From The New Yorker, a paradox stems from the basic dilemma that underpins the economics of fashion: for the industry to keep growing, customers must like this year’s designs, but they must also become dissatisfied with them, so that they’ll buy next year’s. Slow fashion: Fast fashion is about greed. It’s time to slow down and consider the true cost of choosing quantity over quality. The rebirth of haute couture: Sixty years ago Christian Dior unveiled his first collection to an electrified audience. It was dubbed The New Look and it launched a golden age of design. A review of The Golden Age of Couture. Depending on who is doing the talking, fashion is bourgeois, girly, unfeminist, conformist, elitist, frivolous, anti-intellectual and a cultural stepchild barely worth the attention paid to even the most minor arts, but admit it: You love it—it matters. A look at why fashion's attempts to be taken seriously are treated with ridicule. From Vanity Fair, on the limits of self-improvement: Christopher Hitchens—58, full-figured, and ferocious in his consumption of cigarettes and scotch—gets an unlikely makeover.

From Smithsonian, a hip tradition: The age-old art of hula is still moving and shaking. A review of The Past From Above: Aerial Photographs of Archaeological Sites. A review of Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture by Leslie Simo and Trevor Kelly. Everyone's a “genius”: How is it that Albert Einstein is lumped into the same category as an NFL coach? It’s the year 2053, and the world looks very different from today. There are no more than 5 superstates left on the face of the planet. Playing by the boys’ rules: If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t use the F-word, some suggest you won’t really flourish. From Greater Good, a special issue on gratitude. Intimacy issues: It's hard to be a good citizen when the line between public and private space is blurred. Don't tell—it’s in our bones: If you Google the phrase "culture of secrecy," you'll get almost 140,000 hits: scholarly articles, enraged diatribes, books, blogs, forums. Who wears the mask? A review of Camouflage by Neil Leach. Introducing a recent public debate on humour at London’s Royal Society of Arts, Laurie Taylor discovered that laughter can be a serious business. The Hype Report: A scientific survey of the world's most overrated people, places, and things.

From TNR, Jonathan Cohn on getting HillaryCare right—finally (and an interview). A review of Lying, Cheating, and Stealing: A Moral Theory of White-Collar Crime by Stuart P. Green. A review of The Politics of Abortion by Anne Hendershott. A review of Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer by Tim Jeal. A review of Rome's Vestal Virgins: A Study of Rome's Vestal Priestesses in the Late Republic and Early Empire by Robin Lorsch Wildfang. From Wired, the celebrated career of gene pioneer French Anderson collapsed suddenly in July 2004 after being accused of molestation. Unionbusting Confidential: To keep out organized labor, you need the union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis. An interview with Peter Adamson on Avicenna. More on My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by “angry man” Clarence Thomas (and an interview). Eggheads: A look at how bird brains are shaking up science. An article on Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, the man who saved the world by doing... nothing. Did Deborah Solomon of The New York Times break the paper’s strict code of ethics? An interview with Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, on making black millionaires, booty-shaking videos, and why he's doesn't need Spike Lee.

From The Believer, an interview with graphic novelist and cartoonist Adrian Tomine, who distinguishes between more precise drawings and better ones; are hotels for business trips and vacationing or are they spaces for the overturning of all bourgeois values? A review of Hotel Theory by Wayne Koestenbaum; and a review of Ovenman by Jeff Parker: Can a guy find poetry in a pizza oven? A review of Chic Ironic Bitterness: The Intellectual History of a Fashionable American Attitude by R. Jay Magill, Jr. The heavy hand: Something seems to be missing from modern literature: a little levity. Magazines, bring back the write-around! Regain your dignity with this secret weapon. On the matter of final words: Famous last utterances often seem too good to be true. Even the dead have their ghost writers.

From The Simon, an article on baby naming trends: The heroic, the vapid and the aggravatingly androgynous. A review of Children at Play: An American History by Howard P. Chudacoff. There is now solid evidence that images of super-thin celebrities in the media have a direct effect on the well-being of teenagers. Rip Van Winkle Disease: Adolescents sleep for weeks solid, sometimes bingeing or becoming hypersexual.  An article on the honor and toil of growing old: Bringing hope and action to the second half of life. A review of Caring for Mother: A Daughter's Long Goodbye by Virginia Stem Owens.

From Ethics & International Affairs, Robyn Eckersley (Melbourne): Ecological Intervention: Prospects and Limits (and two responses). . From First Science, an interview with James Lovelock on climate change. More on Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg. A review of Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. Is Fred Krupp an environmental savior or a corporate stooge? James Verini investigates. Our rosy future, according to Freeman Dyson: Climate change is nothing to worry about, says the eminent physicist. Let's celebrate genetic engineering and our ability to design a new world of plants and creatures. Behind the eco labels: There is an ever-growing array of eco labels, but what do they tell us? Or fail to tell us?

Michael Esfeld (Lausanne): The Impact of Science on Metaphysics and its Limits. Jim Perry (HCC) Religion, Science, and Philosophy: Three Dangerous Auto-antonyms. A review of Aristotle and the Science of Nature: Unity without Uniformity by Andrea Falcon. On the scientific revolution’s effect on language: A review of Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare by Angus Fletcher. A review of The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science and Policy in Politics by Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Perhaps the tragedy, though, is not that science is too political — it is that science is not political enough. A review of Making Sense of Science: Understanding the Social Study of Science by Steven Yearley. An article on freeing the dark data of failed scientific experiments.

From the inaugural issue of Expositions, Remi Brague (Paris IV): Jew, Greek and Christian: Some Reflections on the Pauline Revolution; M. Katherine Tillman (ND): Some Aspects of Human Nature as Viewed by Cardinal John Henry Newman; and a roundtable on Harold Bloom's Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. A review of Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible’s Harlot Queen by Lesley Hazleton. Raiders of the faux ark: Biblical archeology is too important to leave to crackpots and ideologues. It's time to fight back. God is in the Pamphlets: New York City atheists try to prove otherwise. A review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard.

Demystifying sex: Religion often makes the mistake of elevating sexual desire to the divine: in reality it's an animal instinct that's way more difficult to interpret. How to be a modern goddess, or did sex and the sacred mix in Ancient Greece? A review of Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly. A review of The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris. From 10 Zen Monkeys, Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying, answers the question: what comes after the zipless fuck? A review of Unzipped: A True Story of Sex, Drugs, Rollerskates & Murder by David Henry Sterry. A sex toy a day keeps the doctor away? An article on the medical uses of dildos and vibrators.

From The Situationist, an article on sex differences in math and science: "We have yet to have a fair trial". Are women being scared away from math, science, and engineering fields? Nurture strikes back: Some sex differences that look biological are really cultural. It is a truism that men and women do not communicate in the same way. But is there really any evidence to support this Mars-and-Venus theory? (and part 2 and part 3). There's an evolutionary reason for men preferring younger women as mates, and women aiming for older men: It gives both parties a reproductive boost. While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate.