Weekly Review — June 21, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

Workers at Japanâ??s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, where 110,000 tons of radioactive water have collected since an earthquake and tsunami in March, were forced to suspend a new filtration scheme after a cesium absorber that was expected to last a month wore out in five hours. Addressing fears that Japanâ??s seasonal rains could cause some of the contaminated water to spill into the Pacific, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Company said the utility would “probably be able to solve the problem” before the holding facility was overwhelmed. Kyodo via Japan TimesBBCIn China, where the worst floods in half a century displaced millions of people in the south and east of the country, and the worst droughts in half a century continued to plague some northern regions, officials in charge of the controversial Three Gorges Dam released a report calling the structure “hugely beneficial” in controlling floods and preventing droughts. XinhuaBBCXinhuaXinhua via China DailyBlack smoke hung over Vancouver after riots following the Canucksâ?? loss to the Boston Bruins in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals. “This isnâ??t what the Canucks are about,” said a dejected Vancouverite. “Iâ??m seriously disappointed in the city of Vancouver and the country of Canada,” said another, “because it makes me feel the insecurity I read about in other parts of the world.”AP via Seattle TimesCBC

Federal goose counters descended on New York in preparation for the cityâ??s second annual Canada goose cull. Unlike last year, when the geese were gassed and carted to the dump, officials plan to round up the fowl and ship them alive to Pennsylvania, where they will be slaughtered and distributed to hungry residents.NYTA couple in Rexburg, Idaho, filed for bankruptcy after discovering their dream home was infested with garter snakes. “It felt like we were living in Satanâ??s lair,” said former owner Amber Sessions. “Weâ??re not going to pay for a house full of snakes,” said her husband, Ben. AP via YahooSeveral weeks after publicly tweeting a lewd photo of his crotch, Representative Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) announced he would resign, “so that I can continue to heal from the damage that I have caused.” Though he was roundly heckled during his speech, Weiner had some sympathizers. “I know the computer is dangerous to everyone,” said one of his constituents. “It brings the devil in the house.” NYTIn Iran, authorities deployed 70,000 morality police to crack down on shorts-wearing and scientists announced plans to launch a monkey into space. GuardianForeign PolicyA rabbinical court in Jerusalem was erroneously reported to have sentenced a local dog to death by stoning because it was believed to contain the spirit of a cursed secular lawyer, and researchers in New Zealand induced several genetically modified goys â?? female goats trapped in the bodies of sterile males â?? to lactate.YnetNZPA via Hawkeâ??s Bay Today

A Spaniard refused to have his house painted Smurf blue, Afghans blamed an Iranian pimp for tainting the number 39, and an eight-century-old relic of Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost objects, went missing.Der SpiegelReuters via Hartford CourantNYTCustoms agents along the U.S.-Mexico border seized 159 pounds of iguana meat, while their Russian counterparts in the town of Blagoveshchensk apprehended a China-bound cache of 1,041 bear paws, five woolly mammoth tusks, and 143 pounds of elk lips. ReutersNYTBeneath the ice of Russiaâ??s White Sea, a diver tamed a pair of beluga whales. Since belugas are thought to dislike artificial materials such as wetsuits and breathing apparatus, the diver entered the freezing water naked, using yoga to stay alive. Daily MailIn Portland, Oregon, 7.8 million gallons of drinking water were discarded after a man relieved himself in a reservoir in the early hours of the morning. Asked what difference a small amount of urine made, given that city officials routinely find dead animals in the reservoir, Water Bureau administrator David Shaff replied, “This is different. Do you want to drink pee?”The Oregonian

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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.

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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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