From Scientific American, between a rock and a hard place: When we are in a pinch, surprising factors can affect our moral judgments. An article on the Antikythera Mechanism: Discovering how Greeks computed in 100 BC (and more). From Miller-McCune, meet the next business guru: Aristotle. From The New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer on The Eureka Hunt: Why do good ideas come to us when they do? The Traffic Guru: An unassuming Dutch traffic engineer showed that streets without signs can be safer than roads cluttered with arrows, painted lines, and lights — are we ready to believe him? An interview with Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) (and an excerpt). The government is spending $1 trillion a year to get you to drive more. When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Eggs, egos and economics: Gary Day chews over our fascination with foul-mouthed chefs and diet pedants and wonders if their ubiquitous TV presence is a symbol of social harmony. An interview with Chris Fair, author of Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations. A review of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately (and a review of Kinsley Amis' How's Your Glass at Bookforum).
Three years ago, an undercover agent in Maryland spied on activists — Scott McLemee finds her description in a sociologist’s article from 1974. Mother Jones unmasks a gun lobby mole, Mary McFate. From The Liberal, as an authority against authoritarianism, liberalism is undergoing a renaissance in Iran, and reflecting back to the West its radical roots, argues Danny Postel. Is killing liberals a hate crime? Only in a few states. A review of Aubrey de Grey’s Ending Aging. Wrapping up a year-long overhaul, Christopher Hitchens gets his locks freshly sculpted. A review of The Same Man: George Orwell & Evelyn Waugh in Love and War by David Lebedoff. The New York Times goes inside Professor Obama’s classroom, where teaching law and testing ideas, Obama stood slightly apart; and Obama takes his own law exams: How did he do? A review of Obamanomics by John R. Talbott. Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, all flip-floppers! Why the GOP narrative always works. Jack Shafer on why nothing the press throws at Obama sticks. For years, Republicans have out-played Democrats, particularly on media strategy; this year Democrats have the upper hand. Can progressives can make issues like economic justice and cultural diversity sound like traditional American values? From Intercollegiate Review, an article on conservative critics of modernity: Can they turn back the clock?
From TNR, a look at the demographic inversion that's caused the American city to become the suburbs. An article on demographics and political destiny. From Mental Floss, Linda Rodriguez on our scandalous vice presidents. Johann Hari on the hard cash that wins the vice presidency. Web sites such as MySpace and Eventful are branching out to appeal to a new and quickly expanding constituency: political supporters. Bachelor party: Should great men of genius stay single? They were once just casual acquaintances, now they're our wanna-be best buds — so who calls the shots when it comes to you and your favorite brand? Here's the story of Spencer Elden, the little baby floating towards a dollar bill on the cover of Nirvana's 1991 album, Nevermind. From The New York Review of Magazines, a review of Missbehave, a review of Uptown, a review of Mortuary Management, a review of Giant, a review of Jane's Defence Weekly, a review of Maisonneuve, and a review of Plenty. From The Independent, how Vice magazine became the new teen bible. A look at what mainstream publishers don't want you to know about door-to-door magazine sales. From Scientific American, an article on using causality to solve the puzzle of quantum spacetime; and using faith to explain anomalies in physics: Can emergence break the spell of reductionism and put spirituality back into nature?
From n+1, Salvador Allende may have won the symbolic battle, but it is the disgraced and disowned Pinochet who is winning the war. The introduction to Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment by Brian Masaru Hayashi. The introduction to World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy by Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth. Why do nations and peoples exist, and why do particular nations exist in particular forms? Spengler investigates. The introduction to Innovation and Inequality: How Does Technical Progress Affect Workers? by Gilles Saint-Paul. From Truthdig, an interview with Ray Bradbury on literature and love. Darwin to the Rescue: A group of scholars thinks evolutionary science can reinvigorate literary studies. Moral and political dilemmas: An interview with Ronald Harwood on musical life in Nazi Germany. Arena rock's final chord: Are the days of arena rock coming to an end? The afterlife of American clothes: Haitian entrepreneurs find value in our castoffs. Building The Matrix: Simulating the complexity of quantum physics would quickly overwhelm even the most advanced of today’s computers; and could the vacuum contain dark energy, gravity particles, and frictionless gears? From Mclean's, barenaked mess: The fight, the girlfriend, the coke bust — what happened to Canada's most lovable pop star?
From Salon, is time to hold conservative Blue Dogs accountable, or should Democrats wait till George Bush is history, and then decide? Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith on why we can't let the Bush Administration off the hook. Taking Liberalties: Why the "most liberal" rankings are a crock. A review of Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 by Sarah Lacy. Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody is reputed to be the best book ever written on Web 2.0, but why the strange silence on questions of copyright, privacy and ownership? The popular computer game The Sims features sprawling tract homes, rabid consumerism and bickering families — how did creator Will Wright get it so right? An interview with Doris Lessing (and more from Bookforum). From Dissent, Shlomo Avineri on the travails of democratization after Communism; a review of From a Cause to a Style: Modernist Architecture’s Encounter with the American City by Nathan Glazer; and an article on Olympic boycotts: always tricky. From Foreign Policy, here are 5 ways Beijing will be the biggest, baddest Olympics ever. The eternal games: Simon Kuper on five books about the Olympics. Is Europe ready to renew the trans-Atlantic alliance? Anne Applebaum wants to know. A review of Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology and the Wrath of God by Amos Nur.
From TAP, Ilan Goldberg on why McCain should embrace withdrawal; and how important was the surge? Ten Iraq experts weigh in. Christopher Hitchens on why Obama's attitude on the surge hasn't harmed his campaign. Frank Rich on how Obama became acting president. From The New Yorker, what he knows for sure: Tavis Smiley confronts the Obama candidacy; Adam Gopnik on modern magic and the meaning of life; and Charles Van Doren on the quiz-show scandals—and the aftermath. A review of Jacques Derrida's The Animal that Therefore I Am. From Cabinet, an interview with Rosalind Williams, author of Notes on the Underground, on actual and imaginary underworlds; and if you know anything at all about Cao Dai, chances are that this is what you know. Once the "disease of kings," gout is back with a vengeance. Today’s savvier consumers are said to be more impervious to advertising; Rob Walker says: nope. From Vanity Fair, a cover story on Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy, a pair of romantic predators who appear to have met their matches. More and more and more and more and more and more and more on James Wood’s How Fiction Works. A look at why historians should write books ordinary people want to read. More bang for the book: A growing number of writers have hit the rubber-chicken circuit. A review of Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry.
From Annual Review of Critical Psychology, a special issue on migration and asylum. An interview with Ambassador James P. Cain, who seems to have conquered the hearts of Danes one town at a time for the past year on a cross country bike tour. Compilations of terror groups are meant to stifle violence, but do they actually put the U.S. in danger? But my neighbor has a cell phone: Finally, a sensible way to measure poverty. An article on love letters of great men — for real. Holocaust denier David Irving hits Manhattan (and hearts Hitchens). After Russian artist Anna Alchuk was discovered drowned in the Spree her husband, the philospher Michail Ryklin looks to her diaries to help him approximate the causes of her death. Wondrousgames of logic: Mathematician Robin Wilson's enthusiasm for Lewis Carroll stems from a shared delight in the brain-teasing and magical world of numbers. Obama is Lincoln! No, He’s Carter! No, He's Reagan! On the meaninglessness of political analogies. An article on why academics are dipping their toes in the genre of self-help, despite its lack of scholarly kudos. From Comment, an article on John Lennon, Josh Hamilton, and the postmodern F word. Why play a losing game? Study uncovers why low-income people buy lottery tickets. Malcolm Kerr, the president of the American University of Beirut, was killed in 1984; his killers have never been caught.
From Reason, Ron Bailey on the end of humanity: Nukes, nanotech, or God-like artificial intelligences? An interview with futurist Vernor Vinge on techno-human superbeings. From Scientific American, a special report on confronting a world freshwater crisis; and looking for a sign?: An article on the most accurate horoscope a science magazine could ever hope to publish. From CJR, what does it mean to “tell someone’s story”? The scarcity of time and the quality of decisions: Why you shouldn’t worry about the price of gas. A review of Does Feminism Discriminate against Men? A Debate by Warren Farrell, J. Steven Svoboda and James P. Sterba. From Smart Set, rich or poor, young or old, Romans loved raising a glass to the god of wine; and plants, wind, and sunlight make good energy; oil, coal, and the atom make good exhibits. From Jewcy, an introduction to "The Protocols". Kids are coming out younger, but are schools ready to handle the complex issues of identity and sexuality? For Larry King, the question had tragic implications. Win Free Sex! An article on the never-ending charm of sexual revolution nostalgia. The infertility paradox: Why making babies is so hard. Babies for Sale: Teaching Brangelina and other celebrities how to be better economists. From IHE, a major new study of the political correctness of faculty members may challenge assumptions all around.
From ResetDOC, an interview with Seyla Benhabib on the public sphere, deliberation, journalism and dignity; and Carl Schmitt was right in saying that politics needs an enemy — must this enemy necessarily be the "other", and hence a political opponent or someone who is diverse? Exposing Bush's historic abuse of power: Salon has uncovered new evidence of post-9/11 spying on Americans; obtained documents point to a potential investigation of the White House that could rival Watergate. An interview with David Iglesias, author of In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration. Investigate now, pardon later: It's not quite time to let bygones be bygones. Bin Laden's soft support: How the next president can win over the world's most alienated Muslims. From Wired, can the $11,000 clover machine save Starbucks? How much does John McCain really know about foreign policy? Fred Kaplan wants to know. Defamation and the Internet: How the law effectively allows bloggers to take risks big media companies can't. From New Humanist, an interview with Lisa Jardine on doubt, precision and uncertainty; Natalie Haynes goes in search of spiritual enlightenment; Caspar Melville unravels the rise and fall of dreadlocks; from philosophy to fart jokes George Carlin always got there first; and is Woody Allen a loser, a kvetcher, a fatalist or a comic genius?
A new issue of Quadrant is out. From Slate, here's an interactive guide to Bush-administration lawbreaking; and Dahlia Lithwick on why our torture policy has deeper roots in Fox television than the Constitution and on the best new reads about law and the war on terror. How should the next president deal with the Bush White House's crimes? Cass Sunstein and Glenn Greenwald debate. Tudor terror: John Guy is on a mission to bring history to the masses. From Wired, a special section on NASA: 50 years of towering achievement. Economics does not lie: The dismal science is at last a science—and the world is the beneficiary. Here’s a challenge for the economics profession: to think up something suitable to commemorate the contribution of Martin S. Feldstein. Meet the art lovers who are defying the critics — and proud of it. An article on the sex scenes JK Rowling never wrote: Who knew? Robert Skidelsky on re-thinking the Iranian nuclear threat: Would it be a great disaster if Iran had nuclear weapons? Art as statement: As more and more people begin to have access to art, it is increasingly becoming a lifestyle statement. Has a surfer/snowboarder who lives in a van rewritten physics? Cass Sunstein reviews Scott McClennan's What Happened. From Business Week, should oil be cheap? Expensive oil hurts, but there's a business case to be made for a floor under the price of crude.