An interview with Marcus Chown on books about cosmology. Splitting time from space, toppling Einstein's spacetime: Buzz about a quantum gravity theory that sends space and time back to their Newtonian roots. A review of Cracking the Einstein Code: Relativity and the Birth of Black Hole Physics by Fulvio Melia. Stephen Hawking, the master of time, space, and black holes, steps back into the spotlight to secure his scientific legacy, and to explain the greatest mystery in physics: the origin of the universe (and more). Black hole caught zapping galaxy into existence? New observations of galactic clusters have revealed a controversial phenomenon called “dark flow” which could be a sign of parallel universes (and more). Exploring the multiverse: Do quantum computers offer proof of parallel universes, and where does that leave philosophers? A review of In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin. If we live in a multiverse, it's reasonable to ask how many other distinguishable universes we may share it with — now physicists have an answer. Why does the universe look the way it does? Sean Carroll investigates. Will physicists destroy the world?: Lloyd Lueptow on the Large Hadron Collider and the threats of catastrophe (and a response by Lawrence Krauss). Without destroying the Earth, the LHC might help humans explore the cosmos. Let’s Get Metaphysical: George Dvorsky on the LHC and how our ongoing existence could appear increasingly absurd. Here are seven questions that keep physicists up at night.

From The New Yorker, the health-care bill has no master plan for curbing costs — is that a bad thing? You think a tiny band of verbose old folks couldn’t stand in the way of a nation of 300 million? Meet the U.S. Senate. German Lessons: Should progressives frustrated with our democracy pine for a parliamentary system? Who are the Blue Dogs? Michael Tomasky investigates. The right's myth about Obama's cabinet: Conservatives claim a lack of private sector experience in the administration, based on faulty numbers. A look at why every one of us should be guaranteed a job. Christina Romer on putting Americans back to work. Michael Maiello on a Marshall Plan for America: The jobs crisis demands drastic government action. Should public-sector jobs come first?: There's "Room for Debate" at the Times. Federalism and Its Discontents: The states are drowning — the best life-preserver that Washington can throw at them is to take over Medicaid. Meet Ron Bloom, the proletarian schlub who might just save American industry. Steven Pearlstein on how Obama's Stimulus 2.0 acknowledges government's limitations. Why Obama can't create jobs: The White House summit on employment was a sham — the only way to bring the jobs back is to get rid of Ben Bernanke. Here are 10 reasons Bernanke should be fired. John Judis on Bernanke's conservative message. Reining in, and reigning over, Wall Street: An interview with Elizabeth Warren, President Obama's point person for financial regulation. Why are good policies bad politics? Brad DeLong wants to know.

From New York, here's the Encyclopedia of Counterintuitive Thought: For pundits, Freakonomists, and Malcolm Gladwell, following the crowd meant going against the grain; and here's their 00’s Issue, in which they try to hash out the effects of a decade when the notion of authority was turned on its head. From Nerve, a look at the biggest disappointments of the ’00s. List-making for the end of the first decade of the 2000s is in full swing. Dead Men Walking: Niall Ferguson on why 2009's truly top thinkers are yesterday's news. The ghost of John C. Calhoun walks: To avoid being tagged as racist, professors retreat to the Abbeville Institute to study the virtues of secession, quietly. Love's bite is deeper, Tiger: A review of Eloge de l'Amour by Alain Badiou. What was the American public not paying attention to when Tiger Woods and the White House party crashers established control of the airwaves? Not much, unless you count Afghanistan, the Comcast-NBC merger, and the relentless march of Obama Care. Aristotle said appetite is the cause of all actions that appear pleasant, but also a source of moral badness — which explains mixed results with pot. Reminding Caesar of God’s existence: An interview with Robert George on the Manhattan Declaration. An interview with Cory Doctorow on how DIY technology will transform the world. The images dancing in David Gelernter's head: Sixteen years ago, a package blew apart his world — that's when he found his polymathic, political, artistic self. The XXX Factor: Here is an uncensored history of swearing on TV. That Old Sinatra Magic: Tony Bennett salutes Frank Sinatra, for showing the way.

A review of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. Can compulsively searching, instead of merely surfing, lead to greater cognitive benefits for netizens? Short and tweet: There could be hidden benefits to our busy, distracted lives. From The Wilson Quarterly, Tyler Cowen on Three Tweets for the Web: Welcome the new world with open arms — and browsers. The Big Money's Twitter 12 is a list of the 12 companies that are using Twitter most efficiently (and here is TBM's Facebook 50). Getting political on social network sites: Exploring online political discourse on Facebook. Richard Rushfield was confident his new memoir of his college years was accurate, until old friends and enemies started contradicting and questioning his memories on their Facebook profiles. Facebook, the mean girls and me: At 34 years old, I finally feel like a popular seventh-grader — how sad is that? The dark side of "Webtribution": For much of human history, taking revenge on your enemies was too much of a hassle for most people to bother with — thanks to the Internet, it is easier, and nastier, than ever. The rise and fall of MySpace: News Corp’s purchase of the networking site earned Rupert Murdoch instant cache as an internet leader — but four years later, it has become more of a liability (and more). A look at how YouTube has become the People's University of the Internet. Flash flood: the (very short) story of YouTube. Take a look inside the random, and functional real-world offices of Google, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube and Tumblr.