Weekly Review — February 1, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

In Egypt tens of thousands of antigovernment demonstrators, inspired by the fall of Tunisia’s dictatorship, defied curfews for a week to demand that President Hosni Mubarak step down after 29 years in power. President Obama urged Egypt, America’s closest ally in the Arab world, to refrain from violence against protesters, some of whom had faced tear gas and water cannons, and said he would review U.S. aid to Egypt, currently estimated at $1.5 billion annually, but Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who emerged as an opposition leader, criticized the United States for not calling for Mubarak’s resignation. In a failed effort to appease critics, Mubarak arranged the resignation of his cabinet, appointed a new prime minister and, for the first time in his tenure, a vice president. The stock market, banks, and shops remained closed, and Egyptians were facing shortages of food and gas. The country’s Internet and cell-phone services were abruptly cut off, and the Chinese government blocked the search term “Egypt” from Twitter-like microblogs. After looters ripped the heads off two mummies at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, home to the King Tutankhamun collection, bystanders formed a human chain around the building; armed troops were then dispatched to protect the museum, the Pyramids of Giza, and the temple city of Luxor. Demonstrators also gathered in the Jordanian capital of Amman to protest low wages and high unemployment. King Abdullah II responded by firing his cabinet.Mother JonesNew York TimesNew York TimesWashington PostAPCNNAPNew York TimesCNNA Florida mother killed her two teenagers for being “mouthy.”CNN

President Obama delivered a State of the Union address in which he begged Americans to “win the future” with technological and scientific innovation. “This is our generation’s ‘Sputnik’ moment,” he declared, comparing competition with China and India to the space race of the 1950s and ’60s; the nation marked the 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster.Washington PostAP via Wall Street JournalA New York City taxi exploded, then was issued a ticket for impeding traffic.Huffington PostIn China, where the suicide rate among senior citizens was found to have tripled over the past decade, the Civil Affairs Ministry introduced legislation that would require adult children to regularly visit their elderly parents.New York TimesRep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) filed a $150,000 lawsuit against the House cafeteria for selling him a wrap containing an unpitted olive, and Malawi was preparing to outlaw public farting.Washington PostTime.comIran hanged two men who took videos of post-election protests in 2009, and sentenced to death two others for running porn sites. In Arlington, Texas, club owners were scrambling to find 10,000 more strippers to accommodate Super Bowl visitors.CNNAFPNew York Daily NewsHouse Republicans sought to restrict the use of federal funds to pay for abortions by redefining rape; under current law, pregnancies resulting from rape can be terminated with government support, but under the new law only “forcible” rape would be covered, excluding statutory and other kinds of rape.ABC NewsAdolph Hitler’s last surviving bodyguard announced that because of his advanced age he would no longer be replying with autographed photos to the continuous stream of fan mail he still receives.Reuters

Ugandan gay-rights advocate David Kato, whose photo was recently included in an antigay newspaper article under the headline “Hang Them,” was killed with a hammer.New York TimesAn Arkansas supermarket used a “family shield” to “protect young shoppers” from a magazine cover showing a photo of Elton John, his male partner, and their baby, and Walmart started selling anti-aging cosmetics for 8- to 12-year-olds.The WeekThe WeekLaw-enforcement officials across the country were alarmed by an increase in the number of people snorting, injecting, and smoking bath salts, which can lead to hallucinations and suicidal urges, and Mexican smugglers were arrested after trying to hurl drugs north over the U.S. border using a giant trebuchet.Washington PostReutersRep. Jack Kingston (R., Ga.) told Bill Maher that he doesn’t accept evolution: “I don’t believe that a creature crawled out of the sea and became a human being one day.”Huffington PostBritish researchers determined that Tyrannosaurus rex was indeed a hunter, not a scavenger as recently suspected.Science DailyA grand piano mysteriously appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Florida, and The World, an archipelago of man-made islands off the coast of Dubai that are shaped like the countries of the world, was sinking.The Miami HeraldThe Telegraph

Share
Single Page

More from Margaret Cordi:

Weekly Review May 10, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 15, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 23, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

June 2016

New Television

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Improbability Party

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Trump’s People

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Old Man

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Long Rescue

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
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.

Photograph (detail) © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos
Article
Trump’s People·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"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.”
Photograph by Mark Abramson for Harper's Magazine (detail)
Article
The Long Rescue·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.
Photograph (detail) © Narendra Shrestha/EPA/Newscom
Article
The Old Man·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Illustration (detail) by Jen Renninger
Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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

Kentucky is the saddest state.

An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.

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