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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

In a Land Before iTunes

Tim Barker The New Republic
The worldwide cultural revolution initiated by the invention of records and record players has been vast and helps define what it has meant to be both "modern" and "post-modern." In this new book, Michael Denning surveys the scope and breadth of this revolution. Noise Uprising, says reviewer Tim Barker, "offers an ambitious, if somewhat speculative map of the connections" between the dizzying array of styles and genres of modern popular, vernacular music.

Sensory Evaluation: Mouth Behaviors and Food Textures

Melissa Jeltema Ph.D., Jennifer Vahalik, and Jacqueline Bec Prepared Foods
Consumers gravitate to favorite mouthfeel behaviors, whether it involves chewing, crunching, "smooshing" or sucking. The Understanding & Insight Group (U&I) has found a previously unrevealed, unexpressed need that drives texture preferences: mouth behavior. The truth is that individuals have a preferred way to manipulate food in their mouths (mouth behavior) and this BEHAVIOR determines the food textures they will prefer.

Raising the Floor

Ira Woodward Blue Collar Review
Labor Day Weekend, a time to acknowledge the burdens of hard work, Washington state poet Ira Woodward plays on the phrase "raising the floor"--meaning not only a moment to rest, but also time to raise the wages of working people.

An Indigenous People's History of the United States

Andrew Epstein; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz New Books in American Studies
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples. Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. 2015 Recipient of the American Book Award.

Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention That Launched the Military-Industrial Complex

Sam Kean The American Scholar
Ernest Lawrence was a leading member of the scientific community that invented the atom bomb. He was also a pioneer in the growth of the military industrial complex. Michael Hiltzik tells this history in his new book. Sam Kean observes in this review that "there is much to admire and much to mourn" here, as we continue to live with the complex legacy of Big Science three quarters of a century after its emergence.

Review: ‘Rosenwald' on a Philanthropist Who Created Schools for Blacks in the Jim Crow South

Kenneth Turan LA Times
It was when philanthropist Julius Rosenwald read Booker T. Washington's 'Up From Slavery' and then met the celebrated black educator on the campus of Tuskegee Institute that his life work came into focus. Rosenwald became passionate about providing funding for more than 5,300 schools in the Jim Crow South. At one point in the pre-civil rights era, it was estimated, one in three black youths in the South attended a Rosenwald school.

Menus of Change gives kudos to restaurants

Bret Thorn Nation's Restaurant News
Menus of Change conference discusses sustainability, ecology, water sourcing, the benefits of “plant-forward” diet, and food culture.

Review: Narcos is the Next Great Netflix Show

Kwame Opam The Verge
Led by executive producer and director José Padilha (2014's RoboCop), the series tracks the rise and fall of "King of Cocaine" Pablo Escobar, and the bloody drug war between the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Colombia’s notorious Medellín Cartel. A well-crafted blend of The Wire and Goodfellas, Narcos takes an unflinching look at one of the War on Drugs’ single most violent conflicts.