Weekly Review — September 19, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caricature of Louis IV, by Thackeray. 1875]

Caricature of Louis IV, by Thackeray. 1875.

Twenty-three people were killed in bombings in Kirkuk, Iraq, and 180 bodies, some showing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad,.BBCwhere interfaith dating has become extremely difficult. “There is no hope in this country anymore for Sunnis and Shiites to fall in love,” said Husham al-Gizzy, holding his face in his hands.The New York TimesThe Washington Post“We have to embrace,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, “the culture of dialogue and reconciliation.” CBS NewsThe Abu Ghraib prison was placed under Iraqi control. “I heard shouting,” said a recent visitor, “like someone had a hot iron on their body.”Telegraph.co.ukPresident George W. Bush complained that Part I, Article 3 of the Geneva Convention was too vague. “What does that mean, ??outrages upon human dignity???” he asked at a news conference. “That’s a statement that is wide open to interpretation.”The New York TimesFormer Texas governor Ann Richards died,CNN.comand Princeton professor Edward Felten said that he and his students had successfully hacked a Diebold voting machine.NBC 6Pope Benedict XVI apologized for the reactions to a speech that quoted Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus’s description of Islam as “evil and inhuman.”The Telegraph

Amnesty International accused Hezbollah of war crimes,The New York Timesand neo-Nazis won seats in the regional parliament in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.Australia Herald-SunThe dwarfplanet Xena was renamed Eris, for the Greek goddess of discord, and the planet’s moon was named Dysnomia, for the spirit of lawlessness.The New York TimesAstronomers announced a new fluffy planet called HAT-P-1 that is very far away,AP via Yahoo! Newsand Russia said that it could send Madonna into space as early as 2009.Russia-InfoCentreAustralian officials suspected that ten stingrays found dead with their tails cut off had been killed to avenge television personality Steve Irwin.Irwin’s death sparks bout of stingray mutilations Carlos Lage, the vice-president of Cuba, said that the United States was a “morally decadent empire,”BBC Newsand Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against a man who, after security guards mistook his penis pump for a bomb, was detained at O’Hare International Airport. “Humiliation aside,” said the man’s attorney, “the system worked.”MSNBCTwo years after it started, Project BioShield, the $5.6 billion Bush Administration effort to develop and stockpile medical supplies in case of biological attacks, had shown little progress. “The inept implementation of the program,” said the director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, “has led the best brains and the best scientists to give up.”The New York TimesThere was a chemical spill on the International Space Station.The New York Times

In Indonesia gray mud seeping from the ground had inundated an area the size of Monaco; the chief of the hamlet of Kedungbendo met with psychics for advice. “Moses had a stick to part the sea,” explained Haji Hasan. “So, probably there is someone with powers out there who could help.”ReutersA judge in Easton, Pennsylvania, sentenced a 73-year-old woman to life in prison for beating her 84-year-old neighbor to death with a claw hammer,CNN.comand at Dawson College in Montreal a blogger named Kimveer Gill went on a shooting rampage, wounding 19 people and killing an 18-year-old woman and himself. It was later revealed that Gill had listed “crushing my enemies’ skulls” under the “likes” section of his website profile.CTV.caAn Ontario woman died after choking during the Chubby Bunny marshmallow-eating contest. “It was just an unfortunate incident that happened,” explained a fair manager.EdmontonSun.comLondon Free PressOn the advice of his witch doctor a Serbian premature ejaculator had sex with a hedgehog and had to be hospitalized for pricks.The SunFertility clinics in Britain were low on sperm.BBC NewsA Nigerian man accused of murder explained to authorities that he had actually killed a rogue goat with an axe, but the dead goat had then turned into the corpse of his brother.AP via the BuzzPatricia Kennedy Lawford died of natural causes,The New York Timesand Patricia C. Dunn, the chairwoman of Hewlett-Packard, agreed to resign in January after it was revealed that Hewlett-Packard had spied on its own board in order to stop leaks.The New York TimesScientists in India announced that they had discovered a new species of bird,The New York Timesand more polar bearsdrowned in the Arctic.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsThe United States was running out of troops to send to Iraq,.Won’t Deploy? Can’t Deploy.President Bush insisted that the search for Osama bin Laden had not slackened its pace,Reutersand police in Green Bay, Wisconsin, chased a pig around a highway for more than an hour.AP via Yahoo! NewsA British man died when he fell off a cliff while flying his kite.The Guardian

Share
Single Page

More from Paul Ford:

From the May 2010 issue

Just like heaven

Weekly Review March 23, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 24, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Secrets and Lies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

Post
Seeking Asylum·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of sight on Leros, the island of the damned

Post
Poem for Harm·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today