From Cato Unbound, a review of Larry Lessig’s Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. A tragedy's second act: Did Col. Henry Rathbone's agony as an eyewitness to the Lincoln assassination lead him to murder his wife 18 years later? Chris Rasmussen reviews Seaway to the Future: American Social Visions and the Construction of the Panama Canal by Alexander Missal and The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal by Julie Greene. A review of The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret Macmillan (and more and more). A Subversive on a Hill: What sort of power is the United States? From Scientific American, a special section on the science of beauty; and a special section on the science of our food. Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, on why Obama is in denial about torture prosecution. Who blames the Jews? An article on anti-Semitism and the economic crisis. What makes baseball boring? An article on the unexamined essence of a slow sport. Clive James on why poetry will never leave us: We might have a job defining what exactly the poet laureate does, but that doesn't diminish her importance. Why we read: Writers share their stories of what drew them into the pages of books and the escapes, surprises and solace they find there.

Edward T. Oakes (St. Mary of the Lake): On Some Epistemic Pathologies, or Why the Human Mind is a Terrarium for So Many Lies. A review of What Are Intellectuals Good For? by George Scialabba (and more from Bookforum). Andrew Ferguson on the SAT and Its Enemies: Fear and loathing in college admissions. Affluent students who can afford pricey SAT prep have an advantage when it comes to getting into college, but more educators are asking whether such exams are necessary.Chris Mooney on Obama as the intellectual president. If you thought Rush Limbaugh was bad, try Michael Savage, the talk-radio host whose racist, homophobic psychobabble is fueling the priorities of the GOP. Right-wing faux pundit Glenn Beck is laughing and crying in the backseat of his stretch limo, all the way to the bank. An uncompelling manifesto cloaked in a paranoiac world view: A review of Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin (and more and more and more). Trickle-Down Politics: The influence held by partisan elites is a disperse but far-reaching kind of power. Here's the shocking truth about Shakespeare and John Paul Stevens. We’ve debated the identity of Banksy, a notoriously anonymous British graffiti artist, but Gary Moskowitz is tired of fetishising the man's incongruities (if Banksy is a man).

From PUP, the first chapter from The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? by Peter Ward. From Cosmos, even great and powerful civilisations have fallen because of choices they made to ignore their impact on the environment; and almost all of the species that have ever lived are now extinct — could we be next? Here's a scientist's guide to finding alien life: Where, When, and in What Universe. A gene shared by birds, fish, reptiles, people — and snails — reveals the fundamental relatedness of all living creatures, writes PZ Myers. Why is sex so hard to put into words? From Counterpunch, an article on the far right's plot to capture New Hampshire: "Anarcho Capitalists" backed by $25 billion corporate giant. An article on the six flavors of white supremacy: Do you have to pick just one? What's wrong with Peter Singer: Is his call for global compassion realistic? (and an interview) Exclamation marks used to be frowned upon. Now look what's happened! We use them all the time! Penn's Amy Gutmann writes a page from her autobiography. A review of books by W. V. Quine. Bertrand Russell's mathematical quest adds up to unlikely graphic novel hit. Details about the late Norbert Elias's international untied-shoelace experiments were difficult to track down, but Ingo Morth found them.

From Prospect, are we on track for a golden age of serious journalism? A debate; postwar Europe was built on an intolerance of intolerance and a downplaying of national tradition — a mindset praised as anti-racism and ridiculed as political correctness; it’s still assumed that Europe and America are fundamentally different — in their economies, societies and values — but this is a myth; we need an email tax: A penny charge for every email would stop spam, and fill the empty public purse; and "I drink, therefore I can": More than one in ten Caucasians may have a “Churchill gene” which helps them turn booze into great works. A review of Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch (and more and more and more and an excerpt). With the loss of several senior journalists and a high-profile buyout, the New Statesman's editor Jason Cowley is presiding over a title in turmoil. A review of Terry Eagleton's Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate and a review of Trouble with Strangers: A Study of Ethics. A review of From Fatwa to Jihad by Kenan Malik. A review of Gray's Anatomy: Selected Writings by John Gray. His latest alter ego is already hailed as a work of genius, but can Sacha Baron Cohen ever just be himself?