Weekly Review — September 21, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: The Wire Master and his puppets, 1875]
The wire master and his puppets, 1875.

The Tea Party scored several upsets in midterm primary elections, with Christine O’Donnell winning the Republican nomination for Senate in Delaware. O’Donnell was endorsed by Sarah Palin but criticized by many prominent Republicans, including Karl Rove, who accused her of saying “a lot of nutty things.” “I never joined a coven,” O’Donnell once said, “but I did, I did . . . I dabbled into witchcraft.” She described her introduction to sorcery: “We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.” The anti-masturbation candidate, who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, has a history of personal finance problems and is alleged to have misused campaign funds for personal expenses; she does not believe that condoms can prevent AIDS and has said that efforts to promote condom use are “anti-human.”New York TimesCNNABC NewsABC NewsSarah Palin threatened to run for president in 2012.Fox NewsA rare saola, or “Asian unicorn,” was spotted in Laos for the first time in ten years, and New York City was struck by two tornadoes, the ninth and tenth to hit the the city since 1950.Science DailyNPRNew York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced a widespread ban on outdoor smoking.New York PostBy a vote of 246 to 1, the French Senate passed a bill banning full Islamic veils in public, and a French quadruple amputee swam across the English Channel.Associated PressUSA Today

Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers imprisoned last year in Iran on charges of spying, was released, though her fiancĂ© and a friend were still being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.Yahoo NewsA prominent Wisconsin district attorney repeatedly sexted a domestic abuse victim whose ex-boyfriend he was prosecuting. “I would not expect you to be the other woman,” he wrote. “I would want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?”AP via Yahoo NewsSchools were banning cancer-awareness bracelets that read “I Love Boobies,” and office romances were on the decline.AOL NewsBloomberg BusinessweekIn a visit to Britain, Pope Benedict XVI expressed shame over “unspeakable crimes” against children by members of the Catholic church, and warned the country against “atheist extremism,” which he said led the Nazis to perpetrate the Holocaust.The TelegraphBBCA study found that old people give good advice because they are blunt.Scientific AmericanThe International House of Pancakes sued the International House of Prayer for trademark infringement.KansasCity.com, via Obscure StoreThe Republican Party in Montana was considering outlawing homosexuality.CBS NewsScientists concluded that the precursor to HIV has been in monkeys and apes for at least 32,000 years, and Craigslist closed its Adult Services section in order to thwart sex traffickers.New York TimesLos Angeles TimesTen thousand birds were trapped in the twin beams of light projected up from the World Trade Center site, dazzled and unable to return to their migratory paths. Wired

The federal government declared BPâ??s Macando oil well officially dead, and the Obama Administration announced that an additional 3,500 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico would have to be plugged.New York TimesMSNBCA Michigan researcher found that women are more likely than men to believe the scientific consensus on global warming.Science DailyAs Arctic sea ice dropped to its third lowest level in recorded history, scientists reported a rare mass-migration of thousands of walrus from ice floes to dry land along Alaska’s coast, raising concerns that climate change is endangering the animals.The GuardianThe FDA considered approving genetically modified salmon, called “frankenfish” by its detractors, and the Corn Refiners Association proposed renaming the much-maligned high-fructose corn syrup “corn sugar,” because “whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar.”AP via Yahoo NewsMSNBCCuba announced that it would lay off half a million state workers and allow more jobs to be created in the private sector.CNNA couple who worked at the Los Alamos National Lab were charged with conspiring to help Venezuela develop a nuclear weapon, and a Washington State woman whose face was disfigured by acid admitted that her injuries were self-inflicted and not, as she had previously claimed, the result of an attack.USA TodayKGW.comA Japanese teacher apologized for asking his seven-year-old students during a math lesson, “There are 18 kids. If we kill three per day, how many days will it take?”ABC NewsResearchers found that violent video games can help players make decisions faster in real life, “Super Mario” turned 25, and a truck crashed in Monterey County, California, spilling 30,000 pounds of squid into a field of broccoli.ReutersChristian Science MonitorMonterey County Herald

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Helen Ouyang on the cost of crowd-sourcing drugs, Paul Wood on Trump's supporters, Walter Kirn on political predictions, Sonia Faleiro on a man's search for his kidnapped children, and Rivka Galchen on The People v. O. J. Simpson.

The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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"All our friends are saying, load up with plenty of ammunition, because after the stores don’t have no food they’re gonna be hitting houses. They’re going to take over America, put their flag on the Capitol.” “Who?” I asked. “ISIS. Oh yeah.”
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He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
Still from The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story © FX Networks

Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:

$62,000

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