From The American Scholar, alone at the movies: Mark Edmundson on his days in the dark with Robert Altman and Woody Allen. Smoke Screens: A look at how Hollywood really made cigarettes cool. Was Hollywood’s famed censor Joseph I. Breen an anti-Semite? A review of Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration by Thomas Doherty. Lights! Camera! Collective Action!: The Writers Guild of America strikes to secure a piece of the pie in the Digital Age. First it was music, then it was porn — now it's television's turn to feel the wrath of the web: Is anything safe from the burgeoning attraction of amateur-hour doodlings? Who's the fairest of them all? Here's a comparison of all of the women's television networks. Found: A map of the island in "Lost".

From Mother Jones, how does a 72-year-old conservative Texas congressman become the hottest thing in online politics? Ask the techies, hippies, tax haters, and war protesters who believe that only Ron Paul can save America from itself (and from John Locke to Jesse Ventura, a timeline of libertarian thought).  Jonah Goldberg on the tradition of Ron Paul: defeated in the Cold War, it is back in this current war (and a response by Justin Raimondo). Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. on Ron Paul: Mr. Republican. Too funny to be president: Mike Huckabee's a joker — that's a problem. A look at how Huckabee is playing both sides of the pulpit, equating environmentalism with pornography, homosexuality with necrophilia, and nonbelievers with evildoers.  A look at the unhinged correspondence of Mike Huckabee. Southern Baptists vs. the Mormons: Mike Huckabee's and Mitt Romney's faiths have tangled before. After years spent injecting religion into US politics, right-wing pundits are afraid they may have gone too far. "Saddle me up": Fred Thompson rides into Iowa. From National Journal, steering the debate to the right: An interview with Sam Brownback. For the GOP, falling in love is hard to do: It is hard to think of another campaign when Republicans have seemed less excited about their choices.

From Newsweek, a cover story on John Edwards: Even if he loses in Iowa's bigger cities, Edwards can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts. The candidate is running an impassioned, anti-corporate campaign, but will John Edwards' pugilistic populism turn off Iowa voters? Hillary Clinton's firewall: Will Barack Obama's anemic standing among Latinos be his undoing? From TNR, Sean Wilentz on the delusional style in American punditry: Forget experience — Opinion-slingers are mooning over Barack Obama's instincts; don't they remember how badly that worked out last time? Hillary Clinton's new website, "The Hillary I Know," says a lot more about her than she intended. Hillary Clinton v the media: It's not just her personality — the reason why the press doesn't like her goes much deeper than that. Glenn Greenwald on media hostility toward anti-establishment candidates. From The Progressive, is Bill Richardson radioactive? Laura Paskus investigates. The King of Spin: How Dennis Kucinich remade himself from race-baiting bomb-thrower to liberal sweetheart. Why’s Biden still on the trail? Because, dammit, he loves it.

Jeffrey Paris (USF): American Power and the Philosophy of World-Systems Analysis. Precipitate decline in U.S. power and its legal implications: A talk by Immanuel Wallerstein. Joseph S. Nye on recovering America’s "smart power". Libertarian commentator James Glassman, the new face of US public diplomacy, has made a career out of jingoistic sloganeering. Armed ambassadors: A look at how the military has increasingly assumed a major role in U.S. foreign policy. From The Washington Monthly, an article on the Army's other crisis: Why the best and brightest young officers are leaving. Fire away: Exploding one of military history's more enduring myths. The Guard's turn to surge: National Guard soldiers are increasingly becoming full-time, and for 2008 and 2009, they'll again do long relief in Afghanistan and Iraq for the Army.

From Prospect, the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides sparked an intellectual revolution that still echoes today — yet for philosophy and science to continue to progress in the 21st century, we may need to embark on an entirely new cognitive journey. From Scientific American, this year's SciAm 50 awards are replete with instances of new machines or chemicals that come close to the true meaning of innovation as something entirely new; and Michael Shermer on Evonomics: Evolution and economics are both examples of a larger mysterious phenomenon. Norman Levitt reviews Steve Fuller’s Science vs. Religion: Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution. From NPQ, an interview with J. Craig Venter: "Microbial manufacturing is the next phase of evolution". The undiscovered planet: A look at how microbial science illuminates a world of astounding diversity. The Body Engineers: Hormone researchers seek new life for old brains and bones. Desperately seeking a kidney: What you learn about people — and yourself — when you need them to donate an organ.

Vladimir Putin is named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" of 2007, with runners-up and people who mattered; and you had a great run as Person of the Year 2006, but what have You done for us lately? From Financial Times, Gideon Rachman on five events that have defined 2007. From Foreign Policy, here are the top 10 stories you missed in 2007. Here are the top 20 viral videos of 2007. Here are the questions Slate's Explainer never answered in 2007. From Popular Mechanics, here are 10 tech concepts you need to know for 2008. The spirit of Christmas: Americans are in a funk — they should cheer up a bit. Reason magazine celebrates a "Very Special, Very Secular Christmas Party" with dramatic reading of Tom Lehrer's "Christmas Carol" by Christopher Hitchens. The Hitch reviews How's Your Drink? Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well by Eric Felten.

Who strangled the FDA? Charting the phases of the FDA's decline lays bare the responsibility borne by movement conservatism. The 100th anniversary of the FDA marks a milestone in medicine before which cranks and charlatans ran amok. A review of Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History. All evidence points to a mandate being the best strategy for achieving universal health care — why's Barack Obama fighting it? Take a chill pill: Henry Aaron on why everyone squabbling over the candidates' health care plans needs to take a deep breath and get some perspective. A review of Political Economy of Health Care: A Clinical Perspective by Julian Tudor Hart. A review of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee. From Discover, an article on the perfect storm of health risk: In some situations, rare illnesses become downright probable. Why don't we get cancer all the time? The seemingly inefficient way our bodies replace worn-out cells is a defense against cancer. Thank you for smoking: While Washington is encouraging Americans to quit, it has been helping big tobacco push cigarette smoking in other countries.

Matthew Gentzkow, Edward L. Glaeser, and Claudia Goldin (NBER): The Rise of the Fourth Estate: How Newspapers Became Informative and Why It Mattered. In the early 1900s Walter Lippman laid the groundrules for public debate in America — have the US media followed his prescriptions? A review of Liberty and the News by Walter Lippmann. A review of The Granta Book of Reportage: Classics of Reportage. From CJR, a case study on the fight for clarity in language: "surge" meet "escalation". More on Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism by Umberto Eco. From the Center for Media and Democracy, here are the 2007 Falsies Awards. From The Weekly Standard, an article on media gatekeepers as the new fundamentalists. Is Andy Rooney a brilliant satirist or batshit looney? Time columnists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer are on their way out the door. Did you know that Time actually stands for The International Magazine of Events? What's new at The New York Review of Books: News on a successor? Not really, but there are some changes afoot at the intellectual journal. How many magazines debuted this year? The Numbers Guy investigates.

From Counterpunch, an article on the politics of teen pregnancy: It's not about sex; and Britney Spears' little sister Jamie Lynne is pregnant — should we blame hip hop? Invasion of the Postmodern Body Snatchers: An article on female contraception discourse in cyberspace. Once women burned their bras, today they send photos of their breasts to lad mags and call it liberating — is this really a new form of feminism or just the old objectification? Men propose, women dispose: Women often complain that dating is like a cattle market, and a paper just published suggests they are right. The Opt-out Marriage: Increased mobility goes hand in hand with increased economic uncertainty, especially among young professionals — their romantic lifestyles are adapting to the new pressures. The case for open relationships: Polyamorous relationships need trust and communication, not so different from monogamous ones. Homo erectus extinctus: Is nature determined to make men extinct? Senior scientists believe that women may evolve as humanity’s sole representatives — and social and political trends are lending weight to their theories.

From Graduate Journal of Social Science, Jade Boyd (UBC): Considering Performance. From Fast Capitalism, Irving Goh (EGS): Disagreeing Preemptive/Prophylaxis: From Philip K. Dick to Jacques Ranciere. From Public Resistance, Robert de Beaugrande (Primorskem): Critical Discourse Analysis from the Perspective of Ecologism: The Discourse of the "New Patriotism". A review of Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. A review of Illuminations: Essays and Reflections and Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings by Walter Benjamin. A review of Self-Transformations: Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies by Cressida J. Heyes. A review of Bodily Citations: Religion and Judith Butler. A review of Narrating Social Order: Agoraphobia and the Politics of Classification by Shelley Z. Reuter. An interview with Terry Eagleton, the armchair revolutionary.