Lori Marino (Emory): A Trans-Species Perspective on Nature. A review of The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff. Are humans special?: Since humans are animals, aren't they both deserving of the same rights? Stuart A. West, Claire El Mouden and Andy Gardner (Oxford): 16 Common Misconceptions About the Evolution of Cooperation in Humans. Who's correct about human nature, the left or the right? Most conservatives see it as "common sense" that humans are selfishly competitive, but things looked different pre-capitalism. The teens of this century are going to be very exciting when it comes to reconstructing human evolutionary history — you’d be a fool to put bets on any horse at this time. The top ten daily consequences of having evolved: From hiccups to wisdom teeth, the evolution of homo sapiens has left behind some glaring, yet innately human, imperfections. On the adaptive origins and maladaptive consequences of human inbreeding: Parasite prevalence, immune functioning, and consanguineous marriage. Like sexual selection and genetic drift, perhaps more so, epigenetics has made the leap from the pages of Science, Nature, and Cell, to the more humane domains. What does NASA's new life-form discovery mean — a big deal, or not quite what we expected? (and more and more) Why life is physics, not chemistry: The idea that life boils down to chemistry is being usurped by a much more ambitious idea.
A new issue of Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research is out. Simon Chesterman (NYU): A Little Less Privacy, a Bit More Security. From Cosmos, the giant, venomous Komodo dragon is proof that beasts of mythical proportions still roam some remote corners of the world; and surrounded by rice paddies on the Indonesian island of Flores, a limestone cave holds the only evidence of the "hobbit", a strange human that lived until 17,000 years ago; and was there a second genesis on Earth, and is it living among us undetected? Reading poetry slowly, out loud, experimenting with inflection is an act of dedication, even an act of devotion or meditation, so next time you read poetry, dedicate the time to reading an entire book. A review of Container Atlas: A Practical Guide to Container Architecture. Ajaat to zwazo: A review of Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad and Tobago. From Vanity Fair, with the Quaids in Canada, Nancy Jo Sales probes their nightmare reality, which has alienated friends and family, and turned the couple into outlaws. When the bagged body of MI6 agent Gareth Williams was found in a bathtub, speculation went into overdrive — was it suicide, murder, a professional hit, or a sexual game gone wrong? Buildings are not luxuries, like paintings and sculpture, they are necessities, but there can be little doubt that the mile-high skyscraper will be built during the 21st century.
Andreas Follesdal (Oslo): Normative Political Theory and the European Union and A European Identity: Nationalism or Just Patriotism? Ben Tonra (UCD): Images of Europe and the Myth of Exceptionalism. From Utrecht Law Review, a special issue on Euroscepticism and Multiculturalism. Europe, the cradle of the nation-state, wasn’t “founded” as a place for poor, tired and huddled masses yearning to breathe free — so might it take lessons from Uncle Sam on welcoming immigrants? On the politics of immigration: How mainstream European parties appear paralysed by populism, unable to halt the rise of the far right. The Turul bird and the dinosaur: Following the political logic of pop-cultural palaeontology, Hungary's resurgent far-Right excavates archaic cultural identities for the youth of today. A review of Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen ["Germany Abolishes Itself: How we are putting our country at risk"] by Thilo Sarrazin (and more). A look at how the Baltic states are a bit more diverse than you (probably) imagined. From The New Federalist, why is European integration so unpopular? A review of European Governmentality: The Liberal Drift of Multilevel Governance by Richard Munch. From International Politics and Society, a special issue on Social Democracy in Europe. An interview with Barry Eichengreen on books on the euro. A review of Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age by Guillaume Faye.
A new issue of Cosmos and History is out. Yvonne Donders (ACIL): Do Cultural Diversity and Human Rights Make a Good Match? From Re-public, a special issue on welfare beyond the market and the welfare state. From The Jury Expert, Matthew L. Ferrara on the psychology of voir dire. Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan: An archaeologist insists a third giant statue lies near the cliffs where the Bamiyan Buddhas, destroyed in 2001, once stood. A look at how a "plagiarized" GOP-commissioned climate change report laid the groundwork for Climate-Gate. From Skeptical Inquirer, skeptics expose the hoaxes, but should skeptics ever be the hoaxers? Dogs are smarter than cats, according to new research, but how do other species’ IQs match up against each other? We don't have a Social Security problem, we have a retirement-security problem. Here is the Anarchist Survival Guide for Understanding Gestapo Swine Interrogation Mind Games: Staying free by shutting the fuck up! More on Overhaul by Steven Rattner. As Soft Skull Press moves West, Adam Rathe looks back at the sordid history of New York’s firebrand independent book publisher. A review of Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden. The rise of connectivity addiction: An excerpt from Future Files: How the Digital Age Is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It by Richard Watson.
Elizabeth M. Glazer (Hofstra): Sexual Reorientation. In our so-called adult world, the range of acceptable alternative gender and sexual expressions seems ever shrinking under the pressure of not just anti-gay but also homonormative and homonationalist agendas. From Thought Catalog, the flextuality test: A psychiatrist at New York University who studies human sexuality has devised an incredibly specific test to get to the bottom of how gay/straight/bi/queer everybody really is; and how to be gay: Wonder what it means to be gay and if you were ever truly okay with it — think about it a lot and then stop. An interview with Simon LeVay, author of Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. In efforts to end bullying, some see agenda: Lessons to teach acceptance of homosexuality, which have gained urgency after suicides, are causing culture wars. A review of The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools by Stuart Biegel. The United States can't take credit for homosexuality, but the country deserves credit for gayness. If anything has been constant throughout Liza Minnelli’s life, it’s been her connection to gay fans — or so it seemed until Minnelli sat down with Michael Joseph Gross. Ann Coulter, Drag Queen: Conservative gays search in vain for a diva icon of their own. The Greeks didn't care that Alexander the Great had male lovers, but they were shocked that these men were adults. Is Dmitry Medvedev gay? This can be the greatest PR for Russia since WWII.