Short Rats Read 2011

  • Whose Egypt?” by Adam Shatz (a look at the changing face of the revolution and now counter-revolution in Egypt). LRB 5JAN12 (12.27.11)
  • What a Difference a Decade Makes” by Ruth Franklin (a look at the resurgence of the short story). Prospect Magazine 14DEC11 (12.27.11)
  • What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank” [abstract] by Nathan Englander. The New Yorker 12DEC11 (12.23.11)
  • The Ally from Hell” by Jeffrey Goldberg & Marc Ambinder (Pakistan is a necessary evil for the US — its nuclear arsenal must remain safe). The Atlantic DEC11 (12.21.11)
  • Synthesis and Ambivalence” by Sam Sacks (fiction is in a transition between experimental and traditional modes). Wall Street Journal 17DEC11 (12.20.11)
  • Christopher Hitchens: ‘the consumate writer, the brilliant friend‘” by Ian McEwan (remembrance of Hitchens in his final days in which he never betrayed himself or his skills as a writer). The Guardian 16DEC11 (12/19/110
  • Trial of the Will” by Christopher Hitchens (the author takes the term “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” to task). Vanity Fair JAN12 (12/16/11)
  • Foucault What Is an Author” by Michel Foucault (the philosopher considers the role of “author” in different fields). (12/13/11)
  • Decline, Fall, Rinse, Repeat” by Adam Gopnik [abstract] (a look at the declinist inclined nature recently of the West and how that attitude is probably more likely to cause a decline than anything else). The New Yorker 12SEPT11 (12/12/11)
  • “China: Boom or Bust?” by Barbara Pollack (is the art investment in China a bubble ready to bust? not likely). Art in America OCT11 (Academic Search Complete) (12/12/11)
  • “The Global Culture War” by Eleanor Heartney (the author discusses specific religious attacks on particular artists’ work around the world). Art in America OCT11 (Academic Search Complete) (12/12/11)
  • In Ciudad Juárez” by Elisabeth Ladenson (the author ventures into the city for a conference about violence). London Review of Books 7DEC11 (12/9/11)
  • “How I Got that Story” by Lawrence Weschler (the author discusses how he came about writing his first book entitled Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees). Art in America OCT11 (Academic Search Complete) (12/5/11)
  • A Massacre in Jamaica” by Mattathias Schwartz [abstract] (the extradition of a drug “don” results in the massacre of unarmed civilians). The New Yorker 12DEC11 (12/5/11)
  • If the Serial Killer Gets Us, He Gets Us” by Skip Hollandsworth (a serial killer goes after prostitutes in Houston and during the investigation a rapists and another murderer are put away). Texas Monthly DEC11 (12/3/11)
  • Blue Period” Joan Acocella (a review of three fiction books with sex as a central theme: Smut by Alan Bennett, Helen DeWitt’s Lightenting Rods, and House of Holes: a Book of Raunch by Nicholson Baker). The New Yorker 7NOV11 (12/3/11)
  • Grief and Solemnity” by Colin Dickey. LA Review of Books. 27Nov11. (11/30/11)
  • Authorship in Chinese Experimental Fiction” by Yunzhong Shu. Comparative Civilizations Review. (11/28/11)
  • Richard Duardo’s Aztlan Poster: Interrogating Cultural Hegemony in Graphic Design” by Robin Adèle Greeley. Design Issues Vol. 14 No 1. (21-34) (11/27/11)
  • Natural Fools and the Historiography of Renaissance Folly” by Paromita Chakravarti (the conflicting understanding of folly in Renaissance Europe as seen in literature as opposed to daily life). Renaissance Studies Vol. 25 No. 2 (208—227) (11/21/11)
  • Of Other Spaces (1967) Heterotopias” by Michel Foucault. Foucault.info. (11/20/11)
  • King of Kings” by Jon Lee Anderson (the life and death of Muammar Qaddafi). The New Yorker 7NOV11 (11/18/11)
  • An Unexpected Alliance” by Lee Spiegel (Groucho Marx and TS Eliot make strange epistolary bed fellows). moreintelligentlife.com. 2011 (11/2/11)
  • Pet Lovers, Pathologized” by Kelly Oliver (“Within our philosophy and within our culture, we cannot take seriously our love and dependence on animals without turning them into medicine and making ourselves sick.”)  NYTimes.com 30OCT11 (11/2/11)
  • ‘You Are Not So Smart’: Why We Can’t Tell Good Wine from Bad” by David McRaney. The Atlantic 28OCT11 (11.31.11)
  • Name-o-rama” by Alex Frankel (Naming companies, products and services). Wired. JUN97 (10.31.11)
  • Hizbullah’s Part in Gaddafi’s Downfall” by Charles Glass (Hizbullah and the US side ever so briefly over Libya). London Review of Books Blog. 24OCT11. (10.28.11)
  • ‘Seeing Gertrude Stein’ Overlooks Alleged Collusion with Fascists” by T.L. Ponick. The Washington Times. 13OCT11 (10.19.11)
  • Will the E-Book Kill the Footnote?” by Alexandra Horowitz. The New York Times. 7OCT11 (10.17.11)
  • Why Don’t You Dance?” by Raymond Carver. On Library of America. (10.9.11)
  • Springtime for Hitler” by Monica Osborne (a review of Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler’s Germany by Rudolph Herzog). The New Republic. 22AUG11 (9.10.11)
  • Al Qaeda’s Challenge” by William McCants [abstract] (Al Qaeda’s spectacular rise and current struggles after the devastating war in Afghanistan and beyond). Foreign Affairs. SEP/OCT11 (8.30.11)
  • Dog Story” by Adam Gopnik (a personal and cultural history of the dog). The New Yorker 8AUG11 (8.26.11)
  • Sounds Familiar” by John Sutherland (a review of The Words of Others: from Quotations to Culture by Gary Saul Morson in which Sutherland applauds Morson for his wit, intelligence and fairness). Literary Review (8.17.11)
  • Translating the Gorilla” by Marija Stajic (the translator of the Serbian novel The Gorilla writes about her experience translating the book into English). The New Yorker (online) 9APR10 (8.13.11)
  • The Pink Panthers” by David Samuels [abstract] (“A tale of diamonds, thieves and the Balkans”). The New Yorker 12APR10 (8.13.11)
  • The Secret History of Guns” by Adam Winkler (Gun control is really about other cultural issues about which we historically flip-flop — slavery, protection against racism). The Atlantic SEP11 (8.12.11)
  • Arab Spring, Chinese Winter” by James Fallows (China cracks down on an uptick of unrest: does it have something to worry about?). The Atlantic SEP11 (8.11.11)
  • The State of Publishing” by McSweeney’s editors (Publishing and reading are up!). McSweeney’s (8.11.11)
  • How Google Dominates Us” by James Gleick (Review of four books in consideration of how Google, wittingly or not, is changing the face of privacy while facilitating access to information). NYTimes Review of Books 18AUG11 (8.11.11)
  • What Have You Done?” by Ben Marcus [abstract]. The New Yorker 8AUG11 (8.4.11)
  • What I Learned When I Learned to Draw” by Adam Gopnik [abstract] (Thoughts about the art of drawing as well as the process of learning it). The New Yorker 27JUN11 (jun)
  • Getting Bin Laden” by Nicholas Schmidle (An in depth look at Operation Neptune’s Spear, in which special forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad). The New Yorker 8AUG11 (8.2.11)
  • Do I Repeat Myself?” by John Barth (There is nothing new to say… I can’t go on, I’ll go on). The Atlantic FICTION2011 (8.1.11)
  • The Jargon of the Novel, Computed” by Ben Zimmer (how words are used in fiction and non fiction). New York Times 29JUL11 (8.1.11)
  • A Fable with Slips of Paper Spilling from the Pockets” by Kevin Brockmeier [no link to story] (A man finds a jacket that disperses paper with nearby people’s thoughts). Oxford American Issue55 (7.29.11)
  • Matinée” by Robert Coover [abstract]. The New Yorker 25JUL11 (7.28.11)
  • Creative Misreading” by James Campbell (Translations as rewrite of texts based on ideas of the original author — esp. here Camus and Cocteau). New York Times Book Review (accessed through Academic Search Complete — Ebscohost) 12JUN11 (7.28.11)
  • Over There” by Hendrik Hertzberg [abstract] (Review of A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil Warby Amanda Foreman). The New York Times 1AUG11 (7.28.11)
  • An Academic Author’s Unintentional Masterpiece” by Geoff Dyer ( Michael Fried’s “Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before” refers constantly to what he did, will do or is doing in his book). The New York Times 22JUL11 (7.27.11)
  • Whole Hog” by Philipp Meyer (A trio makes killing the feral hog population delicious). Texas Monthly AUG11 (7.25.11)
  • “The Queen Is Dead” by Jeff Noon (A story about a group of punks in 1979 England. Lots of lists punctuate the story suggesting the emptiness in “thing”: “England was theirs, if only they could find it among the dirt, the puddles, the dust, the damp and the rain, the cracked windows, the grey skies, the litter and the boarded-up shops.” pg. 253). Please (Fiction inspired by The Smiths) edited by Peter Wild — Harper 2009. (7.22.11)
  • Let’s Get Small: The Rise of the Tiny House Movement” by Alec Wilkinson [abstract]. The New Yorker 25JUL11 (7.22.11)
  • What’s a Metaphor for?” by Carlin Romano (a survey of thinking/writing on metaphors). Chronicle of Higher Education 3JUL11 (7.15.11)
  • The Bitch Is Back” by Andrew Corsello (why Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand Assholes are all dicks). GQ 27OCT09 (7.7.11)
  • Writing Is Bad for You” by Rick Gekoski (the perils and jubilation of reading and writing). Guardian 7JUL11 (7.7.11)
  • ‘Why Would You do That, Larry?’: Identity Formation and Humor in Curb Your Enthusiasm” by Benjamin Wright [abstract] (explores the shifting identity of Larry as victim-agitator in cultural & religious frameworks). The Journal of Popular Culture JUN11 (6.29.11)
  • Your English Is Showing” by Tim Parks (the possibility of a skeletal “English” lengua franca under foreign language literature — e.g. Italian, French & German). The New York Review of Books 15JUN11 (6.21.11)
  • Franzen’s Ugly Americans Abroad” by Tim Parks (a look at Franzen’s uniquely American perspective and its popularity overseas — it’s likeable because it rejects ugly Americans). The New York Review of Books 11MAY11 (6.21.11)
  • The Language of Work” by Mark Kingwell (the introduction to The Wage Slave’s Glossary by Joshua Glenn). Harper’s JUNE11 (6.19.11)
  • Bit Lit” by Brian Hayes (Ngrams and the Google Ngram Viewer). American Scientist MAY/JUNE11 (6.18.11)
  • Are Artists Liars?” by Ian Leslie (“this is why we felt it necessary to invent art in the first place: as a safe space into which our lies can be corralled, and channelled into something socially useful”). More Intelligent Life. (6.18.11)
  • Ode to a Four-Letter Word” by Kathryn Shulz (the poetry of profanity). New York Magazine 6JUN11 (6.18.11)
  • In the Atomic City” by Millicent G. Dillon (“Life in a Secret Nuclear Facility at the Dawn of the Arms Race”). The Believer JUN11 (6.14.11)
  • An Occasional Hobo” by Robert Ito [abstract] (the life and times of hobo expert Josiah Flynt Willard). The Believer JUN11 (6.14.11)
  • Andropov Was Right” by Tariq Ali (the course of events leading up to and through the Russian “invasion” by the 40th Army of Afghanistan). London Review of Books 16JUN11 (6.10.11)
  • The Lazarus File” by Matthew McGough (a cold case brings to light an unlikely homicide suspect who works right in the LAPD). The Atlantic JUN11 (6.2.11)
  • The Mighty Pen” by Simon Blackburn (a review of How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish: “The philosopher Frege said that only in the context of a sentence do words have meaning. Fish agrees, as did Wittgenstein: ‘The world is everything that is the case.'”) The New Republic 27APR11 (6.1.11)
  • Reading Deeply” by Todd Gitlin (a review of The Use and Abuse of Literature by Marjorie Garber: Literature “‘is not simply a clever kind of code developed by the mind to ensure that we all possess a mental Rolodex of figures enabling the nimble linking and blending of commonly held thoughts. It does not merely frame concepts or conceptual metaphors in pleasing or memorable phrases. Language makes meaning, or rather, meanings; it does not merely reflect it.'”) The New Republic (powells.com review-a-day) 15APR11 (4.19.11)
  • Engines of Progress” by Mark Reutter (a review of Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines by Vaclav Smil: “While these machines have received little attention, Smil writes, they have “led to epochal shifts in world affairs,” most noticeably the rise of China as the world’s manufacturing hub. A modern container ship such as China Shipping Container Lines’ Xin Los Angeles can transport 24 times more goods than the first container vessels could in the late 1950s. Moreover, it can be loaded and offloaded about 20 times faster than in the days of grappling hooks and sweaty longshoremen, by cranes that are themselves usually powered by diesel engines.”) The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 10APR11 (4.12.11)
  • The Magic of David Foster Wallace’s Unfinished ‘King‘” by Daniel Roberts (a review of Pale King by David Foster Wallace). NPR (powells.com review-a-day) 12APR11 (4.11.11)
  • After Dark” by Chloe Schama (a review of Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism by Deborah Lutz: “It is undeniably fascinating, and Lutz has done an admirable job of assembling juicy examples of Victorian eccentricity (Walter, of My Secret Life, being a prime example).”) The New Republic (powells.com review-a-day) 8APR11 (4.8.11)
  • Diary: Assault on the Via Salaria” by Ian Thomson (“It was still snowing when I found wedged behind a cupboard a cranial X-ray of the previous occupant of the flat. He had had a fractured skull. He too was an Englishman; he too had sustained a haematoma.”) London Review of Books 14APR11 (4.7.11)
  • In Praise of Distraction” by James Surowiecki (“…as the psychologist Roy Baumeister puts it, will power is like a muscle: overuse temporarily exhasts it. The implication is that asking people to regulate their behavior without interruption (by, say, never going online at work) may very well make them less focussed and less effective.”) The New Yorker 11APR11 (4.6.11)
  • Pitchers and Catchers” by Moe Berg (“With Montaigne, we conceiveof Socrates in place of Alexander, of brain for brawn, wit for whip.And this brings us to a fascinating part of the pitcher-hitter drama:Does a hitter guess? Does a pitcher try to outguess him? When thepitching process is no longer mechanical, how much of it is psycho-logical? When the speed of a Johnson or a Grove is fading or gone,can the pitcher outguess the hitter?). Library of America (Story of the Week) from Baseball: A Literary Anthology (4.6.11)
  • Get Smart” by Adam Gopnik [abstract] (“What do we really mean by ‘smart’? The ability to continually diminish the area of what we mean by it.”) The New Yorker 4APR11 (4.2.11)
  • Modernity’s Undoing” by Pankaj Mishra (a review of A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: “Here, in this brisk reckoning with the event that has been the undoing of many distinguished writers, Egan commemorates not only the fading of a cultural glory but also of the economic and political supremacy that underpinned it.”) London Review of Books 31MAR11 (4.2.11)
  • The Vivid World of Odors” by Maya Pines (“Our culture places such low value on olfaction that we have never developed a proper vocabulary for it.” “‘It would be nice if one smell corresponded to a short wavelength and another to a long wavelength, such as rose versus skunk, and you could place every smell on this linear scale,’ says Randall Reed, an HHMI investigator at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who has long been interested in olfaction.”) Howard Hughes Medical Institute (4.2.11)
  • Sarah Vowell Digs into Hawaii’s Troubled History” by Jeff Baker (a review of Unfamiliar Fishes: “Foreign traders had been stopping by the islands since Capt. James Cook stumbled onto them in 1778. The arrival of the missionaries, and the conflicts between them and the traders, is colorfully described by Vowell as “representing opposing sides of America’s schizophrenic divide — Bible-thumping prudes and sailors on leave. Imagine if the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki hosted the Values Voters Summit and the Adult Entertainment Expo simultaneously — for forty years.”). The Oregonian (powells.com review-a-day) 31MAR11 (3.31.11)
  • Mental Maps” by Richard Restak (a review of Antonio Damasio’s Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain: “According to Damasio, we can best understand the brain as a series of maps that are ‘changing from moment to moment to reflect the changes that are happening in the neurons that feed them,’ much like an electronic billboard on which the display can be ‘rapidly drawn, redrawn, and overdrawn at the speed of lightning.'”) The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 29MAR11 (3.30.11)
  • Go on, Please…” by Kevin Smokler (a review of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin.) Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 28MAR11 (3.30.11)
  • Fantasy for People Who Hate Fantasy” by Doug Brown (a review of Song of Ice and Fire Boxed Set by George R.R. Martin). (powells.com review-a-day) 26MAR11 (3.26.11)
  • Rollingwood” by Ben Marcus (excellent website) [abstract] (a bleak but more traditional story from the one of the great American experimental writers). The New Yorker 21MAR11 (3.24.11)
  • The Nuclear Risk” by Elizabeth Kolbert (the damage done to the  Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by earthquake and tsunami makes American’s reconsider [again] our use of nuclear power ). The New Yorker 28MAR11 (3.24.11)
  • James Gleick Keeps Processing New Information” by Marc Mohan (a review of The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick: “Gleick’s skill as an explicator of counterintuitive concepts makes the chapters on logic, the stuff even most philosophy majors slept through in class, brim with tension. It’s quite possible, one realizes, that the most revolutionary statement of the 20th century was Bertrand Russell’s paradox, which seems like mere sophistry, but is in fact a consciousness-altering revelation: ‘S is the set of all sets that are not members of themselves.'”) The Oregonian (powells.com review-a-day) 24MAR11 (3.24.11)
  • The Refugee” by Jane Rice. American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from 1940s to Now. The Library of America. An interesting story of a werewolf that takes place during WWII in England. (3.23.11)
  • Walled States, Waning Sovereignty” by Jacob Mikanowski (a review of the book by the same title by Wendy Brown: “As a sort of visual boast, walls seek to shore up the psychic space of the nation, but like all boasts, they point to an underlying vulnerability.” “The darker impulses behind wall-building, those that have to do with feelings of repulsion and superiority, and hatreds so deep they make townspeople not even want to see their neighbors, aren’t given much space in Walled States, Waning Sovereignty.”) Bookslut (powells.com review-a-day) 20MAR11 (3.23.11)
  • Made in Texas” by Hanna Raskin (distilleries in Texas, specifically those that make bourbon, and their philosophies). Houston Press 16MAR11 (3.19.10)
  • Is Death Different?” by Marie Gottschalk (a review of Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition by David Garland: “Beginning with the Gregg decision in 1976, which essentially reinstated the death penalty, the Supreme Court has ratified a series of ‘civilizing reforms’ that are ‘often more intent on concealing distressing events than on abolishing them, and their effect has sometimes been to sustain capital punishment by making it less visible and therefore more tolerable,’ according to Garland.” “Many of the institutional and political forces that [Garland] identifies as having given the death penalty a new lease on life also appear to have fueled mass incarceration and, in particular, the hyper-incarceration of African-Americans.”)  The New Republic (powells.com review-a-day) 18MAR11 (3.19.11)
  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming” by Richard Wirick (a review of the book by the same title by Mike Brown). Bookslut (powells.com review-a-day) 16MAR11 (3.16.11)
  • The Old Story” by James Morris (a review of Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age by Susan Jacoby [with reference to Ted C Fishman]: “Buried deep in Fishman’s book is an inspired subhead, a backhanded (backsided?) homage to the columnist Thomas L. Friedman: ‘The World Is Flatulent.’ The page is a nice example of how the macro-minded Fishman can also narrow his range, here to foresee a future of better bathrooms for the aged: ‘Toilets will sport stylish handrails, lift and drop on command, and even spray water in places that older people have a hard time reaching. And because the physical effects of age befoul the air, the toilet deodorizes its bowl, its user, and the room.’ Well, that’s something.”; “Chances are the young old won’t be cheerleaders for longevity when they cross the line to join the old old, the shuttered, stumbling, ailing, diapered, defecating, delusional, and adrift old.”; “When Sophocles was near 90, he wrote Oedipus at Colonus, and his chorus sang that anyone who wants a long life is a fool; not to be born is best, but next best is to die as soon as possible. Amen to them both.”) The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 15MAR11 (3.16.11)
  • The Benefits of Distraction” by Sam Anderson (“It’s possible that we’re all evolving toward a new techno-cognitive nomadism, a rapidly shifting environment in which restlessness will be an advantage again.”) New York Magazine 17MAY11 (3.12.11)
  • Anarchy through the Ages” by Chris Faatz (a review of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall). (powells.com review-a-day) 12MAR11 (3.12.11)
  • Smarter, Happier, More Productive” by Jim Holt (a review and general refutation of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows — Holt considers why Carr thinks negatively about he internet like why he’s worried about its distractive nature when distraction is an age-old human condition). London Review of Books 3MAR11 (3.11.11)
  • The Docks” by John Pattison (review of The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen — a consideration of the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach which are vast, unseen infrastructures). Books & Cultures (powells.com review-a-day) 9MAR11 (3.9.11)
  • Four-Color Metaphors” by Richard Oyama (review of Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson — poems using superheros as central metaphors for the African-American experience and more). Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 7MAR11 (3.9.11)
  • Mind vs. Machine” by Brian Christian (consideration of the Turing Test and what it really means to us as humans — our “reactive, responsive, sensitive, nimble” minds). The Atlantic MAR11 (3.3.11)
  • 40-Year-Old Man Draws with Markers — And It’s Brilliant” by Kevin Carollo (review of It Is Right to Draw Their Fur: Animal Renderings by Dave Eggers). Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 28FEB11 (3.2.11)
  • U.S.-Taliban Talks” by Steve Coll (talks with the Taliban are necessary for political gains and troop withdrawl). The New Yorker 28FEB11 (2.25.11)
  • The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model” by Daniel Roth (Demand uses algorithms to try to predict what people will search for: “Instead of trying to raise the market value of online content to match the cost of producing it — perhaps an impossible proposition — the secret is to cut costs until they match the market value.”). Wired 19OCT10 (2.23.11)
  • Transatlantic Poet” by Troy Jollimore (a review of The Age of Auden: Postwar Poetry and the American Scene by Aidan Wasley). The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 22FEB11 (2.23.11)
  • The Moral Crusade against Foodies” by B.R. Myers (on the illogical self-obsessed Bourdainian oafishness of foodies — kinda). The Atlantic MAR11 (2.21.11)
  • How Skyscrapers Can Save the City” by Edward Gaeser (building up can make the city more affordable and keep it alive). The Atlantic MAR11 (2.21.11)
  • Drugs and Words” by Laura Marsh (a review of The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey by Robert Morrison) The New Republic 15FEB11 (2.18.11)
  • Masters of Peace” by James Gibney (a review of Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders by Nathan Hodge:  how war and the armed services have changed to incorporate “nation building”). The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 15FEB11 (2.17.11)
  • Use Value” by Barton Swaim (a language prescriptionist convincingly makes his point by reviewing the different editions of Fowler’s A Dictionary of Modern English Usage). The New Criterion FEB11 (2.17.11)
  • Proust Was a Neurobiologist” by John Lehrer (artists are ahead, scientifically, of their time). news.scotsman.com 13FEB11 (2.15.11)
  • What College Rankings Really Tell Us”  [abstract] by Malcolm Galdwell (considerations of what rankings really show about those who rank them — that is how rankings tend to be a self-fulfilling prophecy of predetermined social values). The New Yorker 14&21FEB11 (2.9.11)
  • Return Of The Grotesque” by Jesse Tangen-Mills (A review of Tales of Woe by John Reed). Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 7FEB11 (2.7.11)
  • No Man’s Land: The Mystery of Mexico’s Drug Wars” [abstract] by Gary Moore (compare to Murder City by Charles Bowden; “Or was something bigger loose in Mexico — a mass psychopathic bloodlust like a burgeoning plague, killing for no reason but the joy?”). World Affairs: A Journal of Ideas and Debate JAN/FEB11 (2.2.11)
  • Kids These Days” by Michael C. Moynihan (a review of Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone by Richard Settersten and Barbara Ray: again this issue of education in America, though this time higher education; “nearly half of students fail to graduate within six years of enrolling in college … some students simply aren’t cut out for four-year university and would be better served by vocational or technical training”). The Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 1FEB11 (2.2.11)
  • Weekend Warriors” by Clay Latimer (Jousting returns — full contact). Go JAN11 (1.31.11)
  • Swamp Thing” by Peter Koch (skunk ape [smaller bigfoot characterized by it’s strong smell] in the florida everglades — fact or fiction?). Go JAN11 (1.31.11)
  • UPDATE — THE NOTTING HILL MYSTERY Is Not the World’s First Detective Novel (blog post) by Steve Lewis (other possible “first” detective novels). Mystery*File 9JAN11 (1.30.11)
  • The Case of the First Mystery Novelist” by Paul Collins (an examination of the true author of the “first” detective novel The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix (real name Charles Warren Adams). The New York Times Sunday Book Review 7JAN11 (1.12.11)
  • The Sorrows of Old Werner” by Michael D. Gordin (a review of Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb by David C. Cassidy & Heisenberg in the Atomic Age by Cathryn Carson — biographies of Heisenberg). American Scientist (powells.com review-a-day) 30JAN11 (1.30.11)
  • America’s Top Parent: What’s behind the Tiger Mother Craze?” by Elizabeth Kolbert (Memoir or How-to book about browbeating your children into better grades, and everything else). The New Yorker 31JAN11 (1.27.11)
  • Impossible Objects” by Amy Groshek (a review of The Book of Things (Lannan Translations Selection): “In ‘Umbrella,’ ‘the sky watches you blackly from puddles.’ Shoes, ‘protect you / So the road presses softly on you.’ The potato grows with its ‘anus, temperate against the sky.'” Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 24JAN11 (1.27.11)
  • Embracing Nature’s Imperfections” by Lee Smolin (a review of A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe by Marcelo Gleiser: “He argues that the belief that the universe is governed by beautiful equations is a residue of monotheism.” Though this is just a part of his argument, it is argument based on cultural/sociological frameworks and where science fits into them). Scientific American (powells.com review-a-day) 23JAN11 (1.27.11)
  • Communist Manifesto” by Irving Louis Horowitz (a review of A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism by Silvio Pons). Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 18JAN11 (1.20.11)
  • Forgotten Hero” by John Pistelli (a review of Siegel and Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman by Thomas Andrae and Jerry Siegel in which the authors consider the book of sociological readings of Jewish humor and assimilation into American culture as well as reproducing some of the comic book & strip). Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 17JAN11 (1.20.11)
  • Imagining the Invisible” by Jeremiah James (a review of Image and Reality: Kekul, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination (Synthesis) by Alan J. Rocke in which the author considers the history of the theory of chemical structure through the vantage point of imagination). American Scientist (powells.com review-a-day) 16JAN11 (1.20.11)
  • Death of the Tiger” [abstract] by Jon Lee Anderson (Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka; counterterrorism success; post-war implications for the Tamil population & the democracy of the island). The New Yorker 17JAN11 (1.18.11)
  • Sex on the Brain” by Patrick McDonagh (considers the work being done in the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurology at Concordia university and the implications for human sex therapy – pg.12). Concordia Magazine Winter10/11 (1.13.10)
  • After the Revolution” by Robert Boyers (a review of What Ever Happened To Modernism? Gabriel Josipovici in which Boyers examines the return of Modernism as well as Josipovici’s repetitive but enlightening — in equal measures — discussion of the avant-garde). The New Republic 15DEC11 (1.6.11)
  • Hard Core” by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (an examination of the pornography and what the implications really are socially). The Atlantic JAN/FEB11 (1.8.11)
  • Creatures of Other Mould” [abstract] by Avi Davis (“on the dubious clay menagerie of Waldemar Julsrud”). The Believer NOV/DEC10
  • Safe as Houses” [abstract] by Karolina Waclawiak (“an ode to Britain’s history in 1:12 scale”). The Believer NOV/DEC10
  • Other articles from the NOV/DEC10 issue of The Believer.

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