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.