Harper’s Tuesday

Below are some news tidbits you might have missed — or, if you didn’t — are worth repeating for various ironic and absurd reasons. You can find out more, including the sources for the items by going here.

For its temporary embassy in Washington, D.C., the Iraqi government purchased a $5.8-million Tudor-style mansion across the street from the home of Dick Cheney on Massachusetts Avenue. The mansion features a built-in espresso machine, heated floors, soft pistachio carpeting, and a Jacuzzi.

Ted Wells, Scooter Libby’s defense lawyer, gave his closing argument. “He’s been under my protection for the last month,” Wells told the jurors, “now I’m entrusting him to you.” Then, he sobbed, “Give him back! Give him back to me!” Wells then went back to his chair and sniffled. It was discovered that Abdul Tawala Ibn Alishtari, an indicted terrorist financier, gave more than $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. “We need to be careful,” said the NRCC in a statement, “not to rush to judgment.”

Scientists said “quasicrystalline” designs in medieval Iranian architecture indicated that Islamic scholars had made a mathematical breakthrough that Western scholars achieved only decades ago and concluded that ancient Iranian culture was very, very smart.

Twelve senior citizens on a beach excursion in Costa Rica during their Carnival Cruise Line vacations drove off two muggers, while a 70-year-old American put a third in a headlock, broke his clavicle, and strangled him to death.

With its new slogan “The Light is On for You,” The Archdiocese of Washington launched a marketing blitz that included ads on buses and subway cars, 100,000 brochures, and a highway billboard in an effort to get Catholics to confess.

After widespread opposition from residents of Utah and Nevada, the Pentagon canceled its plan to test a large non-nuclear bomb as part of Operation Divine Strake.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University confirmed that mothers suffering from heartburn are likely to give birth to hairy newborns.

Scientists in Senegal watched chimpanzees fashion spears from sticks and use their weapons to stab sleeping bush babies.

Thousands of spectators at the Rose Monday parade in Mainz, Germany, watched a float of President Bush being spanked by the Statue of Liberty.

Some very “interesting” news came out too late for this weeks Harper’s Weekly. I can’t wait to see how this whole thing plays out:

James Cameron’s “The Lost Tomb of Christ,” which the Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries — small caskets used to store bones — discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus, according to a press release issued by the Discovery Channel.

If only.