Michael Hemmingson (UCSD): Anthropology of the Memorial: Observations and Reflections on American Cultural Rituals Associated with Death. If mating is partly about choosing half the genome of your children, do your potential partners in parenting have an obligation to disclose that they have had so much “work” done on their face and body that they now look nothing like their original phenotype?" A suspicion of beauty is vital if one hopes to have any relation to it that isn't completely compromised; as Walter Benjamin said, beauty is the other side of the coin of injustice. From The Smart Set, sorry, Peter Pan, but I'm Skipping you in a Jif: Peanut butter is a life or death matter; and in 2004, Malcolm Gladwell predicted a ketchup renaissance; five years later, at the height of tomato season, where do we stand? We can say for certain is that, in the context of the political debate in Washington, the impact of tax changes is almost always overstated. Do people take out payday loans because they're desperate — or because they don't understand the terms? High Frequency Trading: You might not have heard of it now, but get ready, because it's going to be everywhere in the next few weeks (and more and more). Bowling, basketball, BCS, baseball, and birdies: A look at Obama’s use of sport to connect.

From Scientific American, pedophiles, hebephiles and ephebophiles, oh my: An article on erotic age orientation. Lynn Barber on her liaison as a 16-year-old with an older man. Sextortion at Eisenhower High: Last year, an awkward high school senior in Wisconsin went online, passed himself off as a flirtatious female student, and conned dozens of his male classmates into e-mailing him sexually explicit images of themselves. The teacher who became a dominatrix: An academic turns to whips and chains for the paycheque, but gets pulled deeper into the sex trade. Sex and the Suburbs: Find out what Monica Lewinsky has to do with bar mitzvah gifts. Cleavage power, a scientific inquiry: A writer takes her endowments to the streets and finds not just leering but also liberation. Is group sex obscene? Depends on your definition of "obscenity" and of "public". Payoffs in bed: Do wealthy men give more orgasms? Viagra can now be bought over the counter, but hold on — look east and you will find far better, natural remedies for “exhausted passion”. How are your orgasms, Mom? Coitus Interruptus Erroneous: Would you believe that pulling out actually works? Snooping through your partner's undies has become big business, and the local man who started it all doesn't much care for his new competition.

A new issue of Peacework is out. An article on the Global Peace Index and how to achieve it. Can trade and democracy promote peace or is armed conflict deeply rooted in cultural, ethnic, and religious differences? A review of War: A Short History by Jeremy Black. From Swans, an essay on the innate nature of war. John Horgan on how humans could end war. A review of The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live by Michael Dillon and Julian Reid. How the deaths of noncombatants fit into the rules of war. From Foreign Policy, despite valid concerns, targeted assassinations are legal and necessary; and assassination, a brief history: When we go to war, what happens when we make our enemies faceless? A review of The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity by Antoine Bousquet. A review of The Secret Life of War: Journeys Through Modern Conflict by Peter Beaumont (and more). A review of General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War by Henry Gole. David Bromwich on how serial war became the American Way of Life. A review of Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War by Suzanne Simons (and more). Battle paintings: "War Nerd" Gary Brecher may not know much about art, but he's got a gun.

A review of Nothing: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close. A review of The Lightness of Being: Big Questions, Real Answers by Frank Wilczek. A review of Why Does E=mc2?: And Why Should We Care? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. An excerpt from Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar. A groundbreaking Caltech experiment may detect quantum physics where classical mechanics has ruled sovereign. From Plus, it may seem as if reality has become a whole lot bigger over the last few years — in one branch of theoretical physics, though, things seem to be going the other way; and an article on the biggest problem in theoretical physics (and five more great problems). The physics that we know: An interview with Gavin Schmidt. The laws of the universe are based on fixed constants — what happens to science when those number start to change? (and more) Look at the periodic table of elements, and you'd be hard pressed to find an element that is not used in physics. In the next few weeks, a new name will appear in the periodic table when the element with atomic number 112 receives a new name (and more). A review of Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World by Eugenie Samuel Reich.