to endorse one of the other candidates means political power, and his books and other endeavors will bring him more money.”

9. Chavez lauds new Latin American alliance
Al Jazeera | Dec. 3
“Venezuelan president, battling cancer, appears energetic at founding of 33-member bloc meant to counter United States.”

10. Susan Wallace
Civil War Women Blog | Nov. 28
“Susan Arnold Elston Wallace was an American author and poet and wife of Civil War soldier and author Lew Wallace.”

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TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. OH SWEET NUTHIN’ The Velvet Underground
2. THE TRUTH Handsome Boy Modeling School
3. I’LL TAKE YOU THERE The Staple Singers
4. WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE Domaje
5. WHIPPING POST The Allman Brothers Band
6. THIS NIGHT Black Lab
7. GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE Elbow
8. I’LL FLY AWAY Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
9. ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD Paul Simon
10. ELECTRIC CITY Black Eyed Peas