From National Journal, the U.S. Institute of Peace is winning plaudits from both parties and experts worldwide for its efforts.  Stairway to heaven is paved with books: He never left; God, that is — from your local bookstore shelves. Imagine for a moment the Supreme Court had gone the other way in Bush v. Gore in 2000 — we would now be in year eight of the Gore-Lieberman administration. Is the economic implosion of the US a crisis or an opportunity? Two eco-millenarian novelists disagree. Stacey Levine reviews Josh Barkan’s Blind Speed. When David Mamet declared that he was no longer a "brain-dead liberal", he joined the ranks of leftwing writers, from Arthur Koestler to Kinglsey Amis to Christopher Hitchens, who have moved to the right and attacked former allies. The introduction to Why? by Charles Tilly. "I waste people’s time online": It’s not easy to distract you — the taste of the Internet user is as idiosyncratic as it is fickle.  Dani Rodrik on guns, drugs, and financial markets. Noam Scheiber on the commander of Obama's nerd army. An article on the mind-reading hat that can prevent brain farts; a look at how culture affects how we read faces, and the cultural differences in pee. From The American's "The American Scene", a look at the Venti Effect, the "Hispanization" of America, off-shoring pollution, etc. An excerpt from The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel.

From Mute, is the convergence of art and sport under the pressure of pseudo-participatory spectacle undermining the utopian potential of both? If almost every species on Earth was killed some 250 million years ago, how did our ancient ancestors survive and evolve into us? Lily Burana reviews Alexandra Fuller’s The Legend of Colton H. Bryant. A review of How’s Your Drink? Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well by Eric Felten. Richard Hansen on the collapse of the public financing system for US presidential campaigns: Blame Congress, not the candidates. Tired of the mommy wars? Perhaps we should start blaming our mothers instead of our kids. Jeffrey Rosen on how George Bush's legal war against the environment backfired. Stephen Kinzer on the Petraeus effect: The promotion of George Bush's favourite general is a dangerous miscalculation. The young and the restless: A new generation drawn to politics by Obama could just as easily become alienated. Slate presents a series of online discussions with leading environmental advocates. From The Economist, an article on Europe's Marxist dilemma: It is easier to influence a country before than after it joins the club. The fantastic appeal of fantasy: The more rational the world gets, the more we demand the irrational in our fiction. From Carnegie Ethics, here are five international questions for the National Basic Income debates.

From Modern Age, an essay on The Problem with Modern Art: Or, Why Beautiful Art Matters. From CRB, Harry V. Jaffa on Macbeth and the moral universe. You walk wrong: It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot — but we’re wrecking it with every step we take. A review of The Hamburger: A History by Josh Ozersky. From America, an article on Catholicism and the new atheism. From THES, in the first in a series in which academics range beyond their area of expertise, philosopher Simon Blackburn proffers his top ten modern myths; and a review of In Defense of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier by Thomas I. White. Carlin Romano reviews Francois Jullien’s Vital Nourishment: Departing from Happiness. From TED, Brian Greene talks of the universe on a string. Michael A. Lebowitz on the capitalist workday, the socialist workday. From Skeptical Inquirer, a special issue on the anti-vaccination movement. From The Nation, a review of Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore; and a review of books on race. From Monthly Review, Stephen Gallagher on why we should forget Guantanamo. Arianna Huffington on how the mainstream news media jumps into bed with another propagandist. Here's a list of presidential hopefuls who won big by losing. Still with stupid: Why wouldn't we want an intellectual to be our president?