Weekly Review — October 5, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Small Family, May 1874]
A Small Family.

President Barack Obama‘s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced in a video that he planned to resign from the White House to run for mayor of Chicago, and called for leadership that is “smart enough to know what government should do??and also what it can’t do.” Election lawyers suggested that Emanuel may not be able to run for mayor because he is not a legal resident of Chicago, having rented out his house for 18 months. “I’ve talked to the guy,” said attorney Burt Odelson about Emanuel’s tenant, who has refused to break the lease, “and they’re pissed.”CBSChicago Sun-TimesReports showed that interest groups have spent $80 million so far on the 2010 congressional elections, five times as much as they had at this point in the 2006 midterms. Over half of this was given by donors who did not disclose their identities, and Republican-leaning groups outspent Democratic allies 7 to 1; Democrats called for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate. BloombergThe Washington PostThe Washington PostJennifer Frutchy, philanthropic advisor to billionaire Peter B. Lewis, who gave more than $20 million to the Democrats in the 2004 election, explained that Mr. Lewis was witholding funds this year to concentrate on building progressive infrastructure and marijuana reform. “That??s just where his head is right now,” she said.NYTA brief television-news clip on a local station in Georgia provoked international speculation that Maureen Tucker, the former drummer of The Velvet Underground, had become a Tea Partier, and scientists found that placing a magnet on your head can temporarily turn you from a right- to a left-handed person.GuardianDaily MailDelaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who once said that homosexuals have an “identity disorder,” was endorsed by her lesbian sister, Jennie. “Blood,” said Jennie, “is thicker than politics.”NYT

The U.S. State Department advised that Americans in Europe be vigilant due to an unspecified terrorist threat.NYTAfghan President Hamid Karzai wept about bombs and suicide attacks during a televised speech at a high school. “I’m worried, oh people, I’m worried,” he said about his three-year-old son. “God forbid Mirwais should be forced to leave Afghanistan.”BBC South AsiaTwo new audio recordings said to be from Osama bin Laden urged help for victims of climate change, and two members of the Nigerian group MEND, which has been destroying oil pipelines, kidnapping petroleum company workers, and fighting government troops since 2006, were suspected of organizing a car bombing that killed twelve people on the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Britain.NYTBBCNYTA man drove a cement truck on which was written “?1,000,000 on golf balls” into the gates of Leinster House, the national parliament of Ireland, and several Lehman Brothers signs were sold for tens of thousands of dollars each at an auction organized by PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of an effort to repay creditors.NYTA French vintner awoke to find his entire crop of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, worth $20,000, had been stolen. “Between winegrowers there’s a kind of solidarity,” the vintner said, “but 2010 is a bad year and it fosters jealousies.”Observer

A psychiatrist permitted the 33 Chilean miners trapped more than 2,300 feet underground to watch “Troy,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “The Mask,” but no intense dramas.The Globe and the MailActor Tony Curtis, born Bernard Schwarz, died, aged 85.NYTGoogle Street View expanded its coverage to Antarctica, and an ice-themed water park in the United Arab Emirates, conceived as a haven for penguins displaced by global warming, triggered complaints from local fishermen, who preferred the beach that had been there. PopsciGuardianA troop of large black-faced langur monkeys were deployed by Delhi authorities to scare away smaller simians from the Commonwealth Games Village.”We don’t know who is in charge,” complained Sandeep Dikshit, a member of Indian Parliament, whose mother, Sheila Dikshit, oversees one of the agencies responsible for preparations of the Games.NYTAn official photograph of Kim Jong-Un, the newly appointed four-star general and most likely successor to the Communist dynasty in North Korea, attracted comments about the young man’s obesity, and a British food production company was ordered to pay $27,000 after a man making sandwiches found a dead mouse, minus its tail, in a loaf of bread. “As I was feeling ill I couldn’t face eating anything myself,” said Stephen Forse of Kidlington, Oxfordshire. “I sat with the children as they ate theirs.”BBCTelegraphBBC News

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“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.

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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.”

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