Weekly Review — October 28, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

On the 79th anniversary of the stock market crash of 1929, the Dow fell 312.3 points, closing below 8400. Chrysler announced that it would cut 25 percent of its salaried jobs, OPEC said that it was cutting oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day, and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan declared that financial markets were engulfed in a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami” and admitted that he had “found a flaw” in his free-market ideology. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is,” he said of his mistake. “But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”The New York Daily NewsThe New York Daily NewsThe New York Daily NewsMSNBCNew York TimesThe total number of U.S. banks seeking a cash injection from the government rose from nine to 24, and it was determined that home values declined by 9 percent in September.New York TimesFederal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke endorsed the idea of an economic stimulus package to boost the U.S. Economy;Washinton PostAIG announced that it would halt $19 million in payments to its former chief executive, Martin Sullivan, and freeze its $600 million deferred-compensation and bonus pools; Wall Street Journaland more than 50 banks received letters containing a white powder, warning “It’s payback time.”CNNAt the annual convention of the nation’s mortgage bankers in San Francisco, protestors used bullhorns to heckle attendees and demanded a moratorium on foreclosures, and Karl Rove, appearing as a convention panelist, was accosted on stage by a hippie who tried to arrest him for treason. “We had streakers during the 1990s, but that was a joyful, happy thing,” said Gregor Lucas, a mortgage broker. “Now everyone is blaming us for everything.”New York Times

U.S. helicopters attacked a Syrian village near the border with Iraq, killing eight civilians, among them four children. The Syrian government condemned the attack as “serious aggression.”BreitbartIranian authorities captured two spy pigeons near the country’s uranium enrichment facility,AFPSaudi authorities indicted 991 people on charges of participating in terrorist attacks,New York Timesand Al Qaeda endorsed John McCain for president. “Al Qaeda,” read a message posted to a password-protected website, “will have to support McCain in the coming election so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.”YahooFinancial records revealed that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000, or $2,500 per day, to clothe and accessorize vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. “She needed some clothes,” explained McCain.Huffington PostPoliticoScientists found that hydrogen sulfide, which is produced in the colon and causes the rotten-egg stink in flatulence, helps keep blood pressure low in mice. Live ScienceAlaskaSenator Ted Stevens was found guilty on charges that he lied about receiving $250,000 in gifts. Stevens testified that the items were not gifts, merely things he was holding onto for friends. “We have lots of things in our house that don’t belong to us,” he said.Washington PostResearchers using cheap computer software found that showing a person a picture of a political candidate “morphed” with one of the person’s own face made that test subject more likely to vote for the candidate. “Candidates spend seven-, eight-, or nine-figure budgets on their campaign,” said the study’s author. “So it’s not outrageous to think that in a swing state such as Ohio or Pennsylvania, you can have 2,000 people sitting in a room morphing every single citizen in the state.”Science DailyScott McClellan, former White House press secretary for George W. Bush, endorsed Barack Obama,Washington Postand Obama edged out Apple and Zappos.com to become “Advertising Age” 2008 Marketer of the Year. “It’s the fuckin’ Web 2.0 thing,” explained BusinessWeek marketing and media columnist Jon Fine. Advertising Age

The British Food Standards Agency recalled edible sex toys, including chocolate and strawberry body pens and a chocolate lotion, after the Chinese-made products were discovered to contain trace amounts of melamine, an industrial chemical that can cause kidney failure;New York Timestrials of the new obesity drug Tesofensine, which is expected to be launched worldwide in a few years, found that the medicine allowed patients to lose up to twice as much weight as did other drugs; Science Dailyand Iran’s quest to set a Guinness record for World’s Longest Sandwich, a stunt meant to encourage Iranians to eat healthful meals, failed when spectators began consuming the sliced-ostrich-and-chicken sandwich before it could be measured.Daily MailA team of Canadian and U.S. scientists announced the discovery of the “Magnetic Death Star,” a microscopic fossil composed of bacterial iron-oxide crystals, created during a global-warming event that transpired 55 million years ago.Science DailyBritish atheists, furious about ads for Christianity that appear on London buses, were raising money in order to buy their own ads featuring the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”New York TimesA New York firefighter used an air-powered wizzer saw to cut off an inch-long steel pipe that was stuck to a 73-year-old man’s penis,Times Herald RecordJoe the Plumber said he was considering running for Congress in 2010,CNNand a 27-year-old woman was arrested for shoplifting from a Walgreens in Florida and for brandishing, according to the arrest affidavit, “a well-used and bloody female sanitary napkin.” “I delivered a firm, lawful command to the suspect to drop the object,” stated one of the officers, “and told her it was gross.”TCPalm

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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