Weekly Review — May 22, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Israelisecurity forces assassinated five Palestinian soldiers as they prepared a late-night snack, which was a mistake, as it turned out, since the intended targets were stationed in another guardhouse nearby. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot observed that “only a revenge-seeking fool could believe that eliminations and missile fire, the demolition of neighborhoods, the killing of soldiers and civilians and the destruction of homes could restore personal calm and security.” A Palestiniansuicide bomber killed ten Israelis and wounded 100 others at a shopping mall; Israel responded with F-16 air strikes. More people died. Some New York politicians, including the governor, demanded that a wax likeness of Yasir Arafat be removed from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The United States finally got around to declaring the “Real IRA” a terroristorganization. Russia bombed ice flows on the Lena River in Siberia. President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President George W. Bush made a date to meet for the first time. Police were searching for a “monkey man” in Delhi, India, who was terrorizing people; he was said to have brass gloves, long, poisoned iron claws, iron boots, a helmet, and a black bodysuit. Several people died fleeing the monkey man, including one who jumped from a roof. A woman in Chicago bit off a man’s testicles when he assaulted her and demanded that she fellate him; she deposited her trophy at a police station shortly thereafter. Former president Bill Clinton was struck by a raw egg in Poland. Francisco Toledo, the Mexican artist, paid his taxes with 27 sketchbooks entitled “Notebooks of Shit.”

Vice President Dick Cheney announced his energy plan. A government report said that the fuel economy of new American cars was at its lowest level since 1980. A 47-car train carrying hazardous materials but no humans left Toledo, Ohio, and traveled 70 miles until someone managed to get on board and stop it. A windstorm smashed media trailers in Terre Haute, Indiana, on the night that Timothy McVeigh had been scheduled to die. Smugglers forced illegal immigrants from Somalia to walk the plank after their boat developed engine trouble; 70 were rescued but 86 drowned, according to officials. Police in Saudi Arabia gave seven teenage boys 15 lashes each for leering at women at shopping malls; the offenses included slipping girls phone numbers, whistling, talking to them, even winking. There were reports that an Iranian woman would be stoned to death for killing her husband, who was buried next to a cow’s skull in a fruit garden. The woman will be buried chest-deep for the stoning so that her breasts will not be damaged. Swaziland’sGuardian newspaper was shut down and its editor arrested, because the paper reported that the king was ill after being poisoned by one of his seven wives. A polygamist was tried and convicted in Utah. New census figures revealed that nuclear families accounted for less than a quarter of American households. Russia’sparliament voted to give President Putin more power.

A Polish biologist proposed a new universal definition of life: “A network of inferior negative feedbacks subordinated to a superior positive feedback.” According to this definition, parasitic DNA, viruses, and cancers are all alive, but prions, individual worker ants, and infertile humans are not. One in ten Britishchildren was found to be carrying antibiotic-resistant microbes. Thoroughbred foals in Kentucky were dying at an alarming rate for unknown reasons. The Bush Administration reportedly was planning not to participate in a new agreement designed to enforce the 1972 treaty banning biological weapons. Researchers found that oysters, when stressed, secrete the same hormones that humans do, hormones that inhibit their immune system, making them vulnerable to a germ called vibrio splendidus, which kills them. The leader of the research team that cloned Dolly the sheep warned against the premature cloning of farmanimals for meat and milk production; cattleclones have suffered from severe defects such as diabetes, immune-system deficiencies, giant tongues, intestinal blockages, and squashed faces. A mathematician at Stanford University found that up to half the fruit-fly gene sequences produced by Celera, a private company that uses computer shortcuts to produce its sequences, may contain errors. London’s FTSE 100 index fell sharply after a Lehman Brothers trader made a typo that resulted in a sale 100 times larger than intended. A 101-year-old man made a hole in one. Researchers found that Oscar-winning movie stars live longer, and that flying frequently across several time zones can shrink your brain.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today