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

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“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Ratio of children’s emergency-room visits for injuries related to fireworks last year to those related to “desk supplies”:


The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

The Islamic State opened two new theme parks featuring a Ferris wheel, teacup rides, and bumper cars.

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Subways Are for Sleeping


“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.”

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