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“On May 15, 1943, after days crammed in a box car, Mr. Arouch– along with his parents, three younger sisters and his brother– arrived at Auschwitz. His mother and sisters were immediately taken to the gas chambers. ‘My family and I arrived at Auschwitz at 6 in the evening,’ Mr. Arouch told The New York Times in 1989. ‘I was standing all night until the next day, naked. The Nazis cleaned us with water, disinfected us, shaved our heads and put numbers on our forearms.’ His number: 136954. Soon after, a camp commandant drove up in a large car, stepped out and asked if any of the prisoners were boxers or wrestlers. Mr. Arouch raised his hand. ‘The commander did not believe me because of my height,’ Mr. Arouch recalled. The commander, he said, drew a ring in the dirt; another prisoner was brought forth; and in the third round the other prisoner went down for the count. It was the first of more than 200 fights that Mr. Arouch would win, with only two draws, he said. They were ‘like cockfights,’ he said.”
“Teachers say they resort to physical punishment because of the inherent problems of India’s public education system, specifically, the immense challenge of maintaining control of huge classes of unruly children. ‘Most children in my school are criminal-minded,’ says Dr. S.C. Sharma, the principal of a government school in South Delhi. ‘We have caught them stealing fans from classrooms and even the iron grills from the windows. How do you discipline such kids?’ In Sharma’s school the teacher-student ratio is 1:63, compared with a recommended ratio of 1:35.”
“As he paced around the table, the hush that enveloped John Higgins’s comeback was momentarily broken. The loaded silence, sprinkled with self-conscious coughing, suddenly gave way to a buzz of discussion, and every neck inside the packed Crucible Theatre here craned to one corner of the audience. Halfway through the tension-racked deciding frame of a match at theWorld Snooker Championship— with Higgins facing a tricky shot— a spectator had fainted. Not two hours earlier, another fan had done the same.”
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”