Weekly Review — May 25, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

A van filled with 1,650 pounds of explosives rammed into a NATO convoy in Kabul, killing 18 people, including five Americans, and bringing the total number of American dead in Afghanistan to more than 1,000. “What do you want me to do with this?” an Afghan soldier carrying a bloody bag of brains asked an ambulance driver who had already carried off six bodies. “Do you want me to bury it, or do you want to take it?”New York TimesNew York Daily NewsCommentators declared that a wave of “outsiders” was toppling incumbents in the Senate, as Democratic Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania lost a primary to Representative Joe Sestak, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln was forced into a runoff with Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, and Rand Paul won the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky. New York TimesPaul, son of libertarian Congressman Ron Paul and a Tea Party supporter, was lambasted for hosting his victory celebration at a country club. “I think Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that,” said Paul in defense of the private club, “in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities.” Paul then criticized the Americans With Disabilities Act, federal mining regulations, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and offered his thoughts on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and President Barack Obama‘s criticism of BP. “This sort of, you know, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” Paul said, adding, “Maybe sometimes accidents happen.” Talking Points MemoTalking Points MemoThe website of the House Energy and Commerce Committee crashed shortly after a live video feed of the BP oil spill was posted. A young brown pelican was found dead at Louisiana’s Breton National Wildlife Refuge, its neck and one wing matted with oil.FoxNew York Times

Obama signed the Press Freedom Act and exited without answering questions from reporters. CBSScientist Craig Venter created the first synthetic living cell, an essential step toward what he describes as a “new industrial revolution,” in which microbes designed and built by scientists will be used to make products like vaccines and biofuels. “He isn’t God,” said scientist Helen Wallace of Venter. “He’s actually being very human; trying to get money invested in his technology and avoid regulation that would restrict its use.”BBCIn a 59??39 vote, the Senate passed a financial regulatory bill, and the inventor of the ATM, John Shepherd-Barron, died, as did Arakawa, a Japanese conceptual artist whose work was meant to stop aging and prevent death. “This mortality thing is bad news,” said his wife.New York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesForensic anthropologists working with skeletal remains found at Scotland’s Stirling Castle unveiled the reconstructed face of a medieval knight. BBCA hooded, black-clad burglar smashed a window at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, squirmed through, and stole five paintings (including works by Picasso and Matisse) worth more than $100 million.BBCJulio Aparicio, one of Spain’s most famous matadors, was gored by a bull’s horn, which went through his tongue and penetrated the roof of his mouth. Aparicio survived; the bull did not.Huffington Post

Thirteen million viewers tuned in to watch the series finale of “Lost,” in which Kate chose Jack.Entertainment WeeklyWitnesses saw an unidentified man run off the edge of the Grand Canyon, and the opening of a Moscow metro station named for Fyodor Dostoevsky was delayed when people complained that the platform’s mosaics (which include a man striking a woman with an axe and a man holding a gun to his own head) were too depressing. Grand Canyon NewsTimesThe Federal District Court in San Francisco was flooded with two inches of raw sewage after inmates flushed a bedsheet and two orange jumpsuits down the courthouse toilets, a 35-year-old mother died of massive blood loss after doctors failed to notice the broken-off handle of a toilet brush lodged in her buttocks, and a gang of teenagers forcibly tattooed a 14-year-old New Hampshire boy’s buttocks with the words “Poop Dick.” San Francisco GateDaily MailThe Smoking GunScientists in Germany announced that a 30,000-year-old siltstone phallus, the world’s oldest sex toy, was also used to start fires. New York Daily NewsAustrian traffic authorities revealed that they had hired a full-time team of druids to drain “negative energy” from accident-prone areas, and British police debuted a five-gear pedal-powered patrol car with a roll bar, siren, flashing blue light, and a top speed of 20 mph, to be used to combat “antisocial behavior.” “It makes me look cooler,” said policeman Keith Waller.AnanovaAnanovaResearchers found that people with beer bellies are more likely to develop dementia, and that women who marry much older or younger men have an increased risk of death.BBCDaily BeastDong Changsheng, a 50-year-old Chinese martial arts expert, pulled a half-ton airplane five meters with a rope attached to his eyelids. “To be honest,” said Dong, “I didn’t use my full strength and I think I could probably pull it three times the distance.”AnanovaFoucault’s pendulum was irreparably damaged. Times Higher Education

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Price of ten pencils made from “recycled twigs,” from the Nature Company:

$39.50

A loggerhead turtle in a Kobe aquarium at last achieved swimming success with her twenty-seventh set of prosthetic fins. “When her children hatch,” said the aquarium’s director, “well, I just feel that would make all the trauma in her life worthwhile.”

In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party.

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