Harper’s Harper’s Tuesday Tuesday

It’s two for one Tuesday, since i missed last week. What follows are some news tidbits that you might not have heard about. Aw, c’mon, you know that your inquiring mind wants to know. You can check out the validity of these items by linking to their sources from last week’s review or this week’s.
&#9733 A Christmas party in Dublin was canceled after Gus, a camel starring in Santa’s Magical Animal Kingdom Show, got drunk on Guinness and ate all the mince pies. A 43-foot-tall Swedish straw Christmas goat was doused with flame-retardant chemicals so that only its hooves could be burned, and a mother in South Carolina had her son arrested for playing with his Christmas present early.
&#9733 The invention of rap was traced back to Muhammad Ali.
&#9733 Several U.S. cities were complaining that they had too many churches, and a man in Tampa was selling his soul on the Internet.
&#9733 A plane bound for Texas made an emergency landing after a female passenger lit matches to mask the odor of her fart.
&#9733 NASA announced that by 2024 it would open a space camp for astronauts at the south pole of the moon, and astronomers watched a giant black hole eat an entire star.
&#9733 A study found that standard-sized condoms were too large for the men of India. The National Institutes of Health said that circumcision is an effective method to limit heterosexual transmission of HIV, but Kevin De Cock, HIV/AIDS director of the World Health Organization, warned that circumcision was “not a magic bullet.”
&#9733 A hunter in Wisconsin shot a seven-legged deer, and a Texas lawmaker introduced legislation that would allow the blind to participate in “the fun of hunting.”
&#9733 British geneticists investigating the case of a 10-year-old Pakistani boy who could walk on burning coals announced that they had discovered a gene that influences the perception of pain. They could not examine the boy directly because he had died after leaping off a roof to impress his friends.
&#9733 The baiji, a species of blind white dolphin extant for 20 million years, was declared extinct, and two dolphins who had swallowed toxic plastic were saved by the world’s tallest man, who used his long arms to retrieve shards from their stomachs.
&#9733 Former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who is said to have strangled Emperor Haile Selassie with his bare hands and buried him under a toilet, was convicted of genocide by an Ethiopian court.
&#9733 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport removed fourteen Christmas trees after a local rabbi threatened a lawsuit if officials did not add an eight-foot menorah to the arrangement,
&#9733 An international war crimes court sentenced a Rwandan Roman Catholic priest to 15 years in prison for ordering his church crushed by bulldozers while 2,000 ethnic Tutsi remained inside.
The last three tidbits are so symptomatic of why organized religion is the scourge of humanity.
Now, as far as this next bit is concerned, I hope Iran watched 60 Minutes on Sunday as the long-secreted archives of the Nazi concentration camps were revealed. The Nazi’s extermination camps took the lives of 17 million individuals. 6 million of those were Jews ; that leaves 11 million “others” — gypsies, homosexuals, the “politically incorrect” intellectuals, and all those who might cause trouble. Nevertheless,
&#9733 Iran held a conference to examine whether the Holocaust happened.
Finally, it seems appropriate to end with this little bit, which Harper’s aptly combined into one sentence.
&#9733 Police and firefighters on Long Island rescued a veteran who had walled himself in with a seven-foot-high pile of fecal matter and other debris, and Representative Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) said President Bush was in “deep shit.”