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 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2016

Innocents

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Quiet Car

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Psychedelic Trap

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Hamilton Cult

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Held Back

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Division Street

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Hamilton Cult·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"The past is complicated, and explaining it is not just a trick, but a gamble."
Illustration by Jimmy Turrell
Article
Division Street·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Perfectly sane people lose access to housing every day, though the resultant ordeal may undermine some of that sanity, as it might yours and mine."
Photograph © Robert Gumpert
Article
Held Back·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"'We don’t know where the money went!' a woman cried out. 'They looted it! They stole our money!'"
Artwork by Mischelle Moy
Article
The Quiet Car·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.

Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.

Photograph by Joshua Lutz
Article
Innocents·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion."
Photograph © Nadia Shira Cohen

Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:

16

Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.

An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”

Subscribe Today