From The Believer, an interview with graphic novelist and cartoonist Adrian Tomine, who distinguishes between more precise drawings and better ones; are hotels for business trips and vacationing or are they spaces for the overturning of all bourgeois values? A review of Hotel Theory by Wayne Koestenbaum; and a review of Ovenman by Jeff Parker: Can a guy find poetry in a pizza oven? A review of Chic Ironic Bitterness: The Intellectual History of a Fashionable American Attitude by R. Jay Magill, Jr. The heavy hand: Something seems to be missing from modern literature: a little levity. Magazines, bring back the write-around! Regain your dignity with this secret weapon. On the matter of final words: Famous last utterances often seem too good to be true. Even the dead have their ghost writers.
From The Simon, an article on baby naming trends: The heroic, the vapid and the aggravatingly androgynous. A review of Children at Play: An American History by Howard P. Chudacoff. There is now solid evidence that images of super-thin celebrities in the media have a direct effect on the well-being of teenagers. Rip Van Winkle Disease: Adolescents sleep for weeks solid, sometimes bingeing or becoming hypersexual. An article on the honor and toil of growing old: Bringing hope and action to the second half of life. A review of Caring for Mother: A Daughter's Long Goodbye by Virginia Stem Owens.
From Ethics & International Affairs, Robyn Eckersley (Melbourne): Ecological Intervention: Prospects and Limits (and two responses). . From First Science, an interview with James Lovelock on climate change. More on Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg. A review of Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. Is Fred Krupp an environmental savior or a corporate stooge? James Verini investigates. Our rosy future, according to Freeman Dyson: Climate change is nothing to worry about, says the eminent physicist. Let's celebrate genetic engineering and our ability to design a new world of plants and creatures. Behind the eco labels: There is an ever-growing array of eco labels, but what do they tell us? Or fail to tell us?
Michael Esfeld (Lausanne): The Impact of Science on Metaphysics and its Limits. Jim Perry (HCC) Religion, Science, and Philosophy: Three Dangerous Auto-antonyms. A review of Aristotle and the Science of Nature: Unity without Uniformity by Andrea Falcon. On the scientific revolution’s effect on language: A review of Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare by Angus Fletcher. A review of The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science and Policy in Politics by Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Perhaps the tragedy, though, is not that science is too political — it is that science is not political enough. A review of Making Sense of Science: Understanding the Social Study of Science by Steven Yearley. An article on freeing the dark data of failed scientific experiments.
From the inaugural issue of Expositions, Remi Brague (Paris IV): Jew, Greek and Christian: Some Reflections on the Pauline Revolution; M. Katherine Tillman (ND): Some Aspects of Human Nature as Viewed by Cardinal John Henry Newman; and a roundtable on Harold Bloom's Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. A review of Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible’s Harlot Queen by Lesley Hazleton. Raiders of the faux ark: Biblical archeology is too important to leave to crackpots and ideologues. It's time to fight back. God is in the Pamphlets: New York City atheists try to prove otherwise. A review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard.
Demystifying sex: Religion often makes the mistake of elevating sexual desire to the divine: in reality it's an animal instinct that's way more difficult to interpret. How to be a modern goddess, or did sex and the sacred mix in Ancient Greece? A review of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. A review of The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris. From 10 Zen Monkeys, Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying, answers the question: what comes after the zipless fuck? A review of Unzipped: A True Story of Sex, Drugs, Rollerskates & Murder by David Henry Sterry. A sex toy a day keeps the doctor away? An article on the medical uses of dildos and vibrators.
From The Situationist, an article on sex differences in math and science: "We have yet to have a fair trial". Are women being scared away from math, science, and engineering fields? Nurture strikes back: Some sex differences that look biological are really cultural. It is a truism that men and women do not communicate in the same way. But is there really any evidence to support this Mars-and-Venus theory? (and part 2 and part 3). There's an evolutionary reason for men preferring younger women as mates, and women aiming for older men: It gives both parties a reproductive boost. While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate.
Lost in a Million-Year Gap: The origin of our own genus Homo is one of the most intriguing and intractable mysteries in human evolution. Fossil DNA expands Neanderthal range: A discovery suggests that a prehistoric division of the world may not have been quite so clear-cut. Tool-making hobbits: A recent study supports the discovery of a new Hobbit-like species that lived 12,000 years ago. An interview with Fred Spoor on a new study challenging the classic view of human ancestry. From Economic Principals, a fair part of what we know about the human diaspora we owe to the efforts over the years of Luigi Cavalli-Sforza and his many research partners.
From Fast Capitalism, William Leiss (Ottawa): Modern Science, Enlightenment, and the Domination of Nature: No Exit?; Hans Kellner (NCSU): William Leiss, Hera, and the Fate of Science; and John Zerzan on Urbanized Life. The laws of urban energy: An article on why city living makes you smarter. From the Journal of Population Research, a special issue on Globalization and Demographic Change, including John C. Caldwell (ANU): The Western Fertility Decline: Reflections from a Chronological Perspective; Sarah Harper (Oxford): Addressing the Implications of Global Ageing; and a review of Migration and Its Enemies: Global Capital, Migrant Labour and the Nation-State by Robin Cohen. From Foreign Policy, a look at the five population trends that will do most to shape our world in the years to come.
Research finds genes may hold the keys to how humans learn and that genes exert influence on people's behavior in a very common experimental economic game. An essay on the behavioral logic of collective action: Partisans cooperate and punish more than non-partisans. A review of Rationality and the Ideology of Disconnection by Michael Taylor. The introduction to Equilibrium and Rationality: Game Theory Revised by Decision Rules by Paul Weirich. A review of Two’s Company, Three is Complexity by Neil Johnson and Simplexity: The Simple Rules of a Complex World by Jeffrey Kluger. From Economic Principals, a review of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan (and more). An interview with Michael J. Mauboussin, author of More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places.