Weekly Review — September 7, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

One of the busiest vacation weekends of the year was marred by Hurricane Earl, which prompted evacuations from Puerto Rico to North Carolina, a suspension of Amtrak service between New York and Boston, and the cancellation of dozens of airline flights. Yet the storm waned quickly and moved out to sea, and weekend weather was pleasant. NYTimesNYTimesPresident Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the leaders of Jordan and Egypt to urge them all to talk to one another. NYTimesNYTimesJames Lee, 43, was shot and killed by police after entering the offices of the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland, with starter guns and pipe bombs and taking at least one hostage. Lee was upset at the channel??s environmental programming and its lack of “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.” He had written on MySpace: “I believe that it is totally possible to save the world. Not because I am a delusional maniac high on something, but because I had a practical idea on how to do it.” APNYTimesMore than 10,000 vehicles, mostly coal trucks, got stuck in a 75-mile traffic jam on China’s Beijing-to-Tibet motorway.

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand, causing widespread damage but killing no one.APTrapped Chilean miners were denied requests for alcohol and cigarettes, and will instead be sent “high protein, high-calorie foods delivered to them in narrow plastic tubes,” along with nicotine smoking patches and gum. One of the miner??s wives met his mistress. ” title=”Chilean Miners”>NY PostTelegraphAnother oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay, blew up. WSJWDSUBP claimed it may have trouble covering the costs of the Deepwater Horizon spill if it is prevented from further drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.BBCOhio strippers protested in bikinis outside a church whose members want to put their strip club out of business. “Light and darkness cannot exist together,” Pastor Bill Dunfee said, “so the Fox Hole has got to go.”BBCEight Pakistani military officers, including a two-star naval admiral, were detained on their way to meet with U.S. Central Command; hysteria ensued aboard their U.S. Airlines flight when one of the officers, exhausted from the trip, commented, “I hope this is the final plane to the destination.”TelegraphMalaysian Keng Liang Wong was arrested after his luggage burst open at the Kuala Lumpur airport, revealing 95 boa constrictors and a turtle. APDarius McCollum, who has a long history of commandeering vehicles, mainly New York subway trains, was arrested for the 27th time after stealing a Trailways bus in Hoboken and driving it to Queens. “I’ll bet they won’t leave the keys in the ignition,” he told the arresting officer. “I’ll bet they’ll be more careful now.”NYDailyNews

Veteran British Liberal politician Sir Cyril Smit, who once described Parliament as “the longest running farce in the West End,” died at the age of 82. GuardianArizona Governor Jan Brewer bungled her opening statement during a televised debate, at one point pausing for more than ten seconds before saying, “We have, uh, did what was right for Arizona.”APA UCLA study found that people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are 20 times more likely to contract monkeypox than they were in 1986, and the rise in hydraulic fracturing, or “frakking,” in the Northeast United States was causing fears that the process would render drinking water flammable.MSNBCCNNPenn State??s Nittany Lion mascot was suspended after being found passed out in the bed of a truck and blowing a .187 in a Breathalyzer test the morning after his birthday, and a collector at a Liverpool auction paid more than $14,000 for John Lennon’s toilet.Centre DailyBBCMultinational African pop group Freshlyground had a hit with its song “Chicken to Change,” directed at Robert Mugabe. “An iridescent example of honour for the coming generation/You promised always to open the doors for us/Indeed it is you and only you who sleeps with the key/You are chicken to change!”GuardianAn Australian teacher changed the lyrics to the famous song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” substituting the word “fun” for “gay” in the chorus. “I knew if we sing ‘Gay your life must be’ the kids will roll around the floor in fits of laughter. I wasn’t trying to insult gay people.”BBC

Share
Single Page

More from J Gabriel Boylan:

Weekly Review February 27, 2012, 9:36 pm

Weekly Review

Weekly Review January 3, 2012, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 8, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Season 5 of Louie (FX), Louie is a new kind of superhero. Like Wonder Woman, the canonical superhero he most resembles, Louie’s distinctive superpower is love.”
Illustration by Demetrios Psillos
Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.

In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“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