Hokky Situngkir (BFI): Exploring Ancient Architectural Designs with Cellular Automata. From Zocalo Public Square, how does design improve our well-being? A review of Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art by Slobodan Curcic and Evangelina Hadjitryphonos. The Town That Corbusier Built: Respect for the design of Chandigarh, India, is growing, even as the modernist city is showing wear — but who will care, if access to its most impressive monuments is restricted? A look at 5 buildings and monuments that caused a stir. Geometry of the Spirit: The Air Force Academy Chapel combines the soaring forms of Chartres with the imagery of fighter jets aloft. Something to Love Among the Ruins: Three young architects offer a beautiful alternative to modernism’s ravages. An interview with John Pawson, father of modern architectural minimalism. Architecture informs history: Clusters of ancient architecture in central China have recently been entered on the world heritage list. Architecture and our duty to beauty: We all have a responsibility to make the best of our surroundings, yet the political classes are reluctant to be arbiters of taste — that has to change. A look at the weirdest buildings in the world. God's Architect: Austen Ivereigh on the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. With his U.S. Institute for Peace set to open in Washington, Israeli-born Moshe Safdie takes his place among the world’s leading architects. A review of American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture by Alice T. Friedman. Has New York architecture missed its moment? Cool design and environmental conscientiousness intersect in Venice, where the latest Architecture Biennale is also one of the best. A review of Architecture's Evil Empire? The Triumph and Tragedy of Global Modernism by Miles Glendinning. An interview with Owen Hatherley, author of A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain.
A new issue of Broken Pencil is out, including Lindsay Gibb on the secret lives of puppets. From The Hedgehog Review, does religious pluralism require secularism? A symposium, including Charles Taylor on the meaning of secularism; Rajeev Bhargava on states, religious diversity, and the crisis of secularism; and Craig Calhoun on rethinking secularism. How to mourn: Meghan O'Rourke on Roland Barthes' beautiful, private meditation on his mother's death. From The Economist, a review of Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester; and a review of A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment by Philipp Blom. Warning: You might get sticker shock from reading several recent health studies. Is democracy necessary for economic success? The Skeptic's Skeptic: In the battle for ideas, scientists could learn from Christopher Hitchens. From Ctheory, an interview with Brian Francis Slattery on the relationship between science fiction and economics, globalization, and how eerie it is to predict the future. The first chapter from The Faces of Terrorism: Social and Psychological Dimensions by Neil J. Smelser. A life beyond reason: He is not a lesson, nor a signifier — he is a severely disabled 11-year-old boy, and he is loved. A review of Caribbean Middlebrow: Leisure Culture and the Middle Class by Belinda Edmondson. A review of Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Jazz Tradition by Tony Whyton (and more). The longest home run ever: It may not come in our lifetime, but its measurements are knowable. A review of Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry by Patrick Coffey. Germany’s Angela Merkel stirred up a hornet’s nest when she decried “multiculturalism”, but that reaction suggests the hornets hadn’t been paying attention.
From Postcolonial Text, a special issue on East African Literature. From the Journal of Pan African Studies, a special issue on Nigeria, the Giant of Africa. Benjamin R. Farley (Emory): Calling a State a State: Somaliland and International Recognition. Perceptions about civil war in Central Africa: Can war be justified or solve problems? Vice visits Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre, Uganda’s only juvenile-detention facility. From World Policy Journal, Jonathan Ewing on an ugly exploration. Despite the continued need for civilian protection, the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is actually in the process of shutting down. Tom Kamara is in search of "saintly" African leaders. A look at why pan-Africanism must go beyond the political. Eleven sub-Saharan countries in Africa are working together to create a "Great Green Wall" of vegetation to halt the growing of the Sahara Desert. Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a Ghanaian investigative journalist with many disguises — from addict to imam — and one overriding mission: to force Ghana’s government to act against the lawbreakers he exposes. The truth of the matter is that if the native languages of Nigeria finally move into the stage of extinction, the culture and tradition of the people will also move into a stage of forgetfulness. Somali schoolboy tells of how Islamists cut off his leg and hand: Ismael Khalif Abdulle's story provides rare insight into regime of al-Shabaab rebels trying to overthrow Somali government. From New York, London, Paris to Brazzaville, via Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Douala, it is becoming increasing rare to come across black women strutting their naturally strong feminine magnetism. A review of No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Will Africa still be immersed in deep superstition by the year 2030? The January 2011 elections could tear Nigeria apart — is there anything the Obama administration can do to help the country avoid North-South conflict or a military coup?
Glenda Sluga (Sydney): UNESCO and the (One) World of Julian Huxley. Some men now spend as much on a watch as they would on a car — are they getting value? A review of Islands of Privacy by Christena Nippert-Eng. A review of Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory by Patrick Wilcken (and more). The secret of The Secret is that is that it’s no secret. A new study analysing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organised in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimised. An excerpt from Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat. So far, Al-Qaeda has come close to pulling off several spectacular attacks but has suffered unlucky breaks that have caused each attack to fail; however they only have to get lucky once. An article on resilience, catastrophising and positive emotions. A review of Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy: How to Philosophize with a Pair of Pliers and a Blowtorch. From the Mises Institute, what's wrong with "Contemporary Classical"? Subsidies. From Vice, black people vs. white people: Who's funnier? Likeable anarchist, modest Ubermensch, atheist preacher — Jonathan Ree is delighted by Friedrich Nietzsche, the paradoxical philosopher. How Vernon Fisher came to K-Mart Conceptualism. A review of In Motion: The Experience of Travel by Tony Hiss. Scott Adams on bad management as the perfect stimulus: If no one had a hamster-brained sociopath for a boss, who would start new businesses? Know Your Meme takes a look at shock sites. Zadie Smith reviews You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. Unleash the iPads of war: Military maps now apps. Speech and harm: What is at the root of the power of slurs to cause unease, shock and pain? A study suggests Pompeiians were flash-heated to death, with "no time to suffocate": Victims' lifelike poses among clues that ash was not the key killer. Henry Kissinger has a Twitter page and follows Bookforum, Granta, and n+1?
From Interlingvistikaj Kajeroj, Alan Reed Libert (Newcastle): Comparing Comparatives in Artiﬁcial Languages. The first scholar to seriously study Sanskrit puns and bitextual poems, Sanskritist Yigal Bronner found that it was a popular literary device until colonial times. Research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world. Who will mourn the world's dead languages? Lost in translation: We don’t shape language, language shapes us. The evolution of the English language: Love it or loath it, the English language is evolving. All hail goddess English? Bilingualism is good for the brain: The longer a person has spoken two or more languages, the greater the cognitive effects. Google teams with linguists to document endangered languages. Does your language shape how you think? The idea that your mother tongue shapes your experience of the world may be true after all. Dictionary of slang: Jeremy Noel-Tod on the power of slang to revitalise everyday language. A review of The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler. Language appears to shape our implicit preferences. Research in the crib: What happens when language scientists use their own children as test subjects? Don't believe the hype about Aborigines, Yiddish, or Ebonics, says John McWhorter. Researchers are fine-tuning a computer system that is trying to master semantics by learning more like a human. A review of Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher (and more and more and more and more and more and more). Researchers have designed a computer system that does successfully model the logic and intuition of a human to decipher a language. Francois Grosjean on his book Bilingual: Life and Reality. The English Language Unity Act: Big Government only a Tea Partier could love. A research team came across a “hidden” language, known locally as Koro, completely new to the world outside a few rural communities in northeastern India (and more and more). From List Magazine, how to say a few words in 10 languages that will soon be extinct.