Weekly Review — October 17, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Research by U.S. epidemiologists and Iraqi physicians found that 654,965 Iraqis have died as a result of the Iraq war, though half of households surveyed were unsure of who to blame for the deaths of their family members. President George W. Bush said that he did not consider the study “a credible report.”Johns Hopkins UniversityReutersThe United StatesArmy was planning to maintain current troop levels in Iraq through 2010, and to replace its advertising slogan, “An Army of One,” with a new slogan, “Army Strong.”APInsurgents in Baghdad fired a mortar round at an ammunition dump on a U.S. military base, setting off large explosions that were felt miles away,Army TimesChina Dailyand the judge in Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial once again expelled Hussein from the courtroom; one of Hussein’s co-defendants then called the prosecutors “pimps and traitors” and punched a bailiff. Another defendant declared, “I wish to be executed and finish with this court.”AFP via BreitbartNorth Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong Il was said to be at risk of losing his access to McDonald’s hamburgers and Hennessy cognac if sanctions on luxury goods are imposed in response to his country’s recent nuclear testing.All Headline NewsU.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld showed reporters a satellite image of North Korea. “Except for my wife and family,” said Rumsfeld, “that is my favorite photo.”Daily MailCanadian troops in Afghanistan were finding it difficult to destroy forests of ten-foot-tall marijuana plants where the Taliban hide. “That damn marijuana,” said one soldier.Reuters via CNN.comRight-wing columnist Christopher Hitchens confessed that he had eaten a dog.Daily Mirror

Two trains collided while traveling in opposite directions between the French city of Nancy and the grand duchy of Luxembourg, killing six people.AFX via Hemscott.comFloods killed 37 people in Thailand, and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed nine people.AFP via Yahoo! NewsAP via CBS NewsLibya announced that it would provide laptop computers for 1.2 million schoolchildren,AP via local6.comand ChineseWal-Mart workers unionized.International Herald TribuneAmericans were claiming political asylum in Britain.Sun OnlineIn China’s Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces, families with dead sons complained that corpse brides were in short supply.scotsman.comA study suggested that an increasing number of British students are working as prostitutes in order to pay their university tuition,timesonline.co.ukand California researchers found that women dress more fashionably when they are ovulating.ReutersA Vietnamese death-row inmate convicted of possessing heroin worth more than one billion dong had her sentence commuted to life in prison when she was discovered to be pregnant.BBCA Virginia couple were trying to give back their fifteen-year-old adopted son, who turned out to be a sexual predator. “They just told me he was hyperactive,” said the boy’s mother. Washington PostA Pennsylvania woman was arrested for beating her baby’s father with the baby.AP via New York TimesIn Bombay, where the city courts faced a backlog of 16,234,223 cases, police arrested a drunk three-foot-tall man for extorting money from people with a meat cleaver. “Everyone pampered him because he was so small and cute,” said the man’s brother. “But he has brought great misfortune for the family.”Mumbai MirrorMumbai MirrorA Minnesota school principal resigned after shooting two orphaned kittens on school property.AP

In Israel, four doctors were arrested for carrying out illegal, non-consensual medical experiments on their patients;Haaretzthe U.S. Department of Justice accused blacks of suppressing the white vote in Mississippi;New York Timesand Adam Pearlman, the “American Al Qaeda,” was charged with treason, making him the first U.S. citizen so indicted since World War II.CBS NewsDubai’s ruling family was sued for enslaving children as camel jockeys. A family representative argued that the suit was spurious, since Dubai has replaced child camel-jockeys with robots.BBCIndia’s Supreme Court ordered the seizure of 300 macaques who had terrorized bureaucrats and destroyed top-secret defense documents,BBCand the Philippines rejected a plan to help a monkey-infested island by importing monkey-eating eagles.gulfnews.comIn Uganda, a mob armed with spears, machetes, and clubs killed a lioness, mutilated the carcass, and imprisoned the remains.The Monitor via allAfrica.comThousands of villagers in the Indian state of Jharkhand fled their homes in order to avoid a herd of rampaging elephants. “The elephants,” said a forestry official, “are out to avenge.” “They destroy our crops in the field,” complained a farmer. “Sometimes they damage our houses also.” ReutersANI via DailyIndia.comDonkeys were increasingly popular with Mexican farmers.Christian Science Monitor via Arizona Daily StarSwiss researchers in Syria discovered the remains of an extinct species of giant camel, iol.co.zaand a Virginiabiologyteacher was suspended after compelling her students to pose with the bones of a century-old corpse in Pocahontas Cemetery.North Country GazetteWalnut-related crimes were on the rise in the United States,.Appeal-Democratand a pile of jelly left over from a wedding party’s jelly-fight sparked a terrorism alert near Leipzig, Germany.One Bakersfield OnlineMumbai MirrorAn Italian sociologist moved into a cave, where he plans to spend the next three years;BBCtwo Indianapolis morticians ran into a burning building to save three corpses;Metro.co.ukand fish leapt from the ocean near Hawaii in anticipation of an earthquake.local6.com

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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.

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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:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

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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