From Utne, an interview with Francesca Grifo, head of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, on how to separate fact from political fiction. The introduction to Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA, ed. William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse. Stem Cells 2.0: One week after the century's biggest quantum leap in molecular biology, scientists have already shifted from "Wow" to "What's Next?" — for a field suddenly ridden of a complex debate, the next answers lie within three simple kinds of engineering. Darwin’s surprise: Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses? From Discover, an article on the 6 most important experiments in the world: From the smartest artificial brain to the first artificial life. "Skepticism" and Ignorance: Experts can be wrong, but non-experts aren't the best corrective. Who’s Afraid of “Soulless Scientism”? John Tierney wants to know. The trouble with common sense: The introduction to A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable by Anjan Chakravartty. 


From The Philosophers' Magazine, three scenes and a Moral: David Papineau on his philosophical development; and how emotional are moral judgments? Mathew Iredale investigates. A review of What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being by Richard Kraut. A review of Without Justification by Jonathan Sutton. The introduction to John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning and Mind. A review of A Life of H.L.A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream by Nicola Lacey.  From TLS, a review of Ronald Dworkin's Is Democracy Possible Here? and Justice in Robes; and Exploring Law's Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin. A review of Nozick, Autonomy and Compensation by Dale F. Murray. An interview with Henry Hardy on Isaiah Berlin's pluralism. A review of Le temps present: Écrits 1945-2005 by Claude Lefort. Dick Howard introduces Claude Lefort: From the critique of totalitarianism to the politics of democracy. The introduction to Marking Time: On the Anthropology of the Contemporary by Paul Rabinow.


From Smithsonian, during Prohibition, an odd alliance of special interests argued beer was vital medicine; after two centuries, Mount Vernon's whiskey distillery returns; in the heart of the Lone Star state, wineries are giving Texans reason to toast; and port, Portugal's famous fortified wine, is undergoing a personality change, shedding its snobbish image and defending its turf. From Slate, a look at how San Sebastian became a magnet for foodies. From Inkling, an article on the pros and cons of sushi: Bursting with happy fats and squirming with paralyzing pathogens, sushi has a little something for everyone. A review of Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone; The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn; The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop, and Table-Hop Like a Pro (Almost) by Adam D. Roberts; A Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain by Paul Richardson; and Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking by Ferran Adria. A review of Food: The History of Taste; and The President's Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy by Barry H. Landau. A review of Niloufer Ichaporia King's My Bombay Kitchen; Lidia Bastianich's Lidia's Italy; and Gail Monaghan's Lost Desserts: Delicious Indulgences of the Past.


From Prospect, Australia's newly elected prime minister Kevin Rudd may yet usher in a new Australia. Rudd, glorious Rudd! Why the Labor leader won a landslide and what he might do now. How the Chinese became Australians: A review of Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia by John Fitzgerald. From In These Times, Slavoj Zizek on China’s valley of tears: Is authoritarian capitalism the future? What lessons can be drawn from China's spectacular and sustained economic growth? A review of China Road: A Journey Into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford. An article on China’s see-no-evil diplomacy. The gentle dragon: China's "charm offensive", through Confucius Institutes, wins allies around the globe. Going Down: Democracy once seemed ascendant in many East and Central Asian countries — not so much anymore. Rebuilding the legendary Silk Road: A US$18.7 billion project to rebuild deteriorating infrastructure across Central Asia. Daughter of the West: Tariq Ali on the Bhuttos. A review of In Search of a Future: The Story of Kashmir by David Devadas. A review of When a Tree Shook Delhi: The 1984 Carnage and its Aftermath by Manoj Mitta and H.S. Phoolka (and more). From In These Times, an article on the dark side of Russia’s rainbow. Moscow oil town: Petrodollars are fueling an unprecedented—but precarious—prosperity. An interview with Fritz Stern, author of Five Germanys I Have Known. From TLS, a review of Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 by Paul Bew and Luck and The Irish: A brief history of change 1970–2000 by R. F. Foster (and more). The introduction to Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference by Dipesh Chakrabarty. From Prospect, the discovery of the mineral coltan—essential for mobile phones—in a remote region of Congo has been a mixed blessing. A heart grows darker: Chaos reigns in the Central African Republic. An article on the last days of Zimbabwe. Africa's missing ingredients: How aid can be better directed to entrench development in sub-Saharan Africa. The 49er: Why Chavez will still be a force to reckon with for a long, long time. The end of the Bolivarian dream?: An interview with Andres Oppenheimer, author of Saving the Americas: The Dangerous Decline of Latin America and What the U.S. Must Do.


From Literary Review, the fragility of the ego: A review of The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Fundamentalism by Mark Edmundson. A review of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer. Is an epidemic of depressive disorder really sweeping America?: A review of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder by Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield. Is our worship of consumerism and technology making us depressed?: An excerpt from Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy by Bruce E. Levine. Unlocking the secrets of self-sabotage: A new study suggests that if you believe you're mediocre, chances are you'll keep shooting yourself in the foot to prove it. Research suggests optimism isn't always healthy.


From The Chronicle, never mind Grendel: Can Beowulf conquer the 21st-century guilt trip? A review of The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl. Who is the "other Shakespeare"? A contemporary who excelled at bawdy comedies and gory tragedies alike, Thomas Middleton is about to be "inserted into modern culture". From the Oxford Review of Books, a review of Being Shelley: The Poet’s Search for Himself by Anne Wroe and Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle by Janet Todd. Terry Eagleton on sex, art and transformation as the original political vision: Dissent and emancipation were holy for William Blake — he could teach our prime minister so much about how to be radical. William Blake had flaws, but 250 years after his birth, his humanist ambition is still — like his Tyger — "burning bright".


Deborah L. Brake (Pittsburgh): The Struggle for Sex Equality in Sport and the Theory behind Title IX. An interview with Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano, authors of Playing With the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal in Sports. A review of Only a Game by Bill Littlefield. YouBet: The wonders and dangers of online sports wagering. From PopMatters, an article on the new American gladiators and the rise of Mixed Martial Arts: Initially seen as little more than back alley brawlers scrapping for beer money, MMA has found sporting legitimacy in meteoric fashion – this kind of fighting offers a truly global and democratic way to kick someone's ass. Birthday suits and 15 seconds of infamy: Whether jeered or cheered, streakers are still the best entertainment available during a boring game.


From Democratiya, a review of The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West by Mark Lilla; The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West by Lee Harris; and Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 by Matthias Kuntzel (and more). A language for the world: An interview with Amartya Sen. From Think Tank, broadcasting in the war of ideas: Are the lessons of the Cold War applicable to the battle with radical militant Islam?  An interview with Francis Fukuyama, editor of Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics. From Monthly Review, Samir Amin on political Islam in the service of imperialism. Fred Halliday on the mysteries of the American empire: The narrative of the United States's long-term decline or retreat is open to detailed challenge on the basis of the historical record and current realities. The war on terror's newest front: One year after backing an invasion of Somalia, the United States has cultivated a formidable enemy. An interview with Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It. Civilisation is safe: The American nationalist right would have us believe that Christian traditions are under threat. Remembering the Reign of Terror: Robespierre is today depicted as a sexless fanatic who invented modern terrorism — his own words reveal he was a fearless critic of tradition and incorruptibly committed to liberty, a million miles from today’s webcam jihadists.


From Electronic Book Review, a review of Frans de Waal's Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. Three five-year-old chimpanzees have soundly defeated nine university students while playing a computer game that tests numerical memory skills. A look at how our ancestors were like gorillas: Fossils illustrate sex differences in growth and the costs of being a male. Whatever happened to the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis? Human ancestors: more gatherers than hunters? Early humans may have dug potato-like foods with tools. Northwest Passage: A single population of prehistoric Siberians crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska and fanned out to North and South America, a new genetic analysis of living Native Americans suggests. A review of Great Moments in Greek Archeology. Archeologists in Rome have discovered an ancient grotto, lined with mosaics and seashells, deep under the Palatine Hill — they believe that it is the den of Romulus and Remus, the city's mythical founders. Is inequality largely the result of the Industrial Revolution, or were ancient incomes as unequal as they are today in poor pre-industrial societies?


From The Chronicle, a review of Color and Money: How Rich White Kids Are Winning the War Over College Affirmative Action by Peter Schmidt; The Conditions for Admission: Access, Equity, and the Social Contract of Public Universities by John Aubrey Douglass; The Power of Privilege: Yale and America's Elite Colleges by Joseph A. Soares; and Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education by Peter Sacks.  Doctoral education in the United States needs serious reforms: A review of The Formation of Scholars: Rethinking Doctoral Education for the Twenty-First Century. War stories: A new book on the education of West Point cadets spurs Steven G. Kellman to broader thoughts on curricular intentions. From Inside Higher Ed, what are the best academic blogs you’ve never heard of? Scott McLemee beats the bushes for leads. From TAP, progressives now have a chance to push a political agenda favoring investment in children — what can the second wave of children's politics learn from the first? Mark Schmitt investigates; and Ossining, New York, was at the forefront of school integration. but as American law and public opinion turn against race-based programs, can the town continue to use racial targeting to close the achievement gap? A review of Student Depression: A Silent Crisis in Our Schools and Communities by Marcel Lebrun. Plato for primaries: What is the meaning of life when you're six?

Advertisement