From The Economist, anxiously watching a different world: Climate and other changes draw new interest and new misunderstandings to the Canadian north. Global warming's boom town: A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters. Mexico's arid north — 54% of the nation's land surface — is drying out and blowing away in the wind at an alarming rate as desertification transforms this always-hardscrabble terrain into an American Sahara. Fission: A look at how small states the Caribbean get smaller still.

From TAP, for a Global FDA: If we're going to globalize the food we eat and wish to be safe, we need to get serious. A review of The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy. North Korea as the world's worst holiday destination: All the misery of Maoism with none of the redeeming features. A review of Charm Offensive: How China’s Soft Power Is Transforming the World, by Joshua Kurlantzick. An article on the language of Chinese soft power in the US. How can Americans understand China as it is — not as politicians and pundits prefer to depict it? (and part 2 and part 3 and part 4). A look at why Washington needs to embrace a new diplomatic geometry with China. A review of The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression and Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World.

From Desicritics, an article on Deconstructing Martha Nussbaum: The Hindu Right Revisited. From Open Democracy, Western variants of multiculturalism and secularism are being challenged by religious demands for public recognition of faith. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the world should learn from India. Europeans have gone cold on the idea of a European Constitution. Could they learn something from that other Asian peninsula? Gandhi’s ideals a model for Europe.

Constitutional conundrums: The battle over the EU constitution is likely to be won by the minimalists. The argument for a written constitution in the United Kingdom in 2007 requires a sense of history and of the scale of the challenge. From The Spectator, Boris Johnson on the pursuit of happiness: "The real trouble is that our rulers are Puritans".

The Soviet occupation of Austria, 1945-1955: While Austria did not fall within the direct sphere of Soviet influence during the postwar period, it was earmarked for heavy economic exploitation. Siegfried Beer summarizes new perspectives gained after the opening up of the Russian state archives.  An interview with Tatiana Tolstaya, the great-grandniece of Leo Tolstoy, and one of Russia's most popular novelists and TV hosts: "Democracy has nearly disappeared in Russia". Whose side can we be on? The real story of the Chechen war defies simple good-versus-bad explanations. And judging from the tabloids, you can barely rollerskate along Miami Beach without tripping over a Russian pop star


From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on Eco-Tecture. 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. Rembrandt's Feathers: Why do people collect? Is collecting a primal activity, perhaps rooted in the survival activities of primitive hunter-gatherers? 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? 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. An interview with Sonya Dyer: "Can’t non-white people ever just make art?" A review of Some Kind of Genius: The Extraordinary Journey of Musical Savant Tony DeBlois by Janice DeBlois and Antonia Felix.

From Open Democracy, Le Monde’s democratic coup: A journalists’ revolt at the great flagship of France’s media is a case-study in democracy, ethics, power, hubris and capitalism. From CJR, an article on The Tragedy of Peter Kann: A devoted son of Dow Jones brings down the company. A review of Media Concentration and Democracy: Why Ownership Matters.

A great idea lives forever. Shouldn’t its copyright? No good case exists for the inequality of real and intellectual property, because no good case can exist for treating with special disfavor the work of the spirit and the mind. Should the government begin regulating violent content on television or can the industry police itself? A former FCC commissioner and the executive producer of "Law & Order" debate. Jack Shafer on The Monday Crap Story: As nonperishable as a MoonPie. So many news articles are the same; only the names are changed. In Hollywood, where everything is fleeting, all reporters need is this template from Michael Y. Park to file their stories.

From Editor & Publisher, editors explore recent redesigns at major Web sites. Working Without Wires: Who will WiFi's biggest beneficiaries be?  Cory Doctorow on how to keep hostile jerks from taking over your online community.  Even Better Than The Real Thing: Sweatshop gamers, virtual terrorists, avatar porn, and other tales from the digital frontier. And chip-maker Intel "should be ashamed of itself" for efforts to undermine the $100 laptop initiative, according to its founder Nicholas Negroponte


From The National Interest, Beyond American Hegemony: If the Iraq War is seen as merely a bad application of a fundamentally sound U.S. grand strategy of hegemony, the United States will set itself up for other self-inflicted disasters in the future. An excerpt from A Capitol Idea: Think Tanks and US Foreign Policy pdf. A review of Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the Military Mind. Inside the jihadi worldview: One man tells of what it is like to think like a terror suspect. A review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar, his new book on proliferation, is quite scary. The good news is that he gets most of it wrong.

From The Mises Institute, an article in defense of strip malls. Can block clubs block despair? Why do some poor communities fall apart while others cohere? Community organization can make a difference — up to a point. Being Unemployed: The toughest lack of a job you'll ever love. Matthew Yglesias on why a guest-worker program is bad for immigrants, bad for native workers and bad for America. A review of Tariq Modood's Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea. Recently the government has moved away from the idea of terrorist-as-murderer, with terrorism charges sought when all the evidence shows that the defendants took affirmative steps to make sure no one would be endangered.

From Reason, Crackbrained Crack Crackdown: There's no rational basis for the federal government's cocaine sentencing policy. A review of Martha Stewart's Legal Troubles. Can a public figure have a private life? Peter Singer wants to know.

From the Annals of Medacious Punditry, an article on the work of Larry Kudlow, Pin Striped Perfidy. An interview with Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly on blogging. An article on how Spencer Ackerman got Too Hot for TNR. Getting beyond hollow, theatrical contrarianism and into a realm of real, good-faith debate will require overhauling the way that writers, especially political writers, make their living. What's the point of books? John McWhorter investigates. From Human Events, here are the Top 10 books Nancy Pelosi should read. An interview with Marcus Stern, author of The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught. Dancing into the Majority: Once alienated, grassroots activists are finding ways to work with the Democratic Party establishment.

From The Village Voice, Secrets of the Mob: Geezer gangster George Barone sings like a canary.  A review of White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics. From The New York Observer, The Bad Old Days: Remember flashing? Abe Beame? Robin Byrd? $300 West Side rents? Wake up and recall the urine! If you can’t, the vets say you’re not a real New Yorker. And congratulations, New York! You are home to the worst national park in the country


From Judgment and Decision Making, Ingmar H. A. Franke, Irina Georgieva and Peter Muris (Erasmus): The rich get richer and the poor get poorer: On risk aversion in behavioral decision-making; Jochen Reb (SMU) and Terry Connolly (Arizona): Possession, feelings of ownership and the endowment effect; David Gal (Stanford): A psychological law of inertia and the illusion of loss aversion; Irina Cojuharenco (Pompeu Fabra): Lay intuitions about overall evaluations of experiences; Christine R. Harris, Michael Jenkins, and Dale Glaser (UCSD): Gender Differences in Risk Assessment: Why do Women Take Fewer Risks than Men?; and an essay on Amos Tversky's contributions to legal scholarship.

A review of Consciousness and Its Place in Nature: Does Physicalism Entail Panpsychism? by Galen Strawson et al. A review of What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being by Richard Kraut. A review of Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm by F. M. Kamm.

From TNR, Cass Sunstein reviews The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip G. Zimbardo. A review of Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation. A review of Beyond Moral Judgment by Alice Crary. From Newsweek, are we who we think we are? Some intriguing research with kids finds that personality is a lot more malleable than previously thought. Researchers at University College London are delicately re-creating Stanley Milgram’s work using computer-generated characters instead of actors.

From Free Inquiry, humanism and the science of happiness: An interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; and can psychology be positive about religion?  The Prince of Reason: An interview with Albert Ellis, developer of rational emotive behavior therapy. The groundbreaking treatment rests on the premise that most of our emotional problems are based on irrational beliefs (and more). This Is Your Life: The way people talk about their pasts reveals a lot about how they approach and write the future. From Britannica, an article on understanding emotion and the feeling person.

From Monitor on Psychology, that teenage feeling: Harvard researchers may have found biological clues to quirky adolescent behavior; and observers are quicker to see anger on men’s faces and happiness on women’s. A simple case of gender stereotyping, or something more deeply rooted? John Shook investigates. Boys and their fighting toys: A review of Achtung Schweinehund: A boy's own story of imaginary combat. With hours of training, animals can learn to solve simple math problems, but do they have a natural number sense?

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