Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: Nov. 18, 2011

By Joshua Witchger 11-18-2011

“[All American Muslim] is not a documentary with journalistic standards, a la PBS’ Frontline, for example. It is a made-for-television reality TV show. It’s a show that needs to bring in advertisers in order to keep on running. It’s a show that needs high ratings so it does not get cut,” says AltMuslim’s Tuqa Nusairat, in a recent cretique against the skewed portrayal of American Muslim families.

But Wajahat Ali of The Guardian, doesn’t think it should have to portray all Muslims. “[W]e should exhale and simply let this reality TV show succeed or fail on the merits of its ability to entertain, instead of obsessing about how 'realistic' its depiction of Islam and Muslims is.”

Google has launched a beta version of its new music service, comparable to iTunes, Amazon. Read a special report from Wired on the launch event and what this could bring to the future of Google.

Hip-Hop radio host Jay Smooth talks about how we can better engage in conversations on race and culture in his recent TED talk at Hampshire College.

On the First Sunday in Advent (Nov. 27), U.S. Catholics will encounter a few changes in text of the Mass, aiming  to more accurately capture the spirit of the original Latin mass, especially in music.

In lieu of the Occupy movement, Solar Mosaic is calling on people to Occupy Rooftops. Also check out their endeavor on Community Solar Day, happening November 20.

What could cloud seeding mean for the future of water shortages and weather systems? Listen to journalist Kathryn Flagg unpack some of the benefits and concerns around this issue in the current episode of Sea Change.

On Wednesday, four authors were awarded top prizes at the 2011 National Book Awards . Read about the winners in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature, and add another book to your leading list.

Woody Allen: A Documentary hits PBS stations November 20. The legnthy film is a combined effort from Allen and fellow filmmakers Robert Weide and Susan Lucy.

Mental Floss presents 8 Brilliant Scientific Screw-Ups, highlighting mistakes that have led to discovery and benefit for the masses.

From Gabirelle Giffords hopeful beginning in Congress, to the tragic shooting in January, Gabby is a new memoir told through her husband’s eyes, focusing especially on memory, language recovery, communication, and hope. Listen to Melissa Block’s interview with Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly, which includes clips of Giffords reading from the book.  

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