Weekly Review — January 26, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley to become a Massachusetts senator, nabbing the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy and ending the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority. With his two daughters, Arianna, 19, and Ayla, 21, standing behind him, Brown (who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan) announced during his victory speech that both children were “available.” Brown then corrected himself after Ayla whispered into his ear: “Only kidding,” he said, “Arianna definitely is not available. But Ayla is!” New York TimesThe Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 116 points higher on the day of Brown’s win, a rise analysts attributed to relief from investors that health-care reform would be thwarted. MSNBCDemocratic senators and representatives were scrambling to find a way to push reforms forward, though many admitted that the health care bill was essentially dead. President Barack Obama said he understood why people “were all in a tizzy trying to figure out what this means for health reform” but did not suggest a plan.CNNHis administration decided that about 50 of the detainees being held at Guantanamo would be neither released nor tried, thereby continuing the imprisonment-without-trial policy established by the Bush Administration.New York TimesThe Supreme Court overturned two precedents to rule that the government cannot ban corporations from spending money in political elections. “While American democracy is imperfect,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the dissent for the minority, “few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”Talking Points MemoRosie, now the oldest donkey in the world at age 55, was sickly, and may not survive this year’s harsh British winter.Belper News

A day after an 84-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man were pulled alive from rubble, and 11 days after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, the Haitian government ended search-and-rescue operations. At least 150,000 people were now thought to have died in Port-au-Prince alone (with a countrywide total perhaps double that number); 132 people have been rescued, including an infant who spent one week–half her life–buried. One thousand mourners gathered near the ruins of Port-au-Prince’s Roman Catholic Cathedral for the funeral of Haitian Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, who died in the quake, and a New Mexico Christian group sent 600 solar-powered audio Bibles, a device called The Proclaimer, to broadcast scriptures in Creole. BBCThe GuardianABC NewsCNN Chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta was left the only doctor at a Haitian field hospital after the U.N. forced a Belgian medical team to evacuate; Anderson Cooper was filmed carrying a bleeding boy away from a crowd of looters after the boy was struck in the head by a concrete block; and the media questioned whether it was appropriate for journalists in Haiti to be wearing tight T-shirts on air.CNNYou TubeNew York TimesResearchers found that, except for their time at school, American children spend almost every waking moment (more than 7.5 hours a day) using an electronic device,New York Timesand a British study revealed that rickets was on the rise among children because they do not spend enough time outdoors.BreitbartA 42-year-old man died of stroke after becoming over-excited while watching the film “Avatar,”News.com.auand to commemorate the death of its founder, Glenn Bell, Jr., Taco Bell displayed on its website a packet of Border Sauce marked “Filled with Sadness.”New York Times

The lone bookstore in Laredo, Texas, closed,Time Magazineand a Georgia mother punished her 12-year-old son for his bad grades by forcing him to hammer to death his pet hamster. Atlanta Journal ConstitutionErich Segal, the author of “Love Story,” who coined the phrase “Love means not ever having to say you’re sorry,” died of a heart attack, as did “Spenser” crime novelist Robert Parker, whose body was found at his writing desk. “He loved doughnuts,” his agent said.New York TimesNew York TimesA popular British health club released an ad warning “fatties” that they would be the first to be eaten by aliens.AnanovaMoments before Gillian Cooke, a British bobsledder who will compete in the Winter Olympics, jumped into her sled during a World Championship event, her suit split open and revealed her buttocks.AnanovaA visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art tripped and fell into Pablo Picasso’s “The Actor,” causing a six-inch tear to the canvas. Daily NewsThe saltmarsh sparrow was found to the be the most promiscuous bird in the world,BBCand a pair of swans stunned staff at a British wildfowl sanctuary by becoming only the second couple in 40 years to divorce. BBCTo dispose of the elderly, Martin Amis, age 60, called for euthanasia booths “on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal,”The Guardianand scientists concluded that engineers could learn from slime. BBC

Single Page

More from Claire Gutierrez:

Weekly Review May 31, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 30, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 22, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada



October 2015

Lives by Omission

Lifting as We Climb

Cattle Calls

Getting Jobbed

view Table Content


“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.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!


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.”

Subscribe Today