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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

Why Are You a Picky Eater?

Brian Handwerk www.smithsonianmag.com
The complicated science behind picky eating is giving experts plenty of food for thought.

Gender and Identity in the Wachowskis' "Sense8" on Netflix

Sara Stewart Women and Hollywood
Eight strangers around the globe are psychically linked after experiencing violent visions involving a woman (Daryl Hannah) unknown to any of them. The eight characters are about as diverse as you can get in terms of location, culture, race, economic situation, sexual orientation and occupation. As Lana Wachowski put it in an interview with io9 earlier this year, the show is "trying to get at the human question of how are we the same, and how are we different.

Fugitives

Philip C. Kolin The New Verse News
Mississippi poet Philip C. Kolin sees analogies between the recent wave of police shootings and the old Fugitive Slave Act.

Wising Up to the Wise Men of American Foreign Policy

Jeet Heer New Republic
Propping up dictators, rigging elections and aligning with some of the world's more unsavory characters is an accurate description of U.S. foreign policy past and present. It's also a fair characterization of the narrow gamut of thinking for both the wise oracles who urge containment and the hawks promoting armed confrontation. The book focuses on these elite policy makers who have become not just complacent with, but complicit in, U.S. hegemonic crimes worldwide.

A Life Without Boundaries

Gavin O’Toole The Latin American Review of Books
The new Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, was the child of migrant workers. His poetry sparkles with a luminous, richly inventive language and a technical prowess that draws from both traditional and innovative poetics. He is the first Latino to become the country's Poet Laureate, and is the most recent Poet Laureate of California. Here is a review of his New and Selected Poems (2008), and some useful links.

Film Review: 'Bessie' Is the Most Honest, Revealing Biopic About a Black Woman We’ve Ever Seen

Aisha Harris Slate
Looking for a decent, memorable biopic about a black woman is like waiting for Haley’s Comet. To find one, you’d have to jump all the way back to Halle Berry’s Emmy-winning turn in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999, and before that, Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It, and before that, Diana Ross as Billie Holiday. Dee Rees’ feature about blues legend Bessie Smith on HBO joins the ranks of those aforementioned films.

Our Aquarium

Bonnie S Kaplan Cultural Weekly
Los Angeles poet Bonnie S Kaplan works with former prisoners and parolees, easing the transition back to the community. Her poem Our Aquarium hints at the difficulties of adjustment.

Harvey on Harvey: The Most Dangerous Book I Ever Wrote

David Harvey Reading Marx's Capital With David Harvey
In defining a clear and comprehensive anti-capitalist politics and offering rational and compelling reasons for operating as anti-capitalists, highly readable Marxian scholar David Harvey goes beyond listing contradictions of capital to engage in a systematic account of the web of 17 relationships for what are usually treated as isolated aspects of crisis. Many of the contradictions are manageable, but some in combination also contain the seeds of systemic catastrophe.

Until the Rulers Obey

Staughton Lynd Z Magazine
Editors Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein offer a host of interviews with today's social change activists from Latin America. Staughton Lynd offers a review of this kaleidoscopic survey.

Film Review: 'Good Kill' - Assassins to Ashes

Ed Rampell Jesther Entertainment
In Andrew Niccol's 'Good Kill', fresh from his Oscar-nominated role in Boyhood, Ethan Hawke portrays pilot Major Tom Egan, who, after repeat combat tours flying over the Iraq and Afghan theaters of conflict, is now stationed outside Las Vegas, where he is deeply conflicted by his role in the UAV liquidation-by-remote-control project.