--NASA is trying to convince everyone that the world will not end in 2012.

--"We're living in a golden age for writers and writing."

--Felix Salmon makes the case for old-fashioned maps.

--California is doing more than any place else in the United States to tackle carbon emissions. Should it be allowed to attend the global climate talks?

--Sheldon Adelson, one of the top GOP donors in 2012, supports the DREAM Act, stem-cell research, fully legalized abortion, and single-payer health care.

--The mathematics of elevators.

--"There will eventually be neuroscientific explanations for much of what we do; but those explanations will turn out to be incredibly complicated. For now, our ability to understand how all those parts relate is quite limited."