SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
I visited Durkee in November, hoping to see the new $20 million mercury control system, reportedly in the initial phases of construction. But my request for a tour was denied. Jacqueline Clark, Ash Grove’s head of public relations, e-mailed me that the Durkee plant was facing imminent layoffs and could not accommodate a tour. Indeed, a few months earlier, Ash Grove announced plans to halt production at its nine U.S. plants, including Durkee. (In early December, the company temporarily ceased production and laid off more than half of the plant’s 115 workers.) Company officials said they might close the facility altogether if proposed federal regulations on mercury are enacted next year.–“Mountains of Mercury,” Jeremy Miller, High Country News
Also by Harper’s contributor Jeremy Miller, please see: Tyranny of the Test: One year as a Kaplan coach in the public schools” (free)
Important questions about nothing: who owns the grammar?;
at what age should parents stop drinking in bars with their babies? (proposed answer: 21);
when is it okay to wear fatigues to work? (answer: not anymore)
Consider the incident a few years ago that involved Yulia Romanova, a 22-year-old model. On a winter evening, Romanova was returning with her beloved Staffordshire terrier from a visit to a designer who specialises in kitting out canine Muscovites in the latest fashions. The terrier was sporting a new green camouflage jacket as he walked with his owner through the crowded Mendeleyevskaya metro station. There they encountered Malchik, a black stray who had made the station his home, guarding it against drunks and other dogs. Malchik barked at the pair, defending his territory. But instead of walking away, Romanova reached into her pink rucksack, pulled out a kitchen knife and, in front of rush-hour commuters, stabbed Malchik to death. Romanova was arrested, tried and underwent a year of psychiatric treatment. Typically for Russia, this horror story was countered by a wellspring of sympathy for Moscow’s strays. A bronze statue of Malchik, paid for by donations, now stands at the entrance of Mendeleyevskaya station.–“Moscow’s Stray Dogs,” Susanne Sternthal, Financial Times
New York is so safe that we now must consider “how does a young gangbanger represent?;
well, he (or she) could try to kill the pope, get out of prison, and declare himself “Christ Eternal”;
or, he could be arrested for tweeting a joke-threat to blow up an airport
Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
I don’t know if I was necessarily offended, but I’m really not a fan of dirty talk. It really throws me off and turns me off, a lot.
So a guy busted it out?
Oh, he busted it out. Which it shouldn’t have been offensive, because it was only compliments, they were just compliments.
They were dirty compliments?
I don’t know, like “Tiny Dancer.”
What? Tiny Dancer?
He called me names, as if I was some hot princess or something, like, “Tiny Dancer.” I was like, “No.” –“Talking to Strangers,” interview by Meghan Pleticha, Nerve
Refreshingly honest: Tobey Maguire on weight loss: “I couldn’t eat much food and I had to work out a lot”;
honest, perhaps, but not so refreshing: Lisa Taddeo on Jay-z: “Look up, left, and listen. Jay-Z’s vamping scowl is paraded everywhere, his presence vibrates from sound systems and is woven into the fabrics.”;
not honest, not refreshing: Rush Limbaugh on Haiti relief: “Nobody here ever said don’t donate. We just pointed out you already contribute to the government with your income taxes.”
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.
Number of Turkish college students detained in the last year for requesting Kurdish-language classes:
Turkey was funding a search for Suleiman the Magnificent’s heart.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“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.'”