Weekly Review — June 16, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]
A Christian martyr.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of Iran’s presidential election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the election results a “divine miracle,” but fraud and voter irregularities were reportedly rampant; Ahmadinejad’s main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, asked the ayatollah for an investigation into the results. “They didn’t rig the vote,” said an official with Iran’s interior ministry, which conducted the election. “They didn’t even look at the vote. They just wrote the name and put the number in front of it.” Iranians protesting the results took to the streets, where they were attacked with clubs, metal batons, baseball bats, stones, and teargas. “He ran a red light,” said Ahmadinejad of Mousavi, “and he got a traffic ticket.” During the campaign, Mousavi advocated increased engagement with the United States and accused Ahmadinejad of being “superstitious” and “brazenly staring at the camera and telling lies to the nation,” citing September 2005 footage in which Ahmadinejad discussed being surrounded by a mysterious light during an appearance at the United Nations: “I felt the atmosphere changed,” he said, claiming that, for 27 minutes, his audience did not blink. “I??m not exaggerating,” he continued, “when I??m saying they didn??t blink.”BloombergNew York TimesCNNNew York TimesNew York TimesTimes OnlineNew York City planned to gas geese near airports.WCBS

North Korea announced plans to weaponize plutonium.CNNChicago Reverend Jeremiah Wright claimed that he hadn’t spoken with Barack Obama, his former parishioner, since Obama assumed the presidency, because “them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me.” Asked to explain what he meant by “them Jews,” Wright explained that he was referring only to “Zionists.”Daily PressPolitico.comJames von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist and author of the book Kill the Best Gentiles!, opened fire in the Washington, D.C., Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard before he was shot in the face and hospitalized.Times OnlineA woman in Tel Aviv was searching through the city dump after she bought her mother a new mattress as a gift and threw out the old one, which was stuffed with $1 million in cash.CNNThe U.S. Treasury said that it would set executive compensation at seven firms receiving government support, including AIG, General Motors, and Chrysler.New York TimesThe parents of young “trustafarians” who live in fashionable Williamsburg, New York, could no longer afford to pay rent for their adult children.New York TimesA bakery in the Spanish city of Valencia was sued when the arm of an undocumented Bolivian worker was severed by a kneading machine and put out with the garbage,BBCand French prosecutors commenced the trial of a woman accused of killing her babies and storing their bodies in the freezer.BBC

Johanna Ganthaler, a woman who missed the May 31 Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and killed all aboard, died in a car accident.Times OnlineFarmers in the Netherlands were using pig excrement to generate electricity,National Geographicand U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested that painting roofs white might reflect sufficient sunlight to stave off global warming.New York TimesA Nebraska doctor said that he would offer third-term abortions.Associated PressNurses in the Czech Republic were receiving free breast implants and liposuction as signing bonuses. “It helps to improve the morale,” explained a clinic manager, “of both our employees and our patients.”Boston GlobeYoung girls in Zimbabwe were trading sex for food, three boys in Dorset, England, stomped a baby deer to death, a 16-year-old boy in California was running for city council, and a 14-year-old boy in Germany was hit by a meteorite.BBCBBCNBCTelegraphCaliforniascientists studying guppies found that evolution can take place in as little as eight years,Science Dailyand scientists conducting research in Africa announced the discovery of a penis-shaped mushroom that they christened Phallus drewesii, after herpetologist Robert Drewes. “I’m utterly delighted,” said Drewes of the new species of stinkhorn fungus, which is two inches long. “The funny thing is that it is the second-smallest known mushroom in this genus and it grows sideways, almost limp.”Scientific American

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Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
“There was torture by the previous regime and by the current Iraqi regime,” Dr. Amin said. “Torture by our Kurdish government, torture by Syrians, torture by the U.S.”
Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The Tale of the Tape·

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“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
The Soft-Kill Solution·

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"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
New Books
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“Almond insists that watching football does more than feed an appetite for violence. It’s a kind of modern-day human sacrifice, and it makes us more likely to go to war.”
Photograph by Harold Edgerton

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

1 in 2

Engineers funded by the United States military were working on electrical brain implants that will enable the creation of remote-controlled sharks.

Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.

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In Praise of Idleness


I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

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