From TLS, a review of books on Charlie Chaplin. Michael Shermer on what skepticism reveals about science. Lost and found ideals: The noble principles on which modern France was founded are in trouble, but the effort to give them new life is underway. Eryn Loeb reviews Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way by Ruth Reichl. Few books have so shocked received opinion and been as influential as A.J.P. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War. Cyber-Scare: The exaggerated fears over digital warfare. Die Zombie Newspapers, Die! The dailies really died a generation ago, and now their corpses are following suit. Reinventing the magazine: Publications that push the boundaries of the print medium (and more on skin magazines). Like newspapers and other businesses buffeted by the financial crisis, the porn industry is in danger of extinction. A review of Obscene, Indecent, Immoral and Offensive: 100+ Years of Censored, Banned, and Controversial Films by Stephen Tropiano. Military thinking has invaded medical thinking — it’s time to replace shock and awe with health and peace. A review of Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano. During past recessions, collective action among laid-off workers was common — will this financial crisis foster a similar movement?
From Popular Science, an article on geoengineering: Are weather machines really the answer? In anarchist circles there are often discussions about either a gradual transition or a sudden collapse of society that can be replaced with anarchism — here's a modern example where this has happened, Albania. A review of Alger Hiss and the Battle for History by Susan Jacoby. Robert O. Paxton reviews The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation by Frederic Spotts, Art of the Defeat: France 1940–1944 by Laurence Bertrand Dorleac, and Bronzes to Bullets: Vichy and the Destruction of French Public Statuary, 1941–1944 by Kirrily Freeman. Mug shot nation: Humiliation without due process is no laughing matter. People with more than enough have an immediate and personal obligation to help those living in extreme poverty, says Peter Singer (and more and more). Death doesn't lie: Death masks promise a truthful representation of the departed. Not in Our Backyard: Can Vermont towns tell registered sex offenders where to live? Please salute Julie Geissler, the New Hampshire resident who stunned library staff members by showing up unannounced one day in 2001 to return a rare first-edition copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
From Argumentum, Abuczki Agnes (Debrecen): The Use of Metaphors in Advertising: A Case Study Critical Discourse Analysis of Advertisements in Cosmopolitan; and Koczogh Helga Vanda (Debrecen): Verbal Superiority of Women? Here are summaries of the six arguments against the existence of God in The Six Ways of Atheism by Geoffrey Berg. From Obit, do-it-yourself home burials might be the next big trend; and among colleges and universities there is a subtly growing trend of offering final campus resting places for faculty, alumni and their loved ones. John Gray reviews God Is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Even if we tap every renewable power source available, it won't mean a thing without a final, crucial step: reinventing the grid. From daring London plays to Hollywood films, global warming is at last taking centre stage. Life, the multiverse and everything: Mark Vernon asks leading scientists if physics is turing into metaphysics. From Nerve, a true story about Brazilian Girls: Getting laid in Rio is harder than you think. Here’s a fun experiment: Turn on the TV, flip through the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, and try telling the young men apart.
From First Monday, Kalev Leetaru (Illinois): New media vs. old media: A portrait of the Drudge Report 2002-2008; and Lauren Fairchild Sessions (Penn): “You looked better on MySpace”: Deception and authenticity on the Web 2.0. An excerpt from Jeff Riggenbach's Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism. More on How to Win a Cosmic War by Reza Aslan. A review of The Day We Found the Universe by Marcia Bartusiak. A review of The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? by Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank. The European Parliament that emerges from the recent election will be a stronger, more democratic body in which extremists have no influence. A panel on The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg. The burlesque scene has enjoyed a revival in recent years, but plans may see it treated as simple strip joints — is there really much of a distinction anyway? Live nude girls and boys: We Did Porn peeks behind the curtain of the alt-porn industry. An interview with Roger Scruton on academia, music, politics and Beauty. Why do so many people say they voted for the president when they didn't? A look at how Obama impersonators are trying to cash in. A review of You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe by Christopher Potter (and an interview).