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1991 / May | View All Issues |

May 1991

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Trained seals and sitting ducks·

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Harper’s Index

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A buyer’s guide

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Hog heaven·

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We’re looking for a few good spies·

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Backing up as fast as I can·

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CNN’s hidden meanings·

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The relationship is in the mail (II)·

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The relationship is in the mail (I)·

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The Grateful Dead·

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A concordance

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Your softener and you·

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My patient’s suicide·

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The yellow ribbon crisis·

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The truth in a petri dish·

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A.A. in L.A.·

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Van Gogh’s increasing cloudiness·

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The exile as African·

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Tompkins Square·

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Where have all the animals gone? The lamentable extinction of zoos·

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Defining the new world order·

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Food for everything but eating

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Purpose, blame, and fire·

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An eight year old’s introduction to war horror

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
Collage (detail) by David McLimans

Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.

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