Weekly Review — August 28, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Bush Administration announced that by next month the government surplus, excluding Social Security, will be closer to $600 million than the $122 billion it calculated back in April. President Bush hailed the disappearing surplus as “incredibly positive news,” because it will force the government to resist overspending. Two days earlier, the president asked Congress to grant an additional $39 billion to the military, the largest increase since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The Federal Reserve Board cut interest rates for the seventh time this year, noting that the main threat to the economy is “economic weakness.” New research found that robots are better at trading commodities than humans are. A 36-year-old Peruvian man chopped off his testicles to protest his low wages; last year he amputated his penis because he was unemployed. Residents of Belper, England, banished from their town square a giant Mr. Potato Head, a gift from their sister city in Rhode Island; the $6,000 present was part of the tourist board’s campaign to position the state as “the birthplace of fun.” The metal tail-fin of a high-speed missile dropped from an F-16 fighter jet into a residential neighborhood in Florida, landing within ten feet of two children playing there. The federal government was investigating Johns Hopkins University for its experiment a few years ago in which healthy children were recruited to live in houses with varying degrees of lead contamination. An Oregon car dealer was fined $120,000 for selling seven cars in one month to a 78-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease.

The first of 400 defunct New York Citysubway cars were dumped off the Delaware coast, where they will serve as artificial reefs. Astronauts removed two tons of trash from the international space station. President Bush declared that America would withdraw from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty “at a time convenient to the United States.” Researchers estimated that 99 percent of the continental U.S. will never see a truly dark starry sky. A Thai newspaper reported that amphetamines are being added to the drinking water at 24-hour arcades to keep people playing longer; a 22-year-old patron died recently from heart failure after an all-night computer-game binge. Scientists found that people who eat a lot of snacks are more prone to macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. The FBI uncovered a six-year scam in which eight people rigged McDonald’s contests, embezzling $13 million in cash and prizes. Smiley the Clown was convicted of sodomizing his young male apprentice. Senator Jesse Helms announced his retirement. A North Carolina state representative apologized after forwarding fellow legislators an email message that declared: “Two things made this country great: White men and Christianity.” President Bush was inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence.

A poll found that eight out of ten Swedish women don’t get enough sex. Tom Green, husband of Hannah, Cari, Linda, LeeAnn, and Shirley, was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime of polygamy. After 26 years of deliberation, Brazil decided to throw out a law that allows a man to annul his marriage if he finds his bride is not a virgin; the new code will take effect in two years. A California appeals board ruled that a law prohibiting topless dancers from touching, caressing, and fondling their own bodies is an infringement of the constitutional right to freedom of expression. Iranianpolice launched a crackdown on “flagrant manifestations of corruption,” including selling pet dogs, playing loud music, and displaying women’s underwear in shop windows. Alabama governor Don Siegelman proclaimed that if God had wanted boys to wear earrings, He would have made them girls. A Minnesota man filed suit against the U.S. government after a veteran’s hospital mistakenly removed his testicles, misdiagnosing his arthritis as cancer. China’s deputy health minister finally admitted that the country is facing an AIDS epidemic; over the first half of this year, HIV infections rose nearly 70 percent compared with the same period last year. Japanesescientists, using resin and a laser, sculpted a bull the size of a red blood cell. In Zimbabwe, militants occupying white-owned farms freed from quarantine livestock infected with foot-and-mouth disease. A thousand mink were missing after being released from a Dutch farm by animal-rights activists; 200 were killed in traffic. A study found that Irish people feel healthier than all other Europeans. A Cincinnati radio station pulled from the air a contest offering a free coffin to the 100th shooting victim of the year. A Canadian man, one year into a ten-year sailing expedition, was forced to cut short his trip after being attacked by pirates with a bread knife. Granma,Cuba’sCommunist newspaper, accused the United States of waging “biological war” against Cuba, resulting in the loss of $2 million of their honey output. A bald eagle was menacing beachgoers in New Hampshire.

Share
Single Page

More from Elizabeth Giddens:

Weekly Review July 29, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review July 30, 2002, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review July 31, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2015

Black Hat, White Hat

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Beyond the Broken Window

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Search of a Stolen Fiddle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Displaced in the D.R.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Quietest Place in the Universe

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“Don sucked the last of his drink through his straw and licked his lips. 'The coast, to me, is more interesting than the valley.'”
Photograph by the author
Article
Fred Morton, who died this week in Vienna, at the age of 90, was a longtime contributor to Harper's Magazine and a good friend. "Othello's Son," which was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013, appeared in our September 2013 issue.
Photograph © Alex Gotfryd/CORBIS
Article
Beyond the Broken Window·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“By the time Bratton left the department, in 2009, Los Angeles had quietly become the most spied-on city in America.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Displaced in the D.R.·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“How is it possible that my birth certificate is invalid if I was born here?”
Photograph by Pierre Michel Jean
Article
The Quietest Place in the Universe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Gaitskell and his colleagues are approaching the revelation of a new order, a new universe, in which even light will be known differently, and darkness as well.”
Painting by Sebastiaan Bremer

Number of African countries with vaccination rates higher than that of the United States:

16

Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.

A farmer in Surrey, England, was ordered by the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to tear down his cannon-equipped castle, which he had built secretly and then concealed behind hay bales.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today