Miscellaneous: An interview with Gabe Kaplan, author of Kotter's Back — E-mails from a Faded Celebrity to a Bewildered World. A picture and a thousand words: Stunts made her famous but Amelia Earhart knew the future was in selling seats, not feats. A review of Friendship & Betrayal: Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty by Graham Stewart. In Queuing for Beginners, Joe Moran shows that an alternative history of post-war Britain is engraved in the mundane rituals of our daily lives. The jobs you wish you had: An interview with Julia Pierson, Secret Service Agent. Badminton at night, on steroids: The new racquet sport Blackminton features black lights, body paint and intense speed. A Tangled Vine: Dealing with customer service representatives can turn any home into a disaster area. The Numbers Guy checks the numbers on countdown clocks, which offer a lot of drama but little information. A Northern New Jersey of the Mind: Geoffrey O'Brien on The Sopranos.
Face to faith: Sartre's nihilistic vision of life takes no account of our human and spiritual qualities, says David Bryant. A review of How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves—From the Board to the Boardroom by Garry Kasparov. Attention everyone playing checkers at a park, in grade school, or on the massive rug at Cracker Barrel: You can take your pieces and go home. After five thousand years of gameplay, checkers has been solved. Like is a friendly word. As a verb, it gives off affectionate vibes. In other parts of speech, it's a mensch as well, emphasizing what things have in common, not what separates them. But there's another like in the air, a gossipy usage that has grammar purists - and many parents of teenagers - climbing the walls. The Great Spectrum Giveaway: This October might be the last chance for local community radio stations to receive high-power licenses from the FCC. From McSweeney's, Michael Ian Black on a Meditation on Salami.
An Arizona library has forsaken the Dewey Decimal System, and is arranging books in a manner similar to the approach taken by Barnes & Noble. Charmed: Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance novels made a Mormon mom an international sensation. Cory Doctorow on the Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights. Hemingway's cuban connection: For the past half-century the US has tried to use economic sanctions to unseat Fidel Castro. Ewen MacAskill reports that a group of Americans who want to preserve Ernest Hemingway's home outside Havana hope to overturn that policy. Best Sellers That Woof and Meow: What makes animal books, some of them woefully written, so appealing to so many? "Not all 'young adult' novels are about teenagers": An interview with John Green, author of An Abundance of Katherines, on literature and pop culture.
From California Literary Review, friendship is the first step to peace: A review of picture books that highlight our getting along. Outside the Lines: Douglas Rushkoff turns open source Judaism into a comic book. The comma's fading popularity is metaphor for something larger: how we deal with the frantic, can't-wait-a-minute nature of modern life. Stop sign travesties! Self-proclaimed "grammar vandal" goes after public mistakes that grate. From smut to adult diapers, the young novelist's life: A writer's life can seem as glamorous as Paris Hilton's, but for most, the reality is far from it. Corey Redekop's Shelf Monkey addresses literary snobbery in much the same way as Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang, exposing the contradictions inherent in extremism. Railing against the tyranny of expertise: In life, Bernard Rudofsky fought a losing battle versus modernism. In death, he's being vindicated.
Miscellaneous: From the African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, J.R. Kehl (Rutgers): Emerging markets in Africa. Democratic revolution: The British dependency of Sark may pay a price for losing its feudal exceptionalism. An interview with Sara Bongiorni, author of A Year Without “Made in China”. Broken China: Beijing can't clean up the environment, rein in stock speculation, or police its companies. Easter Island fights prosperity: Mayor Pedro Edmunds wants "his people" to be lovable. They're more interested in getting rich. Will lifting the ban on trade in tiger parts save the tiger? A look at both sides of the debate that raged during the recent international workshop on tiger conservation in Harbin, China. Birth of a Nation: Here is Radar's guide to starting your own country. Here's a list of the world’s Ten Best and Ten Worst flags. What does the Lal Masjid mosque siege tell us about the growth of extremism in Pakistan? Pervez Hoodbhoy investigates.
Researchers explore Siberia's role in climate change. From Cafe Babel, sea, sex and sun? Now that the heat of summer has arrived, discover the hot topics covered by the Eurotik blog: sex toys, sleazy politics, and hot Commission publicity campaigns. A review of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun. He showed up a year ago in Mannheim train station. But despite efforts to identify him, authorities still know almost nothing about the man who calls himself Karl. Except: He likes drawing pictures of cars and speaks only English. The Uighur Sanction, or, The Squeaky Jesus Gets the Fig: A Muslim's fasting irritates him – if you've ever spent the month of Ramadan in a Muslim country, you know what he means. An Evangelical Christian's proselytizing irritates others. Dick Cheney irritates everyone.
Lane Kenworthy, Sondra Barringer, Daniel Duerr, and Garrett Andrew Schneider (Arizona): The Democrats and Working-Class Whites. A look at Republicans who question the war, nut not George Bush. FOIA at 40: Can it still help the public examine its government? An interview with with Lucy Dalglish, of The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press, about the Bush administration's love of secrecy... and the media's lack of outrage. Another timetable for withdrawal: The quiet departure of Jim Gilmore from the presidential race is a reminder that many candidates will — sooner or later — be pursuing exit strategies of their own. Dr. Yes-Man: Dr. James Holsinger doesn't inspire confidence that, if confirmed as surgeon general, he would be independent enough to withstand Bush's political and ideological pressure. Kenneth Rogoff on how Americans will eventually learn that deficits do matter.
A review of The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington by Robert Novak (and more and an interview, and more from The New York Observer). From Think Tank, an interview with Robert Novak. The Vitter Effect: How does news of an outspoken Christian senator’s fall from grace play in the evangelical community? Media Culpa: Michael C. Moynihan on blaming the press for Iraq. Do Americans expect too much from this Congress? In November, voters dissatisfied with the Iraq war saw a savior in the Democrats. And then reality paid a visit. Michael Currie Schaffer on Joseph Wilson's selfless self-promotion. Bush the albatross: He's not running in '08, but history shows his bad ratings can swamp the GOP. Here's a general guideline to the candidates' positions on some of the top issues. Marital Discord: Bill Clinton was the ultimate free trader. But Hillary, tacking left, is sounding protectionist notes. Can Bill win this argument?
Miscellaneous: The epic narcissism of Cindy Sheehan: Everyone is getting tired of the sanctimonious peace activist, who threatens to run against Nancy Pelosi and does a photo shoot on her son's grave. Concrete Policies Based on Concrete Values: The case for building our public policy on our professed beliefs. A response to Ezra Klein's "Overvaluing American Values. Stakes in kidneys: Trading organs for cash is illegal, so how can more be made available for transplant? Alfred, Bruce, and Percy — No Sissies: Names considered effeminate today were originally made famous by big, pugnacious men. So where did we go wrong? A review of Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life. Here are 17 reasons (or more) to stop charging people to ride the bus. A Battle Between the Bottle and the Faucet: Thirsty? How much money do you have on you? Is the GOP political platform contrary to Catholic teaching? Glenn Greenwald wants to know.
From Bitch, a review of You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother by Joyce Antler. From Business Week, a look at what drives the success of the "big brains" of the investing world—and what ordinary investors can learn from them. From Forbes, here are some Black Swan possibilities for the near and far future. What Ever Happened to Gary Cooper? A few words about gender differences. A review of Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance by John Berger. Arthur C. Brooks on the Left's "inequality" obsession. Generation Lloyd Dobler: Brian Doherty on the fight to avoid buying, selling, or processing in a wealthy modernity. If you're 50-plus, female, have a penchant for hats and are keen to "grow old outrageously", the Red Hat Society might be the thing for you. The Ethanol Backlash: Daniel Gross on the environmentalists, economists, and poverty activists who are turning against corn fuel.
A review of Let's Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies by Pamela Des Barres. 14,000 reasons to be skeptical: Corporate takeovers — not a strong, stable economy — are fueling Wall Street's latest bubble. Back From the Dead: Doctors are reinventing how they treat sudden cardiac arrest, which is fatal 95 percent of the time. A report from the border between life and death. No Sex Please, We're Organizing: A nation of pack rats tries to get it together. The machines are already taking over: The real problem with a machine-driven society isn’t the machines themselves; it’s the relationships they create—or replace. Make Love, Not War? Why not have it both ways? Dropping a "gay bomb" on enemy soldiers might prove to distract them, yes, but these incapacitants, though no less harsh, will make the enemy forget what they were ever fighting for.
A review of The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1: The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928 and Volume 2: Birth Control Comes of Age, 1928-1939. How the Farm Bill affects more than just farms: The stealthy Farm Bill has fooled Americans for years into thinking it only affects people who wear overalls to work. Meat is murder on the environment: A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home. A passing reference to Scientology in an article by Annie Lawson prompted an invitation from the church in Melbourne to hear its story. This is what she discovered. A review of Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson. From The Brookings Institution, a paper on Rediscovering Federalism. From Daily Mail, won't anyone stand up for God?
Miscellaneous: Village voice: To know what's happening around the world, you must ask the locals, the anthropologist Melissa Leach says. A review of Roman Satire by Daniel M. Hooley. Separated by Birth: Sister takes on sister in the debate over sibling IQ. An anti-evolutionary Christian extremist suspected of sending threatening letters to biology professors at the University of Colorado has gone on the lam. How we know where our lost keys are: In feature-based attention, neurons form the search patterns we use to find familiar objects in unexplored places. A review of Polytheism and Society in Ancient Athens by Robert Parker. Though he gave up a successful music career in favor of particle physics, Brian Cox can't seem to escape showbiz. A rising science communicator in the UK, he advised director Danny Boyle on the new sci-fi thriller, Sunshine. Fictional Reality: Sci-fi helped make the present; now it's obsolete.
The title of the newest book in Harvard University Press's I Tatti series, Ciceronian Controversies, will not seem self-evidently arousing to a large sector of the reading public. Math as a Civil Right: A longtime activist in the civil rights movement now teaches that mathematical literacy is the key to full participation in the country's economy. From Japan Focus, an article on Ruth Benedict's obituary for Japanese culture. A passion for order: Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus was an early information architect. He believed that every kind of plant and animal on Earth should be named and classified. Forecasting human behaviour carries big risks: Computerised forecasting techniques are certainly useful for stores, but flawed when it comes to complex human issues. A review of On the wealth of nations by PJ O'Rourke.
A man out of time: A review of Globalisation, terrorism and democracy by Eric Hobsbawm. A review of Practical Research Methods for Media and Cultural Studies: Making People Count by Máire Messenger Davies and Nick Mosdell. Cryptic species – animals that appear identical but are genetically quite distinct – may be much more widespread than previously thought. Max Blumenthal on Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour. The case against summer: Despite its widespread appeal, the long summer break is one of the worst innovations in the history of education. It should be abolished. Is K–12 education really lagging badly, or have we "raised our sights"? Diane Ravitch answers the tough questions. The Technium and the 7th Kingdom: A talk with Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine. Making a monkey out of science: Scholarly debate was ripe for popular satire in the 19th century.