Weekly Review — March 8, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Lost Souls in Hell, 1875]

Lost Souls in Hell, 1875.

President George W. Bush demanded that Syria pull out of Lebanon.New York PostSyria agreed to move its troops into eastern Lebanon, but the U.S. State Department warned that this is not enough.GuardianIraqi insurgents killed seventeen people.New York TimesA poll found that most Americans are against Social Security reform,Bloombergand the U.S. Mint planned to circulate $5 million in new buffalo nickels.New York TimesA 22-pound, century-old lobster was caught off Nantucket,CNNand a 13-pound, 13-ounce baby boy was born in Britain; the boy’s mother credited the boy’s size to her steady diet of cockles, herring, mussels, and crab claws, provided by her fishmonger husband.News & StarA toddler in Deer Park, Texas, drowned in a dirty swimming pool. Click2HoustonNevada announced that it would cost $2 billion to pipe water from rural Nevada to Las Vegas,New York Timesand the town of Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary, offered honorary citizenship to all Hungarians living abroad.New York TimesMost Hungarian adults were found to be single.AFPMicrosoft was developing a teddy bear with a rotating head that will watch little children,APand a toddler in Nebraska strangled himself with an automatic car window as his mother’s boyfriend played soccer nearby.The Omaha ChannelBill Gates was knighted.ABC NewsIn Bangladesh, four infants were on trial for looting, with bail set at fifty dollars per infant.BBC News

U.N. peacekeepers killed sixty Lendu in Congo in order to protect the Hema.New York TimesTwo community colleges in California halted their student-exchange program with Spain after Spain pulled out of the Iraq war.USA TodayA Swiss synesthete who tastes music reported that Bach is creamy;New Scientist50 Cent expelled The Game from G Unit. Gunfire followed.BBC NewsPresident Bush said that his administration granted $2 billion to social programs at churches, synagogues, and mosques in 2004–20 percent more than in 2003. The President made it clear that these programs did not discriminate based on faith. “All drunks are welcome,” he said.New York TimesThe U.S. State Department released a report criticizing other countries for using torture techniques often used by the United States,Washington Postand four Iraqis and four Afghans sued Donald Rumsfeld for torture.Chicago TribuneItaly paid the ransom for a journalist kidnapped in Iraq; U.S. forces then fired on the journalist’s escape car, killing an Italian military intelligence agent and wounding the journalist.BBC NewsAt around the same time, U.S. troops accidentally shot and killed a Bulgarian soldier.ReutersChina condemned the United Stateshuman-rights record,People’s Dailyand Darryl Strawberry said that baseball players who use steroids lack discipline.New York TimesU.S. scientists were working on a device that shoots pain rays up to two kilometers.New ScientistJack Nicklaus’stoddler grandson drowned in a hot tub.SFGateA Maryland woman died after being locked in her bedroom for six years,The WBAL Channeland Sony made a Welshman its chairman.New York Times

Scientists found that a man’s boisterousness is a reflection of whether his index finger is short when compared to his ring finger.BBC NewsThree anonymous donors gave $3 million to resurrect the cancelled TV show “Star Trek: Enterprise,”TrekUnited.comand a very rich man flewsolo around the world in sixty-seven hours.The GuardianMartha Stewart was released from prison. While incarcerated Stewart’s wealth increased $700 million, and her cappuccinomachine broke.Times OnlineAlan Greenspan called for the United States to replace the income tax with a consumption tax.New York TimesThe Department of Homeland Security required 1,700 legal immigrants to wear ankle bracelets,NPRand a toddler was swept away in the Rio Grande as his parents tried to cross into Texas from Mexico.Houston ChronicleRepresentative Jim Gibbons of Nevada called for liberals to be used as human shields in Iraq; he later apologized for plagiarizing his remarks.Reno Gazette-JournalThe House passed a bill that provides for special elections if more than one hundred representatives are killed.CBS NewsA poll found that Americans want a Democrat to be elected president in the next election on the television show “The West Wing.”Zogby InternationalBill Clinton slept on the floor of an airplane so that George H.W. Bush could have a nice soft bed,CNNand in South Africa a goat adopted a baby rhino.NBC5Archaeologists in Ethiopia unearthed several four-million-year-old skeletons believed to be ancestors of modern humans.ReutersThe president of Bolivia resigned,Reutersand Niger decided not to hold a ceremony to free seven thousand slaves, because slavery does not exist in Niger.BBC NewsThe U.N. predicted that 90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025,BBC Newsand the pope could speak again.New York TimesThirty-seven percent of American Jews said that they were “often disturbed” by Israeli policy,Forwardand the Israeli army denied high-level security clearance to soldiers who play Dungeons & Dragons.YNet NewsA U.S. government report suggested that there are more Palestinians than Israelis.Electronic IntifadaBritain’s BAE Systems agreed to buy America’s United Defense Industries, maker of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, for $4 billion.New York TimesThe U.S. Navy was looking into whether sonar confuses dolphins, causing them to surface too quickly and get the bends.Boston.comIn California, a couple visiting an animal sanctuary to celebrate their pet chimp’s thirty-ninth birthday were just about to cut into a birthday cake when two other chimps, presumably jealous, attacked. The chimps, Buddy and Ollie, bit off the sixty-two-year-old man’s fingers, gouged out one of his eyes, ripped off his nose, hacked off a foot and parts of his lips, mutilated his buttocks, and tore off his testicles. The chimps also bit off his wife’s thumb before they were shot and killed. The birthday chimp was unharmed.NewsdayThe New Zealand HeraldSFGateA pedophile marijuana grower shot and killed four Mounties, then himself, in Alberta, Canada.Globe and MailThe White House Press Office approved a press pass for a blogger,Raw Storyand members of Congress were themselves blogging.New York TimesFOX News had over twice as many viewers as CNN.New York PostA toddler was lost in the Alabama woods; police, firemen, and family friends searched for him in vain. Finally, he was rescued by a three-legged dog.NBC 13

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In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
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The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

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But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

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To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
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What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

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Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

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