From The Utopian, a special issue on pain and pleasure, including an interview with Charles Taylor on religion, politics, and ignorance past; Michel Houellebecq on religion for immortals: "Sexual needs are more urgent than spiritual needs. But what if our sexual needs are satisfied and our spiritual needs take over?"; Damon Linker on the impossibility of sexual consensus; and Alexander Lee on a short history of desire. This week those hoping to become All Souls fellows will sit "the hardest exam in the world"; the notorious one-word essay question may have been scrapped, but candidates still have to sit the General Paper — four writers attempt one question in strictly one hour: "Would it have been better had some surviving works of ancient authors been lost?" Tim Ferriss on how Tucker Max got rejected by publishing and still hit #1 New York Times. From Slate, Emily Bazelon on the tragedy at the Virginia Quarterly Review: The suicide of its managing editor has been blamed on workplace bullying — new details suggest the real story is much more complicated. Here are 6 things you may not know about the passport (and more). From Vanity Fair, gastronomes have been trekking to the remote Spanish cove where Ferran Adria has changed culinary history with his deconstructed martinis, frozen foam, and beetroot cookies — now, to evolve his restaurant, El Bulli, the man they call the world’s greatest chef is closing it forever.

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