I subscribe to Harper’s Weekly, where included items come strung together, the significant mixed with the strange. You wind up with an oddly accurate cross section of current life on this planet. Here are some excerpts:

”[Scotsman] A three-foot-long escaped porcupine named Twinkle was captured in Langwathby, England.[BBC] President Bush said that it was “disgraceful” for newspapers to report on a secret intelligence program to trace bank records,[New York Times] and China announced that media outlets would be fined up to $12,500 if they reported on any “sudden events” without prior authorization.[New York Times] The library of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, cancelled its subscription to the New York Times.

Bruno the bear was shot and killed by German authorities, ending his seven-week rampage through Germany and Austria; Bruno, officially tagged Rampant Brown Bear JJ 1, had killed sheep and rabbits, stolen honey, eluded Finnish bear trackers and elkhounds, and squashed a guinea pig. “Sexual frustration,” said a German official, “may be a reason for the random killings.”[Times Online (U.K)] Rush Limbaugh was detained at an airport when authorities found illicit Viagra in his luggage.[Hamilton Spectator][local6.com] A Vermont teenager was convicted of stealing the bowtie and eyeglasses from a corpse and cutting off its head to make a bong,[NBC5.com] and in Nigeria a professor at Olabisi Onabanjo University was found dead behind Poopola Hospital in Ijebu-Igbo; Professor Oyedola is believed to have been killed by one of two warring campus cults–either the Eiye Confraternity or the Buccaneers.[Vanguard] In Rajasthan, India, a low-caste bridegroom on a horse was stoned by onlookers when a camel in his wedding procession ran amok,[Hindustan Times] and David Hasselhoff hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. [AP via AOL News]

A study showed that rich people get more sleep than poor people, white people get more sleep than black people, and women get more sleep than men,[Reuters] and another study found that money does not buy very much happiness.[LiveScience.com] A gang of marauding transvestite thieves was terrorizing New Orleans businesses,[New Orleans City Business] and scientists were trying to create tomatoes containing an HIV vaccine.[New Scientist] It was revealed that a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player crashed his SUV into a parked car because he was drunk and masturbating to porn.

Meanwhile, it’s Independence Day. Independence! I think I remember what that is.

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