Alan B. Sielen (EPA): An Oceans Manifesto: The Present Global Crisis. High gas prices won't stop globalization — they'll help it. A review of Credit and Blame by Charles Tilly. From The New York Times Magazine, an article on how Obama reconciles dueling views on the economy. We down with GOP: Why Hip-Hop Republican is not an oxymoron. Mother Jones goes inside the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, where Scripture-quoting puppets and flaming Bibles win souls for the Lord. The future of crossing the street: Some very smart people think they've got the answers to help everyone play nice on our road. Exaggerating threats is a feature, not a bug, of McCainite neoconservatism, and reveals much about what kind of president he'd make. From Suite 101, an interview with Kristen Kuhns, co-founder of the "Story of My Life" website; and not into voluntourism? There's humanitourism, another form of purpose-driven travel. A review of Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly (and an interview). From Popular Science, Canadian student pranksters have turned city lights into Morse code, covered the mayor’s house in fake paint, and dangled a car beneath the Golden Gate Bridge — just to show they can. Research suggests polygamy is the key to a long life. Why is polygamy illegal? Wendy Kaminer wants to know. 


From TAP, over the past year, the Bush administration has moved left on foreign policy; and while it's great that young people are so excited about the Democratic candidate this year, progressives need to focus on encouraging young activists to do non-Obama-centric work. Meet Obama's Fixer: Valerie Jarrett handled outreach to the black community and to Hillary Clinton supporters; what constituency will she court next? Francis Fukuyama has an epiphany or two (and more and more). From Sirens, an article on the truth about orgasms; and are sugar daddies our modern-day Prince Charmings? Book blurbs are a tangled mass of friendships, rivalries, favors traded and debts repaid, not always in good faith. More on How Fiction Works by James Wood. Heinrich Heine was a great poet — yes, but a marvelous prose writer too. Franz Kafka, party animal: Life wasn't really such a trial for the supposedly tortured artist (and more). The state of the nayshun: Stupidity is the most respectable life-stance available in New Millennium America. Daniel Born on learning how to learn. Once you stop complaining and start getting back to work, it becomes clear that the barbarianization of all things affords some interesting opportunities. The suburbs have been hit hard by the housing crisis, but reports of their death are exaggerated. A review of Is Milton Better than Shakespeare? by Nigel Smith.


From Wired, an article on Shai Agassi's audacious plan to put electric cars on the road; and the critics need a reboot: The Internet hasn't led us into a new Dark Age. From Technology Review, "it's not a revolution if nobody loses": A new age of "technological reproducibility" is here — Ugh. Google, 10 years in: Big, friendly giant or a greedy Goliath? A look into the future: The pros and cons of a Google world. Dr. Doom: Two years ago, Nouriel Roubini predicted the current economic crisis; now he sees things becoming far worse. Bush 36,000: The invisible hand slaps conservatives again. From Hipster Book Club, an interview with Michael Ian Black, author of My Custom Van. Some ads generally never have a telephone number; that is usually the case for the ads placed by girls trying to sell their virginity, and there are lots of them. More on John Zogby's The Way We'll Be. From The American Interest, John Lewis Gaddis on Ending Tyranny: The past and future of an idea. From HNN, an interview with Ted Sorensen. From Prospect, politics gets personal: How the Conservatives are responding to the "politicisation" of private behaviour; and against ideology: The Labour party should ignore those calling for a return to ideological roots and instead embrace pragmatism. English spelling: You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau. Out of the mist: Is Rollie an exception, or are all gorillas as clever?


From National Journal, an article on how unity tickets have met bad ends. How Democrats can take back the South: Bob Moser, author of Blue Dixie, says don't give up on the region, but don't pander to it with Clintonian centrism (and a response by Thomas Schaller). We're Not All Friedmanites Now: Thomas Frank on the Milton Friedman Institute; and more and more on The Wrecking Crew. If conventions are so ridiculous, what's the one thing you would do to improve them? A review of Hollywood's Cold War by Tony Shaw. Hurricane Katrina wiped out the New Orleans public schools; it also created a rare chance to build a system that might solve the biggest problem in urban education: how to teach disadvantaged children. From The Atlantic Monthly, Caitlin Flanagan on how Patty Hearst’s kidnapping reflected and ravaged American culture in the 1970s; and Heart of Darwin: The places in and around London that shaped the naturalist as a young man. A review of Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination by Anthony Campbell. From PopMatters, a review of The United Symbolism of America: Deciphering Hidden Meanings in America's Most Familiar Art, Architecture, and Logos by Robert Hieronimus and Laura Cortner. More on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age. Michael Dirda reviews Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari.


A new issue of NPQ is out, on "The Rise of the Rest". From Foreign Policy, here's an instant history of the Georgian War. How "the man" kept Playgirl down: Believe it or not, there was actually a time when smart women read it for the articles. From Mental Floss, here's 13 medal-worthy Olympic stories. A look at the 10 worst Chinese laws. Around the time of the Chinese Revolution in 1949, a small crowd of foreign sympathisers came to help build the Maoist dream; sixty years later, one of them is still there. Christopher Hitchens reviews Miami and the Siege of Chicago by Norman Mailer. Which tomato is more nutritious, the commercial variety that goes into ketchup or the precious heirloom beloved by gourmets? Theda Skocpol reviews Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age by Larry Bartels. The dawn of global trade: An excerpt from When Asia Was the World by Stewart Gordon (and part 2). From The Weekly Standard, apparently, the Good War was a bad idea: A review of Churchill, Hitler, and the "Unnecessary War" by Patrick Buchanan and Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker; and a review of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube & the Future of American Politics by Morley Winograd and Michael Hais and Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths About American Voters by Karen Kaufmann, John Petrocik, and Daron Shaw.


From Asia Times, Dallas Darling on the Olympics as a political arena. The German-speaking world of Kafka scholars hit out over a British academic's claims that the writer had a penchant for hard porn. Great minds drink alike: The debaucherous get-togethers of humanity's top thinkers. An interview with Em & Lo, authors of Sex: How to do Everything. From Diplomatic Courier, preventive diplomacy: Can Macedonian and Estonian models succeed in Georgia? A review of Old Masters, New World: America's Raid on Europe's Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman. Presidents have to move quickly to enact progressive reforms before the window of opportunity closes forever; it's a lesson Obama should take to heart. A review of Science v. Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution by Steve Fuller. Demons among us: A visit to William Bradshaw, America's foremost demonologist. New star rising: A profile of Reihan Salam, an up-and-coming Bangladeshi-American thinker and writer (and more on Grand New Party). Jeffrey Feldman on what America needs to hear about Jerome Corsi. The Corncob Pipe of Politics: Everything you've ever wanted to know about party platforms — and then some. From Big Think, Jennifer Rubell examines the celebrity chef phenomenon. The first biography of Galileo Galilei resurfaces, offering a new theory as to why the astronomer was put on trial.


From TAP, Barack Obama might be running on a post-partisan platform, but he is more focused on building the Democratic Party; and here's a guide to the fifteen political operatives who run Obama's world. David Warsh on newspapers as the central banks of social currency. Millions of people are deciphering vintage texts without knowing it — and forging a new path for computing. Who are the citizens of Europe? Europe needs a binding moral foundation not a pan-European referendum. From The Atlantic Monthly, a look at how scarcity, affluence, and biofuel production are wreaking havoc on food prices; and the termite’s stomach, of all things, has become the focus of large-scale scientific investigations — could the same properties that make the termite such a costly pest help us solve global warming? From Utne, a special report on brushing off the gloom and doom with good green news, including an article in praise of economic pain: The threat of recession could lead to an environmental boon; find out why the planet’s not dead yet; and are capitalists the new conservationists? An article on Wilhelm Ropke, champion of the humane economy. Thought control in economics: A high level of conformity in academic institutions makes it difficult for economists to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. From CT, a review Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish.


From Taki's Top Drawer, Thomas E. Woods Jr. on Authority Issues: Is There Sovereignty Beyond the State?; John Zmirak on Anarcho-Fantasy: The Dream of a World Without the State; and Paul Gottfried on The Twilight of National Sovereignty. From Spectator, if you or your chatmate are looking for a nilogism or mislexis, don’t wait till an earar. Hack the Vote: Five ways Internet tricksters could tamper with the 2008 elections. Do subatomic particles have free will? If we have free will, so do subatomic particles, mathematicians claim to prove. From NPR, a look at the top athletes who aren't at the Olympics. Bisexual men might have their "hyper-heterosexual" female relatives to thank for their orientation. National Review likes "Stuff White People Like" in small doses. A Future of Less: Here's how government can help curb America's seemingly endless appetite for "more". From Mental Floss, a look at 3 controversial maps. From Intelligent Life, an article on how to cheat at everything. In a democracy, lingering rituals like presenting swords to politicians should have no place. Master of memes: An interview with moot, the founder of 4chan. A review of Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood by Anna Kirkland. Hipsters and the death of cool: Today, youth culture has drained even potent symbols like the keffiyeh of any meaning — is that such a bad thing?


From The New Yorker, a review of Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic by Ingrid D. Rowland; David Remnick on how Lang Lang, China’s greatest musician, will win the Beijing Games; an article on the making of a long-distance runner, Ryan Hall; and can the Burmese people rescue themselves? George Packer wants to know. From The Atlantic Monthly, Robert Kaplan on lifting the bamboo curtain: As China and India vie for power and influence, Burma has become a strategic battleground. From NYRB, the strange history of birth control: A review of Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly. We grew up too comfortable to take risks: What if Japan, the face of the future, is showing us who we are becoming, a Cassandra of our trans-cultural futures. Lisa Randall on understanding multiple dimensions. From TED, Murray Gell-Mann on beauty and truth in physics; Louise Leakey on digging for humanity's origins; and Kevin Kelly on predicting the next 5,000 days of the web. From Big Think, before Silicon Valley: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on growing up in San Francisco; Lisa Witter on capitalism and its enemies; and Susan Neiman explains the concept of moral maturity; how to become a better person; and current perspectives on evil. Keeping up appearances: An article on the benefits of pretending to be insane.


From The American Conservative, a cover story on The Anthrax Files: The FBI claims to have caught the killer, but so much evidence has been neglected or mishandled that many experts still have doubts; a review of An American Family: The Buckleys by Reid Buckley; and going off the Rawls: Libertarians have adopted the Left’s favorite modern philosopher. From TNR, a review essay on the Darfur genocide (and more); a look at the downside of Barack Obama's cool; and Richard Posner on the Supreme Court's wrongheaded gun control decision. From FP, here's the latest Terrorism Index 2008; and talking sex and power in the Catholic Church: An interview with Geoffrey Robinson. From The Nation, the Obama campaign's voter-registration drive could be the real change America's been waiting for (and more); a review of Rick Perlstein's Nixonland (and an excerpt at Bookforum); and a review of The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness, and Baseball by Nicholas Dawidoff. Is Jon Stewart the most trusted man in America? Michiko Kakutani investigates. From Scientific American, do social networks bring the end of privacy? (and more and more and more and more) Summa Sexologica: A review of The World We Have Won: The Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life by Jeffrey Weeks and What Happened to Gay Life? by Robert Reynolds.

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