From Wired, Clive Thompson on the Age of Microcelebrity: Why everyone's a little Brad Pitt. A look at how Kevin Federline took his place among the world's most powerful men. A review of Philosophy and the Interpretation of Pop Culture. A review of Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A review of In the Know: The Classic Guide to Being Cultured and Cool by Nancy MacDonell. $30,000 millionaires the douchebags in the mist: Venturing into the Dallas jungle in search of the elusive $30,000 millionaire — is he myth or fact? NewsGroper.com is the apex predator in an insurgent new form of satire, with anonymous bloggers pretending to be someone famous. From n+1, Gawker 2002—2007: As Gawker Media grew, from Gawker’s success, Gawker outlived the conditions for its existence. The conventional wisdom is that the "zine explosion" of 10 years ago ended with a whimper, but zines never died, they just got craftier. A review of Tipping the Sacred Cow: The Best of Lip: Informed Revolt, 1996-2007 by Brian Awehali. A review of Creem: America’s Only Rock ’n‘ Roll Magazine by Robert Matheu and Brian J. Bowe. A review of Rock and Roll, edited by music photographer Lynn Goldsmith. Stairway to Stardom: If Led Zeppelin reunites, will they play the song that almost destroyed them? "Thriller" at 25: The album of the 80s and unlikely ever to be beaten on sales — what made it so good? (and more) Mic'd Up: With karaoke, those who can't, do anyway; those who wish they could, only watch in mute rapture.


From Homeland Security Affairs, Naomi Zack (Columbia): Philosophy and Disaster; Timothy G. Baysinger (MSHP): Right-wing Group Characteristics and Ideology; Amy Donahue (Connecticut): Lessons We Don't Learn: A Study of the Lessons of Disasters, Why We Repeat Them, and How We Can Learn Them; Uri Fisher (Colorado): Deterrence, Terrorism, and American Values; a look at why strategy matters in the War on Terror; a review of The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters by Charles Perrow; a review of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation by Stephen Flynn; and a review of ten essential homeland security books. A review of Presidential Secrecy and the Law by Robert M. Pallitto and William G. Weaver and Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced by Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg. A review of The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World and Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency by Archon Fung, Mary Graham and David Weil. From Surveillance & Society, Gavin J.D. Smith (Aberdeen): Exploring Relations between Watchers and Watched in Control(led) Systems: Strategies and Tactics; and a review of Paul Virilio's The Original Accident.


A new Middle East: Where are the natural boundaries of the Middle East? A review of Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace by Avi Shlaim (and more and more). A review of Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World by Amaney A. Jamal. A review of The Great Arab Conquests How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In by Hugh Kennedy; and Jews and Power by Ruth R. Wisse. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trapped by his unwillingness to acknowledge that Israel must leave the occupied territories completely. An article on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process after Annapolis. A new charade by the Islamists: Is there any connection between the teddy bear and Annapolis? From Political Theology, a review of Speaking the Truth about Zionism and Israel. A review of Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering and Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843-1933 by Robin Judd. Bah, Hanukkah: The holiday celebrates the triumph of tribal Jewish backwardness. A study in Israel shows that voters can be manipulated into changing their attitudes by being shown subliminal images of their national flag.


From TED, biologist Robert Full on the secrets of movement, from geckos and roaches. Social networking for zebras: Scientists are developing a new branch of network theory to understand zebra communities. The strange lives of polar dinosaurs: How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark? Waking up early: A look at how rising temperatures are nudging animals out of hibernation and into peril. A review of Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling by Andrew Darby. An article on slaughtering whales as an expression of national culture. A look at how life's complexity began with poop. A review of World’s Oldest Fossils By Bruce L. Stinchcomb. For God's sake, start moaning: Our ability to complain is what drives humanity forward and separates us from the beasts.


From TAS, how much do a president's policies really affect the economy? Richard W. Rahn investigates. From TAP, could we really just work in the 1950s without having to live there, too, or were the circumstances that created the great middle-class nation unique to that moment of postwar economic hegemony? Mark Schmitt investigates. A review of The Great Funk: Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies by Thomas Hin. From Think Tank, an interview with Elaine Kamarck on the end of government as we know it. From Newsweek, an article on "irritable centrism": A suburban core weary of extremes changes American politics. A review of four books about political vision that summarize the "State of Our Vision 2007". How liberals can speak without boring everyone to tears: An interview with Thom Hartmann, author of Cracking the Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion. A review of Ralph Nader's The Seventeen Traditions. A review of Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription: Notes & Asides from National Review by William F. Buckley. A review of What Orwell Didn’t Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics. A review of The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-hungry Government Are Turning America into a Dictatorship by Elliot D. Cohen and Bruce W. Fraser. Larry J. Sabato, author of A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country, on six necessary changes to our constitution.


Lisa Heinzerling (Georgetown): Climate Change, Human Health, and the Post-Cautionary Principle. Sir Nicholas Stern on climate change, ethics and the economics of the global deal. Computer servers are at least as great a threat to the climate as SUVs or the global aviation industry, warns a new report. A look at we would be fools to banish global business from the great climate battle. Martin Wolf on why the climate change wolf is so hard to kill off. Scientists are using a controversial genetic engineering process to change the composition of the wood in the hopes of turning trees into new energy sources. Who's fueling whom? Why the biofuels movement could run out of gas. A growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day. Theodore Dalrymple on oil on troubled waters. A look at how there's more evidence we've entered the end of oil. Stories of oil: A look at how the oil industry is trying a Hollywood approach. A review of Discovery: The Search for Arabian Oil by Wallace Stegner.


From New York, an article on how Rudy has seen the enemy and he is us. Funny Man: A look at how Rudy Giuliani hides his rage behind ridicule. From Slate, Christopher Hitchens on Mitt Romney's windy, worthless speech; and more on Romney's incomplete speech on religion in America. From TNR, phenomenal pandering: E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the two sides of Romney's religion speech; Mitt Romney wants to have his religious freedom and impose a religious test, too; Jonathan Chait on Mike Huckabee's ideological snake oil; and Eve Fairbanks on Duncan Hunter's boring lunacy. What ever happened to moderate Republicans? With the hard right dominating their party, the neo-Eisenhower-Fordniks have formed two groups to recenter the Republicans. This is John Campbell speaking: Can a pork-busting Randian lead the GOP? Workers are paying the price for our productivity-focused, growth-at-any-cost business world, but why aren't the candidates talking about it? As voters in Iowa and New Hampshire prepare to head to the polls, new research shows just how much power these early voters hold. From Time, Mark Halperin and Amy Sullivan on how American voters decide. Facebook-Off: In 2008, it doesn't matter who you'd want to have a beer with — the question today is which candidate do you want to be your Facebook friend?; and in choosing a president next year, it's probably best to leave personal admiration out of it.


From New English Review, Ibn Warraq on skepticism and Koranic research. A review of Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out by Ibn Warraq. From Asia Times, Spengler on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, atheism and Islam. From TNR, Damon Linker on atheism's wrong turn: Mindless argument found in godless books. A review of The New Atheists by Tina Beattie. A review of The Agnostic Reader by S.T. Joshi. More and more on Karen Armstrong's The Bible: A Biography. A review of a new translation of The Book of Psalms. Terry Eagleton on Jesus as Messiah or Bolshevik: The Christ of the Gospels is indeed a revolutionary - - but of a millenarian, rather than a political, stripe. While the National Geographic Society’s translation supported the interpretation of Judas Iscariot as a hero, a more careful reading makes clear that he is a demon. From Counterpunch, an article on the Bible and Middle East History: Colonizing a metaphor. A review of Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789 by W. R. Ward. From Christianity Today, making trade-offs: A look at the balance-sheet for Christianity. Burning at the stake: Philip Jenkins on how global warming will increase religious strife. An interview with former evangelical minister Rev. Michael Dowd: Jesus Hearts Darwin.


From American Sexuality, an article on the sex in "sex trafficking": Why do we think migrant sex workers need rescuing? A review of Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present by Joanna Bourke (and more). From Slate, the pedophile's secret code: An FBI report reveals the secret language of child abuse—customer satisfaction survey included. Homeless, jobless rehabilitation: A look at why banishment of sex offenders is unfair and ineffective. Castration anxiety: Can a sex offender still have sex after surgery? Is the bogeyman of "sexual addiction" scaring people out of having sex? Christianity Today takes a glimpse into the world of male prostitution. The amateurs are taking over: What’s happening to the adult-entertainment industry is exactly what’s happening to its Hollywood counterpart—only worse.


From Technology Review, Google's cloud looms large: How might expanding Google's cloud-computing service alter the digital world? The Internet of Things: Your cell phone camera can tell you all about a product — is this an ephemeral gimmick or a great business? A look at how a versatile computer program works for detecting best blogs and worst water. From The Chronicle, a review of The Second Life Herald: The Virtual Tabloid That Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse by Peter Ludlow. From OJR, an article on Tim Berners-Lee's Web of people: The founder of the World Wide Web lectures on maps, bobsleds and the human qualities of his digital creation. Thanks to OpenID and OAuth, the open social web is beginning to emerge. From Wired, a look at how Facebook is always watching you. Watching what you see on the Web: New gear lets ISPs track users and sell targeted ads; more players, privacy fears. PCs have a multitude of uses, but, as a string of recent scandals illustrate, private information storage is not one of them.

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