Weekly Review — December 14, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

After eating a bowl of oatmeal and drafting ten talking points, Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind., Vt.) spoke for nine hours in opposition to the tax-cut deal struck between President Obama and congressional Republicans. “We should be embarrassed,” he said, “that we are for one second talking about a proposal that gives tax breaks to billionaires while we are ignoring the needs of working families, low-income people and the middle class.”WPCBSNYTMark Madoff, son of Bernard L. Madoff, hanged himself in his Manhattan apartment while his toddler slept in a nearby bedroom; court documents filed last year suggest that Mark Madoff made almost $67 million through his father’s Ponzi scheme.NYTWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on charges of sexual assault. “That sounds like good news to me,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.AP via WPState Department cables leaked this week revealed that Saudi media executives, over coffee in a Jeddah Starbucks, extolled the power of American television in the fight against Islamic extremism, while Saudi diplomats expressed their admiration for the movies Insomnia and Michael Clayton.GuardianTaymour Abdelwahab, a Swedish citizen, set off a car bomb and then blew himself up in Stockholm on Saturday, injuring two in what authorities believe was a botched attempt at a larger attack, and imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Online discussion of the chair symbolizing his absence from the ceremony in Oslo prompted authorities in China to censor the phrases “empty chair,” “empty seat,” “empty stool” and “empty table” from the country’s major social networking sites.AFPTelegraphTelegraph

Sarah Palin made a brief trip to Haiti, Halliburton prepared a plea bargain in a $180 billion Nigerian corruption case against Dick Cheney, and the Federal Aviation Administration announced that a third of all United States aircraft had “questionable” registration. “Anybody with a roll of duct tape can put any number they want on an airplane,” said a pilot whose tail number was replicated by cocaine traffickers.TimeGlobalpostAP via CNBCTo celebrate the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaasvond, Saint Nicholas appeared in street parades with the Zwarte Pieten (“Black Peters”), a gaggle of “assistants” wearing blackface and Afro wigs.Deutsche WelleA judge in Massachusetts ruled that prosecutors in a manslaughter trial could display video of an eight-year-old boy accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi submachine gun.AP via Boston GlobeEbizo Ichikawa XI, one of Japan’s preeminent Kabuki performers, apologized for participating in a drunken bar brawl. Fans of the actor, whose left cheekbone was fractured in the fight, worried that the injury might mar his nirami, a signature cross-eyed glare for which the Ichikawa family is famous. AP via MSNBCGuardian

Researchers discovered that gambling behavior is “intensified by reptile-induced arousal.”NCBIPaleontologists on the island of Flores uncovered the fossilized remains of a giant marabou stork, which stood 6 feet tall and may have preyed on Homo floresiensis, a hobbit-sized hominid.BBCA bird doctor in Nashville donned a billowy white suit in order to tend to an injured whooping crane. “You learn very quickly how to communicate dressed as a marshmallow,” he said.TennesseanOperation MigrationChineseconservationists in Sichuan Province reached their goal of breeding 300 pandas in captivity, despite the fact that pandas have disproportionately small penises, show poor knowledge of the only position in which they can successfully copulate, and are capable of conceiving for a maximum of one day a year.BBCTelegraphNear Montana’s Scape Goat Wilderness Area, a “very secluded” parcel of land that once belonged to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski went on sale for $69,500.CBSNorthwest NationalPhysicists began putting the finishing touches on the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, where they hope blue flashes from muons will help them triangulate the origins of neutrinos. “If IceCube observes separated pairs of particles, they might be supersymmetric,” said one researcher. “That would be extremely exciting.”Pop SciEmails released by the California Department of Corrections described officials’ attempts to procure sodium thiopental, a drug used in lethal injections. They eventually borrowed some from Arizona. “You guys in AZ are life savers,” wrote one prison official. “Buy you a beer next time I get that way.”AP via WP

Share
Single Page

More from Anthony Lydgate:

From the July 2014 issue

Vulgar Materialism

Weekly Review April 8, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Afghanistan votes, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of wealthy political donors, and China standardizes its pets 

Weekly Review February 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Upheaval in Ukraine, yobbery in the United Kingdom, and a historic douche in the United States

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Poison Apples

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Growing Up

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gateway to Freedom

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Guns and Poses

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Christmas in Prison

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Beeper World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The beeper, for a certain kind of Miami teenager in the Nineties, was an essential evolutionary adaptation.”
Photograph by Curran Hatleberg
Article
Hammer Island·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The place could have sprung from someone’s jealous dream about white people.”
Photograph by Emily Stein
Article
Growing Up·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The best coming-of-age stories have a hole in the middle. They pretend to be about knowledge, but they are usually about grasping, long after it could be of any use, one’s irretrievable ignorance.”
Photograph by Ben Pier
Article
Guns and Poses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘It’s open shopping,’ he said. ‘A warehouse. The whole of Libya.’”
Map by Mike Reagan
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Amount that President Obama has added to America’s “brand value” according to the Nation Brands Index:

$2,100,000,000,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

A Utah woman named Cameo Crispi pleaded guilty to having drunkenly attempted to burn down her ex-boyfriend’s house by igniting bacon on his kitchen stove.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today