M.V. Krishnakumar (JNU): Development or Despoliation? The Andaman Islands Under Colonial and Postcolonial Regimes. Poachers targeting rich fishing grounds in India’s Andaman Islands are endangering the world’s most isolated tribe. What does the future hold for the Inuit people of Baffin Island? From Popular Mechanics, a look at the world's 18 strangest man-made islands. Named for the Dafoe novel inspired by a stranded sailor, Robinson Crusoe island is known for its rare plants and extreme beauty. Correspondent's diary: The Economist visits Ascension Island. Two years after the Maldives become a multi-party democracy, a political struggle between the president and the opposition-dominated parliament has thrown the country into political deadlock. Asylum seekers held on Christmas Island sewed their lips together in grisly protest at their detention. If a country sinks beneath the sea, is it still a country? Who, what, why: What happens when a country loses its "birth certificate"? An expected flood of money in Papua New Guinea could throw a country already beset by corruption into further turmoil. Palau announces Ukraine-sized sanctuary for whales and dolphins. Lost and Cast Away: Ten amazing uninhabited islands. The Dark Side of Defending Freedom: The fate of the Chagossians, the former residents of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, is particularly harrowing. The Dutch Antilles gain new autonomy from the Netherlands. From TED, Greg Stone on saving the ocean one island at a time. Easter Island's indigenous leaders want to sever link with Chile. From Foreign Policy, a Bush administration official recounts how, in the high stakes diplomacy over disputed territory, a tenuous peace can unravel because of a single typo; and a look at Asia's most controversial islands. From The Ecologist, Kiribati and Tuvalu will drown without global climate action. An interview with a drowning president, Anote Tong of Kiribati.

From Miller-McCune, to reach consensus, let’s talk less: Talking out our differences on controversial scientific and technological issues may be just the wrong way to reach agreement; real diversity means we’re not all the same: The way Americans often squirm when terms like race and diversity are introduced suggests that even many best-intentioned approaches to these defining issues are all wrong; and beauty leads to a closer look: New research finds physically attractive people are viewed both more positively and more accurately. The Stuxnet worm was perfect for sabotaging centrifuges — experts reached the conclusion by dissecting the program suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program. Something big is going on at the center of the galaxy, and astronomers are happy to say they don’t know what it is. A review of Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines by Vaclav Smil. Is the only good Muslim a bad Muslim? John Zmirak investigates. From Lapham’s Quarterly, Marcello Simonetta on the renaissance of city-states. The case for total failure: Nathan Rabin on why flops are good for the movies. Earmarks are not a big deal, say political scientists — most are perfectly justifiable, and they definitely aren’t to blame for the “eruption of spending” from Washington. The idea is rapidly spreading that a ban on earmarks doesn't affect spending, since earmarks are a way of distributing what's already been appropriated — it's basically false, for three reasons. An article on Silvio Berlusconi: Will someone please pull the plug? Broken Taboo: A major journal publishes evidence of ESP — is precognition possible? Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity: In defense of Tim Wise. How iTunes undermines the Beatles' music: Why you can't appreciate the band by listening to singles instead of albums.

Irus Braverman (Buffalo): Governing with Clean Hands: Automated Public Toilets and Sanitary Surveillance. Urinary segregation: Public toilets are an important civil-rights domain, writes Laurie Essig, and a semiotic mess, too. “Peeing is political:” An interview with Harvey Molotch, co-editor of Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (and a sample chapter, "The Restroom Revolution: Unisex Toilets and Campus Politics" by Olga Gershenson; and here's the tumblr The Toilet Book). Here is the website of Rose George, author of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters. The World Toilet Organization celebrates World Toilet Day on November 19 of every year. From TED, Melinda Gates on how women are refusing to marry men without toilets: "No loo, no 'I do.'" Mozambique's music icon Feliciano dos Santos uses his songs to educate people about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. In India, cellphones abound, toilets don't. Stopping peeing in public: In New Delhi, the humble public toilet goes by any number of names: wall, footpath, tree, abandoned car, occupied car. Too drunk to care: Staggering students urinate on war memorial and vomit in gutters as Carnage revellers shame our streets again. In praise of outdoor peeing: When nature calls, you should go in nature. A review of Poop Happened! A History of the World From the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee. Mike the Mad Biologist on how to take a government-approved poop. Don’t call it bullshit: Manure can power farms, heat homes and run engines — presenting the twenty-first century’s most undervalued hope for renewable energy. Pee is for power: Why let your waste go to waste when it could be powering your mobile phone — or even your car? A movement is taking the "waste" out of human waste — transforming sewage sludge into fuel, heating buildings with it, using composting toilets to produce fertilizer.

From Prospect, the influential moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre has long stood outside the mainstream — has the financial crisis finally vindicated his critique of global capitalism? The northernmost mosque in North America officially opened in Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle. A hipster’s paradise: In the late 1990s, a down-at-heel ’hood in New York’s Lower East Side became an enclave for rich white kids — they were like a new ethnic arrival (and more). Hello, Newman: A lieutenant's deployment blog says Iraq’s easy, but skip the breakfast burritos. Tim Wu on Ted Turner, the Alexander the Great of Television. Peter Singer on clarity about diamonds. From the Nazis to the US presidential campaign of 2008, choosing which font to use has been anything but simple — and always political. Luciano Floridi on how to update your personal online identity. "I had an abortion" in 140 characters or less: An exchange with Steph Herold and Aspen Baker. It’s hard to imagine a longer or more pressing “to do” list than that of Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. From NYRB, Jonathan Raban on those damned Seattle liberals! An interview with Jenn Pozner about the reality of reality TV. Look on the bright side: Things are better than they seem — honest (and more). Has the world already passed “peak oil”? New analysis pegs 2006 as highpoint of conventional crude production. Greg Ip on 5 myths about the Fed. Sarah Palin was certainly not the first person to use the word "refudiate" — in fact, it has come up in enough other places over the past hundred and twenty years that it seems fair to ask why it isn’t in the dictionary already. GOP to jobless: Drop dead. Antimatter atoms have been trapped for the first time — "a big deal", but no applications for bombs, energy sources, or engines.

We can only provide quality online and distance-learning experiences today if we understand that what we are living through is not the first but rather the fourth online-learning revolution (and more). Should academics participate in the war on terror? A new documentary explores the case of social scientist Michael Bhatia, killed in Afghanistan while using his knowledge to help U.S. troops. An article on the PC academy debate: Questions not asked. Can the innovative "do-it-yourself" education movement really replace the dying university model? More on The Great American University by Jonathan R. Cole and Higher Education by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus. Jonathan B. Imber on the forty-year failure of American sociology. Does academic freedom protect Holocaust deniers? Two views on the question. The Woe-Is-Us Books: If there's any hope for liberal arts education, might it take shape at a new college planned for Savannah, Ga.? A matter of degrees: U.S. universities are still on top, but Asia is rising. The Shadow Scholar: How an academic ghostwriter for hire produced thousands of pages for undergraduates as well as master's and doctoral candidates. The school that ate New York: By charm and brute force, NYU is planning to add 6 million square feet to its campus across the city — is John Sexton the new Robert Moses? Humanities 2.0: The liberal arts meet the data revolution. A look at the questionable science behind academic rankings. Here are 10 myths about legacy preferences in college admissions (and a response and a reply). Is globalisation becoming a reality in the academy’s top ranks? It’s early days, but there are signs that the barriers are falling as universities look abroad to find the best captains.