An excerpt from Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World by Seth Stevenson (and more and more). From Le Monde diplomatique, a special section on Reunion, island experiment (and more and more and more and more). Chisinau's charm offensive: Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, looks for friends in the West. Engineer McKinley Conway, How to Start Your Own Country author Erwin S. Strauss, and micro-nation documentarian George Dunford explain the history of the DIY nation. Stranded in Paradise: For the six Uighurs released from Gitmo to Palau, the prospect of an eternity in a small island country, with no passport and no Uighur community other than themselves, is its own kind of confinement. Bhutan's King Charming is an Oxford Man: Meet the monarch hottie who just got the world's newest democratic body. Behold, Newstralia: New Zealand is talking about whether to become part of Australia. A review of Social Theory of the Nation State: The Political Forms of Modernity Beyond Methodological Nationalism by Daniel Chernilo. Africa needs a new map: It’s time to start seeing the redrawing of the continent’s colonial borders as an opportunity, not a threat. A Pacific theater of memories: For a child of World War II, Vanuatu means relics, romance and reflections on reality. Jonathan Last on the depopulation of Greenland: Will the last one to leave turn out the Northern lights? A still-enchanted island: Will Socotra, Yemen’s magical island, manage to stay aloof? European pressure over financial secrecy is obliging one of the continent's microstates to adapt, but there are voices in Andorra itself searching for a different role and identity. Why East Timor has declared war on ninjas. How many countries in the world? The answer to that question is surprisingly difficult.

From Aspeers, Anton Hieke (Wittenberg): Farbrekhers in America: The Americanization of Jewish Blue-Collar Crime, 1900-1931; Wieland Schwanebeck (Dresden): From Shakespeare’s Kings to Scorsese’s Kingpins: Contemporary Mob Movies and the Genre of Tragedy; Magnus Nissel (Giessen): The Ever-Ticking Bomb: Examining 24’s Promotion of Torture against the Background of 9/11; and an interview with Alfred Hornung, editor of the journal Amerikastudien / American Studies. From The Guardian, the journals are full of great studies, but can we believe the statistics? Statistics are so open to contradiction that it takes time for them to become trusted; academics are finding computer dating sites a fertile ground for research into internet communication; and teabagging in the name of science: Political and sexual teabagging may grab the headlines, but teabags have their uses in science research, too. From The Economist, a special report on television. Politically right-of-center men and women make up a growing yet habitually ignored gay minority; James Kirchick says now more than ever, their voices need to be heard. Meghan Roe reviews The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis by Mark Gluth. A look at 6 supposedly ancient traditions (that totally aren't). The world’s worst immigration laws: The Grand Canyon state has nothing on these guys. A brief history of celebrity: Why are we so interested in the minutia of the private lives of people we don’t know? From The Atlantic's "The Future of City", Conor Friedersdorf on the tyranny of New York; and an interview with Matthew Yglesias. The future that our parents' generation warned us about forty years ago looks an awful lot like our present; we live on a half-ruined planet, but we need to put the future back in the room.

From the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Anna I. Corwin (NAU): Language and Gender Variance: Constructing Gender Beyond the Male/Female Binary; and Meaghan Stiman, Patricia Leavy and Ashley Garland (Stonehill): Heterosexual Female and Male Body Image and Body Concept in the Context of Attraction Ideals. Lauren Elkin on Chorus Girls: From the cabaret to the nightclub, from the theater to the ballet, women who perform in public have attracted writers and artists for as long as women have performed in public. A review of The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment by Carrie N. Baker. Betty Friedan is not responsible for all of our unhappiness. Lydia Sargent is searching for a post-sexist society. A review of America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation by Elaine Tyler. Historian Elaine Tyler May reveals the surprising truth: The pill changed little about American women’s sexual behavior (and more). Sexual liberation: Whose sexuality is liberated, men's or women's? Love, Actually: Caitlin Flanagan on how girls reluctantly endure the hookup culture. From The Mantle, a review of books on women. Screw happiness: Bombarded by studies about who is content and why, we forget one thing — dissatisfaction has its own rewards. Femivores in the Henhouse: Feminists debate the meaning of “chicks with chicks”. In pursuit of the goddess: How Marija Gimbutas defied the odds to restore the feminist principle. A review of Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the 20th Century by Melissa Benn. A review of The Self-Employed Women's Association by Fumiko Ekuni. Have female suicide bombers become terrorism's political pin-ups? Its messages are clear about a woman's role: So why are so many women are attracted to Islam?

From The New York Review of Magazines, a look back at a decade in magazines; in honor of New York’s superlative Approval Matrix, NYRM borrows the format to highlight the best and worst of the past year in magazines; here are some highlights — both low- and high-tech — from the last 50 years in the print magazine world and tweet-sized picks of the best magazine-related Twitter feeds; for every expert writing an epitaph for print magazines, there is another promising clearer skies ahead; and what is your dream magazine? Editors envision an epic-ultra-super publication. A review of Sebastian Junger’s War (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). Euro remains on the right side of history: The advent of the euro is just an episode — a most significant one — in the building of a post-Westphalian order. Metric Mania: Do we expect too much from our data? George Scialabba reviews Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt (and more and more).  From New Humanist, to be truly happy we must be pessimistic, says Roger Scruton; and Jonathan Ree on History and the Enlightement by Hugh Trevor-Roper. The first chapter from Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice by Amy R. Poteete, Marco A. Janssen and Elinor Ostrom. An article on Norman Stone, poster boy for booze, fags and mischief. Polly Rosenwaike reviews It’s Beginning to Hurt by James Lasdun. For crime, is anatomy destiny? The GOP rushed to brand the Gulf Coast disaster "Obama's Katrina", but new reports make clear the Bush administration's lax attitude toward regulation deserves much of the blame. An article on Max Weber as modern-day globalization guru.

Textually Inconsistent: Mary McCarthy on how there are too many conversations going on at once. Wisenheimers, scary people, and debate-team captains: A taxonomy of commenting communities. Web haves and have-nots: Here’s why the Internet is becoming increasingly Balkanized. Geert Lovink on the colonization of real-time and other trends in Web 2.0. An excerpt from of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. The fundamental limits of privacy for social networks: Using social networks to make recommendations will always compromise privacy, according to a mathematical proof of the limits of privacy (and more by Danah Boyd). Does privacy on Facebook, Google, and Twitter even matter? Farhad Manjoo discovers the problem with Web privacy — and it's us. Facebook’s gone rogue; it’s time for an open alternative. An excerpt form The Facebook Effect: the Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick (and more and more and more). Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Forest Casey on the life cycle of Twitter. Twitter is the future of news: The micro-blogging service is remarkably effective at spreading "important" information. Ning's fix for the Web 2.0 profit problem: Is the "free economy" starting to melt down? In effort to boost reliability, Wikipedia looks to experts. Wikipedia's war on porn: Does founder Jimmy Wales' crusade to purge Wikipedia of sexually explicit images go too far — or not far enough? Chatroulette is filled with men showing off their genitalia; Shannon Donnelly talks to flashers about what they're getting out of it. Julia Ioffe on Andrey Ternovskiy, the teen-ager behind Chatroulette. As YouTube celebrates its fifth anniversary, Wired goes behind the scenes of the site that launched a million memes.

Andrew McKenna (Loyola): Art and Incarnation: Oscillating Views. From American Arts Quarterly, James F. Cooper on sculptors of the American Renaissance: Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French; and on the legacy of Philippe de Montebello. Brick Master: Is it possible to create art out of Legos? Cave painting: An article on video games as art. For decades Baghdad was the cultural capital of the Arab world; war changed all that and it is only now that the Iraqi art scene is slowly blossoming again. From Artforum, Mira Schor on her new book A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. Between play and politics: Marie-Laure Ryan on dysfunctionality in digital art. The Weak Universalism: In these times, we know that everything can be an artwork. What makes a film become cult? A review essay on German art’s current enhanced status. Coaxing the soul of America back to life: Roger Kennedy on how the New Deal sustained, and was sustained by, artists. A review of The Conman: How One Man Fooled the Modern Art Establishment by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. Tyler Cowen reviews the letters of Vincent Van Gogh. The rise in pseudo-intellectual nonsense is the result of a growing art world, not necessarily a function of the art market. Attack of the Hipsters: A review of The Pop Revolution by Alice Goldfarb. American colleagues urge their friends who are interested in architecture to get to Havana soon, “before it changes”; but to suggest that change in Cuba is something to be dreaded seems insensitive at best. A review of Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art by Andrew Stewart. A review of Art Without Borders: A Philosophical Exploration of Art and Humanity by Ben-Ami Scharfstein. Dalia Judovitz on her book Drawing on Art: Duchamp and Company.

Adam Katz (Quinnipiac): From Habit to Maxim: Eccentric Models of Reality and Presence in the Writing of Gertrude Stein. From Jezebel, a look at how American Apparel lies about its "Real People" models. From MediaWeek, a look at how women’s service magazines are far sexier online than in print; and is U.S. News’ web success a model for newsweeklies? From Failure, Jason Zasky on the shopping mall: Suburban mecca, consumer paradise, and sociocultural disaster. What can a new forensic analysis reveal about the richly illustrated and deeply mysterious Voynich Manuscript? It used to be that women, to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, needed to have a room of their own; provides those with a Y chromosome a safe place to explore important issues in their lives. An excerpt from Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation by Peter Sloterdijk. From The Globalist, an article on Goldman Sachs and the Vatican, two cultures of infallibility. Andrew Martin reviews A Good Fall by Ha Jin. It's no small irony that the famous-for-being-famous generation has made a hero of Sam Halpern, a media-shy Garbo of Internet letters. Clouds, when determined by context: Jeff Sharlet on the sci-fi roots of modern fundamentalism. Like the slow-food movement, slow travel offers an antidote to today’s fast-paced lifestyle — travelers enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Border rudeness: Maybe the jerk method doesn’t work. Simplicity: We know it when we see it — but what is it, exactly? Michelle Goldberg on why "anti-gay" Christians keep getting outed. As a form of literacy, listening might be considered an impostor: While it is often assumed we can all listen if we want to, how good are our ears as critics? A few words before I go: RosettaStone brings gravestones into the technology age. 

Immigration places America at the centre of a web of global networks — so why not make it easier? America’s Chinese restaurants represent the cultural divide of the East and West as Chinese immigrants struggle for survival. Mark Engler on the immigrant rights movement after Arizona. A review of Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith. Doris Meissner on five myths about immigration. Since the last push for reform in 2006, America has become a much harder place to be an immigrant. Days after the US elected the first president of color, seven high school boys set out looking for Hispanics to beat up in a Long Island village; spotting Marcelo, they surrounded him, punching and kicking, then stabbed him. A review of Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption by Susan Harness. Why so few blacks join immigration rallies: African immigrants don’t see the plight of Latinos and others as their struggle. The introduction to New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America by Marisa Abrajano and R. Michael Alvarez. An interview with David Levering Lewis on how black historians need to seize control of our history. A review of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America by Rich Benjamin. Kevin Sieff on the profitable game of including immigrants in the census, then deporting them. A review of Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11 by Louise Cainkar. Will Julian Castro, the 35-year-old mayor of San Antonio, be the next great Latino hope on the national stage? Boca Raton is quintessentially American today, but 100 years ago it was a hotbed of Japanese know-how. In 1892, Annie Moore was the first foreigner to arrive at Ellis Island; by 1893, she was an American mystery.

From Doublethink, the Bushies strike back: John McCormack on the administration’s alumni two years on; Elizabeth Nolan Brown on how pickup artists and social conservatives hook up; and Alexandra Squitieri on our fascination with super-sized families. From The Atlantic Monthly, Google knows that its search function is only as valuable as the information it helps you find, a principal source of which is the beleaguered news business; that’s why the company assigned some of its top thinkers to the puzzle of how to make journalism pay — their answers may revolutionize the media. Putting a price on words: When news is search-driven, audience-targeted and everywhere, what’s a story worth? The Authentic and the Absurd: Andrew Potter on the case of Banksy. From Lapham's Quarterly, Salman Rushdie on The Composite Artist. Archaeologists have disproved the fifty-year-old theory underpinning our understanding of how the famous stone statues were moved around Easter Island. Chris Jones on the Tea Party attack on Roger Ebert on Twitter. Trinie Dalton reviews The Tanners by Robert Walser. After the Xinjiang protests: Nick Holdstock on too many cops, not enough Internet. An article on Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens, authors and friends. Hillary Happy: She has lived the most extraordinary American life; now she lives in extraordinary exile — from the two men she is most loyal to, from politics, from controversy, and it has freed her. From Prospect, Big brother’s getting bigger: “Intelligent” software is making CCTV more effective, but would you want it watching you?; George Orwell, patron saint of hacks: No argument can fail to be enhanced by an Orwell quote — that's why he's become the authority of first resort for people who don't know what they're talking about.

From The Family of America, a review of The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today by Andrew Cherlin; Allan Carlson on the family in America; and has the American family court system become totalitarian? Grandchildren as political props: What are our real obligations to future generations? A review of Childhood, Well-Being and a Therapeutic Ethos. The moral life of babies: Can they really tell right from wrong? Rediscovering and reshaping a world in which husbands were house-bound and families were free, what are the skills and virtues needed for a life of radical voluntary domestic simplicity? Invasion of the Baby-Snatchers: Our irrational fear of infant abduction could be causing real harm. Choosing the sex of an unborn child is illegal, but would it harm society if it wasn’t? Here are new insights on what makes a family stick together. Celebrities aren't the only ones giving their babies unusual names; compared with decades ago, parents are choosing less common names for kids. A review of The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion (and more). A review of Nurtureshock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Professional fathers are downing tools to play with their children. A review of We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication by Judith Warner. A look at why bribing your child doesn't work. A review of The War Between the State and the Family: How Government Divides and Impoverishes by Patricia Morgan. Many people cannot be the child of the man they know as their father; now they can get a paternity test over the counter. A review of The Evolution of Childhood by Melvin Konner (and more). An excerpt from Fatherhood: Evolution and Human Paternal Behavior by Peter Gray and Kermyt Anderson.