Miscellaneous: From The New Yorker, Inside Shelley’s Manichaean mind: A review of Being Shelley by Ann Wroe (and more).  The genre that just won't die: Comics are to be Hercule Poirot's latest incarnation. It's the latest twist to crime fiction, a genre constantly reinvented in its 170-year history. A look at how Britain's novelists are bad at business. Too Many Mirrors: Style is often described paradoxically as an indescribable quality, as something timeless, which is precisely what makes it so useful to the fashion industry. A review of Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America by Eric Jay Dolin. Bratz Dolls worse than Barbie? How a saucer-eyed, saucy-dressing line of dolls made Barbie the far lesser of two feminist evils.

A review of Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter by Phoebe Damrosch. A review of Das Kapital: A Novel of Love and Money Markets by Viken Berberian. From Chronicles, Fr. Hugh Barbour on liberality as the basis of culture. Hallyu, the Korean Wave: Is this how it feels to be French or Italian? To be chic just because of your nationality? Dare I feel that just being Korean may hold some cultural currency, these days? There are not as many movie icons out there as we think. What makes one? Well it's not talent — they can just look pretty and our imagination does the rest.  

From California Literary Review, accept that humanity is alone in this vast part of the universe, our galaxy. Turn to the front page of the newspaper opened before you. Now, read. A review of Aristophanes and the Carnival of Genres by Charles Platter. A review of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas. Perfume Nose: An interview with third-generation fragrance expert Celine Ellena on how to smell a winner. Mr. Manchester: How Tony Wilson changed the face of pop culture. A look at how the Chinese novel finds new life online.

Miscellaneous: Oh, Canada: Americans have no monopoly on crises of national identity. Scott McLemee takes off to the Great White North. King for a Day or Two: With democracy flourishing in most corners of the globe, the very idea of monarchy seems a quaint throwback to a bygone age. And today, many are the kings who sit uneasily on their thrones. A look at some of the royal families who just might be on their way out. An excerpt from Cold War Frontiers in the Asia-Pacific on Micronesia as an "American lake". Here is a list of the world's most ridiculous laws or urban myths - were not quite sure.  Reincarnation rules: But only if the Chinese Communist Party says so. Nobel Prize winner Edmund Phelps  believes "corporatism" dooms Europe to lag behind the US. 

Joseph Nye on the changing face of energy security. Exhibition Game: An article on Hezbollah's creepy new museum. Land of the old general: Visiting Paraguay, Ben Davies finds a decaying country that still bears the scars of dictatorship. Drawing lines in melting ice: Despite the ungainly scramble for a slice of the Arctic's tantalising riches, no nation can master the region alone. Leo Tolstoy once described the Tsarist system as "Ghengis Khan with a telegraph." Given the communications conquest of recent weeks, cyber warfare is almost certainly going to be a continuing threat.  Dani Rodrik on the value of being undervalued

From FT, here's the rough guide for politicians choosing a vacation. A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around the country. Sic 'em With the Rally Squad: And other tips for dealing with demonstrators from the Presidential Advance Manual. From Truthdig, Scott Ritter on Why Cheney Really Is That Bad. Draft Numbers: If we want to take on the world's problems, we may need the draft. Still want to?  Daniel Pearl's name you know. Chauncey Bailey's, you probably don't. Both men were murdered presumably because of what they did for a living.

Miscellaneous: From Asia Times, Spengler on Mark Lilla and the end of secularism. God's Still Dead: Mark Lilla doesn't give us enough credit for shaking off the divine. From Michigan War Studies Review, a review of The Eye of Command by Kimberly Kagan. The Fall and Rise of an American Empire: A review of Anasazi America by David E. Stuart. Cupid's science: Anthropologist Helen Fisher explains what online dating sites can learn from the biology of love — and what the length of your ring finger says about your sex life. An article on the rise of Nature Deficit Disorder

Not so fast, Christian soldiers: The Pentagon has a disturbing relationship with private evangelical groups. Is "ghetto" a term to embrace? Cora Daniel's Ghettonation, looks at the usage of the word and its affect on the black community. From Forward, Armenian Genocide Debate Exposes Rifts at ADL: It has been a long, hot, difficult summer for Abraham Foxman. Is There Anything Good About Men?: What percentage of your ancestors were men? No, it’s not 50 percent.  Think of it as both a protest and a public service: Nothing says "We're watching you" like a boxful of decapitated dolls. Contrary to the mythology the party has created, GOP presidents are terrible for business

A review of Once Upon a Quinceanera by Julia Alvarez. Lawyers in Wonderland: How good lawyers sprout whiskers and top hats after drinking too much national-security punch.  A review of How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman. Fidel Castro and Hugh Hefner have more in common than one would think. Both were born in 1926, are responsible for revolutions of seismic proportions, and both are horn dogs. A review of Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett.  Death by numbers: We're obssessed with plane crashes and bridge collapses, yet we pay little attention to the stuff that kills the rest of us.

Miscellaneous: Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege: J. Michael Bailey is at the center of one of the most contentious and personal social science controversies in recent memory. Jane Austen, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda: Devoney Looser considers what to say when your academic specialty is suddenly capturing public attention. A review of Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind by Margalit Fox. Discovering How the Maya Fed the Multitude: Archaeologists have reported finding what could be the earliest evidence for domestication of manioc in the Americas. 

Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen on the war on shapeless terror: There seems to be no rational basis for the arrest of a group of German sociologists, and the case highlights the fragility of our civil liberties. Revising Revisionist History: A review of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze and A Shadow of Red: Communism and the Blacklist in Radio and Television by David Everitt. An interview with David Horowitz, author of Indoctrination U: The Left's War Against Academic Freedom. What are the best scientists working on? 

Policing the Academy for Pirates: Educators are on the wrong side of the copyright wars. Hope Floats: In which a boatload of refugees land in Jamaica, become pawns in a European power struggle, and plant the first seeds in the Big Apple. A review of Sex on the Couch: What Freud Still Has To Teach Us About Sex and Gender by Richard Boothby. Here's Creative Loafing's College Guide to Getting It On. From Discover, here are 20 things you didn’t know about hygiene: "Cleanliness is serious business". Cool drinks and the inevitable arrow of time: If it’s a nice hot summer you might have the opportunity to be sitting outside and enjoying a cool drink.