May/Jun 2012

Comic Con on the Couch: Psychoanalyzing Superheroes

Comic Con on the Couch: Analyzing Superheroes

Robin Rosenberg delves into the inner psyches of superheroes—and the people who dress like them.

Mapping the Evolution of the West

A graphic look at the Western United States’ half-century of rising fortunes.

The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time — Reviewed by Fred Block

Fred Block, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis, reviews William K. Tabb's view of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Book of Mormon: A Biography — Reviewed by Wade Clark Roof

Wade Clark Roof, a professor of religion and society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reviews Paul C. Gutjahr's new book.

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Grover Norquist’s Proposal to Raise Taxes

Why saving city budgets by moving to a 401(k) plan can only mean one thing.

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Researchers & Discoveries: Black Hole Hunter

Astrophysicist Andrea Ghez on black holes and the center of our galaxy.

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R.I.P. Traditional Marriage

What the fading of traditional marriage tells us about our growing class divide.

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Cancer Wars: An Outcast Researcher’s New Theory

The scientific community disowned Professor Peter Duesberg for denying that HIV causes AIDS. But is there something to his new theory on cancer?

Ocean Garbage Patches: A Scientific Sifting

Ocean Garbage Patches: A Scientific Sifting

From plastic-eating mushrooms to the aerodynamics of hockey gloves, a roundup of unexpected findings from the study of marine trash.

Turning Diabetes Treatment Upside Down

Turning Diabetes Treatment Upside Down

Dr. Jay Shubrook is flipping conventional insulin treatment upside-down—with startling results.

Why Obama Is Looking West

Why Obama Is Looking West

The nations that ring the Pacific have half the world's consumers, half the world’s trade, and half the global GDP. No wonder the administration is quietly shifting its policies westward.

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Unleashing a Wall Street Watchdog

How a 1920s law meant to protect investors was manipulated to protect big banks and investment firms—until now.

Paul Theroux on What’s Really Wrong With Africa

Paul Theroux on What’s Really Wrong With Africa

Travel writer Paul Theroux on why his latest book, "The Lower River", looks at the damage done by nongovernmental organizations in Africa.

Is Facebook Stunting Your Child's Growth?

A sociologist says social media damages tweens’ emotional intelligence – with potentially serious consequences.

China's Accidental Spies

China’s Accidental Spies

Is an unassuming group of Chinese bloggers who are obsessed with military hardware doing the Pentagon’s work? Or Beijing’s?

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The Death Penalty on Life Support

Forty years ago, Americans’ moral qualms almost ended the death penalty. Now we’re abandoning it again — but not because we object to executions.

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Why Thomas Kinkade's Art Touched So Many

Thomas Kinkade, the best-selling “Painter of Light,” has never enjoyed the academic scrutiny accorded other homespun artists — until now.

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How Rube Goldberg Would Have Watered the West

Who needs pipelines when massive hydro-cannons could blast water across California’s deserts?