‘In his remarkable book, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, Simon Sebag Montefiore does a service by focusing on the intimacies of power. In his detailed, highly readable account of Joseph…


‘For Democrats, this little episode highlights the promise and peril of a Hillary Clinton presidency. On the one hand, President Clinton spoke for many in the party who are furious about the…


‘Just when it seemed Independence Day might be the exclusive province of Michael Bay’s Transformers, MGM rushes in with Rescue Dawn. Nothing if not appropriate, Werner Herzog’s latest feature, based on his…



‘CINCINNATI — A divided federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit Friday challenging President Bush’s domestic spying program without ruling on the issue of whether warrantless wiretapping is legal. ‘In a 2-1 decision…


‘Indie rockers are happily hawking corporate fare. Is selling out really such a big deal anymore?’ (Utne article). GO TO FULL STORY


‘Saturday’s series of "Live Earth" concerts features a marquee-bursting array of the music industry’s megastars, but perhaps its most impressive headliner is a band that doesn’t even have a recording contract. That…





‘Now, don’t get me wrong. Carbon emissions may indeed be causing harmful climate change, and dramatic reductions by Americans may actually do some good. But in typical green journalism fashion, the feel-good…


This episode is work safe. Esalen Institute is a combination alt-think tank, academic community and sensual retreat perched on the Pacific-facing cliffs of Big Sur, California. Its thinkers formed the leading edge…



Intoxicate me, my cigarette And give me a scornful air, I want to stay cold and silent While hearing sweet confessions. These lyrics from Lucianne Boyer’s 1930 song "Dans la Fum


‘Stanzas, the nerdishly titled study of "word and phantasm in western culture" that I just finished, is one of the tastiest and most nourishing books of scholarly cultural criticism I have read…


With thanks to Mark Pesce the Eris-like Zen of the Yes Men‘s Vivoleum culture jam of Exxon: ‘This, my friends, takes brains. But more importantly, it takes discipline and courage. We’re talking…



‘Arguably, the Information Age began in 1665. That was the year the Journal des scavans and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London started regular publication. Making new scientific information more…


‘The creation of NORTHCOM, as part of the "unified plan" in the wake of 9/11, established the military’s first domestic combatant command center. This precedent departs from a long-standing tradition of distinguishing…


Mitt Romney has a secret weapon: political maven and pollster Alex Gage and his firm TargetPoint. Gage explains his "microtargeting model" and methods to map an individual’s "political DNA" to Washington Post…


‘It is fast becoming one of the most important issues of the 2008 presidential campaign. Oil prices are expected to rise to even higher levels as the United States dependence on foreign…


”Death-worshipping church’ or apocalyptic prophets? Gary Lachman investigates the Process Church of the Final Judgement, a Sixties movement with a far-reaching influence.’ (Fortean Times article). GO TO FULL STORY



‘With the United States angling to update its aging nuclear arsenal, critics are worried that non-proliferation efforts will take a big hit. When it comes to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons,…


The only reason to link to Emily Yoffe’s patient memoirs is that she "had 23 head-to-toe physicals from 23 second-year students at the Georgetown School of Medicine." Which gives me another opportunity…