Get All the Important News in 2.5 Minutes

Friday, January 06, 2006

Get All the Important News in 2.5 Minutes

One reason I love Harper's is the magazine's "Weekly Review," which manages to summarize recent news and still throw in a few items that take some of the edge off the world's mayhem. The most recent "Weekly Review" mixes tragedy and levity as follows:
Seven people died in a suicide car bombing in Iraq, and a Norfolk, Virginia, man changed his name to Kentucky Fried Russia shut down a natural-gas pipeline to Ukraine; as a result, natural-gas supplies were diminished in [Europe] ...

A 2-year-old in Patchogue, New York was found drunk, and a judge ruled that John Hinckley Jr. could make unsupervised visits to his parents. In Malaysia, people were searching for a 10-foot-tall ape that walks upright. The New Year was postponed by one second to accommodate for the slowing rotation of the earth. It was flooding in California, and parts of Oklahoma and Texas were on fire.
Parts of Oklahoma and Texas on fire -- is that good news or bad news?
... Twenty Sudanese migrants, protesting their treatment in Egypt, were killed by Egyptian police. A landslide in Yemen killed 30 people .... A police officer in Fremont, California, was attacked by a pack of chihuahuas ...

In West Virginia, 13 miners were trapped underground. A woman in New York City was under investigation for putting her dead husband in a suitcase and leaving him there until neighbors complained of the smell. “She wanted to take him to Arizona to be buried,” explained a detective.

Authorities in New Zealand shot and killed 41 stranded pilot whales. A study found that Antonin Scalia is the funniest of the Supreme Court justices; in fact Scalia is 19 times funnier than Ruth Bader Ginsburg ...
Anyway, you get the idea.

Actually, if ordinary Americans would spend the 2-1/2 minutes needed to read this section of Harper's, they would probably know a hell of a lot more about the world they live in than they learn from one of those brain-deadening, 30-minute TV network newscasts.

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