From Air & Space, from the impossible dream of a space-based shield, missile defense has come down to Earth — but will it work? The Stealth Media Mogul: Billionaire Philip Anschutz is quietly building a small empire of social-networking sites, newspapers and now a leading conservative weekly. From Wired, an article on the Great Wall of Facebook: The social network's plan to dominate the Internet — and keep Google out (and more and more from Business Week). In the battle between Facebook and MySpace, a digital "white flight". Picture Perfect: Why Golden Books are golden. In Defense of Google Books: Don’t listen to dystopian monopoly-mongers. For our children’s sake, we should follow the Trappist monks and turn off everything, including ourselves, once in a while. From TAP, Starr, Reich and Kuttner discuss the perils and promise of a public-insurance option. Tyler Cowen on one lesson from the crisis: It's time to create your own economy. Jon Shields on what abortionist killers believe: The consequences of a fringe theology. Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church, is passionate about gun rights and urges his flock to bring guns to church. A look at the unlikely friendship between Farrah Fawcett and Ayn Rand. How does our language shape the way we think? Lera Boroditsky investigates.

The January 2009 issue of PS: Political Science & Politics is free online, on forecasts and the 2008 campaign and reforming the presidential nomination. Alan Wolfe on why hypocrisy is the least of Mark Sanford's sins. Caught on Tape: Christopher Hitchens on what the Nixon tapes tell us about the Republican Party (and more). Historians' advice for Dick Cheney: What allows a political memoir to stand the test of time? Meet the new history boys and girls: Theory is a thing of the past for these hip young historians — they're too cool for school. After the Barbarians: Michael Dirda on how classical scholars have redefined and rediscovered the fascinations of "Late Antiquity." Is Studio 54 the right spot for the ultimate existential protest against the empty avarice of the post-war era? A review of LeMay by Barrett Tillman. A review of Does God Hate Women? by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. A review of Hacking the Earth: Understanding the Consequences of Geoengineering by Jamais Cascio. Ode to the Cup Holder: It changed our relationship with car interiors and forced manufacturers to innovate. Now, read it again: Like old friends and favorite haunts, some books reward revisiting. John Judis on why we need a second stimulus: Don't be fooled by dropping unemployment rates.

From The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson (and more and more); Ryan Lizza on Sheila Bair and the White House financial debate; and how much good will Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Agency do? Everything I ever needed to know in life I learned from South Park. From Americas Quarterly, the Honduran coup is still a coup — but where was everybody before? (and more and more) Repression 101: The history of using repression to save regimes is long — but when the hammer comes down, the impact is unpredictable. Why does Japan, the world's most efficient economy, have so many elevator operators and gas station attendants? Trinie Dalton reviews Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart and Mushroom Magick: A Visionary Field Guide by Arik Roper. A look at how the Metro crash may exemplify the paradox of human-machine interaction. An interview with Henry Badenhorst, founder of Gaydar. Some bemoan Holden Caulfield's fading appeal among youth, but why would metaphors that worked for us work for them? The Art of the Political Comeback: Former politicians and political experts what it takes for officials embroiled in scandals to recover their political viability.

From Dissent, what ought we to hope and work for, as a just future for families in our society?, asks Martha Nussbaum in her essay “A Right to Marry”, and Martha Ackelsberg, Stephanie Coontz, and Katha Pollitt respond. Was Ronald Reagan an even worse president than George W. Bush? From The Exiled, an article on Mark Sanford’s twinkie defense: “I cheated on my wife because of high taxes”; and if we’re going to do death-tributes, here are some honest ones: Farrah Fawcett, a Surprisingly Polite Woman! Michael Jackson, If Only He’d Died Younger! #Dickwhisperer, a history: The tussle that makes us all look “pathetic”. Look at this fucking hipster basher: Never mind news articles that link economic woes to a culture shift, the report of the hipster’s death is an exaggeration — the proof is in the pieces. Sam Tanenhaus on how the culture wars may not have ended, but on some fronts the combat has gotten rather quiet (and a response). Ultimate fighting literature: Unexpected delights from men who pound each other into submission. Black and white and dead all over: Stop the presses — will journalism take democracy down with it? Julian Baggini looks at how UNESCO is promoting philosophy around the world. Hippie Picasso: Why is late Picasso enjoying a surge in demand?

From The Jury Expert, an article on juror stress and the hidden influence of the jury experience; and a look at how jury service makes us into better citizens. What do the novels of Jodi Picoult — and our obsession with child-peril lit — tell us about how we really feel about raising kids? Sex sells — but shouldn’t the facts be right first? All Quiet: Were postwar American Jews really "silent" about the Holocaust? From Cosmos, in many fields, senior researchers have entered a new era, at last accessing the underlying complexity of the systems they study; and should we fear self-aware machines? Robert Samuelson reviews The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson and The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman. How can Charles Dickens come back if he never went away? The answer to too many people in some places and too few in others is to allow women to take care of themselves, then everything else tends to work out. Is the foodie movement keeping us from enjoying, or even attempting, to cook? Or: How much time does Martha Stewart think I have, anyway? The Genius Index: An article on scientist Jorge Hirsch's crusade to rewrite reputation rules. Warrior on Poverty: Michael Harrington’s “culture of poverty” thesis was an idea with unintended consequences.

A new issue of Salvo is out. From Wallpaper, have the cities' red-light districts turned green? A review of The American Future: A History by Simon Schama (and more and more and more and more and more). Is there really no place like home?: A review of The Crowded Universe by Alan Boss. A review of The Pure Society: From Darwin to Hitler by Andre Pichot. What do White Nationalists want? Jared Taylor delivers. An excerpt from After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age by Paul Starobin. The wisdom of engineers: Natasha McCarthy on the importance of tinkering for thinking. What does the end of the recession look like? A review of What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President? by Kevin Mattson. Green Peacemaker: Can the new head of the EPA fight for both business and justice? A look at how the food makers captured our brains. A review of Patient, Heal Thyself: How the "New Medicine" Puts the Patient in Charge by Robert M. Veatch. A review of Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley, Jr. by Richard Brookhiser. An interview with Christopher Buckley on Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir (and more). From Good, a look at the tree of sports mascots. Animal Crossing: The drive-thru safari is not Africa, but what did you expect for $19.99?

From Re-public, a special issue on transhumanism. From the latest issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (Erfurt): Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism; Jamie Cullen (UNSW): The Three Minds Argument; Colin Farrelly (Queen's): Three Wishes; and a review of Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne. Why do we rape, kill and sleep around? The fault, dear Darwin, lies not in our ancestors, but in ourselves. Contrarian queen: An article on the gospel according to Camille Paglia. Brad DeLong on the hidden purposes of high finance. Whether or not English just welcomed its millionth word, trying to map our unusually weird and variegated lexicon raises fundamental questions (and more and more). A Race Czar for black farmers: Can Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack dismantle the last plantation? Gal Beckerman reviews Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West by Christopher Caldwell. Emily Bazelon on how the recession is wrecking friendships. Bring on the snark: Snark sells — and Washington is trading in it heavily these days. An excerpt from By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld by Bradley Graham (and a review and more and more and more and more).

From Rolling Stone, from tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they're about to do it again. A review of Integrative Economic Ethics: Foundations of a Civilized Market Economy by Peter Ulrich. A review of God-Botherers and Other True Believers: Religion, Diseducation, and Politics by F. G. Bailey. A look at why Richard Florida's honeymoon is over. Nigel Warburton on racism, philosophy’s hidden shame. The soundtrack to your life: Celebrating 30 years of the Sony Walkman. The New Ludditism in Literature: What does it take to separate us from omnipresent digital phenomena, and will that separation one day be impossible, when gadgets, screens, and Wi-Fi are everywhere? A brief history of the bikini: How the tiny swimsuit conquered America. A review of Thomas Maier's Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love. Love Actually: Cristina Nehring writes in defense of Mark Sanford. The Prurient Trap: Conservatives used sexual morality as a weapon and now it’s shooting them in the foot. A review of The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History by Patrick Allitt. Is an ugly baby harder to love?

From The Public Eye, Michelle Goldberg reviews The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel by Stephen J. Sniegoski; a look at how the battle over labor law reform shows the true power of the Right; remembering the New Right: Political strategy and the building of the GOP coalition; and from movements to mosques, informants endanger democracy. Rise of the Sultans: How far will Iran's rulers go to consolidate their power? Bringing up Princess: Megan Basham on turning girls into narcissists. A review of The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity and Globalization. A review of A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert (and more). Naomi Wold on feminism and the male brain. What does the research about how gender influences judging actually say? Conservatism and the university curriculum: If they can find time for feminist theory, they can find time for Edmund Burke. Nearly independent day: Greenland gives Denmark the cold shoulder, but would it ever be viable as a country? "The Star-Spangled Banner" has got to go, but what should replace it? A review of Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism by Woden Teachout. Alexander Cockburn becomes an American.

From The Economist, a special report on biotech. Judgment seems impossible to describe or automate: For all its reliance on instruments, computers, and code, science remains a profoundly human enterprise. Could we engineer a cooler planet? Samuel Thernstrom investigates. Gearing up for the Apocalypse: For some evangelicals, marginalization has hardened belief in the imminence of The End. The satirists' manifesto: A look at how contemporary humour is now powerful enough — at least in democracies — to dictate terms of engagement to public figures. An interview with Allison Silverman, "one of the rare women in humor writing". Funny women need to develop some balls: If TV panel shows are confrontational and laddish, female performers should stop moaning and get stuck in. The end of Jewish humor: Uh oh, Judaism is dying — again. The Observer profiles Sacha Baron Cohen, the comic who is always in your face. Dashing, brilliant, best friends, yet their lives could not have been more different: Martin Amis tells Harry de Quetteville about his tragic muse. The author as performer: Writers are shifting away from traditional book readings towards stage shows. Meet the readers? No thanks. The truth about writers: What do they really do with all that time?