Weekly Review — June 28, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

Revelers at New York Cityâ??s gay pride parade waved signs reading “Thank You Governor Cuomo” and “Promise Kept!” after New York became the sixth and largest U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The state senate vote marked the culmination of an intensive lobbying campaign by gay-rights advocates and Governor Andrew Cuomo, backed by three wealthy Republican businessmen. “We were outgunned,” said Dennis Poust of the New York State Catholic Conference, which opposed the bill. “That is a lot to overcome.” Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said she would support a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. “After all,” said Bachmann, “the family is the fundamental unit of government.”NY TimesChristian PostNY TimesTwenty Kurdish activists were applauded when they stumbled into Istanbulâ??s gay pride parade after fleeing tear gas fired by police at a nearby political demonstration, thousands of Libyans celebrated on the streets of Misrata after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Muammar Gaddafi, and the Ukrainian activist group Femen demonstrated in Kiev on behalf of Saudi women, who are prohibited by law from driving. Covering their faces and baring their breasts, female protesters drove past the Saudi embassy chanting “cars for women, camels for men.”The GuardianRadio Free EuropeCNN

Walesâ??s Cardiff Royal Infirmary issued an apology for making elderly patients use tambourines to attract nurses’ attention. “Patients should never have to use a tambourine,” said Steve Allen, the hospital’s chief officer. “I also understand anecdotally that maracas were used, which was unacceptable.”BBCThe United Kingdomâ??s Health Protection Agency warned that “too much alcohol, drugs, sex and less than ideal hygiene” at summer music festivals could cause illness, and a man was discovered hiding in the tank of a portable toilet at the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder, Colorado; according to police, festival security “tried to detain the suspect, but he ran away, covered in feces.”Yahoo News/ReutersWales OnlineThe town of Greenwood, Maine, voted not to rename Alcohol Mary Road, while a woman driving down Vroom Street in Jersey City fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a mattress store.nj.comSun JournalDutch airline KLM announced plans to recycle used cooking oil into biofuel for its flights to and from France, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent an open letter to the Vatican asking that a proposed hybrid-fuel “popemobile” be made without leather, which the letter said was “hell for cows.”Huffington PostFox BusinessA man in Hawaii was fined $100 for slapping a monk seal. Maui News

Britain’s National Marine Aquarium announced plans to slather an epileptic loggerhead turtle named Snorkel in petroleum jelly and transport her to an MRI machine to check for a brain tumor. BBCIn New Zealand, a lost emperor penguin was sent from Peka Peka Beach to the Wellington Zoo for veterinary care after it was seen eating sand and driftwood twigs, which it then tried to regurgitate.Associated PressManagers at a German chemical company began storing their cell phones in biscuit tins in order to guard against industrial espionage, researchers from Texas found that ground-dwelling songbirds avoid building nests near sites where they overhear chipmunk trills, chips, and chucks, and researchers from Ohio found that woodchucks pay less attention to chipmunk distress signals than chipmunks pay to woodchuck signals. “Maybe the woodchucks are just desensitized to the chipmunk alarm calls,” said one scientist. “Chipmunks are really chatty.” BBCWiredAFP via GoogleThe Chinese government released dissident artist Ai Weiwei from prison but banned him from using Twitter. Prior to his arrest, Ai had posted 60,162 tweets. “The country will continue to stride forward,” reported the state-run Global Times newspaper, “and it will not pay heed toward this inane chatter.”UK Telegraph

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That year, the year of the Ghost Ship fire, I lived in a shack. I’d found the place just as September’s Indian summer was giving way to a wet October. There was no plumbing or running water to wash my hands or brush my teeth before sleep. Electricity came from an extension cord that snaked through a yard of coyote mint and monkey flower and up into a hole I’d drilled in my floorboards. The structure was smaller than a cell at San Quentin—a tiny house or a huge coffin, depending on how you looked at it—four by eight and ten feet tall, so cramped it fit little but a mattress, my suit jackets and ties, a space heater, some novels, and the mason jar I peed in.

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