Anil Hira (Simon Fraser): The World Is Round: A Real Plan to Solve Global Problems in this Generation. From TAP, the costs of UN peacekeeping missions across the globe have ballooned — and, along with them, so have America's arrears. A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility and worse. While the developed world deals with a "birth dearth," populations are exploding in developing nations. What the first world should do to help.

Cracks in the Financial Foundation: The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are now facing questions about their relevance in a global economy. How should the new and growing phenomenon of outward FDI from the South be assessed? Should South-South investment be promoted as an alternative to North-South investment flows? The Asian Development Bank has told itself it needs to change but can its slow-moving bureaucracy respond? A review of Aid Effectiveness in Africa: Developing Trust between Donors and Governments.

From American Diplomacy, more on Dangerous Nation, by Robert Kagan. The most troublesome Mideast state has signaled its desire to deal with us. How should America respond to Iran. Whenever the administration shifts toward engagement, one figure is there to stop it. How Dick Cheney ensures diplomatic failure with Tehran. Resistance, not terror: An interview with the Grand Ayatollah Ahmed Alhasani al-Baghdadi of Iraq. Exit Stage Right: Phillip Carter on a step-by-step plan for withdrawing from Iraq. We have to stay in Iraq for a decade: Here's how to do it. The Politics of Intelligence: Bush made a dramatic announcement about bin Laden plans to attack the US. But some counterterrorism experts say it was just another selective leak, designed to bolster support for the war in Iraq.

From TNR, Bob Shrum v. John Edwards: No one comes in for rougher treatment in the famed political consultant's forthcoming memoir, No Excuses, than his former client. No Democratic nominee will be immune to all of the GOP’s attacks. But it’s worth asking whether John Edwards is vulnerable to too many of them. If not money or looks, what else pre-determine the likelihood of success for a candidate attempting to woo today’s voters? Power to the people, 2.0: Barack Obama and John Edwards are boldly abandoning me-first campaigns for online "political movements". Howard Dean, anyone? John Zogby on Gore, Gingrich, Bloomberg scenarios in '08. And from The Politico, a look at why a Bloomberg run could matter, and why the Bloomberg fantasy won't come true

From CRB, a review of The Georgics of Virgil: Bilingual Edition, translated by David Ferry and Virgil's Georgics, translated by Janet Lembke. From Open Letters Monthly, a review of John Donne: The Reformed Soul; and Christploitation: Sam Sacks laments the great divorce of Christianity from literature; and on the great life and writing of Gerald of Wales, a continuously frustrated candidate for the Archbishopric of Wales. Pope could be saviour for Bloomsbury but the party may be purgatory. A lusty, violent thriller about the medieval clash between Christianity and Islam: A review of The Religion by Tim Willocks.

China Miéville on The Struggle for Intergalactic Socialism: The desire to meet "higher lifeforms" is just another expression of enthusiasm for socialism from above - way above. Bogdanov, technocracy and socialism: Alexander Bogdanov was a non-Leninist Bolshevik who also wrote science-fiction. Russian as an American language: An interview with Anya Ulinich, author of Petropolis. A review of A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson. In To the Castle and Back, Vaclav Havel reflects on the 13 years he spent as president of his country and his life afterward. Sheila Kohler's Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness is a heavily fictionalized account of the extraordinary life of Henriette Lucy Dillon, who lived in France and America at the time of the French Revolution.

An emotional striptease: Ignore those publishers who claim ‘misery memoirs’ are popular because they tell life-affirming stories of survival. In truth, these books are a voyeur’s wet dream. Publisher Media Predict to let the public have a vote on book projects.

From Spiked, an interview with Sonya Dyer: "Can’t non-white people ever just make art?" It’s boring at the top: Is Andreas Gursky—the highest-priced photographer alive—running out of ideas? The Branding of Rothko: How his art became the ultimate luxury object.  From The Potomac, All This Makes a Magnificent Asparagus: Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso on how to look; and if childhood and happiness are inseparable in the poet’s mind, the fear that they must come to an end lurks in his mind. A review of Some Kind of Genius: The Extraordinary Journey of Musical Savant Tony DeBlois by Janice DeBlois and Antonia Felix.

Rembrandt's Feathers: Why do people collect? Is collecting a primal activity, perhaps rooted in the survival activities of primitive hunter-gatherers? What makes a "film pledge" visionary? Unimpeded by Norwegian language, culture, or social conditions, Norway should be capable of creating and expanding a visionary arena for critically independent, international documentary film. Laurence Olivier was born 100 years ago today, but how have the years affected his reputation? Was he a sublime master of stagecraft or ham cut thick?

Donald MacKenzie (Edinburgh): Finding the Ratchet: The Political Economy of Carbon Trading. From Sign and Sight, Leo Tuor has felt the effects of global warming right up to his belly button. Polymers are Forever: Alarming tales of a most prevalent and problematic substance. A review of Oil on The Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline. A review of Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics.

From Satya, an interview with Diane Beers, author of For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States; and can’t a guy destroy a slaughterhouse without being called a “terrorist”? A review of Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. From Satya, an interview with Juliette Williams on White Gold: The True Cost of Cotton; and an interview with Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power and Politics of World Trade.

From National Review, an interview with Peter Schweizer and Wynton C. Hall, editors of Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement. As Giuliani emerges, conservative Catholic organizations are in the process of rolling out potentially broad-reaching “viral” initiatives with the common aim of denying him the Republican nomination. Uniting conservative Catholics, evangelicals and neoconservatives to fight a theoconservative holy war: A review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Max Blumenthal on the Diary of a Christian Terrorist. P.R. firm for a Christian nation: Christian Newswire serves Jerry Falwell, Operation Rescue, Focus on the Family... and the White House.

From Skeptical Inquirer, an essay on Fighting the Fundamentalists: Chamberlain or Churchill?; a review of The God Delusion; are silent prayers transmissible to, or readable by, a supernatural being?; the ongoing debate between scientists and creationists has ignored the contradictions contained in Genesis; and psychic vibrations: An article on The Incredible Bouncing Cow. From Free Inquiry, Tom Flynn on the seductions of misbelief; a review of Philip Kitcher's Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith; Peter Singer on treating (or not) the tiniest babies; and an essay on religion and child abuse.

Have we raised a generation of narcissists? It's 10 p.m. Do you know how big your child's ego is? The invisible mommies: A spate of new books about opting out adds more fuel to the mommy wars. But will our focus on educated, well-paid women ever trickle down to less fortunate moms? A review of Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. And do the cliches about the fortes and failings of men and women stand up to scientific scrutiny?

From Law & History Review, Robert H. Churchill (Hartford): Gun Regulation, the Police Power, and the Right to Keep Arms in Early America: The Legal Context of the Second Amendment; David Thomas Konig (WSLU): Arms and the Man: What Did the Right to "Keep" Arms Mean in the Early Republic; William G. Merkel (Washburn): Mandatory Gun Ownership, the Militia Census of 1806, and Background Assumptions concerning the Early American Right to Arms; Saul Cornell (OSU): Early American Gun Regulation and the Second Amendment: A Closer Look at the Evidence; and a reply by Churchill. To Your Tents, O Israel: David Kopel finds biblical roots for the right to keep and bear arms.

A review of Righteous Anger at the Wicked States: The Meaning of the Founders' Constitution. Did Aaron Burr really try to take over half of America? A review of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. A review of In Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Frémont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics, and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America. A review of The Avenger Takes His Place: Andrew Johnson and The Forty-Five Days that Changed the Nation. A purple patch on rationality and social life by Reinhold Niebuhr.

From The University Bookman, a review of Neocon Teocon. Il ruolo della religione nella vita pubblica statunitense [Neocon, Theocon. The role of religion in public life in the United States] by Flavio Felice, and a review of Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger. Solomon’s House: An article on the deeper agenda of the new Creation museum in Kentucky. Being honest about ignorance: The temptation to deny scientific truths is timeless—and dangerous.

From Seed, are most published research findings actually false? The case for reform. From Wired, a look at The Best Thought Experiments: Schrodinger's Cat, Borel's Monkeys... Loooooooooong Division: Mathematicians factor 307-digit number using only 95 years of computing time. Androids, it seems, have appearance in the bag. But is their intelligence only skin-deep? Peter Spinks finds sharp divisions over the likely future of robotic intellect.

From Symmetry, when physicists marry physicists, the beginning may be a big bang, but issues of life, love, and family gravitate toward the universal. From Salon, an interview with David Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. (and another interview). From Inside Higher Ed, Beach Blanket Bingo: Looking for a brief holiday from total seriousness? Scott McLemee checks into some good destinations for a mental vacation. And the office of assertion: John Leo offers some thoughts on writing well