From Vanity Fair, for eight years, Toto Bergamo Rossi has been working to restore Venice’s crumbling 17th-century Palazzo Gradenigo. The Ugly Stick: Severed heads, devouring monsters, Marilyn Manson—Umberto Eco gazes at the grotesque in On Beauty. More and more and more and more and more on A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 by John Richardson. Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job: Here are 5 myths about art, age and genius. From old guard to avant garde: A review of Modernism: The Lure of Heresy by Peter Gay. A review of Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World: The Metopes of Selinus by Clemente Marconi.

Jacob Shapiro (Stanford): The Terrorist’s Challenge: Security, Efficiency, Control. Amartya Sen on why we can best stop terror by civil, not military, means. Andrew Bacevich on picking up after failed war on terror: Bush's campaign to wipe out terrorism is a costly mess — here are five steps to move on. A review of Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of Al Qaeda Strategist Abu Mus'ab al-Suri by Brynjar Lia. An interview with Louise Richardson on what terrorists want. An excerpt from What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism by Alan Krueger. Isolationism isn't the answer: Jihadists aren't in Afghanistan—or Iraq—because we are there. A review of Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat by Richard H. Schultz, Jr. and Andrea J. Dew. A review of Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun.

From Briarpatch, enough to live on: An article on the case for guaranteed income and the end of the growth economy. Surprise, Canadian pluralism is working: An excerpt from Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism by Michael Adams; and a look at the work of Robert Putnam and the case against diversity. From The Toronto Star, Joanne Tod plans to paint all of Canada’s casualties in the ongoing conflict — that makes her an exception in the contemporary art world; a look at how war and the horror of war are best contemplated in stark, ugly images; a new movie may finally illuminate the "black hole" in the memory of the World War I battle of Passchendaele, in which feared Canadian "storm troopers" wrested a tiny Belgian town from the Germans; and a look at the war Canadians really did win: A review of 1812: War with America by Jon Latimer. An interview with Michael Byers, author of Intent for a Nation: A Relentlessly Optimistic Manifesto for Canada’s Role in the World. Time to herald our northern coast: Advocates say new words on Canada's coat of arms would help the cause of Arctic sovereignty. Who owns the Arctic? It depends on the shape of the ocean floor.

From CJR, Nicholas Lemann on the limits of clear language: Orwell worried about polluted language, but polluted information is more toxic. My Father the Communist: An interview with The New York Times' Andrew Rosenthal on Iraq, Times Select, and his father's secret past. A review of Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute The Press And Imperil Free Speech by Graid Silverman, and the website, which features the best, worst, and funniest of each day's corrections, clarifications, and editor's notes. Atlas Plugged! Indy publisher takes on spineless giants: Inspired by European publishers, renegade James Atlas hopes to sell books on his house's good name. The fall and rise of Downtown literature: The independent presses of the 70s and 80s that seemed to have vanished from New York may be making a return. You might think a channel dedicated entirely to books would be a good thing. You would be wrong. The pleasures of rereading: There's nothing more comforting than going back to a favourite book. You bought a bad book, you wasted time reading it: Justice demands redress, doesn't it? More and more on Pierre Bayard's How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

From Cato Unbound, James Flynn on intelligence and its implications for education and intervention (and reaction essays). From California Literary Review, a review of What is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect by James Flynn (and more on why dad's not as clever as you). Get Smart(er): You're no genius? Don't worry — you can still beef up your brain with a little effort. Should we talk about race and intelligence? Peter Singer investigates. In DNA era, new worries about prejudice: Research is exploring how DNA explains racial differences, but it could give discredited prejudices a new potency. Science rewriting book on genetics: With better tools for cutting, splicing DNA strands and advances in genome sequencing data, many "certainties" are being overturned. From Graduate Journal of Social Science, Wietse Vroom, Guido Ruivenkamp and Joost Jongerden (WUR): Articulating alternatives: Biotechnology and genomics development within a critical constructivist framework. Getting better all the time: Genetic modification of humanity isn't just possible — it's a moral duty, and vestigial organs seem ripe for transhumanist tweaks. A review of A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life by J. Craig Venter. More on Avoid Boring People by James D. Watson.

From Cultural Logic, Vanessa Raney (Hood): Gramsci Outside of Marx?: Defining Culture in Gramscian Terms; Simon Enoch (Ryerson): The New Right Frankenstein? Culture War and the Abnegation of Class; Stefano Harney (London): Governance, State, and Living Labour; Robert W. Williams (Bennett): Democracy, Cyberspace, and the Body; Tom Crumpacker on Democracy and the Multiparty Political System; and a review of Naming the System: Inequality and Work in the Global Economy by Michael D. Yates. From Identities, Katerina Kolozova (Skopje): The Real and ‘I’: On the Limit and the Self. From Applied Semiotics, Thomas Clark (Victoria): Language as Social Capital. From Reconstruction, Tyler Kessel (HVCC): Welcoming the Outside: A Reading of Hospitality and Event in Derrida and Deleuze; and Said Graiouid (Mohammed V): From Post-modernism to Post-Traditionalism: Rethinking Social Organization in a Post-Traditional Society. From Action Yes, an essay on Wittgenstein, Deleuze, and the political grotesque. A review of Husserl's Phenomenology: Knowledge, Objectivity and Others by Kevin Hermberg. A review of Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline by John Mullarkey. From Variant, the critique of everyday life and cultural democracy: A review of Philosophizing the Everyday: Revolutionary Practice and the Fate of Cultural Theory by John Roberts; and the high and mighty: A reassessment of C. Wright Mills' The Power Elite. From the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, a special issue on Remembering Baudrillard. A review of Judith Butler's Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. A review of Narrative: State of the Art.

From The Space Review, a review of The Star Wars Enigma: Behind the Scenes of the Cold War Race for Missile Defense by Nigel Hey; proponents of human space exploration often struggle to develop compelling rationales for such missions — Frank Stratford explains how the best reason for human spaceflight may be to unlock the vast untapped potential of humanity; spaceflight is an expensive, high-tech endeavor that suffers from too much government regulation, right? A lot of people might agree with that sentiment, but Wayne Eleazer busts some enduring myths; and only a lucky few get to fly Nasa’s state-sponsored shuttles, but a new era of space tourism will demand one more skill from astronauts: business acumen. A review of Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos by Gregory L. Matloff, Les Johnson, and C Bangs. Here are 20 things you didn't know about living in space: Exploding boobs, toilet target practice, the second birth. If we make radio contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, and the only thing we can transmit is text, and we transmit the entire text of a dictionary, what can they learn from it?

From the first issue of Lapham's Quarterly, Lewis H. Lapham on The Gulf of Time. From Ovi, Emanuel L. Paparella on a revolutionary new view of history and humanity. A review of The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard. Empire the West forgot: A review of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin (and more and more). A review of The Mughal Emperors and the Islamic Dynasties of India, Iran and Central Asia, 1206-1925 by Francis Robinson. A review of Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen (and more and more). A review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (and more and more). A review of Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783 by Brendan Simms. From TNR, utopia and calculation: A review of The Demands of Liberty: Civil Society in France Since the Revolution by Pierre Rosanvallon. A review of Storm and Conquest: The Battle for the Indian Ocean, 1808-10 by Stephen Taylor. A review of Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815 by Charles Esdaile. The first chapter from Garibaldi: Citizen of the World: A Biography by Alfonso Scirocco. A review of Towards the Light: a Story of the Struggle for Liberty and Rights that made the Modern West by A C Grayling. A review of The Time of the Rebels: Youth Resistance Movements and 21st Century Revolutions by Matthew Collin. The looking glasses war: The history of the past four decades has been writ large in spectacles: from the open, dreamy, spiritual circle to the narrow oblong of survival.

From TAP, Ezra Klein on ten reasons why American health care is so bad. Henry Aaron on why healthcare reform has failed: To make it work, lawmakers need to understand the barriers that have blocked reform. From TNR, wrestling with the innovation question: Jonathan Cohn on the best case against universal health care. Health care excuses: The reality is that the best foreign health care systems do as well or better than the U.S. system, while costing far less money. From The Atlantic Monthly, the health-care crisis no candidate is addressing? Too many doctors. A review of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee. A review of Alternative Medicine? A History by Roberta Bivins.

From Japan Focus, an essay on Japan’s future as an international, multicultural society: From migrants to immigrants; and philosophy as activism in neo-liberal, neo-nationalist Japan: An interview with Takahashi Tetsuya. Enter the dragon: There is no end of theories about the ideological basis for China’s rise as an economic superpower. From The Economist, a special report on technology in India and China: China and India have much to offer the world of technology, but more still to gain from it. A review of Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia by Joe Studwell. Deconstructing Cambodia's modernist heritage: A review of Building Cambodia by Helen Grant Ross and Darryl Leon Collins. Understanding SPDC tyranny: An article on the geopolitics and economics of Burma’s military regime, 1962-2007. The revolution that never was: Burma's pro-democracy protesters are learning the hard way that in international politics, attention spans are short.