From Asia Times, an article on the rise and rise of Al-Qaeda (and more on a global phenomenon reaching maturity). Mark Schmitt on how Michael Barone made The Almanac of American Politics irrelevant. A solid B+ for prediction: Novelist H. G. Wells offered visions of the future in a number of books; his predictions weren't flawless, but they often hit close to the mark. Four decades ago, Norman E. Borlaug developed a wheat variety that fed the world — now he's battling a pathogen whose spread could cause starvation. A review of Beyond Moral Judgment by Alice Crary. Does the news matter to anyone anymore? A look at why you should beware of Facebook. Caveman blues: How modern life baffles our Stone Age brains into thinking we can never have enough. What everyone should know about their own minds: 6 introspective insights from psychology. A review of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis by George Makari (and more). From Harper's, is the bookworm an endangered species? The Oberlin Experiment: Why the failed revolution of Radical Athleticism may be the great unwritten chapter in American sports history. A look at how rich nations' environmental footprints tread heavily on poor countries. Adam Smith was very, very wrong about the wealth of nations. A review of Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them by David Anderegg.

From Christianity Today, a look at how the leading Democratic candidates are trying to win evangelical votes. 35 years later Salon asks leading feminists to talk about the Roe court case that changed their lives, and why it matters more than ever (and more). Let's be frank about teen sex and abortion. From Wired, long before Myspace and Facebook, there was The Well, a freewheeling forum launched in 1985 as a dialup BBS.  An excerpt from Beam Me Up Jesus: A Heathen's Guide to the Rapture by Jim Gerard (with other apocalyptic scenarios threatening to do us in, and a quiz). Scientists and legal scholars argue that studies conducted with litigation in mind are not necessarily more biased than research done for other purposes. Can the art of writing be learned from a book? From Smithsonian, Rasta Revealed: A reclamation of African identity evolved into a worldwide movement. Martin Wolf on how the financial turmoil is like an elephant in a dark room (and more by George Soros). Why do well-meaning laws backfire? Dubner and Levitt want to know. From The New Yorker, a look at what Poor Richard cost Benjamin Franklin. A new class of smart, literate British bands is challenging the lumbering louts of indie rock: The vanguard of the New Eccentric movement. A review of Political Emotions: Aristotle and the Symphony of Reason and Emotion by Marlene K. Sokolon.