Weekly Review

Weekly Review — February 2, 2016, 12:26 pm

Weekly Review

A teenager in Melbourne was charged with conspiring to prepare for a terrorist attack after he was recorded discussing plans to paint the Islamic State flag on a kangaroo, pack the animal full of explosives, and release it in the vicinity of police officers. Two 71-year-old Americans sailing from Norway to the United States were rescued, for the ninth time, after their boat caught fire from a candle they left burning while they were out buying groceries. “This fire is definitely not typical,” said one of the men. Read more…

Weekly Review — January 26, 2016, 11:04 am

Weekly Review

Saudi Arabia’s highest-ranking cleric issued a fatwa condemning the game of chess, claiming it causes “enmity and hatred.” The Danish town of Randers voted to require pork in school lunches. A ten-year-old Muslim student in Lancashire, England, was questioned by police after he misspelled the word “terraced” and wrote instead that he lived in a “terrorist house”; and the U.K. Home Office misspelled the word “language” in an announcement of new English tests for immigrants. Read more…

Weekly Review — January 19, 2016, 11:54 am

Weekly Review

The city of Portland unveiled the Poopmaster 6000, which will clean crow droppings from city sidewalks. Researchers in Germany developed tiny bionic “spermbots” that escort slow-swimming sperm to eggs, and a man in Britain claimed to have fathered at least 800 children by selling his sperm on Facebook. “They’re just the ones I know of,” he said. Read more…

Weekly Review — January 12, 2016, 11:55 am

Weekly Review

Marines in Mexico captured Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the fugitive leader of the drug cartel responsible for supplying the United States with the majority of its cocaine and heroin; and police in Texas arrested a man wearing a shirt that read “Don’t Meth With Me” for possession of methamphetamines. A man and a woman in San Bernardino, California, were arrested for using their toddler’s sippy cup as a meth pipe while the child was in a nearby room, and researchers in Canada found that having children decreases the rate at which a woman ages. Read more…

Weekly Review — January 5, 2016, 12:28 pm

Weekly Review

In Italy, where more than 30,000 people die annually because of air pollution, the town of San Vitaliano banned the use of wood-burning pizza ovens. A British man in Kyrgyzstan was arrested on suspicion of racial hatred after he compared a sausage dish to a horse’s penis, and a priest in the Philippines was suspended by the Catholic Church for using a hoverboard during Christmas Eve Mass. China’s Communist Party released an official rap song featuring President Xi Jinping. “Corruption,” he rapped, “must be punished.” Read more…

Weekly Review — December 29, 2015, 11:32 am

Weekly Review

Christmas was banned in Somalia, and a ban on wearing “hats or clothes that resemble Santa Claus” continued in Brunei. Canada experienced a shortage of peppermint candy canes. A man in England dressed as Santa climbed through the window of a KFC wielding a knife, and it was reported that the number of people giving guns as Christmas gifts had increased since last year. “It is a significant gift,” said a gun-shop owner, “to arm the people that you love.”

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“He had paid for much of her schooling, something he cannot help but mention, since the aftermath of any failed relationship brings an ungenerous and impossible impulse to claw back one’s misspent resources.”
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“It seems to defy reason that this anachronistic farm state — a demographic outlier, with no major cities and just 3 million people, nine out of ten of them white — should play such an outsized role in American politics.”
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“This is the strange magic of an arrangement of all the world’s knowledge in alphabetical order: any search for anything passes through things that have nothing in common with it but an initial letter.”
Artwork by Brian Dettmer. Courtesy the artist and P.P.O.W., New York City.
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“Buckingham Palace is a theater in need of renovation. There is something pathetic about a fiercely vacuumed throne room. The plants are tired. Plastic is nailed to walls and mirrors. The ballroom is set for a ghostly banquet. Everyone is whispering, for we are in a mad kind of church. A child weeps.”
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“If I really wanted to learn about the Islamic State, Hassan told me, I ought to speak to his friend Samir, a young gay soldier in the Syrian Army who’d been fighting jihadis intermittently for the past four years.”
Photograph (detail) by Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty

Amount by which the number of government jobs in the U.S. exceeds the number of manufacturing jobs:

5,129,000

The sound of mice being clicked may induce seizures in house cats.

In Turlock, California, nearly 3,500 samples of bull semen were stolen from the back of a truck.

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Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.

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