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Treating disease with fecal transplants

Emily Eakin in The New Yorker: One morning last fall, Jon Ritter, an architectural historian living in Greenwich Village, woke to find an e-mail from a neighbor, who had an unusual request.

Arundhati Roy: goddess of big ideas

Andrew Anthony in The Guardian: Like India and Walt Whitman, Arundhati Roy contains multitudes. She is, however, far from large.

Tyler Cowan: Be suspicious of stories

Our Cats, Ourselves

Razib Khan in The New York Times: IT’S commonplace to call our cats “pets.” But anyone sharing a cat’s household can tell you that, much as we might like to choose when they eat in the morning, or when they come inside for the night, cats are only partly domesticated.

Geo-engineering: Climate fixes 'could harm billions'

David Shukman in BBC: Schemes to tackle climate change could prove disastrous for billions of people, but might be required for the good of the planet, scientists say.

3QD Philosophy Prize Semifinalists 2014

The voting round of our philosophy prize (details here) is over. Thanks to the nominators and the voters for participating.

Grace . Eyes open in the womb. The struggle arrives to turn darkness into light.     Dangling on the wings of the Phoenix.

The Best Science Books of 2014

Maria Popova in Brain Pickings: 1. THE ACCIDENTAL UNIVERSE “If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from,” Carl Sagan wrote in his timeless meditation on science and religion, “we will have failed.” It’s a sentiment that dismisses in one fell Saganesque swoop both the blind dogmatism of religion and the vain certitude of science — a sentiment articulated by some of history’s greatest minds, from Einstein to Ada Lovelace to Isaac Asimov, all the way backGalileo.

From Watts to Ferguson

Rick Perlstein in In These Times (Scott Olsen/Getty Images): In Ferguson, police racism is built in, institutionalized in the town’s business model of using revenue from fines to pay its bills (and in the process, turning some residents into unemployable criminals).

The Invention of the Jewish Nose

Sara Lipton in the New York Review of Books: In 1940 the Nazis released a propaganda film called The Eternal Jew.

The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world

George Packer in The New Yorker: A summer afternoon at the Reichstag. Soft Berlin light filters down through the great glass dome, past tourists ascending the spiral ramp, and into the main hall of parliament.

Steven Pinker on Good Writing, with Ian McEwan

Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher

Michael Schulson in Salon: How do ritual and religion become entangled with this violence? Well, because state-building was imbued with religious ideology.

Wendy S. Walters: Interview

Justin Allen in Mosaic: JA: You write about these murders and the crisis caused by who is known as the Oakland County Child Killer.

Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop

Chase Madar in The Nation (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson): How to police the police is a question as old as civilization, now given special urgency by a St.

Why Talk Feminism in World of Warcraft?

Angela Washko in Creative Time Reports: When women and minorities who love games question why they are abused, poorly represented or made to feel out of place, self-identified gamers often respond with an age-old argument: “If you don’t like it, why don’t you make your own?

War and Peace in the Bhagavad Gita

Wendy Doniger reviews Richard H. Davis's The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography, in the NYRB: How did Indian tradition transform the Bhagavad Gita (the “Song of God”) into a bible for pacifism, when it began life, sometime between the third century BC and the third century CE, as an epic argument persuading a warrior to engage in a battle, indeed, a particularly brutal, lawless, internecine war?

The earliest known Arabic short stories

Robert Irwin in The Independent: The Ottoman sultan Selim the Grim – having defeated the Mamluks in two major battles in Syria and Egypt – entered Cairo in 1517.

Why Are So Few Blockbuster Drugs Invented Today?

Dan Hurley in The New York Times: On Sept. 25, 1990, James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, and at the time the director of the National Center for Human Genome Research, wrote a letter to this paper making a prediction: “The ability to sequence DNA quickly and cheaply will also provide the technological basis for a new era in drug development.” ...If you read them now, the claims made for genomics in the 1990s sound a bit like predictions made in the 1950s for flying cars and anti-gravity devices,” Jack Scannell, an industry analyst, told me.

Intersections in Middle America

by Mara Naselli When my children entered the gallery at the Grand Rapids Art Museum that contained Anila Quayyum Agha's installation work, Intersections, they took off at a run.