From American Scientist, a review of Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara; and a review of Nature's Patters: A Tapestry in Three Parts by Philip Ball. The first chapter from Astronomy For Dummies by Stephen P. Maran. A review of There's Something about Godel: The Complete Guide to the Incompleteness Theorem by Francesco Berto. How to find a habitable exoplanet: Don't look for one. Keith Devlin on the problem with word problems in mathematics. Blinded by scientism: The problem with scientism is that it is either self-defeating or trivially true; F.A. Hayek helps us to see why (and part 2). Author and astronomer Marcus Chown on the early history of the universe, quantum reality, and the origins of information. When physics got spooky: A review of Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar. A review of Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science by Michael Ruse. A review of Duel at Dawn: Heroes, Martyrs, and the Rise of Modern Mathematics by Amir Alexander. Deep in thought: What is a "law of physics," anyway? Astrophysicists think they know how to destroy a black hole — the puzzle is what such destruction would leave behind. A review of Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle by Ian Sample. A review of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time by Sean Carroll. Martin Gardner reviews Duel at Dawn: Heroes, Martyrs, and the Rise of Modern Mathematics by Amir Alexander. A review of Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority by Steven Shapin. A review of Imagining Science: Art, Science, and Social Change. A review of The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable? by Russell Stannard.

Krunoslav Mikulan (Zagreb): Harry Potter through the Focus of Feminist Literary Theory: Examples of (Un)Founded Criticsm. From the Journal of International Law and Politics, a review of Terrorism, War and International Law: The Legality of the Use of Force Against Afghanistan in 2001 by Myra Williamson; and a review of Constitution Making Under Occupation: The Politics of Imposed Revolution in Iraq by Andrew Arato. Dan Ariely on his book Predictably Irrational. A review of Sans-Culottes: An Eighteenth-Century Emblem in the French Revolution by Michael Sonenscher. Conchita the Chihuahua just inherited a $3 million trust fund after her owner died, joining Leona Helmsley’s spoiled dog Trouble and other furry and very fortunate heirs. Why do we care so much about the actual and potential uses of bibliometrics and world university ranking methodologies, but care so little about the private sector firms that drive the bibliometrics/global rankings agenda forward? A review of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz (and more and more) and Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us — And How to Know When Not to Trust Them by David H. Freedman (and more). Can Washington stand up to the energy industry? The real losers of the financial crisis weren't the blockbuster failures of Greece and Iceland; they were the countries so isolated that their economies didn't feel the blow. More and more on The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. From The New Inquiry, Helena Fitzgerald on Walter Benjamin and travel as collecting: Chronicling, like acquisition, is a failed defense against impermanence. Americans abroad are a species unto themselves — herewith a handy field guide.

Richard K. Olsen and Julie W. Morgan (UNC): Happy Holidays: Creating Common Ground in the “War on Christmas”. A review of Capture the Flag: The Stars and Stripes in American History by Arnaldi Testi. A review of Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture by Naomi Cahn and June Carbone. Irene Taviss Thomson on her book Culture Wars and Enduring American Dilemmas. TLC is banking on its new Sarah Palin reality show to help solidify its reputation as the "heartland values" channel — will it work? How to succeed in politics: The Tea Party movement is a movement without a cause — if the Whigs, Populists and Feminists can be co-opted by the the Democrats and Republicans, it is clear this newest third party will suffer the same fate. Tea Party Justice: Sam Alito is establishing himself as the judicial face of the right's peculiar sense of victimhood. Is the "midnight knock on the door" coming to America? First Glenn Beck, now George Will: The Washington Post columnist endorses Straussian falsehoods about American liberalism. Cenk Uygur on why Washington is more right-wing than the rest of the country. Robert L. Borosage on the political path for progressives in the face of rabid right-wing resistance. From Liberty, Gary Jason racks up the many, many, many lies of Barack Obama. Kathleen Parker on Obama as our first female president. E.J. Dionne Jr. on how Obama changed the Right. John Richardson on how Obama really thinks: A primer for the Left and Right. Julian E. Zelizer on Carter, Obama, and the Left-Center divide. Commentators have tried fitting Obama into all kinds of historical analogies — but clear narrative arcs are rare in the messy reality of governing. Obama adopts behavioral economics: Nudging, not commanding, companies and consumers to do thrifty and healthy things is a White House priority as promoted by OMB's Cass Sunstein. Lessons from Right to Left: Emily Smith on the rise of DC’s liberal policy machine.

Sean Goggin (NUI): Human Rights, Anthropology and Securitization: Reclaiming Culture. From Janus Head, J.M. Fritzman (Lewis and Clark): Geist in Mumbai: Hegel with Rushdie; and Matthew T. Powell (Walsh): Kafka's Angel: The Distance of God in a Post-Traditional World. For centuries the Saharawis have called the desert home, but they don't belong here — at least not on this side of the Wall. A review of Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs Are Destroying Our Health Care System by Daniel Callahan. Writing as a process: An interview with Mike Rose. Of Steadicams and Skycams: Filmmakers have long sought the means to add a little kinetic energy to their moving images. Invincible Apple: Farhad Manjoo on 10 lessons from the coolest company anywhere. From Social Text, colleagues offer critical appreciations of long-standing Social Text collective member Jose Esteban Munoz's recent book, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. Albania’s iron communist regime survived until 1990, five years after the death of its great dictator, Enver Hoxha — but the country’s political path since then is full of unburied ghosts. Plagiarism Inc: Jordan Kavoosi built an empire of fake term papers; now the writers want their cut. A review of One More Day Everywhere: Crossing 50 Borders on the Road to Global Understanding by Glen Heggstad. Eadweard Muybridge, Thief of Animal Souls: The famed photographer revealed the mechanics of natural motion in the service of 19th-century capitalist commotion. From GlobalPost, a special report on how economic aid in Afghanistan has become "war by other means". The geopolitics of the iPhone: Five ways Apple's new gadget and its cousins are transforming global politics. From Let a Thousand Nations Bloom, check out Secession Week Blogging 2010.

From the Cato Journal, a special issue on Restoring Global Financial Stability. From the International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research, Boris Molochny (Pecs): Essay on International Financial Crisis and Endogenous Growth Theory; and Anke Mussig (St. Gallen): The Financial Crisis: Caused by Unpreventable or Organized Failures? A review of Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (and more). A review of Unchecked and Unbalanced: How the Discrepancy between Knowledge and Power Caused the Financial Crisis and Threatens Democracy by Arnold Kling. More on More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby. A review of The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns by Alan C. Greenberg with Mark Singer and Chasing Down Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down and Why They’ll Take Us to the Brink Again by Suzanne McGee. A review of The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High-Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward. A review of The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane by Randall Lane (and more and more). From n+1, who spent the money? An excerpt from Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager (and more). Roger Lowenstein on public pension funds as the next crisis. From International Socialism, Joseph Choonara on Marxist accounts of the current crisis; a review of Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx by Chris Harman; a review of Martin Wolf's Fixing Global Finance: How to Curb Financial Crises in the 21st Century; a review of New Capitalism? The Transformation of Work by Kevin Doogan; and a review of Means and Ends: The Idea of Capital in the West, 1500-1970 by Francesco Boldizzoni.