Good week/bad week
Good week for:
Clippings, after a librarian at Union College in New York found in a 1793 almanac an envelope labeled “Washington’s hair,” containing a lock of silvery hair tied with a thread. Scholars say the hair is very likely the first president’s.
Progress, after the World Health Organization predicted that polio will finally be eradicated “once and for all” in 2018. Last year, there were only 22 reported new cases of the disease, which paralyzed or killed millions of children in the 20th century.
Withholding evidence, with the news that the suspected British drug mule mentioned last week in this space is still refusing to have a bowel movement. Lamarr Chambers, 24, “has not properly been to the toilet for some 33 days,” a prosecutor told a court this week.
Bad week for:
Aesthetics, after multiple employees at Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., were treated for injuries after walking face-first into its internal plate-glass walls and doors.
National defense, after a think-tank study found that three-quarters of Americans ages 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service because they’re too fat, have criminal records, or didn’t graduate high school. The image of “hearty, scrappy” Americans who “can do anything,” the study’s co-author says, “is no longer accurate.”
Interpretation, after Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie triggered a backlash with her sultry, lounge-jazz version of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, which sounded like Marilyn Monroe impersonating Billie Holiday. Commentator Charles Barkley said Fergie’s anthem left him feeling like he “needed a cigarette.”