From Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens on The Eton Empire: A fresh look at the bastion of privilege, which may have rebranded itself just in time. Hangman, spare that word: The English purge their language. Horace Engdahl of the Nobel Prize committee doesn't think American authors are good enough for the world's top literary honor. The Nobel Committee has no clue about American literature (and more). The Ambition of the Short Story: There are virtues associated with smallness — it is the realm of elegance and grace, it’s also the realm of perfection. From Evolutionary Psychology, whence poetic fiction: A review of Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction by William Flesch; and a review of The Rape of Troy: Evolution, Violence and the World of Homer by Jonathan Gottschall. Apply all the science to novels you want, Literary Darwinists — you'll still never quantify the human experience. Christian creationists have long railed against the theory of evolution, but you may not have heard anything yet. This years' Ig Nobels Awards honor studies of lap dancing, soft drink-based contraception. The U.S. News &World Report rankings of colleges and universities are largely arbitrary, according to a new mathematical analysis. Higher art: Universities should become society's great patrons of the arts.

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