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Old 01-03-2006, 12:01 AM   #1
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Harper's Yearly Review

HARPER'S MAGAZINE YEARLY REVIEW

The number of people killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami rose to 230,000. A study showed that 310,000 uropeans die from air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that 90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. An international task force of scientists, politicians, and business leaders warned that the world has about 10 years before global warming becomes irreversible. The U.S. Congress officially ratified President George W. Bush's election victory after a two-hour debate over voting irregularities in Ohio. Terri Schiavo, Johnnie Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch Hedberg, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the theme song to "Gidget." An Australian tortoise named Harriet turned 175. General Motors was spending more for health care than for steel, and an increasing number of Americans were heating their homes with corn. El Salvadoran police arrested 21 people for operating a smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband cheese. NASA announced that it wanted to return to the moon.

A study found that the worldwide percentage of land stricken by drought has doubled within the last 30 years. The Jordan River was filled with sewage, and the last of Gaza's Jewish settlers left their homes on armored buses. Terrorists in London set off bombs on four trains and a bus, killing 52 people; President Bush condemned attacks on innocent folks by those with evil in their hearts. A 13-year-old boy in Kalamazoo accidentally burned down the family meth lab. New Orleans flooded after levees broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; many evacuees were not allowed to take their pets with them. "Snowball!" cried a little boy after police took away his dog. "Snowball!" At least 42,000 people died in an earthquake in Pakistan. It was announced that Cookie Monster would cut back on cookies. Authorities in Malaysia arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot. Poor people rioted in France.

In North Carolina Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner executed since the United States reintroduced the death penalty in 1976. A 1,600-inmate faith-based prison opened in Crawfordville, Florida. Police began random bag checks of subway passengers in New York City. It was revealed that the CIA had set up a secret system of prisons, called "black sites," around the world; it was also revealed that the National Security Agency was spying on Americans without first obtaining warrants. Journalist Judith Miller was released from jail and said she wanted to hug her dog. U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay was arrested; U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted. The Pentagon admitted to using white phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah, Iraq, and allocated $127 billion to build a robot army. The total number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war rose to 2,174, while the total number of Iraqi civilians killed rose to 27,636. "We are all waiting for death," said an Iraqi soldier, "like the moon waiting for sunset." The U.S. Defense Department, in violation of the federal Privacy Act, was building a database of 30 million 16- to 25-year-olds. The Department of Homeland Security announced that it had wasted a great deal of money and needed much more. Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay. Scientists began work on a complete, molecule-level computer simulation of the human brain. The project will take at least ten years.

--Paul Ford
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:06 AM   #2
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So very, very negative
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:10 AM   #3
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So very, very negative
Oh come on;

Quote:
An Australian tortoise named Harriet turned 175.
and

Quote:
Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay.
If that's not a light at the end of the tunnel then I don't know what is.
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:18 AM   #4
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Why was there no mention about the Cedar Revolution or the sucessful Iraqi elections? Five years ago these would have been considered fevered pipe dreams by most analysts and yet not a mention.

To be honest if people view the world through that prism it is no wonder that events on the ground consistently diverge from their fanciful narratives.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:56 AM   #5
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Why was there no mention about the Cedar Revolution or the sucessful Iraqi elections? Five years ago these would have been considered fevered pipe dreams by most analysts and yet not a mention.
Perhaps this reflects on our ever-shortening attention span....
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:03 PM   #6
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don't worry, be happy

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Old 01-04-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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Oh for Pete's sake.

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Authorities in Malaysia arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot.
This Paul Ford hasn't got his facts straight.

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Old 01-04-2006, 11:42 AM   #8
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I guess you'd have to be a regular reader of Harper's Weekly Review to appreciate how it's written. It's not intended to be the hard cold factual news; there is definitely a spin to create a list of the bizarre, the surreal, the tragic and the humorous. Take it lightly.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:47 AM   #9
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Ah, Ok, Goddit. I don't read Harper's at all.

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Old 01-04-2006, 11:52 AM   #10
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I get their weekly reviews emailed to me; they just amuse me for some reason. Here's an excerpt from last week's:

A senior member of the International Olympic Committee revealed that London probably only won the right to host the Olympics in 2012 because of a voting error. Prebiotic organic molecules--which are found in DNA--were discovered in constellation Ophiuchus, 375 light-years from earth. The Pope was worried that "intellectual and technical achievements" were leading to "spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart." A study found that good dancers are sexually attractive because they are more symmetrical. In Hubbard, Ohio, a Santa clutched his chest and collapsed as he appeared before 750 elementary schoolchildren, and in Warren, Michigan, a 14-year-old boy raped a 12-year-old girl in a church bathroom during a Christmas play. In Lawrence, Kansas, three women quit their gym because there was a Christmas tree decorated with plastic fetuses in its lobby. A Missouri woman swallowed a cell phone to keep it away from her boyfriend. New rings were found around Uranus, and gay marriage became legal in the U.K. Elton John married his partner David Furnish in Windsor, and two gay druids who perform in amateur pantomime productions were registered as legal partners in Wrexham. Scientists in Switzerland found that taking didgeridoo lessons cuts down on snoring, while scientists in Mauritius discovered the bones of 20 dodos. In the Isle of Wight, England, authorities were looking for Toga, a three-month-old Jackass penguin that they believe was stolen so that it could be given as a Christmas present. "Toga," said a zoo manager, "is very, very vulnerable.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Why was there no mention about the Cedar Revolution or the sucessful Iraqi elections? Five years ago these would have been considered fevered pipe dreams by most analysts and yet not a mention.

To be honest if people view the world through that prism it is no wonder that events on the ground consistently diverge from their fanciful narratives.
I think it's b/c the Harper's Lists are usually made up of things with numbers and often a set of numbers for a dramatic comparison. They seem to pick based on wow-factor and not necessarily what is considered important news. I don't think it's meant to be a compilation of all the most important things that happened, but rather a compilation of numbers and comparisons that make people's eyes pop. Maybe I'm wrong, but I read Harper's Magazine and in the front there's always a list like this.
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