From AHR, a special section on Naturecultures, including Gay Hawkins (UNSW): More-than-Human Politics; and Zoe Sofoulis (UWS): Social Construction for the Twenty-first Century: A Co-Evolutionary Makeover; and a special section on Writing in the Anthropocene, including Madronna Holden (OSU): Re-storying the World: Reviving the Language of Life; and Kate Rigby (Monash): Writing in the Anthropocene: Idle Chatter or Ecoprophetic Witness? White liberals champion green values partly as a substitute for religion, which has largely lost its grip on them. A review of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear by Douglas Bevington (and a response). Counter to the laws of private property, jurisprudence based in the rights of Nature is possible. For all its complexity, the core of this problem is simple: What kind of a climate transition would be fair enough to actually work? The idea that growing human numbers will destroy the planet is nonsense, but over-consumption will (and more). From ALF, a special issue on climate change after Copenhagen. Johann Hari on how mainstream environmental groups sold out their principles, often in exchange for money from the worst polluters (and responses). Of all the wrongheaded ideas trumpeted by America's right, anti-environmentalism occupies a unique position — at once the most devoid of a rational or moral foundation and the most dangerous. The Chamber of Commerce's challenge to carbon regulations probably won't convince a court of law — the court of public opinion is another matter. A review of Why We Disagree about Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity by Mike Hulme. Science won't tell us what to do about climate change, but it can make the controversy worse.


Dennis Baron (Illinois): Should Everybody Write? The Destabilizing Technologies of Communication. From Zenit, priestly celibacy is not psychologically dangerous, and in fact, sexual behavior based on "anything goes" is what is truly destructive to the personality. Tim Worstall on how megachurches would profit from temple prostitution. From Time, a special section on 10 Ideas for the Next 10 Years: A thinker's guide to the most important trends of the new decade. Dr. Helen interviews Ed Hudgins on A Year of Going Galt: Private happiness without public penalty? From Vanity Fair, the late-night war among Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman is an Oedipal conflict: pretender, contender, and defender — but none has the elusive quality that made Johnny Carson king. The Great Sperm Race: "Sizing Up Sperm" uses real people to represent 250 million sperm on their marathon quest to be first to reach a single egg. An interview with Terry Eagleton on The Task of the Critic. A review of The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford. From Vice, an interview with Joe Kittinger, the guy who jumped out of a balloon at 102,800 feet. From World Hum, Robert Reid on a short history of spring break; and tourism is not a four-letter word: On travel snobbery — and why paying 30 bucks to get pummeled by a guy named Mustafa isn't such a bad thing. The space program we almost had: An interview with Megan Prelinger, author of Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962.

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From Wired, how Andrew Breitbart hacks the media (and more and more and more). They fear Obama's the antichrist or a socialist — meet the GOP's army of washed-up celebrities. Obama, a college Marxist: Little information has come to light about President Obama’s youthful political views — that may change as disclosures by former professor John C. Drew surface in the mainstream press. Michael Lind on mythological politics: The key to understanding the populist right's accusations that Obama is a socialist. Remember when religious populism walked hand-in-hand with economic populism? Neither does Sarah Palin. "Run, Sarah, Run!": Jonathan Raban on the Tea Party Convention. If Glenn Beck is an example of the new sensibility, then what distinguishes the new conservatives is a deep grievance with history itself. You've got to hand it to Beck and the Tea Party crowd: They’re making it OK to call someone you disagree with a Nazi. Too many of those analyzing the Tea Party movement seem to have no genuine interest in grappling with its potential historical significance. A "tea party" nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court. Teabaggers are mounting an electoral challenge to movement's hero Ron Paul. A review of Courage and Consequence by Karl Rove (and more and more and more and more and more). You've must admit, there's something Churchillian about Newt Gingrich. Jonathan Chait on Randian Paul Ryan and the Republican vision. If Ryan's roadmap is the Republican way, why aren't Republicans driving on it? How Dick Cheney plans to use his daughter Liz's political future to ensure his legacy. How did 28-year-old ex-Yalie and former speechwriter Christopher Michel become the man behind Dubya's memoirs?


A new issue of Airman Magazine is out. From The American Scholar, Sven Birkerts on Reading in a Digital Age: Notes on why the novel and the Internet are opposites, and why the latter both undermines the former and makes it more necessary; and William Deresiewicz on Solitude and Leadership: If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts. Japan is not funny anymore: Japan hasn't really changed — something else, however, has. Is Japan giving up? Devin T. Stewart wants to know. From America, John Henry Newman, Harriet Beecher Stowe and “Juno”, among others, have much to teach about changing the minds of individuals and the collective mind of a culture. A radical shift in the practice of mathematics and a radical shift in stories about mathematics took place at exactly the same time. Natural disasters like the recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti are often followed by near-instant assessments of the economic impact — but the figures, closely monitored by insurers, can be unreliable (and more). The Ten Commandments were set in stone, but it may be time for a re-chisel; with all due humility, Christopher Hitchens takes on the job, pruning the ethically dubious, challenging the impossible, and rectifying some serious omissions. Building a nuclear weapon has never been easier: NATO's Michael Ruhle provides step-by-step instructions for going nuclear, from discretely collecting material to minimizing the fallout when caught. An empirical test of ideas proposed by Martin Heidegger shows the great German philosopher to be correct: Everyday tools really do become part of ourselves. Nobody wants to hear about how much they suck — that’s why rejection letters should be as simple as possible. Say "Fromage!": Morgan Meis on photography's surprising impact on the Surrealists.


From LRB, a review of The Modern Period: Menstruation in 20th-Century America by Lara Freidenfelds. A review of Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim (and more and more). Why is menstruation still such a taboo subject? Lysol-scented vaginas: An article on the strange history of douching. How to sell a douche: A slideshow history of marketing feminine care. Lindsay Smith on how medicine fails the modern woman: More readily-available medical information has created a nation of hypochondriacs. A review of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein (and more). Did the fathers of modern obstetrics murder more women than Jack the Ripper? A review of Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Threshold of the Living Subject by Lorna Weir. Let's give contraceptive researchers their due. Fertile territory: Reproductive technologies offer older women more choice, but who gains the most benefit? Slap on a pink ribbon, call it a day: Barbara Ehrenreich on how that little loop seems to have replaced real feminism, which is why women's health priorities are so screwed up. Dr. Marcel D. Waldinger of The Hague Leyenburg General Hospital has “renamed [a] combination of complaints as he speaks of Restless Genital Syndrome”. Restless Vagina Syndrome: By promoting the idea that "normal" women have explosive sex all the time, BigPharma helped launch "female sexual dysfunction" (and more and more on FSD). Women who want to want: As they revise their psychiatric diagnostic manual, researchers are wondering why so many women feel little sexual desire and what should be done for them. Arousing interest: The search continues for a pill that will lift a woman’s libido.


A new issue of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs is out. An interview with Nigar Hasan-Zadeh on books on Azerbaijan. A review of A Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West by Ronald Asmus. Panic in Georgia after a mock news broadcast (and more). Chronicles of a Soviet Capitalist: Twenty years later, Georgian writer Irakli Iosebashvili recalls the pursuit of money in the years immediately after the Iron Curtain came down (and part 2). Post-Soviet integration: Sergei Markedonov assesses the performance of the Commonwealth of Independent States (and part 2). Christopher Marsh and Nikolas K. Gvosdev on the persistence of Eurasia. An article on the evolution of Russia, as seen from McDonald’s. From FP, an artile on Dagestan, Russia's most overlooked hot spot. A fairy tale of the Soviet monolith: Ex-Soviets confuse the memory of their innocent youth for their nation's utopian vision. Perestroika Lost: Mikhail Gobachev on how Russia must regain the freedoms lost over the last 25 years to “shock therapy” and the iron grip of Russian leaders who opted for a more radical version of reform. The Russian Navy revitalized: Moscow will use sea power in its quest for greater world influence. From LRB, Keith Gessen reviews The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin and the Yukos Affair by Richard Sakwa. Maxim Trudolyubov on Russia's new media paradox. Who is Russia's top intellectual? Throughout Russian and Soviet history, the intellectual has played a central and hugely influential role in society — today, that has changed. From THES, a review of Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia by Vladislav Zubok (and more). A review of Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991 by Karen L. Ryan. An interview with Ian Christie on books on Russian cinema.


From FT, lessons from the collapse of Bear Stearns: Never again will bankers be able to argue that what is good for Citigroup is good for America, or what is good for RBS is good for the UK; and the truth about speculators — they are doing God’s work: Speculation is to financial markets what claptrap is to the political system, absolutely crucial. What if?: The book gives way to the download, and solitary reading transforms into virtual conversations. Benjamin Kunkel remembers Giovanni Arrighi. Girls Just Want to Have Fun: An article on polyandry in Malaysia. Can't Wait 'Til Tax Day: It's a heretical thought, but would people pay more taxes if they could designate where a portion of their money went? Life returns to an eerie Chernobyl: In the radioactive realm at ground zero of history's worst nuclear disaster, nature reclaims its territory — and a few defiant old folks are calling it home again (and part 2). Library of Congress curator Mark Dimunation is on a worldwide mission to find exact copies of the books that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Reconstructing a Lost Library: George Wythe’s "legacie" to President Thomas Jefferson. From JASSS, reviews of books on networks and complexity. Not tonight, honey: An excerpt from Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers & Other Unusual Relationships by Marty Crump. Hampton Stevens on the short and brutal life of a Nascar engine. Smart debt, dumb debt: Because we never face up to how much we need government to do, there is a pathetic quality to our discussion of big deficits. It's not our debt that's unsustainable, it's our politics. Luc Foisneau on the French philosophers eclipsed by rationalism. Algebra in Wonderland: The other-worldly events in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland can be interpreted as satire on 19th-century advances in mathematics (and more).


From Human Life Review, an essay on Abortion: Conscience, Crisis, and the Church. The right to hate Angie Jackson's choice: An abortion-rights pioneer (who was excommunicated by the Catholic Church) says this isn't what she fought for (and more). Former Bryan Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s abrupt change from pro-choice activist to pro-life spokesperson turned her into a talk show sensation — but is her story true? Hitler as a "pro-life" poster child: Activists in Poland equate terminating a pregnancy with Nazism. "Abortion changes you": A dishonest antiabortion campaign premieres in New York City's subway. The film Maafa 21, which anti-abortion activists are screening to black audiences across the country, tries to link reproductive rights to eugenics — but it’s wrong. Controversial Georgia billboard campaign links abortion to race, says black children "endangered". From Slate, William Saletan and on the selective crusade against black women's abortions and on the pro-life case for pregnancy termination. Beyond Privacy: Reproductive rights advocates are fighting state-level abortion restrictions with creative litigation — and winning. The trouble with protesting the Tim Tebow ad: all most people see is pro-choicers trying to shut up a brave mother and her son. Why do male pro-lifers speak their minds while pro-choice guys stay silent? A review of Dispatches From the Abortion Wars by Carole Joffe. By Representative Bart Stupak's logic, the government is "subsidizing abortion" by building roads, developing medicine and providing childcare. Why Stupak is wrong: The Senate bill doesn't fund abortions — here's why he thinks it does. A brain scanning technology called MEG is being used to track the function of unborn babies' brains as they grow inside the womb until after they've been born.


Stefan Huster (RUB): Cognitive Limits and the Beginning of Life: An Objection against the Identity Argument. From Forward, Devra Ferst on how Curious George fought the Nazis; and Tuli Kupferberg is Yiddish-speaking 60’s rebel, an unrepentant anarcho-pacifist at 86. Rule of Law, Misrule of Men: Elaine Scarry on why we must prosecute Bush administration officials. Horse power: A review of Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814 by Dominic Lieven (and more). Nicole Rudick reviews Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic. Jonathan Rauch on the decline of a parent: Millions of middle-aged Americans are silently struggling to cope with a crisis that needs to be plucked from the realm of the personal and brought into full public view. Literary history is littered with old friends like Anna Ford and Martin Amis feuding by letter. With their afternoon tea, brogue accents, and fields of diddle-dee, just who do the Falklands Islanders think they are? Fantastic Man has been hugely influential on the men’s magazine market — can its new sister The Gentlewoman have a similar effect? An interview with Nancy Abelmann, author of The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation. A review of The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies: Autonomy and Representation in the University by Mark Chiang (and more). The History of the Honey Trap: Five lessons for would-be James Bonds and Bond girls — and the men and women who would resist them. The Venus Project is a future design for humanity and the Planet Earth that rests on the foundations of compassion, freedom, unbridled technological innovation, education and the transition from a monetary-based economy and into a resource-based one.

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From The Space Review, Jeff Foust on the exoplanet explosion. Looking for life in the shadows: The search for a second Earth gets serious. The first chapter from How to Find a Habitable Planet by James Kasting. At a Cambridge alien conference, scientists warn of an invisible Earth and hostile ETs. What if the aliens decide they don’t like us? Hello ET, we come in peace: The advantages of advertising our existence to the universe outweigh the risks. Do you speak alien? Stephen Battersby on exolanguage. What aliens really look like: Portrait gallerys of the most common Alien sightings around the world. Extraterrestial Ethics: What obligations do we owe to the various life forms we send there, or those we might discover? According to Michael Mautner, Research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, seeding the universe with life is not just an option, it’s our moral obligation. What aliens look like: Will they be super-smart predators, glass-veined acid-dwellers or giant microbial blobs? A look at why extra-terrestrials are likely to possess human foibles such as greed, violence and a tendency to exploit others' resources. From the National Catholic Reporter, the Truth is out there; extraterrestrials, probably not (and a response). Aliens can't hear us: Fainter broadcasting signals and digital switchover mean Earth will soon be undetectable to extraterrestrials. As SETI approaches its 50th anniversary, three books tackle the question of why we have not yet found evidence of alien intelligence. The man who'll welcome aliens: Jon Ronson meets Paul Davies, the scientist with an awesome responsibility. A review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone In The Universe? by Paul Davies (and more).

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