Hokky Situngkir (BFI): Exploring Ancient Architectural Designs with Cellular Automata. From Zocalo Public Square, how does design improve our well-being? A review of Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art by Slobodan Curcic and Evangelina Hadjitryphonos. The Town That Corbusier Built: Respect for the design of Chandigarh, India, is growing, even as the modernist city is showing wear — but who will care, if access to its most impressive monuments is restricted? A look at 5 buildings and monuments that caused a stir. Geometry of the Spirit: The Air Force Academy Chapel combines the soaring forms of Chartres with the imagery of fighter jets aloft. Something to Love Among the Ruins: Three young architects offer a beautiful alternative to modernism’s ravages. An interview with John Pawson, father of modern architectural minimalism. Architecture informs history: Clusters of ancient architecture in central China have recently been entered on the world heritage list. Architecture and our duty to beauty: We all have a responsibility to make the best of our surroundings, yet the political classes are reluctant to be arbiters of taste — that has to change. A look at the weirdest buildings in the world. God's Architect: Austen Ivereigh on the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. With his U.S. Institute for Peace set to open in Washington, Israeli-born Moshe Safdie takes his place among the world’s leading architects. A review of American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture by Alice T. Friedman. Has New York architecture missed its moment? Cool design and environmental conscientiousness intersect in Venice, where the latest Architecture Biennale is also one of the best. A review of Architecture's Evil Empire? The Triumph and Tragedy of Global Modernism by Miles Glendinning. An interview with Owen Hatherley, author of A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain.

A new issue of Broken Pencil is out, including Lindsay Gibb on the secret lives of puppets. From The Hedgehog Review, does religious pluralism require secularism? A symposium, including Charles Taylor on the meaning of secularism; Rajeev Bhargava on states, religious diversity, and the crisis of secularism; and Craig Calhoun on rethinking secularism. How to mourn: Meghan O'Rourke on Roland Barthes' beautiful, private meditation on his mother's death. From The Economist, a review of Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester; and a review of A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment by Philipp Blom. Warning: You might get sticker shock from reading several recent health studies. Is democracy necessary for economic success? The Skeptic's Skeptic: In the battle for ideas, scientists could learn from Christopher Hitchens. From Ctheory, an interview with Brian Francis Slattery on the relationship between science fiction and economics, globalization, and how eerie it is to predict the future. The first chapter from The Faces of Terrorism: Social and Psychological Dimensions by Neil J. Smelser. A life beyond reason: He is not a lesson, nor a signifier — he is a severely disabled 11-year-old boy, and he is loved. A review of Caribbean Middlebrow: Leisure Culture and the Middle Class by Belinda Edmondson. A review of Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Jazz Tradition by Tony Whyton (and more). The longest home run ever: It may not come in our lifetime, but its measurements are knowable. A review of Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry by Patrick Coffey. Germany’s Angela Merkel stirred up a hornet’s nest when she decried “multiculturalism”, but that reaction suggests the hornets hadn’t been paying attention.

From Postcolonial Text, a special issue on East African Literature. From the Journal of Pan African Studies, a special issue on Nigeria, the Giant of Africa. Benjamin R. Farley (Emory): Calling a State a State: Somaliland and International Recognition. Perceptions about civil war in Central Africa: Can war be justified or solve problems? Vice visits Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre, Uganda’s only juvenile-detention facility. From World Policy Journal, Jonathan Ewing on an ugly exploration. Despite the continued need for civilian protection, the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is actually in the process of shutting down. Tom Kamara is in search of "saintly" African leaders. A look at why pan-Africanism must go beyond the political. Eleven sub-Saharan countries in Africa are working together to create a "Great Green Wall" of vegetation to halt the growing of the Sahara Desert. Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a Ghanaian investigative journalist with many disguises — from addict to imam — and one overriding mission: to force Ghana’s government to act against the lawbreakers he exposes. The truth of the matter is that if the native languages of Nigeria finally move into the stage of extinction, the culture and tradition of the people will also move into a stage of forgetfulness. Somali schoolboy tells of how Islamists cut off his leg and hand: Ismael Khalif Abdulle's story provides rare insight into regime of al-Shabaab rebels trying to overthrow Somali government. From New York, London, Paris to Brazzaville, via Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Douala, it is becoming increasing rare to come across black women strutting their naturally strong feminine magnetism. A review of No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Will Africa still be immersed in deep superstition by the year 2030? The January 2011 elections could tear Nigeria apart — is there anything the Obama administration can do to help the country avoid North-South conflict or a military coup?

Glenda Sluga (Sydney): UNESCO and the (One) World of Julian Huxley. Some men now spend as much on a watch as they would on a car — are they getting value? A review of Islands of Privacy by Christena Nippert-Eng. A review of Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory by Patrick Wilcken (and more). The secret of The Secret is that is that it’s no secret. A new study analysing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organised in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimised. An excerpt from Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat. So far, Al-Qaeda has come close to pulling off several spectacular attacks but has suffered unlucky breaks that have caused each attack to fail; however they only have to get lucky once. An article on resilience, catastrophising and positive emotions. A review of Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy: How to Philosophize with a Pair of Pliers and a Blowtorch. From the Mises Institute, what's wrong with "Contemporary Classical"? Subsidies. From Vice, black people vs. white people: Who's funnier? Likeable anarchist, modest Ubermensch, atheist preacher — Jonathan Ree is delighted by Friedrich Nietzsche, the paradoxical philosopher. How Vernon Fisher came to K-Mart Conceptualism. A review of In Motion: The Experience of Travel by Tony Hiss. Scott Adams on bad management as the perfect stimulus: If no one had a hamster-brained sociopath for a boss, who would start new businesses? Know Your Meme takes a look at shock sites. Zadie Smith reviews You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. Unleash the iPads of war: Military maps now apps. Speech and harm: What is at the root of the power of slurs to cause unease, shock and pain? A study suggests Pompeiians were flash-heated to death, with "no time to suffocate": Victims' lifelike poses among clues that ash was not the key killer. Henry Kissinger has a Twitter page and follows Bookforum, Granta, and n+1?

From Interlingvistikaj Kajeroj, Alan Reed Libert (Newcastle): Comparing Comparatives in Artificial Languages. The first scholar to seriously study Sanskrit puns and bitextual poems, Sanskritist Yigal Bronner found that it was a popular literary device until colonial times. Research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world. Who will mourn the world's dead languages? Lost in translation: We don’t shape language, language shapes us. The evolution of the English language: Love it or loath it, the English language is evolving. All hail goddess English? Bilingualism is good for the brain: The longer a person has spoken two or more languages, the greater the cognitive effects. Google teams with linguists to document endangered languages. Does your language shape how you think? The idea that your mother tongue shapes your experience of the world may be true after all. Dictionary of slang: Jeremy Noel-Tod on the power of slang to revitalise everyday language. A review of The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler. Language appears to shape our implicit preferences. Research in the crib: What happens when language scientists use their own children as test subjects? Don't believe the hype about Aborigines, Yiddish, or Ebonics, says John McWhorter. Researchers are fine-tuning a computer system that is trying to master semantics by learning more like a human. A review of Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher (and more and more and more and more and more and more). Researchers have designed a computer system that does successfully model the logic and intuition of a human to decipher a language. Francois Grosjean on his book Bilingual: Life and Reality. The English Language Unity Act: Big Government only a Tea Partier could love. A research team came across a “hidden” language, known locally as Koro, completely new to the world outside a few rural communities in northeastern India (and more and more). From List Magazine, how to say a few words in 10 languages that will soon be extinct.

Chris Hilson (Reading): Framing the Local and the Global in the Anti-Nuclear Movement: Law and the Politics of Place. A review of Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller. Working toward a world without nuclear weapons: Limiting the number of warheads is a good beginning, but getting to the end state calls for new thinking. Countdown to Zero, a documentary history of nuclear weapons and possibility of radioactive terrorism, offers a cautionary tale for atomic powers (and more). A review of Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America’s Enemies by David Albright. Why not nuclear disarmament? Christopher A. Ford on the questions that disarmament advocates must answer. A review of Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America’s Enemies by David Albright. A review of The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons by Richard Rhodes (and more). As more countries have the desire for and the capabilities to create nuclear weapons, it is ever more important for states to determine a way to create nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) in the pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Is nuclear zero the right choice? Scott Sagan and Kenneth Waltz debate. Kind of amazing to think the human race made it through all those decades of nuclear tension with all our major cities intact — so far. A study finds the US nuclear safety claim is a "dangerous fantasy". A review of A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament by Michael E. O’Hanlon. The American Atom: Garry Wills pins down the origins of the imperial presidency in the dark recesses of the Manhattan Project — and explains it all to Rick Perlstein. Dishonest, devious, and dangerous: Fred Kaplan on a close reading of John Bolton and John Yoo's ridiculous op-ed about the New START nukes treaty.

From State of Nature, a special issue on asymmetrical warfare. From Miranda, a special issue on women and 20th century warfare. Colin Gray (Reading): War: Continuity in Change, and Change in Continuity. World War I troops were the first to be diagnosed with shell shock, an injury still wreaking havoc. A review of War Horse: A History of the Military Horse and Rider by Louis DiMarco. Andrew Meier reviews The Gun: The AK-47 and the Evolution of War by CJ Chivers (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Ceci n’est pas un enfant mort: How we learnt to see war as humanitarians. From Small Wars Journal, Stephane Dosse on the rise of intrastate wars: New threats and new methods; Hugues Esquerre goes deep inside the insurgent’s mind, past the Motorcycle Diaries towards understanding Che Guevera; and why the best defense is a good offense: The necessity of targeted killing. Etienne Balibar on Marxism and war. All war is local: For one close-knit National Guard Unit from Arkansas, Afghanistan hits home. Do we accept military rape as a consequence of the brutal environment of war? Some of the most pivotal battlefield innovations throughout history began as peacetime inventions (and here are inventions you won't believe came from war). A look at how technology falls short in the war against IEDs. Mind Games: A brief history of information warfare. Should we be worried about a cyber war? Seymour Hersh on the online threat (and more at Miller-McCune). Buddhists at war: The dark side of what is often thought to be the most peaceful of religions. Richard Rubenstein on his book Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War. Richard Ned Lebow on his book Why Nations Fight: Past and Future Motives for War. Are conflicts worth it?: Why small countries take on superpowers with no chance of winning. Why do states fight on when the stakes seem questionable, or prospects of victory remote? Kenneth Payne on emotions and war termination. A review of Gideon Rose's How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle (and more).

A new issue of Airman is out. Gary Schaub Jr. (AWC): Unit Cohesion and the Impact of DADT. With the end of "don't ask, don't tell" in sight, we can acknowledge it never protected soldiers — it just promoted prejudice. Confessions of a gay soldier: How "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" erodes the most valuable lessons military service can teach. Michael Evans (ADF): Stoic Philosophy and the Profession of Arms. From Leatherneck, Beth Crumley on Robert J. Arrotta, the mightiest corporal in the Marine Corps. Exploring the ambiguities of masculinity in accounts of emotional distress in the military among young ex-servicemen. From the Journal of Family Life, Beth Easterling (Tennessee) and David Knox (ECU): Left Behind: How Military Wives Experience the Deployment of their Husbands; and Erin Finley (Texas), and Mary Jo V. Pugh and Matthew Jeffreys (STVHS): Talking, Love, Time: Two Case Studies of Positive Post-Deployment Coping in Military Families. Saving military families: The military must do more about the high divorce and suicide rates among active duty personnel and veterans. June was the deadliest month for Army suicides since Vietnam — what's behind this record-breaking, tragic rise? Military suicides are higher than we think: Apparently, declaring a death a suicide isn't always clear-cut. Despite Army’s prevention efforts, suicides continue. "Our American Heroes": Why it's wrong to equate military service with heroism. Our Warriors: The terminology we use to describe our soldiers reveals the gap between us. The next Petraeus: What makes a visionary commander, and why the military isn’t producing more of them. Rise of the four-star deities: Is the US once again succumbing to the cult of the generals? Civilian strategists often think they understand the use of force better than their generals do; here are 10 cockamamie military schemes that thankfully never came to pass.

A new issue of Soldiers is out. Celestino Perez Jr. (Army): Politics and the Soldier. From Parameters, Phillip S. Meilinger on Soldiers and Politics: Exposing Some Myths. A Berkeley liberal goes to the Army War College: It turns out all officers aren't "Rush Limbaugh–listening conservatives". What if every soldier and politician were required to be a lit major? The Army turns to videogames for training (and more). Solitude and Leadership: William Deresiewicz encourages a group of West Point plebes to practice introspection, concentration, and nonconformity. The Naval Academy has weathered many scandals before, including sexual assault and cheating, and Jeffrey Fowler’s exit gives the Navy a chance to remake Annapolis — again. Keeping the Faiths: Air Force Academy leaders, cadets insist progress has been made in tolerating non-Christian religions, incluing welcoming spell-casters. From Claremont Review of Books, a review essay on books on the military academies. The Military and the Academy: Civilian experts need to play their part in preparing for the day when a war ends and peace begins. War and Peace: Bob Duggan on the art of the American soldier. Art in the trenches: A new exhibition depicts the life and death of the American soldier. At Arlington graves, a pain beyond words: "Slogans are little more than propaganda tactics, ways for politicians and the Pentagon to sanitize the wars and drum up public support". What are soldiers searching for when they return from the frontlines? Fightin’ and Writin’: Henrik Bering on military memoirs high and low. A review of Rage Company: A Marine’s Baptism by Fire by Thomas Daly. Sam Jacobson on The Few, The Proud, The Chosen: Life as a Jewish Marine means accepting the faith of a Separate Tribe. Unequal Sacrifice: Why are poorer and less-educated citizens more likely to die in America's wars? A survey reveals troubling numbers of military personnel in debt. What's the difference between combat and noncombat troops? The littlest soldiers: The U.S. military launches a website, myfuture.com, so youngsters can learn more about military careers.

A new issue of Military Review is out. A new issue of Armed Forces Journal is out. From the inaugural issue of Military Times, Julian Thompson on why military history is important. An interview with Peter Snow on books on military history. Arthur Herman on the re-hollowing of the military: Even as Robert Gates prepares to step down in 2011, he and President Obama are charting a frightening course when it comes to national security. When Robert Gates leaves, it's time for a Democratic defense secretary. From Prism, a review essay on civil-military relations. Ivan Eland on expanding the role of the citizen-soldier without a draft. Warrior Nation: Politics and policy have come to reinforce an American inclination toward military involvement abroad. A review of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War by Andrew J. Bacevich (and more and more and more and more). The US military reigns supreme in the sea and air, but why not on the ground? Our madness for war: Must we persist in using the military option when it so rarely works? How to spin ancient history to justify modern-day orchestrations of military power: Jim Sleeper reviews Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, ed. Victor Davis Hanson. A review of Understanding Counterinsurgency: Doctrine, Operations, and Challenges. From The American Interest, a special issue on the future of the armed forces. Dangers of a politicized military: Bruce Ackerman on his book The Decline and Fall of the American Republic. Will militarization of the First Amendment undermine the Republic? Helping the “other” casualties of war: An interview with American Widow Project founder Taryn Davis. Geocurrents on mapping U.S. foreign military bases. The Very Dark Side of U.S. History: Many Americans view their country and its soldiers as the "good guys" spreading "democracy" and "liberty" around the world — it just ain't so.