From American Political Science Review,  James H. Fowler (UCSD), Laura A. Baker (USC) and Christopher T. Dawes (UCSD): Genetic Variation in Political Participation. Memo to Don Cherry and Margaret Atwood: Lack of patriotism is Canadian patriotism. Birthrates are falling at drastic and, to many, alarming rates; why are Europeans so hesitant to have children, and what does it mean for their future and for ours? Felipe Fernandez-Armesto considers why soccer will never score highly in the US. Reading The Onion Seriously: Combining irreverent humor and acerbic critique, a handful of new media outlets are transforming American politics and culture. From The Chronicle, an article on America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree (and more). The new economics and the pursuit of happiness: Alan Wolfe reviews Happiness: A Revolution in Economics by Bruno S. Frey and Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. From Baghdad to London: Lessons from one thousand years of urbanisation in Europe and the Arab world. From Smithsonian, an essay on The Great Human Migration: Why humans left their African homeland 80,000 years ago to colonize the world. Your brain lies to you: We tend to remember news that accords with our worldview, and discount statements that contradict it. Erwin Chemerinsky and EJ Dionne on judicial activism by conservatives.

From Triple Canopy, an introduction to and dispatch from the PRB, a literary service in the public domain; an article on Harry Stephen Keeler’s “web-work” mystery novels and the language and terrors of the Internet; and the first complete English translation of Roberto Bolano's 1999 speech accepting the Romulo Gallegos Prize (and a review of The Savage Detectives at Bookforum). From The Guardian, here's a special report on writer's rooms. Inspired by a Bunny Wabbit: The freedom in cartoons to transcend the laws of basic physics, to hop around in time and space, and to skip from one dimension to another has long been a crucial aspect of imaginative poetry. From Vanity Fair, lots of men go gaga over other guys, but in the realm of politics—where Tony Blair and Karl Rove were enslaved by George Bush’s ersatz cowboy cool, Bush fell for Vladimir Putin’s soulful eyes, and half the media is in love with John McCain—such passion is perilous. A review of Stop Me If You've Heard This by Jim Holt and Looking at Laughter: Humor, Power, and Transgression in Roman Visual Culture, 100 BC–AD 250 by John R. Clarke (and more). Where there’s a will: Youssef Rakha examines the wisdom and absurdity of a certain Arabic phrase, Insha’allah. An attack that came out of the ether: Scholar Danielle Allen looks for first link in e-mail chain about Obama.

From The New Yorker, Seymour M. Hersh on Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran. The first chapter from Nuclear Deterrence Theory: The Search for Credibility by Robert Powell. The first chapter from Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age by Alasdair Roberts. From The American Scholar, William Deresiewicz on the disadvantages of an elite education; an essay on the end of the Black American Narrative; film and theater critic Steve Vineberg reflects on the art of surprise; and Jean Bethke Elshtain reviews Reappraisals by Tony Judt (and more). And God Said, "Just Do It": Churches are urging spouses to have hot sex — and lots of it. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Orgy: An article on sexual hypocrisy and the Internet. From Prospect, an interview with Nicholas Stern on global warming; and Mark Hannam, Jonathan Ford, John Gieve, Anatole Kaletsky, George Soros and Martin Wolf debate how to stop the next bubble. Andrew Roberts on why history will say that we misunderestimated George W Bush. The death of life writing: Celebrity memoirs, breathless lives of 18th-century socialites and countless royal mistresses — whatever happened to the golden age of biography? A review of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Agora: Ancient Greek and Roman Humour by R. Drew Griffith and Robert B. Marks.