From The Atlantic Monthly, the sky is falling: The odds that a potentially devastating space rock will hit Earth this century may be as high as one in 10; so why isn’t NASA trying harder to prevent catastrophe? From Seed, to find life on other worlds requires thinking about how other life would find us. Plans to return humans to the moon are under way — but will the moon be a stepping stone to Mars or a destination all its own? Why the Moon?: Developing a strong rationale for returning to the Moon becomes ever more important. Who owns the Moon?: Glenn Harlan Reynolds on the case for lunar property rights. The Space Archaeologists: What does the past look like from 200 miles up? A new generation of archaeologists has found that the history of civilization may look far clearer from the top of the atmosphere than it does from the bottom of a dig. From TED, Alisa Miller on why we know less than ever about the world; and Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat. Redeeming Dubya: The national memory often confuses hubris with greatness — that’s good news for George W. Bush. Matthew Yglesias on the appeasement paradox: Understanding the usefulness of diplomacy and the limits of American power (and more). A review of The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer. The future looks bleak for book clubs, an archaic corner of old media.
From The Washington Independent, an article on Obama as the next Teddy Roosevelt. Sean Wilentz on Barack Obama and the unmaking of the Democratic Party. David Greenberg on why history suggests an Obama-Clinton ticket could work. Macho Men: The strut and bluster of McCain vs. Obama. Howell Raines on the politics of aggression: You wouldn't know it from the campaign so far, but we may be living at the end of the age of smashmouth media coverage. If The New York Times disappears, will the world survive? David Blum ponders a future without ink stains. How to be a classic snob: Learning the tricks behind having a snotty attitude about orchestral music. An interview with Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland (and an excerpt). From TLS, a review of The World is What It Is: The authorised biography of V. S. Naipaul by Patrick French. From Harper's, Ken Silverstein on The Colbertian Guide to Foreign Policy Coverage. Meet Andrew Rotherham, the man behind Eduwonk. From The Politico, get ready for the World Live Web: "The future is already here". From FT, an interview with Henry Kissinger; and the renewed high visibility of the school’s alumni seems to signal that a renaissance is at hand for Eton College. John Carlin on why Iceland has the happiest people on earth. Wish you were here: What a vacation in Cuba can teach us about the global economy.
From the latest issue of Bookforum, Fiction and Political Fact: Morris Dickstein on political novels; and reflections by Madison Smartt Bell, Daniel Kehlman, Richard Flanagan, Dana Spiotta, Lydia Millet, Dubravka Ugresic, Norman Rush, Valerie Martin, Claire Messud, Margot Livesy, Zakes Mda, and Siddhartha Deb. From FT, the role of intellectuals may have diminished, but they remain central to French public life — four of the country's most provocative thinkers yield insights on the state of their homeland, the environment, human rights and military interventionism. From NYRB, Robert Darton on The Library in the New Age; Michael Tomasky reviews books on John McCain; Freeman Dyson reviews books on global warming; a review of books on jihadi suicide bombers: The new wave; and more on Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. From Scientific American, does time run backward in other universes? (and more) Beyond the male "pill": From remote-control key fobs to ultrasound, male contraception goes high tech. From Radar, get off the stage: One Millennial responds to Gen X's discontents. A journey into the heart of the enemy: Exiled Iraqi writer Najem Wali travelled to Israel to uncover some uncomfortable truths about the Arab leaders. Let's coin a term for this kind of poetic, extralogical accuracy: Let's call it agenbite. More on A History of Histories by John Burrow.