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President George W. Bush traveled to Asia and gave a speech in Manila comparing Iraq to the Philippines, a former U.S. colony that was “liberated” from Spain in 1898 and occupied for 48 years. Bush said that the Philippines, which he called “the oldest democracy in Asia,” should be seen as the model for a new democratic Iraq, and then quickly left the country because of security concerns.New York TimesOsama bin Laden released two new tapes and promised a new wave of suicide bombings.Voice of AmericaIraqis in Faluja were photographed dancing on a demolished U.S. Army truck after it was blown up and set on fire by local residents.New York TimesA car bomb blew up outside the Turkish embassy in Baghdad; it was the third Baghdad car bomb in less than a week.New York TimesCommerce Secretary Donald Evans introduced the new Iraqi dinar, printed in Britain minus the face of Saddam Hussein, in a live broadcast from the Baghdad International Airport, and encouraged investors to come to Iraq. “You have to look beyond these isolated incidents that are occurring,” he said.New York TimesThe U.S. Marines pressed charges against eight reservists in the death of an Iraqi prisoner, who was apparently tortured.New York TimesSoldiers in Azerbaijan were photographed beating the supporters of opposition politicians after they protested the rigged election of President Heydar Aliyev’s son.New York TimesPresident Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was just finishing up a $9 million, 130,000-square-foot, 25-bedroom retreat.New York TimesGeorge Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics, described the Bush Administration’s budget policies as “a form of looting.”New York TimesThe president of Bolivia resigned in the face of massive antiglobalization protests.New York TimesTexas Republicans produced a very odd-looking congressional map that will probably give the party seven additional seats in Congress. “I’m a Texan trying to get things done,” said Tom DeLay, who engineered the highly unusual redistricting.New York Times“The person who is in charge is me,” President Bush declared when asked about the factional intrigues among his advisers; the president went on to say that he was making “very good progress about the establishment of a free Iraq.”New York TimesA Buddhist abbot in Thailand cured a sick woman with a magic wooden penis.Ananova
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended Lt. Gen. William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting support, who was videotaped making a number of impolite comments about Islam. Boykin was also videotaped propounding a new theory of American electoral politics: “Why is this man [George W. Bush] in the White House?” he asked in a speech. “The majority of Americans didn’t vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.”New York TimesCondoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, insisted that the war on terrorism is not a religious war.Associated PressPrime Minister Malathir Mohammad of Malaysia denounced the Jews.ReutersAttorney General Bill Lockyer of California admitted that he voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I am just doing what is right,” he said. “It’s a new me.”New York TimesA German man who taught his dog, Adolf, to perform the Nazi salute by raising its right paw escaped prosecution for the trick.New York TimesResidents of a mountain village in Fiji apologized to the descendents of an English missionary who made the mistake of touching a chief’s head and was cooked and eaten for the insult.Agence France-PresseDr. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, said that Americans should remember that terrorists can “have serious moral goals.” He said that “it is possible to use unspeakably wicked means to pursue an aim that is shared by those who would not dream of acting in the same way, an aim that is intelligible or desirable.” Dr. Williams also warned America not to become “trapped in a self-referential morality.”TelegraphHappy Serbs accidentally shot down a small plane when they fired guns into the air at a wedding.ReutersThai protesters captured the soul of George W. Bush, imprisoned it in a clay pot, and then drowned it in the Ping River.Agence France-Presse
American doctors revealed that they had made an infertile woman pregnant using nuclear transfer, a technique similar to cloning that involves taking genetic material from the mother’s fertilized yet defective egg and putting it in a healthy egg from another woman that lacks a nucleus. The babies that were fashioned using the technique, which is banned almost everywhere but China, where the experiment was carried out, all died before birth.Nature.comA Chinese astronaut orbited the earth but failed to spot the Great Wall from space.New York TimesThe Staten Island Ferry crashed in New York City; of the 10 people who died, two were decapitated and some were cut in half. Several people lost limbs. The captain, who apparently passed out, left the scene immediately, slashed his wrists and shot himself twice in the chest with a pellet gun.New York TimesThousands of dead catfish washed up in Alabama.Associated PressTony Blair was hospitalized with heart palpitations and was told to take it easy.ReutersResearchers in Atlanta, Georgia, found that overweight men tend to produce sperm with fragmented DNA, which results in low fertility and more frequent miscarriages.New ScientistCoffee makes sperm swim faster, a Brazilian study found, and menNew Scientistwho smoke a lot of marijuana have a lower sperm count and sperm that swim “too fast, too early.”Science DailyThe Supreme Court let a ruling stand that the federal government may not prevent doctors from recommending marijuana as a pain reliever.New York TimesIn France, a judge was caught masturbating in court. A penal inquiry was underway.AnanovaClint Eastwood gave up acting,Telegraphand the pope beatified Mother Teresa.Associated PressIn Kentucky, a ten-year-old boy found a snake with heads at both ends.Associated PressNew Zealand abandoned its proposal to tax flatulent livestock,Ananovaand a genomic survey of human feces found it inhabited by 1,200 viruses, about half of which were previously unknown to science.Nature.comA deer invaded a clothing store in Linden, New Jersey,New York Timesand a bear barged into a hospital in Japan.AnanovaAustraliandoctors warned people not to eat slugs.Ananova
More from Roger D. Hodge:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“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.”