A review of Aesthetics and Nature by Glenn Parsons. Here are sample chapters from The Princeton Guide to Ecology. A review of Terra: Tales of the Earth — Four Events that Changed the World by Richard Hamblyn. A review of Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology by Mark Barrow (and an excerpt). With climate change and population growth threatening the viability of traditional farming, the time is right for the world to build the first vertical farm in an urban center. How are urbanization and other human influences affecting the biodiversity and health of ecosystems? From TNR, what happens when there's nowhere left for trash? Is greywater (the water that comes from bathtubs, showers, wash basins and clothes washers) use a boon or an environmental disaster? The age of breathing underwater: Environmentalists have long struggled to save Nature from humanity’s negligence; but how can we learn to thrive in the climate we’ve created? The answer begins beneath the sea. A review of Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King by Brad Matsen (and more). How green is your sushi? Natasha Loder takes a marine biologist to lunch to find out. Don’t blubber, it’s biology: Everyone should watch a whale being dissected — it teaches us about life. A look at how the loss of top predators is causing a surge in smaller predators and ecosystem collapse. For insight into fabulously complex ecological dynamics, Aaron Ellison peers into the cupped leaves of carnivorous pitcher plants. What ever happened to the Amazon Rain Forest — did we save it or what?
From The Big Money, a look at how luxury will survive: It will migrate to China and India. Will somebody please save NBC?: The beleaguered and tattered Peacock Network deserves better than Jeff Zucker, Jay Leno, and maybe even Comcast. Researchers looking at al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein explore why it is that people often steadfastly believe something even when they've been shown it ain't so. Dating in the Atlasphere: Joshua Zader brings love to fans of Ayn Rand. From Obit, an article on the life and death of the death of God. From the new Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots), Donna Coker likes Deborah Weissman's "The Personal is Political — and Economic: Rethinking Domestic Violence". A review of Freedom for Sale: How We Made Money and Lost Our Liberty by John Kampfner. What happens to your body after you’re dead is none of your business; to stop the needless daily deaths, we need your organs. For Nina Sankovitch, a book a day, every day. If you see something, look away: The bigger the city, the more we're forced to ignore in public. Workers of the mind, unite: The futurists were against sadness, moonlight, marriage — even pasta. From Improbable Research, crossword puzzles are a threat to the criminal justice system — indeed, they may have been doing damage for decades; and how did a doctor get toilet graffiti artists to clean up their act? Branding used to be for products, then celebrities — now it is something ordinary people do to themselves, a phenomenon that goes back to Dale Carnegie via Margaret Thatcher. A review of Us and Them: The Science of Identity by David Berreby.
From the Social Science Research Council, a public sphere forum on the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, with contributions by Andrew Arato, Hauke Brunkhorst, Jeffrey Goldfarb, Elzbieta Matynia, Jack Goldstone, Julia Hell, and others. From Open Democracy, Neal Ascherson on 1989 and how it ended; Vladimir Tismaneanu on the lessons of 1989; and Anthony Barnett on 1989 and change in our time. From The Washington Post, Josef Joffe on tragedy and farce in Berlin; Clay Risen on reunification writ small; and how it went down: Mary Elise Sarotte on the little accident that toppled history (and more on 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe). From The New Criterion, a special issue on The Berlin Wall: 20 years after, with contributions by Henry A. Kissinger, Roger Kimball, Donald Kagan, and Jonathan Brent. From Foreign Policy, 1989 as the lost year: For Gorbachev and Bush Sr., it was 12 months of missed opportunities; who brought down the Berlin Wall — Reagan, economics, the CIA?: Why the usual suspects get too much credit; and the fall of the Berlin Wall united Germany and eliminated the Cold War's most potent symbol — here are five barriers that continue to divide nations and disrupt lives today (and more on walls and barriers around the world). 1989 and all that: How much anti-Communist opposition really was there? Maurice Isserman reviews Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebestyen (and more and more and more). Christopher Hitchens on the lessons of 1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall is a reminder of the duty of solidarity.
Why does music make us feel? A new study demonstrates the power of music to alter our emotional perceptions of other people. Terry Teachout on the mystery of music: What about it has such power over human beings? Here are some of the songs used by military and law enforcement entities to get their suspects to sing. From Standpoint, an essay on Music and Modernity. Alaska’s Seismic Symphony: A groundbreaking composer turns the Alaskan landscape into an orchestra. Who’s afraid of the avant-garde? Philip Ball reviews Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don’t Get Stockhausen by David Stubbs. Roll Playing: Jeff Dolven on feeling the machine music of Conlon Nancarrow. John Rockwell reviews Hold on to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973–1992 by Tim Lawrence. Ten years ago, an anonymous screed sparked a firestorm amongst music critics and rock nerds; Daniel Lester follows up with the targets of the Rock Critical List and reassesses the finger pointing. Let's talk about nothing: Would music criticism be more productive if critics acknowledged the religious aspect of their interest? A review of Radiohead and Philosophy. A review of Why AC/DC Matters by Anthony Bozza. From New York, a cover story on Brooklyn’s Sonic Boom: How New York became America's music capital again. Bored New World: How the Zach Braff prototype is slowly killing American music. A review of Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music by Ryan Edwardson. Is the Ukranian metal band Drudkh a fascist mouthpiece? From Utne, can Americans learn to love non-English lyrics?