Weekly Review — August 21, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

Jittery global markets brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis led the Federal Reserve to cut its discount rate on loans to banks by half a percentage point.AP via ForbesCiting America’s $1 trillion debt to China, Senator Joe Biden warned, “We have to get off that sucking off of that breast which is China.”Des Moines RegisterIt was reported that a South Carolina small-parts supplier run by twin sisters had cheated the Pentagon out of $20.5 million in shipping costs; two 19-cent washers sent to an Army base in Texas, for instance, incurred a $998,798 charge.BloombergJenna Bush, the younger of the President’s twin daughters by one minute, got engaged to tobacco heir Henry Hager.BreitbartBaptist pastor Wiley S. Drake instructed his Buena Park, California, congregation to pray for the deaths of two members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “Let his days be few,” read the prayer, “and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”The Los Angeles TimesIt emerged that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will allow the National Security Agency to intercept telephone calls, emails, and other Internet communications made by British citizens across American networks.GuardianThe CIA was editing Wikipedia; one CIA entry concerned lyrics in a song from the television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” A CIA spokesperson responding to queries about the edits stated, “I cannot confirm that the traffic you cite came from agency computers. I’d like in any case to underscore a far larger and more significant point that no one should doubt or forget: The CIA has a vital mission in protecting the United States, and the focus of this agency is there, on that decisive work.”AP via TimeNewsCloud.comBBC

Interpol sought the arrest of Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter and his first wife for allegedly providing support to Iraqi insurgents.NYTIn northern Iraq, a series of bombings targeting the Yazidi Kurds killed 344 people.BBCA 1994 interview with Dick Cheney regarding the first Gulf war was released to the web. Asked whether U.S. forces should have invaded Baghdad in an attempt to oust Saddam Hussein, Cheney said, “No . . . we would have been all alone . . . It would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place?” Cheney described Iraq as a “quagmire,” predicting sectarian conflict and the pointless loss of American lives. “How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, uh, not very many, and I think we got it right.”YouTubeA federal jury convicted Jose Padilla on terrorism conspiracy charges,NYTwhile six of the Bali bombers got their jail terms reduced for good behavior.news.com.auTwo Manhattan firefighters died fighting a blaze in an abandoned skyscraper next to Ground Zero.AP via YahooA car bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killed 13 civilians,NYTand toy manufacturer Mattel recalled 436,000 miniature cars shaped like the character Sarge from the animated film “Cars” because they were coated with lead paint.NYT

Scientists analyzing the urine of the lonely found higher levels of epinephrine, a “fight or flight” chemical that contributes to physiological decay over time;biosingularity.wordpress.coma study suggested that women with breast implants were three times more likely to commit suicide than those without;Boston Heraldand the Army’ssuicide rate was at an all-time high, leading the Army to hold a poster contest.Army TimesAP via NYTA Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to intentionally eating glass in over a dozen restaurants to collect insurance compensation.AP via SFGate.comAn earthquake along the southern coast of Peru killed 510 people.NYTGermanphysicists claimed to have broken the speed of light,TelegraphUKand Scottishphysicists reversed the Casimir force to make objects levitate.TelegraphUKDavid Beckham scored on a free kick during his first game for the LA Galaxy,AP via Breitbartand astronomers observed a dying star named Mira shedding a dazzling, comet-like tail.BBCA study found that mothers who ate junk food while pregnant predisposed their children to obesity.Times of IndiaAfter widespread flooding, 53,000 Bangladeshis contracted diarrhea,Reuters via AlertNetan Australian woman was crushed to death by her sexually aroused pet camel,AP via The Starand a couple in China named their baby “@.”AP via SFGate.com

Share
Single Page

More from Gemma Sieff:

Weekly Review January 20, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review January 6, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 18, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

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.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

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.

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