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Authorities in Malaysia arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot. Poor people rioted in France.
January 1, 2006 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Harper's Magazine Yearly Review for 2005 - Yep, it's yet another year-end encapsulation of all that went before. This one's special though. It's Harper's.

Okay I know, just read the damn page!

Seriously, I'm posing this because I like Harper's, and I've always liked the juxtaposition of the big and serious in these summaries, like Hurricane Katrina, with the laughably trivial, like how an increasing number of Americans are now heating their homes... with corn.
posted by JHarris (32 comments total)

 
Oh, I did RTFA. Corn sounds like a pain in the butt (pun intended). Heating with wood, which I have done in the past, is also messy, dirty, and heavy. No thanks. I'll just keep the heat pump in "heat mode" for now.
posted by skeeter1 at 1:44 AM on January 1, 2006


Wow, no other comments yet. Either I produced a bad post, or everyone's sleeping it off right about now....
posted by JHarris at 5:24 AM on January 1, 2006


Dave Barry's got a somewhat more entertaining summation over at WaPo:
How wack was 2005? Martha Stewart did time. Michael Jackson got off. The star of Washington's biggest scandal was named 'Scooter.' And four years after 9/11, Katrina turned out to be a bigger threat than Osama. Crazy stuff, but not to worry: Herewith, eminent historian Dave 'Booger' Barry sorts it all out ...
posted by vhsiv at 5:58 AM on January 1, 2006


Wow, no other comments yet. Either I produced a bad post, or everyone's sleeping it off right about now....

Bit of both.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:09 AM on January 1, 2006


I love Paul Ford.
posted by Marquis at 6:12 AM on January 1, 2006


Terrorists in London set off bombs on four trains and a bus, killing 52 people

Three trains.
posted by cillit bang at 6:47 AM on January 1, 2006


From Barry:

But women are supposed to be better than men. Women are the backbone of civilization: They keep families together, nurture relationships, uphold basic standards of morality and go to the bathroom without making noise. Women traditionally shun the kinds of pointless, brutal, destructive activities that so often involve men, such as mass murder and fantasy football.
posted by craniac at 7:14 AM on January 1, 2006


Thanks, vhsiv--Dave Barry's review of the year is always one of the highlights of my New Years celebration. (Which speaks volumes about my idea of a celebration, doesn't it?)

It's actually a lot more interesting than Harpers.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:28 AM on January 1, 2006


The fine thing with Dave Barry is

*didn't know him before reading about him here
* everbody loves a list, NOT
* he's acutely dissonant, the King of Dissonance
* it pays to be the first one to suck so much it becomes news
* Zuckerman brothers

Goddamit it's the same old shiz since 1988 ..we're stuck in middle ages.
posted by elpapacito at 7:59 AM on January 1, 2006


Oh..and you wonder why journalism is DEAD and 60 minutes is famous ? Because of that, too
posted by elpapacito at 8:00 AM on January 1, 2006


more about the teapot, in case you're interested in the trivial...not that God is Trivial...
posted by kozad at 9:12 AM on January 1, 2006


Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay.

OMFG!!! They ARE being tortured!! God help them all.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:13 AM on January 1, 2006


I like the occasional Dave Barry, but pretending that Scooter's offense is difficult to understand is trés lamé.
posted by Aknaton at 9:41 AM on January 1, 2006


I assume they mean people are heating their homes with ethanol not that they're literally burning corn. That's hardly trivial.
posted by duck at 9:43 AM on January 1, 2006


JHarris : "Seriously, I'm posing this because I like Harper's"

Poser.
posted by graventy at 12:03 PM on January 1, 2006


it's the same old shiz since 1988

Interesting, since Barry took the title of that article from a 1988 movie...

Still, I nearly had a Very Special Cardiac Episode laughing uncontrollably at a couple points. And Barry has a skill for stringing absurdities together that, once one of them tickles your fancy (or fancies your tickle), carries you along laughing at subsequently less-funny jokes for an embarrassingly long run. The result: somebody asks you “What’s so funny?” and you recite that most recent joke, leaving that somebody shaking his-or-her head with a lowered opinion of both you and Dave Barry. It's a gift.
posted by wendell at 12:23 PM on January 1, 2006


Sales of corn-burning stoves have tripled this year and distributors across the country have been sold out for weeks.
posted by ahughey at 12:49 PM on January 1, 2006


And while we're at it, burning shelled corn as a fuel can be a feasible way of dealing with the high prices of more conventional fuels such as fuel oil, propane, natural gas, coal, and firewood.
posted by ahughey at 12:50 PM on January 1, 2006


Paul Ford = good.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:05 PM on January 1, 2006


aughey: I don't have numbers to prove it , but I guess corn isn't a viable alternative..it's only an intelligent way of disposing of a good that is produced in surplus quantities and, as far as I know, heavily government subsidized as low as final consumer price goes.

Obviously there's no point in denying that it allows us to exploit some sun given power..but how efficiently and with which hidden prices..maybe it's worth studying attentively.
posted by elpapacito at 3:31 PM on January 1, 2006


I heat with a woodpellet stove and save $1500 to $3000 a year in fuel oil costs (after the cost of the pellets). The stove paid for its self in one season.

Both corn and woodpellets need to be very dry, therefore they need to be kiln-dried by the mfg (usually a gas-fired system). Not to mention corn requires petroleum to grow, the plastic bags they come in, and the substantial weight of shipping. So these are not entirely carbon-neutral solutions, but it's better than burning straight oil. The stoves also have to be cleaned often, woodpellets about 3 times a year, corn stoves in particular need a lot of cleaning, once every week or two.
posted by stbalbach at 4:19 PM on January 1, 2006


Paul Ford would most definitely win a celebrity death match against Dave Barry. No offense, Dave.
posted by brina at 5:00 PM on January 1, 2006


Well I take it back...I guess they are burning actual corn. I still think it's hardly trivial, though.
posted by duck at 5:38 PM on January 1, 2006


So these are not entirely carbon-neutral solutions, but it's better than burning straight oil.

How do you figure this?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on January 1, 2006


I can't find The Washington Post's "The List." Is it out yet? I need precise metrics for how out of it major media thinks I am.
posted by NortonDC at 7:44 PM on January 1, 2006


found it
posted by NortonDC at 8:37 PM on January 1, 2006


Snowball!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:36 PM on January 1, 2006


Thanks for pointing out that it was three trains rather than four, cillit bang. I fixed that.
posted by ftrain at 10:20 PM on January 1, 2006


Again, I ask: how is it that burning corn -- an oil-intensive crop if e'er there were -- is better than burning natural gas/heating oil directly?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:21 PM on January 2, 2006


Posting from Harpers means never having to say you're sorry.
posted by nofundy at 2:19 PM on January 2, 2006


Snowball!!
posted by mrgrimm at 3:37 PM on January 2, 2006


Thanks for the Harpers link - good stuff there.

Oh, that Dave Barry... he pokes fun at life's little foibles.

God, i hate Dave Barry.
posted by sluggo at 4:18 AM on January 3, 2006


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