Thanks to our one-newsletter-per-week holiday regime we have a rather large meal to set before you today -- with a variety almost rivalling Bilbo Baggins well-stocked larder (the opening scene of The Hobbit is, like the rest of the movie, marvellous in its detail; if they would just go a bit easier on the sound…).
Because I’m about to rush off again for a week, I want just to highlight two articles in particular. One is the interview with Reynaldo Rivera of InterMedia, a MercatorNet partner, about his intriguing study of young Spaniards and Italians, their life online and attitudes to bullying. This is positive research that comes with an educational programme which I am sure we are going to hear more about.
The other big story is the study by Elard Koch and colleagues of abortion and maternal mortality in Mexico. I am acquainted with several Mexicans, and can vouch for the fact that their country is a lot more complex and interesting than certain ideologues would have you believe. Among the latter is the Alan Guttmacher Institute which, you will hardly be surprised to hear, has over-estimated illegal abortions in Mexico at probably 10 times their actual rate. Read the interview and get a hold on the facts!
Michael Cook (who is supposed to be on holiday) has written a terrific piece on utilitarianism and its outworking in an officially recognised BDSM club at Harvard. We have two book reviews -- Zac Alstin has enjoyed reading an important new biography of Chesterton and Francis Phillips thought a work on Lady Astor was also quite good fun. There’s a film review too: Laura Cotta Ramosina, a new reviewer, takes a look at Life of Pi. George Friedman has some penetrating comment on the crisis of the American middle class; and Maureen Condic counters the claim that science has nothing to tell us about the human rights of the “fetus”.
In the blogs, Sheila Liaugminas has an excellent suggestion for a New Year’s resolution; Family Edge has a very positive story about prisoners, and Tiger Print has some more ideas on this topic.