A review of A History of Natural Philosophy: From the Ancient World to the Nineteenth Century by Edward Grant. A review of Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe by Martin Bojowald. A review of Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe Roger Penrose. The first chapter from How Old Is the Universe? by David A. Weintraub. No evidence of time before Big Bang: Latest research deflates the idea that the universe cycles for eternity. A new test that takes data from several realms of physics could explain what really happened in the first sliver of a second after the Big Bang. Our cosmos was "bruised" in collisions with other universes: Astronomers find first evidence of other universes (and more). Dark matter and dark energy are typical examples of what is known in the philosophy of science as “theoretical entity”. From Smithsonian, a special section on Mysteries of the Universe. Science "faction": Is theoretical physics becoming "softer" than anthropology? A look at Stephen Wolfram's search for the computer program that governs the universe. Dave Munger test-drives two newly unveiled tools for understanding vast sets of cultural and scientific data. Rapid shifts are the hallmark of climate change, epileptic seizures, financial crises, and fishery collapses — deep mathematical principles tie these events together. Pi in the sky: Is mathematics a divine language? Zap, you're smart! Mild brain shock stimulates math skills.

From YouGov.com, do Americans care about politics? Anthony Fowler and Ryan D. Enos investigate; and John G. Geer on campaign negativity: As American as apple pie. A review of Put the Seat Down and Other Brilliant Insights for an Awesome First Year of Marriage by Jess MacCallum. Does the Air Force Academy have the right mix of civilian and active-duty professors? Politicians lie: We know it and we don't care. The Storming of St. Barth’s: St. Barth’s, the ultimate winter playground, faces an existential threat. Which shipping company is kindest to your packages? A review of The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. Esquire goes inside the final days of the election Harry Reid couldn't win. Pregnant Man?: Here is a first-person narrative of having a child through surrogacy, responses to that narrative by other law professors and the surrogate, and a concluding response and epilogue. Do political scandals really distract us from important issues? The Ghost of Gaffes Past: A selection of gaffes from the 2010 campaign that we should forgive. Football and sex: 2010 World Cup unsettles a myth. What happens when you unleash an entrepreneurship evangelist on an education school? The first chapter from The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters by Diane Coyle. Crime Conundrum: Why are rates of violence and theft dropping in the recession?

Richard Stith (Valparaiso): On the Legal Validation of Sexual Relationships. Graham Mayeda (Ottawa): Who Do You Think You Are? When Should the Law Let You Be Who You Want to Be? (a chapter from "You've Changed": Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity). An interview with Stuart Biegel, author of The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America's Public Schools. From The Scavenger, the biological body and its given heterosexual proclivities is normalized as a justification for the cultural meanings of men and women, but sex and gender indeterminacy needs to become a part of a radically pluralized sex/gender system — and bisexuality does not reinforce the gender binary; Sasha Sanford on how to create safer spaces for sex and/or gender diverse people; Anastasia Powell on sex, power, and the real problem with "raunch"; and a look at why sex positivity is a sham. Sex and civilization, the body as battleground: Is liberated sexuality destructive to the social order? Sure! An interview with Eric Anderson, the chronicler of homophobia's disappearance. What would Jesus do about sex trafficking? Annie Lobert is spreading the word about the dark side of prostitution, as well as God's love for hookers. A review of Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit from Female Sexual Dysfunction by Ray Moynihan and Barbara Mintzes. Gay activists are taking a cue from Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, but are their struggles the same?

Samuel Adjetey Adjei (NKUST): The United States of Africa Philosophy: A Historical Perspective. What happened to the Pan-African University? One-Africa advocate Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has urged the African continent to assemble a one-million-strong defense force capable of defending itself from China and NATO. A New Bandung: An interview with Samir Amin on Africa. Across Africa and the developing world, a new global land rush is gobbling up large expanses of arable land. Survival in the Sahel: It's getting harder all the time. Paul Pillar on the great divides of Africa. Atlas Obscura visits the Timbuktu Manuscripts, which showcase the civilization of West Africans during the Middle Ages. Will protecting an endangered toad trump Tanzania’s need for energy and development? Cameroonians may suffer in a repressive environment, but they neither lack vision nor motivation to unlock the democratic potential of their nation’s future. A review of Making History in Mugabe's Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media. Liberia is war-weary, with echoes of Old Dixie. Two things we can learn about Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara from the US embassy in Rabat, courtesy of Wikileaks. The Limits of Smart Power: Can the U.S. military end the epidemic of sexual violence in Congo without getting involved in another endless conflict? Obama's Other War: Can Barack Obama really defeat Joseph Kony, Central Africa's worst guerrilla warlord?

Claus Dierksmeier (Stonehill): The Global Rights of Humanity in Krausistic Philosophy. Wastebook’ is a Waste: What Senator Coburn’s list of fraud, abuse, and overspending doesn’t tell us. Psychologist Yacov Rofe argues that the repression of memory, as described by Freud, doesn’t exist. Encounters behind bars between Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering and an American psychiatrist 65 years ago raise questions about responsibility, allegiance and the nature of evil. A new study shows just how important the eyes really are when we judge whether a face is that of a living person or an inanimate object. An excerpt from The Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges (and more). John de Graaf on how reducing work hours and sharing available work is essential for our families, health, economic security, and the environment (and a response by Wendell Berry). Ed Kilgore on GOP senators who'll face primary challenge in 2012 and what that means for the future of the Senate. Are political cartoons popular in the Muslim world? A look at how the WikiLeaks cables show the DEA’s global reach. City officials in Perm, Russia, push art maybe a bit too far. Ann Fabian on her book The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead. In 2008, Mother Jones and other media outfits made an open records request for Gov. Sarah Palin's emails — Alaska state officials are still processing it.

Victor A. Beker (Belgrano): On the Economic Crisis and the Crisis of Economics. The financial crisis has exposed the weaknesses of many traditional economic models, yet economists still appear reluctant to venture out of their comfort zone. Financial fraud, Ponzi schemes, and legitimate economic policies: Neil Buchanan on misunderstandings of, and overreactions to, the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Faith in the "efficient markets hypothesis" is largely to blame for the massive deregulation of the late 1990s and early 2000s that made the crisis more likely, if not inevitable. From the Mises Institute, what is the current state of economic science? In two words, "not good"; and Art Carden on a message of hope from the dismal science. From Truthonthemarket.com, free to choose? A symposium on behavioral law and economics. Economics needs fixing: Why has billionaire financier George Soros donated $50 million to rethink economics? From MRzine, Michael Perelman on decoding economic ideology. An interview with David J Lynch on books on economic history. A review of Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market by Gareth Dale. Do we need Google to measure inflation? Economists are creating new methods for tracking prices. A review of Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy by Viviana A. Zelizer. An interview with Yana van der Meulen Rodgers on economics books for young children.

Andrew E. Taslitz (Howard): Why Did Tinkerbell Get Off so Easy? The Roles of Imagination and Social Norms in Excusing Human Weakness. "Senator Junior DeMint": Meet Mike Lee, the Tea Parties' most skilled spokesman. Jonathan Culpeper tackles the way in which the power of insults can change over time. What makes Somalis so different? Somali immigrants in America have followed European patterns of integration, and not the ideal of the melting pot. Bush and Foucault: Decision Points holds the same relation to George W. Bush as a line of fashion accessories or a perfume does to the movie star that bears its name (and more and more). Futurology: The tricky art of knowing what will happen next. The Finite World: World commodity prices have risen by a quarter in the past six months — what’s the meaning of this surge? The Turkish government is rushing to legally protect the country's national anthem after realizing Turkey does not actually own the copyright on the work. A review of Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie. A review of Larry Flynt's One Nation Under Sex. An interview with Siddharth Kara, author of Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery. Eve Ewing writes in defense of the public: We must not let the commons be privatized. A Parallel Mainstream: The Fox News generation has made it impossible to have a serious discussion about policy.

A new issue of Journal of Law and Family Studies is out. Aoife Nolan (Durham): The Child as "Democratic Citizen": Challenging the "Participation Gap". Joan C. Williams on her book Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter (and more). From Eat the State!, John Chapman on how to turn your kids into radicals. From Yes!, a special issue on what happy families know, including a section on "This is my family": Eight personal essays on what family is today. Meet the Twiblings: How four women (and one man) conspired to make two babies. Emily Yoffe on the rise of the multigenerational family. As complex families proliferate, the law considers: Can a child have more than two parents? Teenage Confusion: The cult of the teenager forgets what it's like to be a teen. A review of Living History: A Family's 19th Century by Hugh Gault. Should children be expected to work? When it comes to involvement in their children’s education, Asian Americans have their own distinct style that often pays dividends when report cards arrive. David Leonhardt on the different costs of motherhood. Even as they become more connected, young people are caring less about others. The new 20-somethings: Why won't they grow up? They're unemployed, living with their parents and waiting longer to get married — what happened to young adulthood? Child-care providers have long been thought of as full-time baby sitters — the government can help them become well-paid professionals.

Wadie E. Said (South Carolina): The Terrorist Informant. A decade after White House aide Richard Clarke’s famous memo warning against al-Qaeda, it’s time for a reality check: the 9/11 attacks did not achieve what Osama bin Laden had hoped, and the list of his enemies is growing. A review of How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns by Audrey Kurth Cronin. Isolation and engagement: An article on terrorism and American Muslims. Looking at the math behind profiling meant to nab terrorists, William Press realized it may be less effective than purely random sampling. A review of Driven to Death: Psychological and Social Aspects of Suicide Terrorism by Ariel Merari. Talk to terrorists: Thanassis Cambanis on how negotiating will make us stronger. The terrorist search engine: Is Evan Kohlmann qualified to be the government’s expert witness for terrorism cases? The truth about suicide bombers: Are they religious fanatics? Deluded ideologues? New research suggests something more mundane — they just want to commit suicide. A new case in Oregon reignites concerns over how the government catches terrorists. The Physics of Terror: Aaron Clauset thinks he’s found mathematical patterns that can help governments prevent and prepare for major terror attacks. The next Congress will see terror in everything. An expert cites laws of physics to pull the plug on worries that a terrorist attack on a minor substation could bring down the entire US electric grid.

From Vanity Fair, how did Mark Weinberger go from esteemed surgeon to fugitive, accused of mutilating patients to enrich himself? An interview with Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Science fiction set the groundwork for our current century, but is it on the decline? Margaret McMillan on how the war to end all wars is finally over: The treaty after the “War to End All Wars” didn’t start the next one. The Stunt Man: Can CollegeHumor’s Ricky Van Veen turn viral funny into the future of TV? Three recently published books bring the realities of Egypt's long history into sharp focus, tackling neatly defined periods from the Predynastic age to the present. Mark Thoma on how a smarter bailout could have shortened the recession. As technology colonises every area of our lives so nerds are the emperors; once the "outcast underdogs", they are, in fact, "the new bullies". Jaron Lanier on the hazards of nerd supremacy and the case of WikiLeaks. Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the US is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. A review of America's War on Christianity by Brad O'Leary. In order to forgive others, victims must put aside revenge — but what are the other conditions of true forgiveness? A look at 5 typical acts of politeness that are inefficient and should be banned.