Weekly Review — April 28, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Calbuco volcano erupts in Chile, the country of Liberland is founded, and a woman is convicted of killing her handymen and feeding them to pigs 

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, killing at least 4,000 people and leveling four World Heritage sites, including the 200-foot-tall Dharahara Tower. In villages outside Kathmandu, 80 percent of homes collapsed. On Mount Everest, an avalanche triggered by the quake killed at least 18 climbers and support workers. Tens of thousands throughout the Kathmandu Valley slept in tents, and on roads, parks, and golf courses.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Flash flooding hit Sydney and surrounding towns, killing at least 8 people and prompting authorities to declare 12 natural-disaster zones in New South Wales; and two eruptions of the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile buried the nearby town of Ensenada in as much as 20 inches of ash. A plume of ash continued to billow from the volcano, which had been dormant for 42 years, and scientists warned that it could erupt again. “This hurts a bit,” said an Ensenada resident, “but there’s nothing to do against nature.”[7][8][9][10] In Yerevan, Armenia, Russian president Vladimir Putin gathered with international leaders to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian genocide in which Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million people. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the massacre ever happened, and the country’s deputy prime minister criticized Russia’s participation in the ceremony. “They should look at their own past,” he said.[11] President Barack Obama announced that a CIA-ordered drone strike carried out in January against a purported Al Qaeda compound in Pakistan killed an American development worker and an Italian aid worker who were being held there as hostages, and that a separate drone strike the same month killed two American Al Qaeda operatives who had not been targeted. “This is a president,” said California Representative Adam B. Schiff, “who won a Nobel Peace Prize.”[12][13][14][15][16]

Three Czech libertarians received 200,000 applications for citizenship of Liberland, a three-square-mile microstate they recently established between Serbia and Croatia whose economy will be based on a digital cryptocurrency and whose national anthem will be composed by a straightedge rapper. “We have an Egyptian plumber and a German data-management professional,” said a man processing applications in Prague.[17] Nine people convicted of drug crimes, including two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian, a Filipino, and an Indonesian, were scheduled for mass execution by firing squad in Java.[18] In Colorado, a man took his 2012 Dell XPS 410 into an alley and shot it eight times.[19] A robot known as Random Darknet Shopper that was confiscated by Swiss police for purchasing ten ecstasy pills online was cleared of charges.[20] In Japan, a man was arrested for using a drone to carry radioactive sand from the site of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima to the roof of the prime minister’s office; in Switzerland, the national post service announced that it will test drones for mail delivery; and a man in Tennessee used a drone to accompany his eight-year-old daughter on her walk to school. “Daddy,” he said, “is always watching.”[21][22][23][24]

It was reported that an embryonic twin was discovered inside the brain of an Indiana woman undergoing surgery for a tumor, and an Australian wellness blogger who claimed to have survived terminal brain cancer by eliminating gluten and sugar from her diet admitted that she was never sick.[25][26] A Swedish petting zoo closed to prevent lambs and goats from spreading an eczema-like skin disease to children; a farmer in Miti Mingi, Kenya, reported that his cow was killing and eating sheep; and a 66-year-old Oregon woman was convicted of shooting two handymen and feeding them to her pigs.[27][28][29] The New England Aquarium announced it would be providing its African penguins with igloo-style “honeymoon suites” to encourage mating, Denmark outlawed bestiality, China’s Ministry of Culture banned burlesque dancers and strippers from performing at funerals, and the town of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, proposed changing its current motto, “The Land of Rape and Honey.” “Honey production,” noted a town survey, “has decreased significantly.” [30][31][32][33][34]


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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
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I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

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