With the year barely begun, we have already seen much over-the-top, endless self-promotion, so I will try to avoid that trap.

Instead, we should note that while the Duck is not just about applying pop culture to IR and vice versa, it does seem to be with us, including shedding insight on events in Ukraine.

The end of the old year/beginning of the new year is a good time to take stock of things. Chris Blattman does so at his blog.  I point to it because nearly all of his top ten posts are individually worth linking to, so as a collective they are very much worth a quack in his direction.

Speaking of taking stock, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has leaked his memoir to the NYT, which is ironic given the role of leaks in the Obama admin, and it has already lead to a burst of discussion about the past five or so years of Obama defense policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Christian Davenport and some other folks are working on the question of how to stop mass killings.  Check out the latest in a very interesting conversation about what social scientists need to do.

NATO had a busy year and illustrated that well.  This would be a good spot to jokingly mention my book on NATO, but I will refuse to stoop so low.

Lots of discussion about the MLA meat market, which makes me thankful that APSA, despite lots of grief it gets, is at a different time and where the interview process does not matter so much.

Update: I should always remember any site that increases our fun with maps.  Here is a nice collection.  I am not going to say that my case selection for the most recent book was driven by which countries drink beer, but I am not going say it was not….

Lastly, some real science that can really make a difference.

Ok, really, lastly, I will try look a bit more broadly every 2nd Tuesday for interesting links.  Do not hesitate to tweet me or email me.

Enjoy the New Year!