Weekly Review — October 1, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Obama and Rouhani make nuclear chitchat, Ted Cruz gets squirrelly, and Cambridgeshire loses a tea-and-bondage party

A Humbug (Weekly)En route to John F. Kennedy International Airport from the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone with U.S. president Barack Obama about what Rouhani called “the nuclear issue,” marking the first direct contact since 1979 between the two countries’ heads of state. “Have a nice day,” Rouhani reportedly said at the end of the conversation. “Khodahafez,” Obama reportedly responded. Rouhani flew home to Tehran, where his motorcade was pelted with eggs and shoes, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu boarded a plane to New York, where he planned to speak about Iran before the General Assembly. “I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and the onslaught of smiles,” said Netanyahu. “Why must everything always be destroyed?” said a Rouhani supporter.[1][2][3][4] In Havana, where on average two buildings collapse each month, emergency workers used sniffer rabbits to search for survivors in the rubble of a former convent, and in Mumbai, a five-story apartment block became the city’s third structure in six months to collapse. “I sometimes go outside because I’m afraid the building won’t hold,” said Habanero José Ramón. “We can’t know that tomorrow it won’t be our turn,” said Mumbaikar Anupama Shivalkar.[5][6] A 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck along the Chaman Fault in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, killing at least 500 people, injuring more than 700 others, leaving an estimated 100,000 homeless, and prompting islets to form off the coastal towns of Gwadar, Ormara, and Pasni. “Nothing is left,” said a survivor in the district of Awaran, “not even our shoes.” Baluch separatists fired two rockets at a helicopter carrying the director of the federal government’s disaster-management authority and attacked a group of Frontier Corps soldiers engaged in relief operations. A 6.8-magnitude aftershock four days after the initial quake caused tremors as far east as Karachi. “At first I thought it was a delusion,” said an office worker. “But all my colleagues ran out.”[7][8][9][10][11]

Texas Republican Ted Cruz held the floor of a nearly empty Senate for 21 hours and 19 minutes, speaking in favor of defunding the Affordable Care Act, whose Health Insurance Marketplace launches October 1. “Squirrel fur. Happy, happy, happy,” said Cruz. “Do I think this has been a constructive process? Not particularly,” said Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.). “Atmosphere is really what they’re complaining about,” said a Cruz supporter about Republican leaders. “They’re like the dinosaurs seeing the first icebergs floating by.”[12][13][14] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth assessment report since 1990, announcing with 95 percent confidence that human activity is the primary cause of global warming. “The heat is on,” said U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-Moon.[15] Thames Water officials announced plans to convert fatbergs harvested from the sewers of London into biofuel; Burger King launched the lower-fat Satisfry; Ipswich horticulturalists announced the development of the TomTato, a potato-rooted plant that fruits tomatoes; and a Swedish man entered a supermarket and urinated over 700 kronor worth of apples and oranges.[16][17][18][19] Wisconsinites debated open-carry laws at Houdini Plaza in Appleton. “We have the right to keep and bear arms,” said a man carrying a Glock handgun and a Mossberg shotgun. “They don’t belong in downtown Appleton,” said a man carrying a chicken named Winchester.[20] A zoo in Chessington, England, began providing gray coveralls to patrons dressed in animal prints. “Animals are getting confused,” said a spokeswoman, “when they see what looks like zebras and giraffes driving.”[21]

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

The trustees of Trumpington Village Hall in Cambridgeshire canceled a tea-and-bondage party.[22] A Bedlington man pleaded guilty to punching a police horse named Bud.[23] British estate agents warned of an upsurge in gazumping, and a Norwich crown court sentenced two North Anglians for affray after they attacked a man outside a kebab house while dressed as Oompa Loompas.[24][25] Thirteen motorists in Moreno Valley, California, were cited for failing to yield to a seven-foot-tall gingerbread man in a crosswalk, and a Catholic diocese in southern Austria was fined for mass texting.[26][27] A security researcher enrolled his penis in the newly released iPhone 5s’s biometric identification system, and a man from Gigante, Colombia, who deliberately overdosed on Viagra was recovering from a penectomy.[28][29] Residents of a town outside Pittsburgh suggested that the rounded tops of recently installed concrete traffic bollards be removed. “They’re too modern,” said a local commissioner. “They’re calling it Penis Road,” said a resident.[30] A Saudi cleric warned that women who drive risk damage to their ovaries, and a California couple mistook their ten-year-old daughter’s gunshot wound for menarche.[31] The College of Arms released the conjugal arms of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, formed by the addition to Prince William’s arms of an escutcheon Per pale Azure and Gules a Chevron Or cotised Argent between three Acorns slipped and leaved Or, and physicists at the Center for Ultracold Atoms found that two photons entering a rubidium cloud separately are likely to leave together.[32][33] Biologists induced fluorescence in the sperm of two species of fruit fly. “It’s difficult,” said a researcher, “to observe the competition between ejaculates.”[34][35]


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

Share
Single Page

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

  • lovesjazzandcats

    who is this charming young man

  • qatkit

    The president of Iran is not the head of state, rather the head of government. The Supreme Leader is the head of state.

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today