Miscellaneous: From Asia Times, Spengler on the biblical world of Luis Bunuel. Stop all those clocks: We've got better at telling time, but now it's a private affair. A review of Them and Us: The American Invasion of British High Society by Charles Jennings. Furusiyya, and the origins of a knightly code: Horses play an important cultural role in Arab societies, but it is their past links to military magnificence that are stressed in a current exhibition. Things to Do Before This Article is Finished: Jay Gatsby had one. So does Morgan Freeman. What's on your life list?  The age of steampunk: Nostalgia meets the future, joined carefully with brass screws. This time it's personal: A few years ago, board games seemed on the verge of dying out, banished to the attic by the all-powerful computer. But a hardy band of traditional gamers persevered with their passion - and now their numbers are beginning to swell.

From Time, a look at the world's wackiest holidays. From Radar, The 'Stache Register: Ranking the world's highest-earning mustaches. Stubble trouble: They're mocked, discriminated against and persecuted. It's time to defend the rights of men who have moustaches. Whether it's most tattoos, biggest simultaneous kiss, or largest gathering of people dressed as gorillas, Guinness World Records has it covered. If it sounds silly, maybe you're just losing your imagination. You Don't Want To Do This: How Anthony Pellicano talked Dominick Dunne out of getting revenge. An interview with Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles (and more on the Diana & the Cult of Celebrity Forum). Truly, madly, slowly: As more and more people embrace the slow movement, Harry Eyres writes of being one of the first.  Bible studies: The surprising new guises of the Good Book.

A new issue of the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest is out. A review of Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin. A review of Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs. From Editor & Publisher, web editors reveal online flops or failures. It's a wiki, wiki world out there on the net. Add the "me, me, me" of blogs and citizen reporters and it can seem newspapers are on the way out. Yet there is still reason to believe in traditional journalism. Jack Bauer: Eco-Warrior. Friend of Garafolo. Federal Agent. How liberal can "24" get? A Simpsons writer imagines the possibilities. A review of By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English by David Crystal. The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations contains some intriguing new entries. This selection offers a sharp taste of contemporary life.

Miscellaneous: Stuart B Kaye ( Melbourne): Threats from the Global Commons: Problems of Jurisdiction and Enforcement. From NYRB, a review of Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy by Jeffrey A. Engel. A review of The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger by Leon Hesser. Paper losses: Central banks struggle to restore calm without breeding complacency. In pursuit of the undoable: Troubling flaws in the world's nuclear safeguards. The Numbers Guy on the trouble with ranking life-expectancy numbers. Bruce Bawer on The Peace Racket: An anti-Western movement touts dictators, advocates appeasement—and gains momentum. A review of The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer.

From Der Spiegel, Forget London and Paris: An inside look at Europe's Coolest Cities. From Al-Ahram's "Beyond", a special issue on Cairo: Living History. Fighting the Tali-tubbies: A review of Battlefield Afghanistan by Mike Ryan. China's Total Toy Recall: American parents are wondering if toys will make safe Christmas presents for their kids. Have toy companies been naughty or nice? History, Change, at Once: Kyrgyzstan, teetering between democracy and authoritarianism since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, is caught between the rising economies of the east and its own nomadic heritage. A review of Desiring Arabs by Joseph A. Massad. Back to the Future: Robert Blecher and Jeremy Pressman on Israel's existential crisis. An interview with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Should we be worried about Russia and China ganging up on the West? Probably not. Here's why.

How does Laura Bush sleep at night? Susan J. Douglas wants to know. The D.C. Madam Speaks: An interview with Deborah Jeane Palfrey. The Heart of Queens: Can Nancy Pelosi single-handedly take impeachment off the table? An article on the trick to bringing down Hillary's negatives. Lone woman seeks bald man: The next Karl Rove finds riches in niches. Here are five easy arguments against Fred Thompson. Who Will Stand Up and Be Transparent? Meet the only three would-be chief execs who will dare to tell you how the government spends your money. Learning On the Job: Does it matter what a presidential candidate knows about foreign countries? Mitt Romney may be campaigning as the compassionate conservative, but, as George W. Bush has shown, winning the right wing's backing guarantees a right-wing president. Mike Bloomberg! Sam Nunn! Is the Third-Party Movement a joke?

Miscellaneous: David Remnick on the Israel Lobby and Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer. Is the nation state obsolete? An essay on Martin van Creveld and Roger Scruton. A review of Answering the Call of the Court: How Justices and Litigants Set the Supreme Court Agenda by Vanessa A. Baird. Here's a nominee for the very worst thing about the U.S. media, the single greatest harm the media do to American society. With state laws leaving officials with not much leverage, the concrete island on the Arizona desert continues to grow with little control. Is personal happiness enough when there is so much suffering in the world, or is it selfish to focus on the misfortune of strangers to the exclusion of loved ones? The Hollow Men: An article on Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris. From Economic Principals, the real estate sector may not heretofore have been a standard chapter in the story of manias, panics and crashes.  Henceforth, though, it is sure to be! 

40 Years of The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: On the anniversary of Harold Cruse's landmark work, Scott McLemee talks with a historian of Black Power about the book's complex legacy. An excerpt from Dying for a Home: Homeless Activists Speak Out, by Cathy Crowe. An interview with Ruth Wisse, author of Jews and Power (and a review). A review of Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee by Pamela Drukerman. Men choose romance over success: Study suggests men more willing to sacrifice achievement goals for a romantic relationship. Philip H. Gordon on why the president should take some cues from the Cold War. The transformation: An article on a family doctor's journey from man to woman, and what it means for his family of patients. Does America need a recession? An intriguing, if unpopular, thought. 

Regina Frances Burch (Capital): The Myth of the Unbiased Director. From Financial Times, Edward Luce on how Republicans' jockeying on terrorism is terrifying. Who is the Other Woman? Writers reveal their personal stories of being "the mistress" or "the wife". An article on the cost of hidden bias at work. The introduction to Mercy on Trial: What It Means to Stop an Execution Austin Sarat (and an interview). Tribalism is unthinking, it brooks no disagreement. It is, essentially, anti-democratic, as we know if we look around the world.  Pure Sex, Pure Love X-Games: Can you be friends with your ex boyfriend/girlfriend? The false modesty movement: A fashion trend that pushes anti-feminist values sends a dangerous message to young women. A review of Philip Jenkins' God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis.

Miscellaneous: Ellen P. Goodman (Rutgers): Animal Ethics and the Law. A review of Animal Rights: Current Controversies and New Directions, ed. Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum. A review of The Mysticism of Saint Augustine: Rereading the Confessions by John Peter Kenney. From The Situationist, an article on Dan Gilbert and his work on happiness; a look at how beliefs about the self shape personality and behavior; and a new study explores ineffective forecasting in the context of college couples who break-up. A look at why you shouldn't stereotype stereotypes. A review of Self to Self: Selected Essays by J. David Velleman. A review of The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian by Heather Ewing. Taner Akcam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, is the historian at war with "history"

Thom Brooks (Newcastle): On the Importance of the Phenomenology's Preface. From Accelerating Future, here are 10 reasons to Live as Long as Possible; Enhance Human Intelligence; Develop Molecular Nanotechnology; Develop Artificial Intelligence; and Learn About Science and Technology. An interview with Lifeboat International Spokesperson Philippe Van Nedervelde on safeguarding humanity. A cultural and medical history of the human heart: A review of The Heart. A review of Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine by Richard P. Sloan. The Evolution of the White Mustache: Our love of milk goes back thousands of years. But today, does it do a body any more good than bad? A review of The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith. Radio astronomers have found the biggest hole ever seen in the universe. The void, which is nearly a billion light years across, is empty of both normal matter and dark matter. 

Maria Petrova (Harvard): Inequality and Media Capture. Farmageddon: Did an extraterrestrial impact set off a catastrophic chain of events that led indirectly to the dawn of agriculture in the Middle East nearly 13,000 years ago?  Ahoy there, me hearties: A review of In Search of the Buccaneers by Anthony Gambrill and Empire of Blue Water by Stephan Talty. A review of An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege by Heidi Ardizzone. A review of Cavalier: a tale of chivalry, passion and great houses by Lucy Worsley. A review of Breaking Murphy's Law: How Optimists Get What They Want from Life - and Pessimists Can Too by Suzanne C. Segerstrom. The Book of Life: The words we use to describe genetics matter, according to the author of a new book - for instance, "genetic code" should really be "genetic cipher".