Weekly Review — April 16, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a gun suicide at an NRA-sponsored event, and Anne Frank’s beliebf

ALL IN MY EYE.Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring at least 140. The blasts occurred on Boylston Street, near Copley Square, at 2:50 p.m., while 5,742 of the race’s 23,326 runners were still on the course. “These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,” said marathoner Roupen Bastajian. “There are so many people without legs.” The Federal Aviation Administration instituted a no-fly zone over part of the city, authorities blew up several bags likely belonging to runners, and President Barack Obama made a televised address in which he noted that the bombings had happened on Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. “It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation,” said FBI official Richard DesLauriers of the bureau’s probe. At almost the same time as the bombs went off, a fire started at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, three miles away, but was believed to be unrelated.[1][2][3][4][5][6] North Korea marked the 101st birthday of its deceased founder, Kim Il Sung, without conducting nuclear-missile tests that had been predicted by international observers after the country made several threats against South Korea and its allies. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency expressed “moderate confidence” that North Korea had developed warheads small enough to be mounted on ballistic missiles, South Korea said it did not believe the North had yet miniaturized a nuclear weapon, and a Pyongyang flower show displayed models of red-tipped missiles amid “Kimilsungia” orchids. “It is because we have a nuclear deterrent,” said a greenhouse worker, “that we are able to . . . have a beautiful flower exhibition like this.”[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] A man shot himself in the head in the infield of a National Rifle Association–sponsored NASCAR race in Fort Worth, Texas.[14] Tim McLaughlin, the former U.S. Marine who supplied the American flag that was draped over the Saddam Hussein statue toppled in Firdous Square to mark the capture of Baghdad ten years ago, refused to lend the flag to the U.S. military for anniversary celebrations. “I don’t like that it facilitated the media’s narrative of wars as neat and tidy things,” he said. “For me it was a period of death and killing people.” A former SAS paratrooper said he hopes to sell a two-foot-wide chunk of buttock that he chiseled from the statue in 2003.[15][16]

After rapper Jay-Z boasted in a new song that he had “White House clearance” for a recent trip to Cuba, presidential press secretary Jay Carney responded that such clearance can only be granted by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. “OFAC, Treasury, these are tough words to rhyme,” said Carney. “Obama said, ‘Chill you’re going to get me impeached’/ You don’t need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach,” rapped Jay-Z.[17] Malawi accused Madonna of bullying it, and a campaign by opponents of recently deceased British prime minister Margaret Thatcher pushed “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” to number two on the British music charts; number 35 was “I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher” by punk band the Notsensibles.[18][19] A San Francisco man attempted to assist police in catching a woman who had rammed his car by providing a detailed description of her cleavage, and a professor in Besançon, France, who had spent 15 years measuring the orientation of young women’s breasts with a slide rule and caliper determined that bras were unnecessary, but cautioned that his study had been limited to women aged 18 to 35. “It would be of no benefit to a 45-year-old mother,” said professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, “to stop wearing a bra.”[20][21] File-sharing news website TorrentFreak revealed that someone inside the Holy See had been illegally downloading hardcore pornography. “It doesn’t change my stand against piracy,” said Tiffany Starr, a transwoman who appears in some of the clips, “but I was pretty excited.”[22][23] A beaver killed a Belarusian fisherman as he attempted to pose for a photo next to the animal, and the owner of the Dog Lane Fishery in the English parish of Napton-on-the-Hill was investigated for banning Eastern Europeans from his lake.[24][25] In Bavaria, authorities seized a driver’s license presented by a train passenger because it bore the name and photograph of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who was accosted in Hannover by a topless protester calling him a dictator. “As for the protest,” said Putin, “I liked it.”[26][27]

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

A man shot an arrow into a security guard named James Bowling at the Ball Gentleman’s club in South Knoxville, Tennessee.[28] A New York City business group sought regulation of costumed Times Square buskers. “Super Mario groped the woman,” said the president of the Times Square Alliance. “Elmo was ranting anti-Semitic things. Spider-Man punched a woman in the face.”[29] Animal-predation experts in Sweden’s Skåne region were planning to use llamas to protect sheep from wolves, and a team of beribboned alpacas was visiting senior centers and rehab hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. “Tears of joy,” said the owners of Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas, “when we make in-room visits.”[30][31] Singer Justin Bieber toured the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. “Anne was a great girl,” Bieber wrote in the museum’s guest book. “Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”[32] A mother in Washington State reported earning thousands of dollars from photographs of herself with food balanced on her “butt shelf,” and Chinese surgeons removed a live 20-inch Asian swamp eel from the rectum of a 39-year-old man who was recreating a scene from a porn film. “It was still alive when we got it out but it died soon afterwards,” said a doctor, “which was probably a mercy.”[33][34]


Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Sara Breselor:

Weekly Review April 14, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Michael Slager is charged with murder, Hillary Clinton declares her candidacy for president, and a Utah television personality gets probation for kicking a barn owl

Weekly Review January 20, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Pope says climate change is mostly man made, Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and residents of a town in Denmark agree to have sex more often

Weekly Review December 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

North Korea attacks the U.S. film industry, Pakistan reinstates the death penalty, and a Pennsylvania electrician stabs a Virgin Mary lawn ornament in the head

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today