Weekly Review — July 15, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision seized the IndyMac Bank of California, worth an estimated 32 billion dollars, after the bank’s closure in the wake of mortgage industry collapse,AFPand the Bush Administration proposed a rescue package for ailing mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would allow the Treasury to buy billions of dollars of their stock and lend them billions more to meet their short-term funding needs. The two companies’ total debt is estimated at $1.54 trillion.NYTimesAbu Dhabi bought New York City’sChrysler building for $800 million,GuardianUKand the Belgian brewer InBev planned to buy Anheuser-Busch for nearly $50 billion.AP via GoogleThe Environmental Protection Agency announced that the value of an American’s “statistical life” was $6.9 million, $1 million less than 5 years ago.APRepublican strategist Karl Rove ignored a subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, citing “executive privilege,”CNNand the Green Party selected Cynthia McKinney, the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia, as its 2008 presidential nominee.ABCPresident George W. Bush met with other world leaders at the G8 summit to discuss climate change. “Goodbye,” he said as he left, grinning and punching the air, “from the world’s biggest polluter.”Telegraph UK

Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow died of cancer,Foxand Iran released photos of a missile test that had been doctored to make it look as if four missiles were being launched instead of three.NYTimesMak Erot, an Indonesian woman who used herbs, Islamic prayer, and supernatural powers to enlarge penises, died at 130.BreitbartA new report revealed that the global population of zooplankton has drastically shrunk in the last forty years,BBCand world space officials announced the launch of a 2018 mission to procure samples of Martian rock and soil.BBCThe British retailer Marks & Spencer defended a policy of charging extra for bras that are bigger than size DD, saying the charge represented “a small premium for [necessary] specialist work,” while the protest group Busts 4 Justice derided the price increase as an unfair tax.BBCA British teenager who assumed that tremors in her bosom were caused by her vibrating mobile phone found a baby bat nestling in the padding of her 34FF bra.BBCThe World Health Organization warned people not to go into Ugandan bat caves after a Dutch tourist died from the Marburg virus, a hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.BBCScientists discovered a new form of mad cow disease in the United States.BBC

The European Parliament censured Italy for preemptively fingerprinting gypsies in a measure designed to reduce crime.BBCTexas police were searching for a burglar who kicked a two-month-old puppy,WOAI.comand police in Germany were searching for the Rabbit Ripper, who kidnaps rabbits from their hutches, decapitates them, siphons their blood into bottles, and leaves their headless bodies on playgrounds.BBCOsama Bin Laden??s teenage son Hamza wrote and posted online a poem asking God for help against Western “gangs of infidels,”Telegraph UKand Senator Barack Obama alienated many supporters by voting to authorize the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expands the government’s power to spy on Americans without a search warrant and provides retroactive immunity for telecommunications firms that had cooperated with the government’s previously illegal wiretaps. Earlier in the campaign, Obama had promised to filibuster any bill that provided such immunity.NYTimesThe Reverend Jesse Jackson apologized for saying of Obama that that he wanted to “cut his nuts out.”DrudgeObama admitted that he disliked ice cream,YouTubelightning struck a New Hampshire woman and exited through her nose ring, leaving her unscathed,Breitbartand Danish scientists found that infants born from once-frozen embryos had a higher birth weight and fewer twin siblings, and were less likely to suffer from abnormalities. “Only the very top quality embryos,” explained Dr. Anja Pinborg, “survive the freezing and thawing process.”Telegraph UK

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