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This week: The history of the new African American Museum / Dirty debate secrets / Lil Wayne in Rikers / Pluto’s deep ocean / Ease off on self-discipline

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

1. How to Win a Debate with Mind Games and Dirty Tricks
By Zack Stanton | Politico Magazine | Sept. 24
“Presidential debates have a long and often comical history of psych-outs, with candidates trying to intimidate each other and even threatening insulting props.”

2. John Lewis spent 15 years fighting for the museum — now the dream is realized
By John Lewis | Washington Post Magazine | Sept. 15
“I have loved history ever since I was a boy. It started when I was so young. To celebrate Carter G. Woodson’s innovation — then called Negro History Week and now called Black History Month — my teachers would ask us to cut out pictures in magazines and newspapers of famous African Americans, such as Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver.”

3. The artifacts and stories that brought the African American museum to life
By Marcia Davis | Washington Post Magazine | Sept. 15
“Inside the museum are markers of a nation’s racial history and bloodied path to democracy: from the remnants of a slave ship to a slave cabin to a segregation-era train car and shards of glass from the 16th Street Baptist Church of Birmingham, Ala., where four little girls were killed on a September Sunday morning not so long ago.”

4. Larry Sanders, Bernie’s Brother, Is Running for David Cameron’s Seat in Parliament
By Sewell Chan | The New York Times | Sept. 23
“Sanders grew up in New York City. … In 1969, after graduating from Harvard Law School, he moved to Oxford, England, where he has devoted his career to social work and the law and been an advocate in areas like mental health and education.”

5. Lil Wayne describes what life is really like inside Rikers Island
By Tashara Jones | Page Six :: The New York Post | Sept. 23
“Wayne got visits from P. Diddy and Kanye West, all of whom underwent the body searches, but he admitted a low point was when Drake admitted to sleeping with his girlfriend. …”

6. 10 Things Every Man Should Know About Wearing a Suit
By Teo van Den Broeke | Esquire | Sept. 23
“Always ensure that the skirt of your jacket fully covers your backside. Short jackets are not flattering on anyone, even skinny guys. A full length jacket with a nip at the waist will look flattering on pretty much all frames.”

7. Are cats better than dogs?
The New Yorker Festival | November 2014
“A panel of authors, scientists, and New Yorker writers debate which are better: cats or dogs.”

8. Pluto’s Liquid Water Ocean Might be Insanely Deep
By Maddie Stone | Gizmodo | Sept. 23
“[I]t’s thought that the enormous asteroid responsible for creating Sputnik Planum struck somewhere near the north pole, but that over time, Pluto’s heart became heavy and caused the entire planet to tip over.”

9. Self-discipline is overrated, so go easy on yourself
By Oliver Burkeman | The Guardian | Sept. 23
“Too little self-control makes you impulsive and prone to taking dangerous risks, but too much isn’t great either”

10. A Swimmer and Surfer Who Straddled Two Cultures
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | August 2014
“Duke Kahanamoku, who won a total of five swimming medals in Olympics from 1912 to 1924, probably did more than anyone else to bring the sport of surfing from his native Hawaiian islands to the United States mainland. Almost in reverse, he also played a substantial part in the Americanization of old Hawaii.”

Professor George B. Forgie recommends books on Civil War and Reconstruction

Great reading recommendations.

ortizhistory

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O Brother, How Votes Thou?

SanAntoniomizer

[Editor’s note: A San Antonio executive writing under the pen name Felix Culpa once again graces our blog with his take on national politics. The hits just keep coming.]

Other than the diehard partisans, everyone seems to be complaining that this year’s presidential contest forces us to choose between two distasteful candidates. Google “lesser of two evils” and you’ll see what I mean. But to me, the choice isn’t really between Evil One and Evil Two, it’s between relatively benign corruption and relatively dangerous reaction.

Or, if you’re a fan of Coen brothers movies, between Pappy O’Daniel and Homer Stokes.o brother

Hopefully by now you’ve seen, and committed to memory, the great “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (If not, you’re probably a millennial, so first, read the blog post that precedes this one, and second, download the movie on Yidio or Crackle or whatever stupidly named app you people…

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Law & Order Star Steven Hill Dies at 94 — TIME

(LOS ANGELES) — Former “Law & Order” star Steven Hill has died. He was 94. Rachel Hill, his wife, said he died Tuesday morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The cause of death was not immediately available, but she said he had several ailments. Steven Hill was a versatile character actor in theater,…

via Law & Order Star Steven Hill Dies at 94 — TIME

Gallery

The Significance of Numbers, 43: Cuarenta y Tres.

Fascinating. The book is beautiful.

The Top Shelf

This post was written by our rare books cataloger, Stephen Dingler.

The Significance of Numbers

by Stephen Dingler

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Many people have emotional or superstitious attachments to numbers; for example, thirteen is widely viewed as an unlucky number, whereas many think of seven as a lucky number. The number 43 has had particular significance for many people in Mexico for almost two years now. In late September 2014 a group of student teachers commandeered several buses in the town of Iguala, Guerrero State, so that they could attend a rally in Mexico City scheduled to take place on the 26th. Forty-three of the male students disappeared. It was widely reported locally and internationally that the mayor of Iguala and his wife, angry that a planned local event had been disrupted by the students, ordered police to round them up and hand them over to a drug gang. The gang…

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Churchill’s Secret | Keep Buggering On

Featured Image -- 3211

A great review of a great film.

Quick thoughts on PBS’s Churchill’s Secret:

It’s June 23, 1953 and 78-year-old British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was entertaining Italian guests at Downing Street at an event for Italy’s Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi when he had a stroke. After passing out, Churchill’s son-in-law, Christopher Soames, the MP for Bedford finds that the left side of the PM’s mouth was left drooping. They made excuses and rushed the Italians out of the residence.

Eventually, his condition worsened and he lost sensation on one half of his body and his speech was nearly unintelligible. His successor-in-waiting, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, was also in grave health. He was in the United States, having surgery to correct a botched operation — his bile duct damaged during a gall-stone operation. Churchill was preparing to go to Bermuda to meet President Dwight Eisenhower for a summit before he was hit by this tragedy. Churchill’s Secret is the story about his remarkable fight to…

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A Month in Special Collections: July

I love this. July was a great month for my beloved Special Collections at UTSA.

The Top Shelf

  • Click to enlarge image and access links

July Monthly Review

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