Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

A few good late-morning reads for a holiday Monday

It's a holiday, so today's list is a little different. No big headlines, just a few eclectic selections published over the weekend that are better suited to leisurely reading over a third cup of coffee:

Plastic Surgery Among Ethnic Groups Mirrors Beauty Ideals - New York Times A great if slightly disturbing story about the tastes in plastic surgery among different ethnic groups, with patients generally more interested in pursuing each group's ideal of beauty rather than obscuring ethnic traits.

Photo essay: Why Brisenia Flores matters - Crooks and Liars Was the involvement of convicted killer Shawna Forde in a Minuteman splinter group not given enough weight in the coverage of her trial for the 2009 murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in an Arizona border town? The essay includes photos of the home where the girl lived and died, including her abandoned teeter-totter, and video of Forde speaking as an anti-illegal immigration activist in 2007.

The Ruben Salazar Files - Los Angeles Times The LAT has compiled an impressive collection of records pertaining to the life and death of the veteran journalist, who was killed after being struck on the head by a tear gas projectile in 1970 while reporting on a protest in East Los Angeles. Included is a link to a draft report on Salazar's killing from the county Office of Independent Review, which is scheduled to officially release the report tomorrow.

Washington: The "blackest name" in America - The Associated Press Written by a reporter named Washington, a fascinating look at how the name of the first president - a onetime slave owner who eventually became opposed to slavery - became perhaps the most common surname among black Americans. From the piece: "The 2000 U.S. Census counted 163,036 people with the surname Washington. Ninety percent of them were African-American, a far higher black percentage than for any other common name."

Where Is The Revolutionary Music In Egypt? - The New Republic From the short piece: "Among my lesser hopes for the Egyptian revolution is some improvement in the portrayal of Arab people in American popular music. After all, the pop charts have not grown significantly enlightened in the 25 years since the Bangles had the last top-ten hit with the word 'Egyptian' in the title."