Weekly Review — September 20, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An angry-looking, monkey-like creature showing its teeth.

A kinkajou, 1886.

A Second World Warâ??era military plane crashed into a group of spectators at the Reno National Championship Air Races in Nevada, killing 10 people, including Jimmy Leeward, 74, who became the twentieth pilot to die at the event since it began 47 years ago. “It looked like just someone sprinkled Legos in every direction,” said one witness. National Transportation Safety Board investigators refused to speculate on what brought down the plane, which was built in 1944 and had previously crashed in 1970. “Our job is to identify what caused this accident,” said NTSB member Mark Rosekind, “so we can make safety recommendations so it doesnâ??t happen again.” The day after the Reno incident, a military plane crashed at a West Virginia air show, killing the pilot.Reno Gazette-JournalAssociated PressAP via Boston GlobeAP via CBSPresident Barack Obama proposed a $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan that included the “Buffett Rule,” which would increase taxes for the 0.3 percent of Americans who earn more than $1 million a year. Republicans contended that such an increase would discourage investment in new businesses and further stall job growth. “Class warfare may make for really good politics,” said Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), “but it makes for rotten economics.” “This is not class warfare,” said Obama. “Itâ??s math.”New York TimesNew York TimesThe Census Bureau announced that more Americans lived in poverty in 2010 than in any year since record-keeping began.Business WeekBob Turner, the creator of “The Jerry Springer Show,” won the House seat vacated by Anthony Weiner and became the first Republican elected in New Yorkâ??s Ninth Congressional District since 1920. “We have lit one candle today,” said Turner. “Itâ??s going to be a bonfire pretty soon.”Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesOfficials at a New Hampshire middle school confiscated an autistic studentâ??s American flag, citing safety concerns.Foster’s Daily Democrat

Rebel forces in Libya failed to capture Bani Walid, one of Muammar Qaddafiâ??s strongholds, and security forces in Yemen killed nearly 50 demonstrators in two days. “We were walking and chanting, â??Peaceful, peaceful,â??” said one protester. “They opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.”ReutersAssociated PressLos Angeles TimesIran banned the television broadcast of love-triangle storylines and shirtless men, and Australia added to its passports the option to classify oneâ??s gender as indeterminate.ReutersSF ChronicleWith his final meal of fried chicken, fried fish, french fries, salad, apples, and jalapeño peppers already consumed, Texas death-row inmate Duane Buck was granted a stay of execution so the U.S. Supreme Court could investigate whether racism played a role in his sentencing. “Godâ??s mercy triumphs over judgment,” Buck said, “and I feel good.”CNNSix men from the Old Order Swartzentruber Amish were jailed in Kentucky for refusing to affix orange safety triangles to their buggies, and a Jewish professor at York University in Toronto who said in a lecture that the assertion “all Jews should be sterilized” constitutes an unacceptable opinion was accused of anti-Semitism by a student. “The words, â??Jews should be sterilizedâ?? still came out of his mouth,” said the student, “so regardless of the context I still think thatâ??s pretty serious.”CNNToronto StarResearchers determined that watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” diminishes the attention spans of four-year-olds, that fatherhood reduces testosterone levels, and that overconfidence leads to success.New York TimesSalt Lake TribuneInt’l Business TimesThe Swiss bank UBS revealed that an employee in London lost $2.3 billion of the companyâ??s money over three months through unauthorized trades.CNNIn Denmark, the worldâ??s largest sperm bank stopped accepting donations from redheads due to insufficient demand in all countries except Ireland; there, said Cryos director Ole Schou, redhead semen sold “like hot cakes.”Telegraph

Richard Hamilton, the Pop Art pioneer and White Album cover designer, died, as did Kara Kennedy, Edwardâ??s eldest child.New York TimesNew York TimesIowa police detained a statue of a man in a hot-dog suit, and in California a teenager surrendered after attempting to rob a San Diego 7-Eleven while wearing a Gumby costume.The Daily NonpareilReutersA drunk Swedish elk hid a swing set in a tree, Malaysian wildlife officials quarantined Shirley the orangutan in order to help her quit smoking, and black-tar heroin users contracted botulism in Seattle.The LocalThe SunLos Angeles TimesDenver police revealed that they had indicted two men who had gone for a night on the town with the corpse of a friend, charging drinks and food to his debit card, and withdrawing $400 of his money from an ATM at a strip club.Denver PostTwo teenage lesbian lovers arrested for burglarizing 29 Pennsylvania homes claimed theyâ??d encountered a lion at a thirtieth. “If we find a lion,” said police superintendent Michael Chitwood, “it will be a bigger story.”Philadelphia InquirerAn 83-year-old Arkansas woman was the victim of unsolicited toe-sucking, while a second woman whom the assailant approached described him as having “messed-up toes.”ReutersA British man whoâ??d accidentally sawed off his left thumb had his left big toe attached in its place. “He might need additional surgery,” said the overseeing doctor, “to make it look more like a thumb.”BBC

Share
Single Page

More from Justin Stone:

Weekly Review December 4, 2012, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review October 23, 2012, 12:25 pm

Weekly Review

Weekly Review September 10, 2012, 4:26 pm

Weekly Review

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2018

The Bodies in The Forest

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Minds of Others

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Modern Despots

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Before the Deluge

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Notes to Self

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Within Reach

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
The Minds of Others·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to achieve. Political segregation has made many Americans inaccessible, even unimaginable, to those on the other side of the partisan divide. On the rare occasions when we do come face-to-face, it is not clear what we could say to change each other’s minds or reach a worthwhile compromise. Psychological research has shown that humans often fail to process facts that conflict with our preexisting worldviews. The stakes are simply too high: our self-worth and identity are entangled with our beliefs — and with those who share them. The weakness of logic as a tool of persuasion, combined with the urgency of the political moment, can be paralyzing.

Yet we know that people do change their minds. We are constantly molded by our environment and our culture, by the events of the world, by the gossip we hear and the books we read. In the essays that follow, seven writers explore the ways that persuasion operates in our lives, from the intimate to the far-reaching. Some consider the ethics and mechanics of persuasion itself — in religion, politics, and foreign policy — and others turn their attention to the channels through which it acts, such as music, protest, and technology. How, they ask, can we persuade others to join our cause or see things the way we do? And when it comes to our own openness to change, how do we decide when to compromise and when to resist?

Illustration (detail) by Lincoln Agnew
Article
Within Reach·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a balmy day last spring, Connor Chase sat on a red couch in the waiting room of a medical clinic in Columbus, Ohio, and watched the traffic on the street. His bleached-blond hair fell into his eyes as he scrolled through his phone to distract himself. Waiting to see Mimi Rivard, a nurse practitioner, was making Chase nervous: it would be the first time he would tell a medical professional that he was transgender.

By the time he arrived at the Equitas Health clinic, Chase was eighteen, and had long since come to dread doctors and hospitals. As a child, he’d had asthma, migraines, two surgeries for a tumor that had caused deafness in one ear, and gangrene from an infected bug bite. Doctors had always assumed he was a girl. After puberty, Chase said, he avoided looking in the mirror because his chest and hips “didn’t feel like my body.” He liked it when strangers saw him as male, but his voice was high-pitched, so he rarely spoke in public. Then, when Chase was fourteen, he watched a video on YouTube in which a twentysomething trans man described taking testosterone to lower his voice and appear more masculine. Suddenly, Chase had an explanation for how he felt — and what he wanted.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Before the Deluge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the summer of 2016, when Congress installed a financial control board to address Puerto Rico’s crippling debt, I traveled to San Juan, the capital. The island owed some $120 billion, and Wall Street was demanding action. On the news, President Obama announced his appointments to the Junta de Supervisión y Administración Financiera. “The task ahead for Puerto Rico is not an easy one,” he said. “But I am confident Puerto Rico is up to the challenge of stabilizing the fiscal situation, restoring growth, and building a better future for all Puerto Ricans.” Among locals, however, the control board was widely viewed as a transparent effort to satisfy mainland creditors — just the latest tool of colonialist plundering that went back generations.

Photograph from Puerto Rico by Christopher Gregory
Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner

Cost of a baby-stroller cleaning, with wheel detailing, at Tot Squad in New York City:

$119.99

Australian biologists trained monitor lizards not to eat cane toads.

Trump tweeted that he had created “jobs, jobs, jobs” since becoming president, and it was reported that Trump plans to bolster job creation by loosening regulations on the global sale of US-made artillery, warships, fighter jets, and drones.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today