Weekly Review — January 24, 2012, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner whose capsizing off the Italian island of Giglio killed at least 15 people, was revealed to have deviated from the shipâ??s authorized route in order to salute a former captain who lived on the island. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera released an audio recording in which Schettino, speaking to the Coast Guard from a lifeboat, defied commands to return to the ship and direct the evacuation of passengers. “Listen Schettino, you saved yourself from the sea,” says the Coast Guard captain, “but I am going to… I am going to make you pay for this. Go on board, dick!” Schettino later claimed he had not intended to abandon ship but had tripped and fallen into a lifeboat and was unable to climb back aboard. Press reports noted that after coming ashore, he took a taxi to a hotel, where he asked the manager for an espresso and a pair of dry socks. A group of Swiss survivors recalled that CĂ©line Dionâ??s “My Heart Will Go On,” the theme song from the movie Titanic, was playing in the dining room when the Costa Concordia hit the rocks.BBCAP via Boston HeraldAssociated PressSydney Morning HeraldHuffington PostSpiegel OnlineThe SunThe Iowa G.O.P. admitted that it had misplaced the January 3rd caucus results from eight precincts, and that a new tally showed Rick Santorum had won, not Mitt Romney, as was previously reported.Washington PostNewt Gingrich defeated Romney in Saturdayâ??s primary in South Carolina, despite allegations from Gingrichâ??s ex-wife that he had asked her for an open marriage in order to continue seeing his mistress, who is now his wife.ABC NewsRick Perry dropped out of the race and endorsed Gingrich, joining him in attacking Romney for inconsistencies in his stance on abortion. “Youâ??re pro-abortion and then you change over to pro-life in your 50s?” asked Perry.ReutersCNNRick Santorumâ??s wife, a pro-life activist, was discovered to have had a six-year relationship with an abortion doctor and obstetrician 41 years her senior, who also delivered her, before marrying Santorum.Daily MailA Ron Paul hot-air balloon was deflated after causing a four-mile traffic jam on a South Carolina highway.WYFF

One day after Wikipedia led a number of websites in going dark for 24 hours to protest the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act, the Department of Justice charged Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and six other executives from the file-sharing site with copyright infringement and conspiracy. “We have some good ideas,” the company wrote in a statement denying the allegations and addressing content providers. “Please get in touch.” Fifteen minutes after the announcement that Megaupload had been taken offline, the hacker collective Anonymous crashed the Justice Departmentâ??s website.NPR onlineA role-playing exercise staged by an Israeli think tank to evaluate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran predicted that Iran would chose to negotiate economic sanctions rather than deploy an attack. “Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb will be like driving in Tel Aviv,” quipped one expert. “It could be very dangerous, but precautions can be taken to reduce the danger.”Christian Science MonitorInstitute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv UniversityIranâ??s morality police cracked down on the black-market trade in Barbie dolls, which are widely favored over their government-created counterparts, Dara and Sara. “My daughter prefers Barbies,” said an Iranian mother. “She says Sara and Dara are ugly and fat.”Los Angeles TimesDuring the United Kingdomâ??s Leveson Inquiry into media ethics, Lucie Cave, the editor of Heat magazine, defended the publication of photographs and commentary about celebritiesâ?? weight, noting that a recent article on certain starsâ?? “wobbly bits” was “very empowering.”BBCA paramedic in Wales was accused of asking a patient whom he suspected of faking her injuries “Why are you being such a silly bitch?” then slapping her across the face.BBCColombian prosecutors questioned a $2,000 contract awarded to a man for keeping rain away from the closing ceremony of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Bogotá, stating that the professionalism requirement for public expenditures “doesnâ??t include shamans.” “Donâ??t call me a shaman,” the man once told reporters. “Nor am I a wizard.”BBC

A flotilla on the Thames was being planned for Queen Elizabeth IIâ??s Diamond Jubilee this year, a Delta flight was grounded after an “unruly” German couple in first class asked for champagne, and the head of a left-wing political party threatened to smoke pot in the Polish parliament. “Weâ??re trying to get into room 143 to burn some grass,” said Janusz Palikot, who burned incense instead.AP via CBSMSNBCAssociated PressA couple in Metal Township, Pennsylvania, tried to blow up a 2009 Ford Fusion with flaming tampons, and astronomers were setting up a planet-wide virtual telescope that will allow them to take the first picture of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. “Everybodyâ??s super-excited,” said one astrophysicist.Daily MailMSNBCThe Millerâ??s Grizzled Langur, a “Dracula-esque” relative of the Hoseâ??s Leaf Monkey long believed to be extinct, was re-discovered in eastern Borneo.AP via Washington PostAn American man sustained only minor injuries after jumping off Table Mountain in Cape Town in a winged suit and falling 197 feet; Italian doctors reported that a man with two hearts had survived a two-heart attack; and a religious-studies major died after collapsing in class at a Christian college in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, on her 21st birthday. “Thank you God,” she had tweeted that morning, “for another year of life.”BBCMSNBCAP via MSNBC

Share
Single Page

More from Sara Breselor:

Weekly Review April 14, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Michael Slager is charged with murder, Hillary Clinton declares her candidacy for president, and a Utah television personality gets probation for kicking a barn owl

Weekly Review January 20, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Pope says climate change is mostly man made, Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and residents of a town in Denmark agree to have sex more often

Weekly Review December 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

North Korea attacks the U.S. film industry, Pakistan reinstates the death penalty, and a Pennsylvania electrician stabs a Virgin Mary lawn ornament in the head

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2018

Within Reach

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

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
Post
CamperForce·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

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