Weekly Review — November 7, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: The Cloaca Maxima, 1872]

The Cloaca Maxima, 1872

Iran criticized Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States for carrying out a practice naval exercise in the Persian Gulf, then announced ten days of “Great Prophet II” war games.AP via International Herald TribuneBreitbartThe International Atomic Energy Agency said that it has been approached by at least six Arab countries interested in developing their own nuclear programs,Reuters via Yahoo! Newsand the U.S. government shut down its “Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal” website after the New York Times pointed out that it contained instructions for building an atomic bomb. “It’s a cookbook,” explained a senior diplomat in Europe.New York TimesIran began offering cash incentives in a program designed to bring in more foreign tourists; travel agents will receive $20 for every Western vacationer but only $10 per Asian.CNNThe White House announced that there is mounting evidence that Iran and Syria are conspiring with Hezbollah to overthrow the government of Lebanon.The AgeTwo of the suspects arrested in Britain in August for plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airplanes were released due to insufficient proof,New York TimesCNNand Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging.ABC NewsA leaked “Index of Civil Conflict” from Central Command in Iraq indicated that the country is sliding from the green zone of “Peace” towards a red zone marked “Chaos.”New York TimesU.S. Army personnel were accused of telling potential recruits that the war was over, ABC Newsand John Kerry apologized for implying that American soldiers in Iraq are stupid.New York Times

Republicans were “glum” as the party prepared to lose at least fifteen seats in the House of Representatives.New York TimesMachines used for early voting began to malfunction in Florida,.Miami HeraldTennessee G.O.P. officals claimed smart cards were missing from a Memphis polling place,WMCTVand a paper-shredding service truck was seen approaching the Cheney compound at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.WonketteThe Homeland Securitywebsitetexasborderwatch.com began broadcasting live footage of the United StatesMexico border.AP via Yahoo! NewsSt. Louis was named America’s most dangerous city. “You made my day!” said Mayor Gwendolyn Faison of Camden, New Jersey, which was formerly ranked most dangerous. “There’s a new hope and a new spirit.”AP via Yahoo! NewsBangalore, the high-tech capital of India, renamed itself “Bengalooru,” to more closely resemble the city’s medieval name, “Bendakalooru,” or “town of boiled beans.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsCornfarmers in the Midwest were resisting bids for their ethanol plants by Wall Street firms;New York Timesscientists claimed that at the current rate of consumption, global seafood supplies will be obliterated by the year 2048;Washington Postand the World Meteorological Organisation said that the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had hit a record high.BBC NewsChannel 4, Britain’s second largest television network, announced that Google’s U.K. advertising revenues would outstrip the broadcaster’s own by some hundred million pounds this year. “People need to wake up and realize that this is not just a cyclical issue,” said the network’s chief executive. “There is deep structural change, rather like global warming.”Times of LondonDue to the Lebanon war, Israel was facing an eight-fold increase in the cost of marijuana.Reuters via Yahoo! News

Australia announced plans to detain up to 1,200 deadbeat moms and dads at airports during the upcoming holiday season,Northern Territory Newsand the United States said it would fund millions of dollars’ worth of abstinence-only sexual education for adults.USA TodayIn Beijing, volunteers giving out free hugs were detained by police. “Embracing is a foreign tradition,” said one citizen. “Chinese are not accustomed to this.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsJapanese law enforcement arrested a fetishist who had filled a warehouse with 5,000 pairs of stolen children’s shoes,Mianichi Daily Newsand in South Korea, where miniskirts will soon be legalized, police have begun using “cyber terror units” to curb the rise of online bullying by the mob.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsBBC NewsIn Aurora, Colorado, chubby girls robbed younger children of their trick-or-treatingcandy,ABC 7 Denver and a New Hampshireorthodontist bought back local kids’ spoils for two dollars per pound.WSBTV AtlantaGrieving Maya in Mexico exhumed the bodies of their beloved in order to clean them;Reuters via Yahoo! Newsa Frenchnewspaper declared the death of Halloween.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsRising floodwaters trapped a herd of 100 horses on a Netherlands islet,New York Timesa cache of unsent letters to God was found off the Atlantic City shore,AP via Yahoo! Newsand researchers in Japan captured a dolphin with legs.Chicago Tribune

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More from Miriam Markowitz:

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“You’re being reborn,” the voice says. “Exiting the womb of your mother. Coming into the earth as a small baby. Everything is new.” It is a Saturday morning in mid-March, and right now I’m lying on a yoga mat in a lodge in Ohio, surrounded by fifty other men who’ve come to the Midwest for a weekend of manhood-confirming adventures. The voice in question belongs to Aaron Blaine, a facilitator for Evryman, the men’s group orchestrating this three-day retreat. All around me, men are shedding tears as Blaine leads us on a guided meditation, a kind of archetypal montage of Norman Rockwell boyhood. “You’re starting to figure things out,” he says, in somniferous baritone. “Snow, for the first time. Sunshine. Start to notice the smells, the tastes, the confusion. The fear. And you’re growing. You’re about ten years old. The world’s huge and scary.”

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The WASP story is personal for me. I arrived at Yale in 1971 from a thoroughly mediocre suburb in New Jersey, the second-generation hybrid of Irish and Italian stock riding the postwar boom. Those sockless people in Top-Siders, whose ancestors’ names and portraits adorned the walls, were entirely new to me. I made friends with some, but I was not free of a corrosive envy of their habitus of ease and entitlement.

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Last May, the families of students at Cypress Academy, an independent charter school in New Orleans, received an email announcing that the school would close when classes ended the following week and that all its students would be transferred to another nearby charter for the upcoming year. Parents would have the option of entering their children in the city’s charter-enrollment lottery, but the lottery’s first round had already taken place, and the most desirable spots for the fall were filled.

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how high? that high

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