A review of The Symmetries of Things by John Conway, Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss. A review of Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts by Philip Ball. The newest science: Replacing physics, ecology will be the master science of the 21st century. Embracing the Anthropocene: The Earth has entered a new geological period in which human influence dominates the state of the planet, compounding uncertainty about the future. Beyond Hades: A proposal to extend geological time into the era before the Earth existed. What is time? Sean Carroll hunts for the ultimate theory (and more). An excerpt from A Tenth of a Second: A History by Jimena Canales. Time travel may in fact be possible, but it wouldn't work like in Back to the Future. Space travel in the year million: An excerpt from Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge. An excerpt from The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Anil Ananthaswamy (and more and more). A review of No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale by Felice Frankel and George Whitesides (and more). International body approves the name "copernicium" for element 112. An interview with Jim Al-Khalili on books about the atom. An article on the case for the descent of electrons. The Standard Model is our (nearly) complete map of every fundamental particle and force that exists. From Discover, an interview with Saul Perlmutter on the acceleration of the entire universe; and an interview with Brian Greene, the man who plucks all the strings. The introduction (and a video) to The Little Book of String Theory by Steven Gubser (and more). The first chapter from String Theory for Dummies. The universe is a quantum computer — so says Vlatko Vedral — and that's not metaphor, it's hard science.

From National Geographic, a special issue on water. From the latest issue of Artforum, Michael Taussig on Claude Levi-Strauss. Rejoice, Muffy and Biff: Three decades after The Official Preppy Handbook was first unleashed into bookstores, a follow-up called True Prep is in the works. The Hunted: Did American conservationists in Africa go too far? What the Founding Fathers really thought about corporations: An interview with Brian Murphy, a history professor at Baruch College. The Authenticity Hoax: Our culture’s pursuit of the real and worthy experience has left us empty. Bribe Fighter: The strange but true tale of a phony currency, shame, and a grass-roots movement that could go global. From The Nation, Raul Hilberg, the first historian to document the banality of Nazi evil, nursed a lifelong grudge against the woman who borrowed from and popularized his work, Hannah Arendt; and Eric Foner on twisting history in Texas: The new curriculum teaches students about women who adhere to traditional gender roles, the Confederacy, some parts of the Constitution, capitalism, the military and religion. Can climate change be funny?: More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on Ian McEwan's Solar. Gathering for Gardner: Homage to the iconic author of Scientific American's "Mathematical Games" column. Michael Moore is the left's Rush Limbaugh: Sometimes he shoots and misses badly, sometimes he hits home — and some of his points are even true. Stories from around the world that can't possibly be true but are. What if Somali pirates looked more like Johnny Depp? The spread of counterfeiting: Fake goods are proliferating, to the dismay of companies and governments.

Armies of Hate: An excerpt from Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America by John Avlon. In the faces of Tea Party shouters, images of hate and history. Red America, White Power: Is the Tea Party movement motivated by race hatred? (and more) From The Root, why black folks won't drink the Tea (Party): Even though some of the messengers are black, questionable rhetoric will continue to keep folks away. Naomi Wolf thinks the Tea Parties help fight fascism — is she in fantasy land? Jeff Sharlet on fascism, The Family, and the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American civil religion. A review of Fascism: Why Not Here? by Brian Fogarty. If the GOP hopes to become a civilized governing party again, it must suppress the fascistic nationalism of its “base” that it has so cynically and slyly nurtured in order to hold on to power. Is America "yearning for fascism"? Chris Hedges wants to know. Who are the Guardians of the Free Republics? A fringe group says its Restore America Plan requires governors to get on board — or resign (and more). The Hutaree militants arrested last week believe Christian warriors can hasten the coming of the end times through violence; religion professor Brenda Brasher explains the group’s unique theology. How does the Hutaree Militia fit into the history of American militias and conspiracy theorists? A look at seven bizarre videos of American militias preparing for combat. Is the Hutaree militia the final word in lunacy or just the beginning? (and more and more and more on the Hutaree). A review of To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face: Libertarian Political Violence and the Origins of the Militia Movement by Robert Churchill. More on Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea by Joshua Horwitz and Casey Anderson.

From n+1, Christian Lorentzen on Wes Anderson and the Problem with Hipsters; Or, what happens when a generation refuses to grow up. The end of the hipster: They've been parodied for their skinny jeans and cheap beer, but you might not have them to kick around for long. David Petraeus’s Winning Streak: Mark Bowden hears about the unceasing drive, groundbreaking methods, and darkest moments of a four-star rebel and reveals that the general formerly known “Peaches” may be the most competitive man in the military. Is the notebook a tool, a literary genre, or a nervous tic? Scott McLemee jots down some thoughts. From Policy Review, Liam Julian on the trouble with high-speed rail: Billions in costs for how many riders? A review of Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted by Todd Bridges. A review of Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? by Judith Butler. From the playing field to the boardroom, when one competitor is clearly the best, the others don't step up their game — they give up; as Tiger Woods returns to golf, Jonah Lehrer looks at the nature of competition. The Modern-Day Slavery Museum forces us to confront the horrible truth that slavery still exists in America, and that too many consumers and leaders in the food industry simply turn a blind eye. From Arts & Opinion, David Solway on a culture of losers: Drinking from the (all is not) well of victimhood and consequences; and Robert Lewis on the beautiful versus everything else: Why do we seek out beauty? A passion for truth: Martha Nussbaum remembers Sir Kenneth Dover. From National Review, Jack Fowler on reasons you love NRO: In no particular order, but with a very particular goal in mind. From Alternative Right, an article on the unbearable whiteness of Duke Basketball.

The first chapter from Christianity for Dummies by Richard Wagner. A review of Jesus for the Non-Religious by John Shelby Spong. A review of The Historical Jesus: Five Views. From New Oxford Review, a review of Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft. An interview with Chris Castaldo, author of Holy Ground: Walking with Jesus as a Former Catholic. From Standpoint, if England had remained Catholic: Did the Reformation rescue us from theocracy, or are we poorer without pilgrims, saints and feasts? How Ireland lost its faith: The recent child abuse scandals are just the latest development in the Catholic Church's long retreat from its one-time stronghold. The Vatican says the pope, as a "head of state", is immune from legal action, but U.N. judge Geoffrey Robertson says the Vatican is wrong — and that the pope could be tried for systemic sex crimes. Charlie Rose interviews John Allen Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. Johann Hari on the Pope, the Prophet, and the religious support for evil. Papal Indulgences: The Catholic Church's moral authority in the secular world is the most detestable aspect of the current scandal. Sarah Ruden on the Church's long history of pedophilia. From Christianity’s beginnings, the Church has been attacked by those introducing false teachings, or heresies. More and more on Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch. A review of Light and Shadows: Church History Amid Faith, Fact, and Legend by Walter Brandmuller. A review of What Happened at Vatican II by John W. O’Malley. A review of A Conversation Waiting to Begin: the Churches and the gay controversy by Oliver O’Donovan. A review of Sin: A History by Gary A. Anderson. The introduction to The Reason for God: Belief in the Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller.