Weekly Review — January 18, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a memorial service in Arizona for the six killed during Jared Loughner’s shooting spree, urged Americans to be better people. “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it,” Obama said, referring to 9-year-old victim Christina Taylor Green. “All of usâ??we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our childrenâ??s expectations.” The president then choked up, pausing for 51 seconds. “I had her heart in my hand,” said Dr. Randall Friese, the surgeon who operated on Christina. “We filled it with blood. It still didnâ??t want to beat. So, it was over. Weâ??re finished.” Sales of Glock semi-automatic pistols, the model of handgun used by Loughner, surged. Four Arizona Republicans resigned from public office, fearing violence from Tea Party activists, and Clear Channel removed a Tucson billboard that described Rush Limbaugh as a “straight shooter.” Gabrielle Giffords opened her eye for the first time since the shooting, and the Safeway where the shooting took place reopened.Washington PostNew York TimesNew York TimesBloombergRaw StoryRaw StoryNew York TimesNew York Times

Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced out of office and replaced by his ally Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, but within 24 hours the interim government had also been ousted amid violent protests that left dozens dead.New York TimesFloods and mudslides in southeast Brazil killed more than 250 people. “I walked on something soft,” said one survivor, “and saw it was the body of a woman covered in mud. She had her arm over her face like she was trying to protect herself.”The Sydney Morning HeraldAn 11-page paper outlining the U.S. government’s strategy to prevent leaks was leaked.TechspotSecretary of State Hillary Clinton, stopping in Yemen during a Middle East trip meant to placate Arab leaders upset by the release of diplomatic memos, told aides she needed a tour jacket like those worn by roadies, that would have a “big picture of the world and would say The Apology Tour on it.”The IndependentPhoenix Jones, or “The Real Life Superhero,” a man who wears a costume and tries to prevent crime in Seattle, had his nose broken when he tried to come between two men “swearing at each other and, like, about to fight,” and a California family was killed by a downed power line; Steven Vego was electrocuted when he stepped on the wire, followed by his wife, who was trying to save him, followed by their son, who was trying to save his parents. Talking Points MemoABC NewsA British man discovered after shaving his head that 19 years ago his hair-transplant doctor branded his scalp with the word “wanker,” and doctors amputated the right leg of Zsa Zsa Gabor.The SunAssociated Press

Wikipedia turned ten.The Economic TimesAstronomers discovered Cosmos-Aztec3, a fast-growing galaxy cluster that is further away and in an earlier stage of development than any previously known galaxy cluster. “We’re seeing the seeds of a galaxy metropolis,” said astronomer Peter Capak, “a city of galaxies that will eventually grow into a large city like London.”BBCResearchers found that people are more likely to remember details about their first kiss than about losing their virginity, and scientists who watched hours and hours of hermaphroditic worm sex learned that sex shapes sperm. “In the lab they mate like crazy,” said lead scientist Lukas Schärer. “Once, we saw a pair mate 40 times in an hour.”Daily MailNatureA former New York State inmate was seeking compensation for negligence after a rat crawled out of his mattress and bit his penis.Orange NewsA Taiwanese man lost a suit against his neighbors for training their mynah bird to call him “a clueless, big-mouthed idiot” every time the bird saw him; the Cambridge University Union announced plans to invite porn stars to participate in an organized debate; and the “grande dame” of audiobooks, Flo Gibson, died at 86, halfway through the taping of her 1,134th title, Les MisĂ©rables.Orange NewsOrange NewsNew York TimesPima County Community College released “Meat Head,” a poem written last spring by Jared Loughner for his poetry class: “Awaking on the first day of school/ Pain of a morning hang over/ Attending a weight lifting class for college credit/ Attempting to exercise since freshman year of high school/ Crawling out of bed and walking to the shower/ Warm water hitting my back/ Eureka.”CNN

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

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"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

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