Robert Pallitto (Seton Hall): Torture and Historical Memory. A look at how Vienna in 1900 gave birth to modern style and identity. A review of In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon. A review of A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer. What Rotten Tomatoes data tell us about the best, worst, and most bizarre Hollywood trajectories. Will androids one day dream of electric sheep? Kathleen Richardson examines the history and development of the robot and evaluates the possibilities. Mark Jacobson on why Paul Bergrin was the baddest lawyer in the history of New Jersey. More and more and more on Peter Toohey's Boredom: A Lively History. From, what is social psychology, anyway? An interview with Timothy D. Wilson. When the truth hurts: How to have an honest conversation about the future without losing hope. An interview with Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure (and more and more). Getting Pumped: At $2, $3, of $4 a gallon, gas prices are always going to seem too high. A review of The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty by William Byers.

Rise of the Ethnoburbs: Asians are now California's fastest-growing ethnic group, a cultural makeover that is being repeated around the country. Moving While Black: African Americans are migrating to the South — and that’s supposed to be a bad thing? Race and Border: Neon Trotsky on the two-headed ogre of white supremacy. Saying no to $1 billion: Why the impoverished Sioux Nation won’t take federal money. How do the German contributions to American life have far deeper roots than most people in either country realize? Ryan William Nohea Garcia on who is Hawaiian, what begets federal recognition, and how much blood matters. Grace Elizabeth Hale on her book A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (and more). The resegregation of the United States of America: Gordon Haber returns to his childhood L.A. to see how it has changed. The entire federal task force effort concerning Puerto Rico’s status is nothing more than another wordy, though worthwhile, exercise in futility — the powers that be in Washington have zero real interest in a fifty-first state. Explaining and eliminating racial profiling: The emancipation of slaves is a century-and-a-half in America’s past — many would consider it ancient history. Fade to White: A filmmaker maps Austin’s shifting ethnic landscape. What themes preoccupy these five Arab-American writers? Body image, war, sex, and pizza — Arab-American literature is American literature. Despite the problems facing the U.S. these days, one group is surprisingly upbeat: African Americans. The Mexican Border: Reed Karaim on crossing a cultural divide. The hidden Americans: Many Roma have made the US their home, and their cultural identity continues to thrive despite discrimination.

Here's something you don't see every day — hundreds of new islands have been discovered around the world. Orphans of the atla: Point Roberts, Wash., is a prime example of a kind of geographical feature that was once quite common but has now almost vanished from world maps. In Greenland, an Arctic growth story: The Danish possession has high hopes for this summer's oil drilling. Ultra-travelers aim to conquer the world: For travel fanatics competing for the title of "world's most traveled person", inaccessible places are must-see destinations, as part of the ever-growing list of the world's countries and territories. Plastic Islands: Cleaning up the seas by creating artificial landmasses. Atlas Obscura visits the Third Tunnel of Aggression, a passage below the world's most dangerous border, and Lake Nyos, the deadliest lake in the world. Mayotte moves to modernity: Island group in Indian Ocean becomes the latest departement of France, despite the latter's indifference. Dispatch from a Shrinking Planet: Google Earth, cell phones, and the Internet are all making the world seem smaller — but the illusion of close contact makes travel more important than ever. An underwater "river" has been discovered snaking along the ocean bed off southwestern Australia. The most murderous countries are safer than you think: Why travelers don't have to be so afraid of Mexican resorts, the Philippines, and other "dangerous" places. Sardinia hosts several extraordinary grottos that, hidden since ancient times, have had to wait geological ages before being discovered and explored by man. Life's Little Mysteries looks at the most mysterious places on the seas. Frank Jacobs on Northwest Angles: One exclave may hide another. Between cellphones, Google Earth, and jumbo jets, it seems there's nowhere in the world left to explore, but travel books still have something to tell us.

Gerry Nagtzaam (Monash): The International Whaling Commission and the Elusive Great White Whale of Preservationism. For advice about life after graduation, students at Worcester Polytechnic wanted to hear from peak oil scholar Richard Heinberg instead of Exxon’s CEO — here’s what he told them. A review of Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead by Ray Madoff. It’s the principles, stupid! Karsten Weber on why we shall try to find general principles in intercultural information ethics and not stop with cultural particularities. Look at the world through the eyes of a fool: An interview with Stewart Brand. What do CEOs get up to all day? A new study of how CEOs allocate their time yields some surprising results. Books about the Third Reich throng the British bestseller lists, but is it a matter of genuine historical interest or odd fetish? A review of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Junk Food, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity and Gambling Feel So Good by David J. Linden. Drones are ready for takeoff: Will unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — soon take civilian passengers on pilotless flights?

Sudha Setty (WNEU): What's in a Name? How Nations Define Terrorism Ten Years after 9/11. David N. Baker and Byron E. Price (Texas Southern): Counter-Terrorism Post 9/11: The Hidden Agenda of Exclusion. Can Oztas (Birkbeck): The March of the Mehteran: Rethinking the Human Rights Critiques of Counter-terrorism. In eliminating Osama bin Laden, the United States may have unwittingly set the stage for a wider terrorist offensive on Western targets. No end in sight: Joseph Margulies on Republicans’ dangerous effort to change the way we fight the war on terror. The first chapter from The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Terrorism by Jonathan Barker. The Leaderless Jihad’s Leader: Bruce Hoffman on why Osama Bin Laden mattered. Islam needs reformists, not "moderates": Bin Laden's followers represent a real interpretation of Islam — why don't more Muslims challenge it? The Hawk: How Obama escalated the war on terror — and why it might help him in 2012. The Antisocial Network: Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his legion of online jihadis is more determined than ever. Britain's spy agencies have a new message for terrorists: Make cupcakes, not war. Al Qaeda's Toughest Task: Slain jihadi leaders like Ilyas Kashmiri and Osama bin Laden aren't so easily replaced. 100% Scared: How the National Security Complex grows on terrorism fears. The faithless side of suicide bombing: New study argues that female suicide bombing is a political and military tactic, not a religious act. Discussions are underway in Pakistan on the future use of the late Osama Bin Laden's mansion hideout in Abbottabad, with academics suggesting it should be converted into a university dedicated to teaching tolerance and peace. A review of Talking to the Enemy: Violent Extremism, Sacred Values, and What it Means to be Human by Scott Atran.

Robert E. Martin (Centre): The Humanities Dilemma, Postmodernism and Critical Thinking. Stanley Fish on the triumph of the humanities. Study of the best that has been thought and said is under attack — Fred Inglis turns to F.R. Leavis for the ordnance with which to defend the humanities. UNESCO debates the uses and misuses of academic rankings. An interview with Louis Menand, author of The Marketplace of Ideas. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on why we have college: A review essay (and a response). College? There's an app for that — how USC built a 21st century classroom. Richard Vedder on why university presidents are clueless about the real world. An interview with Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For. Quarantining the PC Pathology: Let’s face it, our noble efforts to detoxify today’s PC-infected university have largely failed and the future looks bleak. Are students a captive audience? The Tenured Radical on constructive disagreement and classroom politics. Opposition to affirmative action has drastically reduced minority enrollment at public universities; private institutions have the power and the responsibility to reverse the trend. Back in the mid 20th century, colleges and universities helped America beat down economic inequality — now they reinforce it. A plea for real-world research: A journalist who turns to academic papers finds more questions than answers. Marx, Pandora and the Tower of Porn: The truth is in here, but so too are countless myths — Colin Higgins on the strange world of the academic library, where cod-antique book curses jostle for shelf space with thieves, tourists and treasures.

From the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, Chato Rasoal (Linkoping) and Jakob Eklund and Eric M. Hansen (Malardalen): Toward a Conceptualization of Ethnocultural Empathy; and Aurelio Jose Figueredo and Dok J. Andrzejczak (Arizona), Daniel Nelson (UBC), and Vanessa Smith-Castro and Eiliana Montero (Costa Rica): Reproductive Strategy and Ethnic Conflict: Slow Life History as a Protective Factor Against Negative Ethnocentrism in Two Contemporary Societies. Beyond Orientalism: A review of Nabil I. Matar's Islam in Britain, 1558-1685, Alastair Hamilton and Francis Richard's Andre du Ryer and Oriental Studies in Seventeenth-Century France, Paula Sutter Fichtner's Terror and Toleration: The Habsburg Empire Confronts Islam, 1526-1850, and Ziad Elmarsafy's The Enlightenment Qur'an: The Politics of Translation and the Construction of Islam. The decline of nudism either means we're all letting it all hang out now, or else we've really gotten more uptight than ever. Tono-Bungay: Michael Dirda on how H.G. Wells's most insightful visions concerned money, ambition, and the human heart.

Neil Siegel (Duke): Free Riding on Benevolence: Collective Action Federalism and the Individual Mandate. Akhil Amar (Yale): The Lawfulness of Health-Care Reform. As physicians change, will the AMA? And the winner is the public sector: In health, education and defense, government programs are more efficient than privatized ones. Stop smearing federalism: From consumer advocacy to gay marriage, liberals routinely embrace federalism, so why do they keep comparing it to slavery? Tom Slee on what is wrong with Government 2.0 (and part 2). Ryan Rafaty on the five smartest Congressional bills you've never heard of. Mea Culpa: From bad pizza to better performance, OMB takes the Domino's approach to accountability. Martin and Susan J. Tolchin on their book Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favors from the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond. The FCC’s revolving door: Once outrageous, now just mundane. What we don't know can hurt us: Information is the life-blood of public policy, but there's a lot of it missing. Tim Harford’s worry isn’t that the government fails too much — it’s that it fails too little, and too unenthusiastically. Emily L. Chamlee-Wright (Beloit) and Virgil Henry Storr (GMU): Expectations of Government’s Response to Disaster. A review of Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond by Michael Brown. Steven G. Morris (NYU): The President as a Lawmaker: The Misuse of Presidential Signing Statements Under the Administration of George W. Bush. As conservative deficit hawks go looking for new targets, expect to hear a lot about outsized federal paychecks. Bancroft, with three old Harvard buddies, has become Washington's go-to law firm for conservative causes. GovTwit hosts hosts the world's largest list of government agencies and elected officials on Twitter.

Jared A. Goldstein (Roger Williams): Can Popular Constitutionalism Survive the Tea Party Movement? From The American Spectator, is America in decline? A symposium; and a review of The Decline and Fall of the American Republic by Bruce Ackerman. New polling data shows strong American support for the UN. Don't shrug this atlas, the Real State of America Atlas, that is — yes, charts can be beach reading. Jefferson’s Mistake: A review of The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution by Jack P. Greene. A review of The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture by David Mamet (and more and more). Gavis McInnes on the 12-step plan to restore American machismo. Invasion of the bodybuidlers: Macho men are back with a vengeance — and they’re making the USA feel good again. From TNR, Christine Stansell reviews Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling, ed. by Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel; America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberation by Elaine Tyler May; and Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America by Sara Dubow. Ken Burns' "Civil War": How the documentary changed the way we think about the war. When did greed become the core engine of American greatness? A review of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America by Richard White. A review of The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties by David K. Shipler. The American middle class, concludes a new study from the ad industry's top trade journal, has essentially become irrelevant — in a deeply unequal America, if you don't make $200,000, you don't matter. A review of America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation by Andrew Goldfield.

I. Bennett Capers (Hofstra): Real Rape Too. David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan (Stanford): Seven Myths of Corporate Governance. Martin Lewis on our maps of the 18th century — and theirs (and more). From Design Observer, Martin Hogue on a short history of the campsite. Is existence inevitable? We are self-aware stardust. How wise is the crowd, really? A study suggests that all it takes is a whiff of social influence (the knowledge of how others are acting) for the wisdom to evaporate — and for crowds to become even less wise than individual decision makers. Traveling to a distant land, and wondering where you’ll get the news in your new spot? Newspaper Map is a great place to start. In a world where jobs aren't certain, it's tempting to never call it a day — but at a certain point, it must pay to go home. John S. Wilkins on the evolution of common sense. The global financial crisis of 2007-2009 heralded the start of a sixth major wave of innovation — resource efficiency, according to Dr James Bradfield Moody, author of The Sixth Wave. Between cellphones, Google Earth, and jumbo jets, it seems there's nowhere in the world left to explore, but travel books still have something to tell us.