From 3:AM, Max Dunbar on The Great Underground Myth: Why self publishing doesn’t work (and a response). New books from old, turning classics into comics: Graphic novel adaptations of classic and contemporary prose works have surged in the past few years. Rich Cohen on what to wear to sell a book. From THES, free, immediate and permanently available research results for all — that's what the open-access campaigners want — unsurprisingly, the subscription publishers disagree; and books are essential tools of the scholarly trade, but Matthew Reisz meets some people whose relationship with texts goes beyond close reading. Steve Haber on how the death of print doesn't have to mean the death of publishing. Steal these books: At independent bookstores, thieves are more likely to be following Abbie Hoffman than the Ten Commandments (and more). The 2110 Club: What books published in the past 10 to 15 years might still be read a century from now? Google versus Publishers, the Sequel: Can’t everyone just get along? Apparently not, and here’s why. The literate burglar: Allison Hoover Bartlett on the curious psyche of a rare-book thief. As books go beyond printed page to multisensory experience, what about reading? Long thought lost to ruthless commercialism, some recent publishing triumphs suggest editors could be making a welcome comeback. Biblio Tech: The public library takes browsing back from Chapters. From Spotify to Bookify: How playlists could revolutionize the books market. A study finds rumors of written-word death have been greatly exaggerated.

From M/C Journal, a special issue on Cultures of Disclosure, including Nick Muntean and Anne Helen Petersen (Texas): Celebrity Twitter: Strategies of Intrusion and Disclosure in the Age of Technoculture; Christine Lohmeier (Rotterdam): Disclosing the Ethnographic Self; Jenny Lawson (Leeds): Food Confessions: Disclosing the Self through the Performance of Food; Luis Carlos Sotelo-Castro (Northampton): Participation Cartography: The Presentation of Self in Spatio-Temporal Terms; and Donna Lee Brien (CQU): Disclosure in Biographically-Based Fiction: The Challenges of Writing Narratives Based on True Life Stories. A review of I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era by William Knoedelseder. L.L. Zamenhof and the Shadow People: Esther Schor on the amazing story of how Esperanto came to be. From Foreign Affairs, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is not the powerful anti-Western bloc it appeared to be a few years ago — the organization should deliver some tangible accomplishments before the West rushes to condemn or cooperate with it; and a review of books on foreign reporting. Gregory McNamee on the top 10 post-Apocalyptic films, from A Boy and his Dog to the Mad Max trilogy. David Brooks hands out the Sidney Awards for the best magazine essays of the year (and part 2). Simon Winchester on the case against the new year: Midnight revelry amounts to sheer malarkey. Here's The Noughtie List, a list of all the "best ofs" from the 2000s. Tony Judt on suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease: "My nights are intriguing; but I could do without them".

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From THES, a review of No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale by Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides (and an excerpt). A review of Living at Micro Scale: The Unexpected Physics of Being Small by David B. Dusenbery. New microscope reveals the shape of atoms: Improved field-emission microscope images electron orbitals, confirming their theoretical shapes. Superheavy Element 114 Ununquadium's synthesis confirmed, dashes hopes of "island of stability". It was a pleasant surprise to chemists at Oregon State University when they created a new, durable and brilliantly blue pigment by accident. A review of The Chemical Choir: A History of Alchemy by P. G. Maxwell-Stuart. The Genetic Science Learning Center
shows the relative sizes of very small objects, from a coffee bean to a carbon atom. National Geographic has produced a map of every space exploration in the last 50 years. From New Scientist, an article on building a second sun: Take $10 billion, add coconuts. A look at how Venus died and why Earth survives. From Wired, a special report on Plutomania. From Popular Mechanics, a look at the 9 wildest exoplanets ever spotted (and more). From Scientific American, astronomers are beginning to uncover nearby "Super-Earths"; and looking for life in the multiverse: Universes with different physical laws might still be habitable. The video "The Known Universe" takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. How long is time?: The cosmos was already nearly 10 billion years old when our Sun was born, yet we're still quite a young universe.

From TLS, a review essay on the globalization of religion: Dawkins, plurotheism and future of religion in the global market. Believers have got into a tangle trying to fend off the likes of Richard Dawkins — and then there’s the problem of the horticultural parable. An essay on sexuality and mourning in American Catholicism. Jesus in the eyes of Josephus: Is the passage about Jesus by the great Jewish historian a forgery or authentic? A review of Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America by Crawford Gribben. Ada Calhoun on being a closet Christian: In her circle, nothing is more embarrassing than being religious. Winning not just hearts but minds: Evangelicals move, slowly, toward the intellectual life. The first chapter from The Religious Left and Church-State Relations by Steven H. Shiffrin. A review of Judas: A Biography by Susan Gubar. From CT, an article on John Calvin, comeback kid: Why the 500-year-old Reformer retains an enthusiastic following today (and more). Can science explain religion?: H. Allen Orr reviews The Evolution of God by Robert Wright. An interview with James V. Schall, author of The Mind That Is Catholic: Philosophical and Political Essays. A review of The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade. Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? Resolving the dispute over authorship of the ancient manuscripts could have far-reaching implications for Christianity and Judaism. Alan Wolfe reviews Prophet of Purpose: The Life of Rick Warren by Jeffrey L. Sheler. On being an "Ultra-Catholic": Catholics are the one group about which no one has to speak accurately.

Charlotte Helen Skeet (Sussex): Globalisation of Women’s Rights Norms: The Right to Manifest Religion and "Orientalism" in the Council of Europe. A review of Women's Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalising Age by Niamh Reilly. From TED, Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery. Can "honor killing" be explained by reference to non-Western "cultural norms"?: A review of In Honor of Fadime: Honor and Shame by Unni Wikan. An interview with Malalai Joya, author of Raising My Voice: The Extraordinary Story of the Afghan Woman Who Dares to Speak Out (and more). Throughout the developing world, women die in childbirth for lack of the simplest things: soap, clean sheets, and trained birth attendants. Childbirth at the global crossroads: Women in the developing world who are paid to bear other people's children test the emotional limits of the international service economy. Towards explicating the sexual moment in class struggle: An introduction to Alexandra Kollontai on sexual and women's question. When the victim is jailed: Women and girls are being incarcerated in record numbers, often after years of sexual violence and addiction. Schrodinger's Rapist: There's no way to be perfectly safe, but women shouldn't have to live with an everyday fear of perfect strangers. "Why not choose a happier subject?": Sorcha Gunne and Zoe Brigley Thompson explain that they study rape and its narratives to understand and demythologise a difficult and unpleasant subject.

From The Public Sphere, Luke Perry on U.S. exceptionalism and opposition to healthcare reform. David Warsh on the hidden history of the health care bill. Secret Krav Maga Moves: Defend yourself, family, and minyan with these ancient Semitic martial arts techniques. Muscle Man: How the original 97-pound weakling transformed himself into Charles Atlas and brought the physical fitness movement to the masses. For 150 years, bodybuilders have gone from circus sideshows to national celebrities, imparting fitness lessons along the way. Steven Pearlstein on big business vs. big government, an age-old balancing act. More and more and more and more and more on Scroogenomics by Joel Waldfogel. Political power in the auto industry: Why did Congress protect car dealers? Here is some useful information for holiday festivities: The darker the liquor, the more painful the hangover. From Swans, Michael Barker on the Russell Sage Foundation and the manufacture of reform. A review of On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears by Stephen T. Asma. Send us your tired, your poor, but only if they're "culturally unique": Immigration caseworker AA0089 has some thoughts about what is art. The psychology of social status: How the pursuit of status can lead to aggressive and self-defeating behavior (and more on testosterone). From FP, a look at ten stories that appear in the papers again and again, but never seem to actually happen. From This Modern World, a look at The Year in Crazy (and part 2). A culture war cease-fire: It is 2009's quiet story — quiet because it's about what didn't happen, which can be as important as what did.

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From The Intercollegiate Review, James R. Stoner, Jr. (LSU): The Timeliness and Timelessness of Magna Carta; and Donald W. Livingston (Emory): David Hume and the Conservative Tradition. From Front Porch Republic, who was Richard Blaine? An article on myth, history, and the great American conversation. A review of Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers by Paul E. Gottfried. A review of The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law by Steven M. Teles. Abandon all hope: A review of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism by John Derbyshire. Paul Johnson is looking for a true conservative (and more and more and more and more on The Death of Conservatism by Sam Tanenhaus). A review of The Best of The American Spectator’s The Continuing Crisis as Chronicled for Four Decades by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. From TAS, a review of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism by John Derbyshire; and Roger Scruton on totalitarian sentimentality. The New York Times Magazine profiles Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor of jurisprudence and a Roman Catholic, and this country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker. A Tale of Two Libertarianisms: A review of Rothbard vs the Philosophers. Peter Berkowitz reviews Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism by George H. Nash. A review of The 5 Big Lies About American Business: Combating Smears Against the Free-Market Economy by Michael Medved.

From TLS, 800 years on the Cam: Low living and high thinking at Cambridge University, from Henry III to Peter Mandelson; and impact on humanities: Stefan Collini on why researchers must take a stand now or be judged and rewarded as salesmen. From THES, poisonous impact: A latter-day Socrates wouldn't stand a chance, says Felipe Fernandez-Armesto; Bruno Cousin and Michele Lamont say academics at France's public universities need to rethink their strategy after this year's protests alienated the public and had little impact on the government; and the American lesson, how to be top: Ivy League institutions rose to greatness only after being cut off from state aid and meddling. At public universities less for more: Why top flagships are raising tuition, enrolling better students and becoming more like privates — that may not be a good thing (and more). An online university with no fees: A new university offers access to a wide variety of people, largely thanks to academic volunteers. An interview with Cary Nelson, author of No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom. An interview with Paul Gray and David Drew, authors of What They Didn’t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career. Paula Marantz Cohen on what she has learned from 30 years of teaching The Merchant of Venice. Tevi Troy on Cornell’s Straight Flush: Forty years after the student center was occupied, the destructive effects linger. How Facebook killed originality: A review of My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture by Susan Blum. A review of The Lowering of Higher Education in America by Jackson Toby.

Putin's Game: Why Russia won't cooperate on Iranian sanctions. Russia's corporate giant Gazprom inspires anxiety among those who suspect it of doing the Kremlin's geopolitical dirty work, but changes in the global economy are threatening to rob the company of its mojo. Two dissimilar economic paths: How China won and Russia lost. The Unbalanced Triangle: What Chinese-Russian relations mean for the United States. The Great Leap: In the midst of a global financial crash and the climate crisis, New China enters its third act. New rules for the West: Chinese competition in 21st century Africa. China wins struggle for Pipelinestan: While the U.S. is stuck in Afghanistan, China sneaks off quietly with the resource prize. While nobody was paying attention, Beijing was busy cornering the market on a little-known, but much coveted, strategic commodity. Heavy metal: China’s monopoly on rare earth metals could choke economies across the world. Fareed Zakaria on why terrorism and economic turmoil won't keep the world down for long. An empire at risk: We won the cold war and weathered 9/11 — but now economic weakness is endangering our global power. Power of consumption: David Brin on how we Americans spent ourselves into ruin — but saved the world. What is American foreign policy about? George Scialabba investigates. A review of One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy by Allison Stanger (and more). Power Shortage: No one wants America to be the sole global superpower, but no one wants to share the load.

Rob M. A. Nelissen and Marcel Zeelenberg (Tilburg): Moral emotions as determinants of third-party punishment: Anger, guilt, and the functions of altruistic sanctions. Drama Tween: Twenty years ago, Sara Wildman confided the titillations and tortures of middle school in her 8th-grade diary; now she was ready to relive that angst in front of 300 strangers. From TED, Loretta Napoleoni on the intricate economics of terrorism. Terminator 2009: Rebecca Solnit on judgment days in Copenhagen. A review of The Evolution of Obesity by Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin. Top 10 Obesity Myths: What if being overweight isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, or for your body? For nearly a decade, TomDispatch has been home to reportage and essays that chip away, week after week, at America's endless wars. The case against the new year: Midnight revelry amounts to sheer malarkey, when the tradition that preceded it called for a reflective morning celebration. America is facing dramatic problems, but none will be solved until we fix the dysfunctions of the Senate (and Ezra Klein interviews Barbara Sinclair, Andy Stern, Tom Harkin and Jeff Merkley on the filibuster). Juan Cole on the top ten worst things about the Bush decade (and more by Thomas Frank, and more from Vanity Fair). This was, nationally and globally, a lousy decade — but the next one has every prospect of being worse. A Russian official claims the remains of Adolf Hitler were burned in 1970 by Soviet KGB agents and thrown into a river in Germany. An excerpt from The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy by Paul Shankman.

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