Weekly Review — August 9, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

Somali government troops killed at least ten famine refugees at the Badbaado camp in Mogadishu after distribution of dry rations by the World Food Program devolved into looting. “They fired on us as if we were their enemy,” said Abidyo Geddi. “We don??t get much food, and the rare food they bring causes death and torture.” Thousands of Somalis fled to the United Nations?? Dadaab complex in Kenya, enduring a weeks-long journey through hyena- and bandit-infested desert. “It is peaceful here,” said Ali Hulbale, who lives with his family at the edge of the camp. “There is no gunfire. But we are starving.”The GuardianLos Angeles TimesWhile Syrian tanks bombarded the cities of Hama and Deir Al-Zour to quash what the government called “acts of killing and terrorism,” police shot and killed 29-year-old Mark Duggan in the North London neighborhood of Tottenham, setting off riots throughout the British capital and in Birmingham.AP via Toronto StarChristian Science MonitorNew York TimesThe GuardianThe GuardianPresident Obama wished the world??s Muslims a Ramadan Kareem (“Bountiful Ramadan”), avoiding the more common phrase Ramadan Mubarak (“Blessed Ramadan”), and the trial of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on murder and corruption charges began in Cairo.AFPReuters via New York TimesAl JazeeraThe Atlantic

Despite having overestimated the U.S. federal debt by at least $2 trillion, Standard and Poor??s downgraded the Unites States?? long-term credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, prompting one market analyst to warn, “This crisis will run and run, and could make Lehman look like a Tupperware party.”New York TimesThe GuardianIn session for a total of 59 seconds, a skeleton crew of Senate Democrats ended a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, putting 4,000 employees back to work and allowing the government to resume collecting $200 million per week in airline-ticket taxes.New York TimesAP via Yahoo!Former New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party and Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway faced eviction from their rent-regulated apartments. “You don??t tell an American how to live,” McMillan said to reporters. “I hope you have a terrible life,” Dunaway said to her landlord.New York PostNew York TimesGovernor Rick Perry, whose April entreaty to his fellow Texans to pray for rain failed to alleviate the state??s devastating drought, led some 30,000 worshippers in the Response, a Christian prayer gathering at Houston??s Reliant Stadium. Though Perry and others urged attendees to fast, concession stands sold nachos and smoothies throughout the seven-hour event. A San Angelo revivalist skipped lunch but bought a hot dog around 4:00 p.m. “That??s the agreement I made with God earlier,” he said.The Texas TribuneNew York TimesThe Texas TribuneThe Texas TribuneThe Texas Tribune

Graduate students in Texas demonstrated that such materials as grass, chocolate, cockroach legs, and miniature-dachshund feces can be used to create graphene, a form of carbon prized for its conductivity, and estimated that a sheet of graphene derived from a box of Girl Scout shortbread cookies would cover three football fields and be worth $15 billion.Science DailyAustralian researchers persisted in attempting to engineer artificial dingo urine, and Tasmanians testified that local marsupials remain a threat to the island??s opium crop. “We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” said attorney general Lara Giddings. “Then they crash.”ReutersGlobal PostWomen in the remote Colombian town of Barbacoas continued to protest inadequate roads and medical care by withholding sex from their partners, and South African scientists found that elephant seal cows, who are sometimes crushed by bulls during lovemaking, use the ocean to their advantage. “Coercing a female is so much more difficult in the water because she has more options,” said one ecologist.The GuardianDiscoverCattle ranchers tested their herds for brisket disease, Ukrainians vowed to stop forcing vodka on bears in roadside hotels, Buddhists freed 534 lobsters in observance of Wheel Turning Day, and journalists in Connecticut investigated the mariachi trio responsible for serenading a beluga whale at the Mystic Aquarium last month. “It seems that you can have interactions with a beluga,” said guitarist Eduardo Rocha. “You cannot do that with a shark.”New York TimesReutersReutersWSHU

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Tons of hair Poland exports annually to West Germany in exchange for barber equipment:

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Alcoholic mice who are forced to stop drinking no longer try to swim when placed in a beaker of water, perhaps indicating that the mice are depressed.

One of the United Kingdom’s largest landlords published guidelines banning “battered wives” and plumbers, among others, from renting his more than 1,000 properties. “It’s just economics,” he said.

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