Monica Pachon (Los Andes) and Royce Carroll (Rice): The Legislative Agenda in Presidential Democracies. From Americas Quarterly, a special issue on the past 50 years of economic, social and political change in Latin America. Honduras gone wrong: Dana Frank on how playing Tegucigalpa as a proxy is undercutting U.S. influence. In the 1970s, Chile was on the verge of developing sophisticated technology to monitor its economy — then America intervened. The fight for the favelas: Brazil’s most famous city has launched a huge offensive against drug gangs and militias before the next World Cup and Olympics. Meet Joao Santana, Brazil's James Carville — and the other political consultants who are shaking up Latin America's electoral landscape. Cuba’s new now: After half a century under Fidel, Cubans feel a wary sense of possibility — but this time, don’t expect a revolution. Gavin O'Toole reviews The FARC: The Longest Insurgency by Garry Leech. Colombia lost a large swath of the Caribbean but kept a series of far-flung islands that had been at the heart of a long-running dispute with Nicaragua. Sea change in Spain: Latin America's economic growth and Europe's debt crisis have turned Ibero-American relations upside down.

Janie A. Chuang (American): The U.S. Au Pair Program: Labor Exploitation and the Myth of Cultural Exchange. David L. Richards and Benjamin Carbonetti (UConn): Worth What We Decide: A Defense of the Right to Leisure. From Interface, a special issue on the global emancipation of labour. Is our retro obsession ruining everything? Lisa Hix interviews Simon Reynolds, author of Retromania. Rebecca Watson on the pseudoscience of SkyMall: The suspiciously advanced technology available in your airplane seatback pocket. Shifting sexes and sequential hermaphrodites: Kate Shaw on how sex is determined. In praise of the cliche: At the end of the day, sometimes you’ve just got to think inside the box. Richard Marshall reviews Pataphysics: A Useless Guide by Andrew Hugill. You’ve never been so interested in being bored: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie on the history of boredom. Jerome O’Callaghan reviews When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?: How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality by Corey Brettschneider. Is Almanac Day in your calendar? Eliza Grey on Jorge Ramos, immigration reform's wild-card power broker.

From Philosophy Now, John Greenbank reviews The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry by Rupert Sheldrake; and Vincent di Norcia reviews Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond by Jon Agar. Ira Flatow on truth, deception, and the myth of the one-handed scientist. Science fictions: Is the scientific endeavour always a bold and noble quest for truth? Not when it is writing its own history. Steven Ross Pomeroy on how the key to science (and life) is being wrong. Simon Mitton reviews Ignorance: How it Drives Science by Stuart Firestein. Michael D. Gordin on separating the pseudo from science. Jon Turney reviews The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe by Michael D. Gordin (and more and more). Donald Braid reviews The Ancient Mythology of Modern Science: A Mythologist Looks (Seriously) at Popular Science Writing by Gregory Schrempp. An interview with science broadcaster Alice Roberts on belief, evolution and why she loves bones. Why isn’t science fiction used more often to teach science in schools? For good science journalism, blogs are a better bet than "old media". Here are 5 tips for scientists on how to not write like scientists.

Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (Palermo) and Stanislav Ivanov (IUC): Tourism as a Form of New Psychological Resilience: The Inception of Dark Tourism. The info-sharing of early arcade game enthusiasts mimicked the scientific method; now, video games and collective intelligence could change the way we approach science, shared problems, and school. Tauriq Moosa on when good values are bad for us. Jude Isabella interviews April Nowell, co-author of “Pornography is in the eye of the beholder: Sex, sexuality and sexism in the study of Upper Paleolithic figurines”. Miriam Leonard on her book Socrates and the Jews: Hellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud. From Capitalism magazine, Jaana Woiceshyn on why humility is not a virtue. Zack Carlson on how Miami Connection destroys the myth of “so bad they’re good” movies. The "Blog Mob" revisited: Joseph Rago on the impact blogs and the Internet have on journalism and news. Samuel Arbesman interviews Michael Mauboussin, author of The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing.

From n+1, Ian McCougall on Providence, Rhode Island; and John Davison on Austin at large. Nancy Scola on the rise of the New Baltimoreans. The Chicago Way: The “Blago” scandal may have set new lows for reality TV-abetted shamelessness, but the ex-Illinois governor was just one in a long, storied line of corrupt Chicago politicos. Dennis Romero on Koreatown, America's hippest neighborhood. Driving across California is like going from Mississippi to Massachusetts without ever crossing a state line. Robert Atkinson on how states and localities can get off the economic development treadmill. Robert A. Margo reviews The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States by Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay. Why are Americans so: A map of American state stereotypes, generated by Google autocomplete. After the oil rush: In Alaska, dwindling reserves forecast a statewide identity crisis. Natalie Wolchover on how America's state borders not set in stone. Why not let all the states secede from the US? Harry Cheadle wonders. Who would win a war between all the United States? Martin W. Lewis on diagramming the “Greater U.S. Realm”.

From the University of Virginia Magazine, a special section on 17 Days in June: From Resignation to Reinstatement. Shiny happy periodicals — read all about it: Fred Inglis on the horn-blowing and the hoopla, the cant and the can-do spirit of the glossy world of official university magazines. How corrupt are Ivy League admissions? Ron Unz on the myth of American meritocracy (and a response). Master of the examined life: Paula Marantz Cohen on teaching what colleges don’t. Inspiration from The Teaching Professor: After 25 years, a newsletter on teaching and learning in academe is still going strong. Todd Landman is the world’s first visiting professor of performance magic. Is student debt a gift or a curse? Philosophy lovers, prepare to be outraged: Should science majors pay less for college than art majors? Roderick T. Long reviews The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind by Bruce Bawer (and more). Are “hookups” replacing romantic relationships on college campuses? Emily Esfahani Smith reviews Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad by Nathan Harden.

Philip Balsiger (EUI): Competing Tactics: How the Interplay of Tactical Approaches Shapes Movement Outcomes on the Market for Ethical Fashion. Numidas Prasarn on the evolution of fashion as a signifier. How did "fix the debt" become "protect the Bush tax cuts"? A group devoted to reducing the deficit shouldn't embrace the irresponsible tax cuts that created most of it. From The Hairpin, Stella Forstner writes a series on her experience with Scientology. Kevin Kelly on the average place on Earth. Stacy Edgar reviews Politics in Deeply Divided Societies by Adrian Guelke. Creating a global language archive: For most of us, the language we speak is like the air we breathe — but what happens when we wake up and find that our air is going extinct? "Merchants of Death": Jonathan Grant on the international traffic in arms. Ron Paul's farewell speech in Congress lays bare his hatred for "pure democracy," and love of oligarchy. From Books and Culture, David Lyle Jeffrey on beauty in an ugly time: Rouault and Chagall. Stephen T. Asma writes in defense of favoritism (and more). Here is an open letter to Mauro E. Mujica, chairman of U.S. English Inc.

Robert S. Erikson and Olle Folke (Columbia) and James M. Snyder (Harvard): A Gubernatorial Helping Hand? How Governors Affect Presidential Elections. Spencer Overton (GWU): The Participation Interest. Did Obama reset the electoral map? Lincoln, liberty and two Americas: One-party control in a majority of the states may allow the pursuit of wildly partisan agendas — what will that do to the nation as a whole? John Patrick Leary on how concerns over declining “civility” in politics distract us from the meaningful disagreements that we need to have. Eric Horowitz on why personal attacks are good politics. Taking the fight outside: Can presidential appeals to the American public break Washington gridlock? The unilateralist manifesto: Timothy Noah on eight ways Obama can jam through his agenda without Congress. Paul Volcker on what the new president should consider. Erik Opsal on three ways to fix our democracy. Bruce Bartlett on how our long-term fiscal future is better than it looks. Move over economists: Barry Schwartz why we need a council of psychological advisers. Is Grover Norquist pushing the New World Order? Many right-wing extremists loathe Norquist because they think he is a secret Muslim and Muslim Brotherhood operative. Can Grover Norquist be considered an “enemy of the state”?

Machiko Kanetake (Amsterdam): The UN Zero Tolerance Policy's Whereabouts: On the Discordance between Politics and Law on the Internal-External Divide. From Catapult, a special issue on First World Problems. From NYRB, Elizabeth Drew on how, despite their considerable efforts, the Republicans were not able to buy or steal the election after all; and Mark Danner on how, and what, Obama won. Micah Zenko on Dempsey's Paradox: The world is getting less violent — so why do we feel so threatened? Jeffrey Winters argues that oligarchy is timeless, but varying in its forms; for him, the political power of billionaires in democracies represents a transformation towards “civil oligarchy”. Barry Schwartz on what it means to be rational: Don't rely on economic analysis to learn about human rationality; if we want to build just and prosperous societies, we must look elsewhere for guidance. What brand is your therapist? Lori Gottlieb on psychotherapy’s struggle to sell itself. Urging economists to step away from the blackboard: A 101-year-old Nobel winner, Ronald Coase wants to launch a journal for economic thought, not just data. A UN Twitter typo has global dimensions.

A new issue of The Philosophers’ Magazine is out. The inaugural issue of the Nordic Wittgenstein Review is out, including Alex Davies (King’s College): How to Use (Ordinary) Language Offensively; Thomas McNally and Sinead McNally (TCD): Chomsky and Wittgenstein on Linguistic Competence; and Todor Polimenov interviews Gottfried Gabriel on the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy. Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes reviews Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction by Joshua Alexander. From 3:AM, Chris Weigel is a groovy philosophical firebrand who burns her armchair alongside xphi’s pyromaniac Josh Knobe; Herman Cappelen is one groovaciously pugnacious philosophical dude; Roy Sorensen is the madhatter at the philosophical tea-party, the grooviest jive of them all; and Richard Moran digs Sartre as essential, unfairly bad-mouthed and like John Lennon. Rupert Read on his book A Wittgensteinian Way with Paradoxes. Whoa, dude, we’re not inside a computer right now: Johannes Niederhauser interviews Massimo Pigliucci, author of Answers for Aristotle. Rick Pimentel on reasons to love philosophy.