From The New Criterion, being a Southerner: Barton Swaim on the “habits of affection and behavior” in the American South. Like a pig to mud: Southern living ain’t half bad. Linton Weeks on the hipsterfication of America. From City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz on how Brooklyn got its groove back: New York’s biggest borough has reinvented itself as a postindustrial hot spot. A review of Crude Awakening: Money, Mavericks, and Mayhem in Alaska by Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger (and more). Abe Sauer on North Dakota and the rise of an American petrostate. Frank Jacobs on the Underwritten States of America. The "Age of Thirst" in the American West: Coming to a theatre near you — the greatest water crisis in the history of civilisation. Cape Fear: A small portion of the Massachusetts coastline is home to America’s biggest witch-hunt, a history of savage wife mobs, the occasional 400 percent increase of unlucky pregnancies, and the world’s largest deposits of black crystals. The first chapter from The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States by Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay.

Tsilly Dagan (Bar-Ilan): Dilemmas of Tax Policy in a Globalized World. Stuart Schoenfeld and Jonathan Rubin (York): Contrasting Regional Environmentalisms in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Social Constructionist Perspective. New Humanist goes inside the mind of Scientology's Messiah: Twenty-five years after his death, Michael Bywater revisits the sacred texts of the pulp science writer turned prophet L Ron Hubbard. When can the president order the execution without trial of an American citizen? How to argue about politics: What if the Democrats took a more philosophical approach to their opposition to Republican positions? In an age where easy prosperity will never return, the challenge is to “protect” against privatisation, oligarchs and rentier capitalists — William Davies reflects on life 20 years after the closure of Marxism Today. Playing God: Philip Ball looks at the timeless fascination, and consequences, of the monster myth. East Timor, the world's second youngest country, faces a unique challenge: few of its teachers speak the country's legal lingua franca, Portuguese — so what should schools teach?

Melissa E. Murray (UC-Berkeley): Marriage as Punishment. Katherine M. Franke (Columbia): The Curious Relationship of Marriage and Freedom. Is Playboy magazine responsible for divorce? Forced weddings and "honor" killings aren’t just a developing-world issue — new research shows how it happens in England and the United States. Are we biologically inclined to couple for life? From Big Think, a look at how "traditional marriage" is killing traditional marriage; and an article on marriage according to Google. Is there a role for marriage in secular society, or should humanists rejoice in its withering along with religion? Pamela Haag on mistresses and lovers for dummies. If Big Love is the consenting poor woman's best choice, why is it illegal? Soulless Soul Mates: Can an atheist and a believer have a happy marriage? Your marriage of the future: Seven science fiction ideas about relationships and sex that might come true. Is generosity better than sex? No, but a new study says it’s crucial in a marriage. A review of Soulmate Proprietors: How To Run A Business With Your Spouse And STAY Married! by Danelle Brown.