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President Barack Obama announced that the government would not release pictures of Osama bin Laden’s mutilated corpse, saying, “We don’t need to spike the football.”CBS NewsThe Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all photos and video shot during the raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was hiding, and reporters discovered cabbage, potatoes, and marijuana growing around the property. National Press Photographers AssociationSarah Palin tweeted that President Obama was “pussy-footing around,” and the White House released footage found in the compound showing bin Laden watching himself on television, as well as propaganda-video outtakes. NY Daily NewsCBS NewsA Kuwaiti newspaper published a document purporting to be bin Ladenâ??s will, in which he apologized to his children for not spending enough time with them, commanded them not to join Al Qaeda, and ordered his four wives not to remarry. ABC NewsThe TelegraphBin Ladenâ??s twenty-nine-year-old widow told Pakistani investigators the two had not left their house in five years, and Native Americans criticized the U.S. military for giving bin Laden the code name Geronimo, after the Apache warrior whose fabled ability to walk without leaving footprints allowed him to evade capture. NY Daily NewsThe Dalai Lama suggested that the assassination was justified. “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened,” His Holiness said. “If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.” APLos Angeles TimesAfter researchers in Texas simulated schizophrenia in a computer, the machine spontaneously took responsibility for a terrorist bombing.Live Science
Earthquakes struck Mexico, Alaska, and Japan on the same day, and the United Nations estimated that by the year 2100 the world’s population would reach 10.1 billion.CNNA U.N. investigation determined that a cholera outbreak that killed more than 4,500 people in Haiti last year was caused in part by the improper disposal of fecal matter from U.N. peacekeepers. NY TimesWall Street JournalMemphis braced for its biggest flood in nearly a century, and an uninhabited Massachusetts house called 911 after water from a burst pipe short-circuited the phone system. Christian Science MonitorThe 50-million-year-old fossil of an ant the size of a hummingbird was discovered in Wyoming, and a 56-year-old Canadian woman was found alive after surviving in the Nevada wilderness for seven weeks on trail mix and snow. CBS NewsLive SciencePresident Obama visited the World Trade Center site and returned to Washington in time to host the Cinco de Mayo party at the White House, where he warned that “you do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale.” AP via Google NewsGawker
Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s forces scattered land mines in Misurata to disable evacuation and supply routes for the antigovernment forces holding that Libyan city; in Cairo twelve people died and nearly 200 were wounded during clashes between Muslims and Christians; and a local Palestinian won the Gaza strip’s first marathon, which ran the entire length of the territory. NY TimesThe worldâ??s most wanted Nazi war crimes suspect, ninety-seven-year-old Sandor Kepiro, went on trial in Hungary, and Minnesota state representative Matt Dean called the writer Neil Gaiman a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota,” referring to a fee Gaiman received for a speaking engagement last year, and later donated to charity. BBC NewsYahoo NewsBBC NewsAmid an ongoing power struggle between Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, several of the president’s close advisers were arrested and charged with sorcery and “connections with the unknown worlds.” NY TimesThe GuardianTwo imams en route to a North Carolina conference on anti-Muslim prejudice were removed from a commercial flight because their manner of dress was making the pilot uncomfortable, and programmers developed headsets that allow the game Angry Birds to be played using mind control. Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionBritish mountaineer Kenton Cool became the first person to use Twitter from the peak of Mount Everest. “Everest summit no 9!” tweeted Cool. “1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset!”The WeekGizmodo
More from Margaret Cordi:
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
â€śThe triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), â€śthe rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversityâ€ťÂ â€” what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Scienceâ€™s crisis of faith