From Romanian Review on Political Geography, Liviu Bogdan Vlad, Gheorghe Hurduzeu, and Andrei Josan (BAES): Geopolitical Reconfigurations in the Black Sea Area at the Beginning of the 21st Century. From Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites, an essay on Romanian Rural Tourism between Authentic/Traditional and Modern/Contemporary. From FTwho won the Romanian revolution? Former members of the oppressive old guard are flourishing in Bucharest’s new order. Twenty years on from the fall of Ceausescu, Romanian filmmakers are finally learning how to make people laugh about their country’s dark past. The enduring legacy of Romania's Securitate: How those who terrorized Romanians under communism continue to instill fear. Elise Hugus on Romania 20 years later: Not exactly bread and roses. A Frenchman is building a resort for well-heeled tourists among the ruins of a former communist gulag in Romania. What became of Romania's neglected orphans? A review of Dracula Is Dead: How Romanians Survived Communism, Ended It, and Emerged since 1989 as the New Italy by Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe. Think Italy, not vampires: A fondness for the US is in Romanians' blood (and more). A Transylvanian critic takes on the popular Twilight series; Peter Baker translates from the Romanian. Liliana Hamzea (UTBv): Americanization and Discourses of National Identity in the Romanian Dilema. Ceausescu’s Romania, the drama of the ethnic Germans — all remained in Herta Muller’s memory and are in her books. A Romanian Jewish writer rediscovered: An article on Benjamin Fondane as poet, critic and filmmaker.


From the International Journal of Conflict and Violence, a special issue on ethnic and racial violence. The cure for metaphysics is the retemporalization of its founding myth, not as the rediscovery of originary violence, but as the beginning of the never-ending history of its deferral. Red skateboard baby: A review of When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood by Said Sayrafiezadeh. From New Statesman, an interview with Frank Kermode (and more from TLS). A year and a half after the launch of a controversial online game about the homeless, the Pennergame is a runaway success. It is high time for the media to scrutinize the behavior and motives of judges and prosecutors, both individually and collectively, in the same way they do elected officials. Catching sight of a cockroach tends to make us behave chaotically, but it appears that chaos might actually explain how we, and the cockroach itself, behave. A review of A Study in Survival: Conan Doyle Solves the Final Problem by Roger Straughan A review of Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self by James Hinton. Vegan Jihad: An interview with Sean Muttaqi. New Zealand is a simmering hotbed of volcanic activity; while eruptions have largely avoided populous areas, Auckland is sitting on a ticking time bomb. America’s New Hope: Afghanistan is built on its tribes — how they work, how power flows, who matters most. Simon Blackburn on how politicians and people profess to prize authenticity and integrity, but discerning the truthful person from the sincere but self-deceived and the dissembling is tricky.


James M. Buchanan (GMU): Economists Have No Clothes; and Geoffrey Brennan (ANU) and Alan Hamlin (Manchester): Bygones are Bygones. Herbert Gintis (SFI): Towards a Renaissance of Economic Theory. From the Catholic Social Science Review, a symposium on Catholic Social Teaching and economic science. Selling short a humanistic economist: Adam Smith tartly criticized the idea that self-interest is enough. A review of After Adam Smith: A Century of Transformation in Politics and Political Economy by Murray Milgate and Shannon Stimson. Deirdre McCloskey once thought economics and rationality were the key to understanding society, but the explanatory power of rhetoric has dented her faith in the dismal science. Invasion of the European Economists: A generation of free-market exiles has made the US campus its home. From The New Yorker, John Cassidy on a series of interviews with Chicago School economists. Reality be damned: Kenneth Davidson on the legacy of Chicago School economics. All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds: David Roberts on economics as pathology (and part 2). If more than a fraction of Freakonomics or The World is Flat readers are perusing Nash on game theory, Ohlin on international trade, or Samuelson on possibility functions, Ian Crone will eat his economics textbook. The financial crisis has rippled throughout the curriculum of universities, challenging faculty to turn on a dime. May the best theory win: How economists are competing to make sense of our failed financial system. The economist who got it right: It is astonishing how much Arthur Pigou's ideas impact on our lives and debates today. The Galbraith Revival: The aristocratic economist’s big-government ideas are back in vogue. The Santa Fe Reporter profiles Samuel Bowles. An interview with "stand-up economist" Yoram Bauman, co-author of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. Fear the Boom and Bust: A Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem.


A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. A review of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives by Shankar Vedantam (and more and more). Living on a Lighted Stage: Are we finally ready to take Rush seriously? From Gawker, a look at Andrew Breitbart's horrible track record of picking Right-wing heroes (and more). From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. From Chronicles, William Murchison writes in praise of euphemism. Cut this story: Michael Kinsely on how newspaper articles are too long. A renewable-energy "oasis" slated to be built in 2010 may serve as a proving ground for new technologies designed to bring green living to the desert (and more). Great oratory is the mark of a great leader; Sophie Elmhirst asks politicians, historians and the writers who worked for Clinton and Blair to reveal the secrets of the perfect speech. Andrew Stephen on how the seclusion of J D Salinger and Glenn Gould was a result of psychological damage. A review of The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World by Mary Evans. The politicians are wrong: This is the golden age of college football. From Rorotoko, an interview with Trysh Travis, author of The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey; and an interview with Jonathan Walker, author of Pistols! Treason! Murder! The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy. Casper, a cat which became a celebrity by travelling around Plymouth on the bus, has died after reportedly being struck by a car (and more).


From Popular Mechanics, Erik Sofge on the truth about robots and the uncanny valley. From backyard tinkering as a child, Rodney Brooks went on to revolutionise robotics, bringing robots to the homes of millions. One small step for robots: A Drexel lab has big plans for its little humanoid. Artificial intelligence: The robots are coming but are we ready for them? Robotics expert Noel Sharkey used to be a believer in artificial intelligence — so why does he now think that AI is a dangerous myth that could lead to a dystopian future of unintelligent, unfeeling robot carers and soldiers? The age of the killer robot isn't a sci-fi fantasy any more. From National Geographic, Josh Fischman on bi-on-ics. Qualitative experience in machines: An excerpt from William Lycan's The Digital Phoenix: How Computers are Changing Philosophy. When robots have feelings: If, as seems likely, we develop super-intelligent machines, their rights will need protection, too. An article on emotional robots: Will we love them or hate them? (and more) Cybersex in Swindon: There's no need to assume that as computers become more sentient they will adopt our baser desires. A review of Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy. Love means never having to say 404 Error: A new robot promises sex — and more (and more). Sexbots will give us longevity orgasm: When robots are half-human and humans are half-robot, love between us will be acceptable, but not until then. Memristor minds: An article on the future of artificial intelligence. Here’s a list the most compelling and uncanny robot, android, and cyborg-oriented novels, stories, and plays that were published in the decades immediately before SF’s so-called Golden Age.


ASME and MPA presents “Covering the Decade”, a fast-paced video that tells the story of the century’s first decade through the prism of magazine covers. From Blog Magazine, a look at the best good magazine news of 2009. From Folio, an article on 2009: The Year in Magazines and here are 115 magazine and media predictions for 2010 (and more). Susan Krashinsky on the future of the magazine. Readers aren't ditching magazines — advertisers are ditching magazines. Judy Bachrach on how the economy is killing off magazines. Virginia Heffernan on the existential crisis of magazines online. Buy this digital magazine or we'll kill this virtual dog, or: How electronic distribution is ripping up the magazine business. The Tablet Hype: They can't possibly save magazines and newspapers (and more and more and more and more and more and more on the iPad and magazines). Many of us in the magazine world think we’re in the business of selling content, but we're not. An interview with Magnus Greaves, founder of MYMAG, "a whole new concept in print magazines" (and more). What is the future of printed literary journals? The death of fiction: Lit mags were once launching pads for great writers and big ideas — is it time to write them off?  Editorial shake-up as Harper’s tries to stabilize in a downturn. Paywalls, blogs, comments, editing and magazines: An interview with Paul Ford, Web Editor of Harper's. A new Sarah Palin magazine hits newsstands and convenience stores (and more). Before E!, TMZ.com, Perez Hilton: A review of Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine by Henry E. Scott (and more and more and more and more).


The first chapter from The Mind's Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism by Vincent Descombes. Don't cross that line: Would a fighter pilot shoot down a private airplane? A review of Michelangelo: A Tormented Life by Antonio Forcellino. Embrace prejudice: Stereotyping exists because it captures the whisper of a truth, because it provides a convenient shorthand and is fun. From TAC, an article on Robert Nisbet’s conservatism of community against the state; the people’s priest: Ivan Illich understood the dangers of trying to save the world; and John James Audubon was a terrible writer and a cruel conservationist, but his vision still took flight. The Higher Arithmetic: How to count to a zillion without falling off the end of the number line. Fight Night: Hamilton Nolan on the glorious racism of boxing. Inconsistent Pleadings: When and how to say "fucking" at work. The domestication of the savage mind: Cosma Shalizi reviews What is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect by James R. Flynn. A look at how online sponsorship changes the way we give. A man for troubled times: Ban Ki-moon rises above the fray. Here are 6 enlightened ideas brought to you by evil empires. Reality TV and porn collide: Both unscripted television and pornography call for their exhibitionist stars to expose themselves in intimate ways and now the space between the two genres is collapsing. Ed Smith had a theory that sprinters — like greyhounds and racehorses — were not getting any faster, but then came Bolt. An interview with Johann Hari on life on the front-line of political journalism. What the Maya calendar really tells us about 2012 and the end of time.


From The Weekly Standard, what Obama isn't saying: Harvey Mansfield on the apolitical politics of progressivism. A review of Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy — and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them by Peter Schweizer. A review of The Failure Factory: How Unelected Bureaucrats, Liberal Democrats, and Big Government Republicans Are Undermining America’s Security and Leading Us to War by Bill Gertz. A review of The Great Money Binge: Spending Our Way to Socialism by George Melloan. The New York Times' wunderkind columnist Ross Douthat is on a quest to save intellectual conservatism. From Reason, laboratories of repression: We don’t let the states “experiment” on the First Amendment — should the Second Amendment receive any less respect?; and ninth configurations: Rights “retained by the people” make a comeback. Robert George on abortion and the struggle for the soul of the nation. W. James Antle III on Lou Dobbs' America. From TNR, a review of What Americans Really Want Really by Frank Luntz. Incompetent Foes: Steven Teles on learning the right lessons from the Age of Reagan. No Room for Reagan: Even the Gipper would fail the litmus test that conservatives have created in his name. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga on the 2010 Comprehensive Daily Kos/Research 2000 Poll of Self-Identified Republicans: "The results are nothing short of startling" (and two responses). One cross of gold, coming up: How the government could get even with right-wing cranks. Lee Siegel on how to handle GOP tantrums.


A new issue of the queer anarchist Pink and Black Attack is out. The Future Takes Forever: An article on Fereidoun M. Esfandiary becoming FM-2030. From Human Rights & Human Welfare, a reoundtable on Haiti’s human rights challenges and the responsibility of the international community. Joanna Connors turns the page on Amazon's Kindle: An essay. From Airman, among aircraft, like people, there are a few that stand out from the rest. In the American Grain: Scott McLemee remembers Howard Zinn. A Museum of One's Own: Can writers' former homes become tourist destinations? The odds are long and the payoff is low. An interview with Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. A review of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Goldstein (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Mike Musgrove on how "citizen cartographers" map the microcosms of the world. Krak des Chevaliers is the most imposing symbol of the crusades. From Vanity Fair, Mark Bowden on a case that challenges the conventional wisdom about online sexual predators, and blurs the lines among crime, “intent,” and enticement. Race to the Checkout Line: What the National Grocers Association's Best Bagger Championship says about work and competition. To properly tackle malnutrition, we need to consider nutrigenomics — the process of how nutrients interact with genes to alter metabolism. From Esquire, a special section on D.C. People Who Matter. What is there to say in the face of color, a visual phenomenon that so often seems to elude linguistic expression? Maggie Nelson investigates. My Dad went to San Quentin and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.


Alfred R. D’Anca (CMSV): A Different Promise: Catholic Social Thought and Criminal Punishment in America. The Lost Boys of Tryon: Inside New York’s most infamous juvenile prison, where troubled kids — abused and forgotten — learn to become troubled adults. An interview with Michelle Brown, author of The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle. Beyond Bars: The era of mass incarceration is ending; now we have to figure out what comes next. Will be jailed for food: To poorest Americans incarceration is an all-inclusive welfare getaway opportunity. From Esquire, Michael Finkel on how he convinced a death-row murderer not to die. The Exonerator: Self-taught private investigator Jim McCloskey has helped free more than three dozen people who were imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit. Prisoners of Parole: Could keeping convicts from violating probation or their terms of release be the answer to prison overcrowding? From The Village Voice, in a crime-free city, how does a young gangbanger represent? From TPM, a book club on Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice by Alexandra Natapoff. A review of Gangs, Marginalised Youth and Social Capital by Ross Deuchar. Eric Banks on the Manson Family: Here are a few titles that any Manson syllabus should contain. An interview with David Downes on books about crime and punishment. A review of The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates by John Temple. Why do individuals kill their families and why does familicide appear to be on the rise? An interview with Radley Balko on the flaws in America's criminal-justice system.

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