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Idea of the Day
  • This Blog’s Final Post
    A note to readers: This post is the last for the Idea of the Day blog, started by the editors of the Week in Review more than two years ago as a place to highlight the most interesting current writing on the Web. The blog’s end is a result of limited resources in a medium where any number of worthy projects are possible, and where new priorities continually emerge. Thanks to all our readers and commenters, and regrets.
  • Transylvania: Green, Not Blood-Red
    Friday | Today's idea: From from a mythical place of blood-red terror, Transylvania is a study in centuries-old green living largely unsullied by modernization, an article says. [Notre Dame Magazine]
  • The Almanac as Early iPhone
    Thursday | Today's idea: The Old Farmer's Almanac deserves new respect as the "iPhone of early America," a scholar argues. [Common-Place]
  • Hitler’s Dream of New York in Flames
    Wednesday | Today's idea: More than a half century before 9/11, Adolf Hitler and his minions conceived of attacks on New York by suicide pilots, super missiles or long-range bombers, an article says. [Der Spiegel]
  • The Decline of Final Exams
    Tuesday | Today's idea: The decline of final exams at colleges across the country raises "serious pedagogical questions about 21st century education," an article says. "How best do students learn? And what’s the best way to assess that?" [The Boston Globe]
  • Better Democracy Through Fraud
    Monday | Today's idea: Sometimes fraudulent elections and other undemocratic practices can actually be good for democracy if they are transitional, an article argues. Cases in point: Burma, Chile and revolutionary America. [Foreign Policy]
  • Canadian Film’s Eh-List
    Friday | Today's idea: Once content with sending musicians and comedians southward, Canada has moved in on cult-film territory with the "Canuxploitation" flick. [Maisonneuve]
  • Hooray for Overpaid Jocks
    Thursday | Today's idea: Have exorbitant hot-dog and beer prices to support high-priced athletes got you down? Cheer up: Their salaries may help dissuade them from taking bribes to throw games. [The Economist]
  • Communism’s Nuremberg
    Wednesday | Today's idea: Since Communism never got its own Nuremberg tribunals for genocide, the trials unfolding in Cambodia will have to do, a commentator says. [City Journal]
  • Doubting Online Activism
    Tuesday | Today's idea: Online activism is typically weak activism because the participants don't have strong ties to one another and aren't highly motivated, an article argues. [The New Yorker]
  • Within A.A., a Debate About God
    Monday | Today's idea: The original text of the founding document of Alcoholics Anonymous was edited to downplay or cut references to God and Christianity and make the organization more inclusive. [The Washington Post]
  • They Want Their MTV, and to Read, Too
    Friday | Today's idea: Music videos with subtitles in the viewers' spoken language can help the illiterate learn to read, an experiment in India suggests. [The Boston Globe]
  • Liberals vs. Populists: It’s a Long Story
    Thursday | Today's idea: American political life has long been marked by mutual incomprehension and outright hostility between liberalism and populism, an essay says. Today is no different. [Boston Review]
  • Term Paper Mills Are in a Flunk
    Wednesday | Today's idea: Essay mills produce work of such low quality that students have no other option but to actually write their own papers, a professor says -- "or maybe get help in the old-fashioned way and copy from friends." [DanAriely.com]
  • History in Capital Letters
    Tuesday | Today's idea: For our age of acronyms and initials like LOL and BFF, we can thank the military, the New Deal and the physical sciences, a language maven says. [Intelligent Life]