Good week for:
China, which ended the Beijing Olympics with 51 gold medals, the most of any nation. The U.S. had the most overall medals, with 110.
Cheating, after the International Olympic Committee said that documents supplied by the Chinese government “seemed” to prove that their tiny, gold medal–winning female gymnasts were 16, as required by the rules. Government officials said that stories published in Chinese newspapers in 2006 describing several of the girls as 12 were the result of “some misunderstandings.”
Giving in to modernity, after Major League Baseball announced it would use instant replay to decide whether disputed home runs made it over the wall in fair territory. “I am old-fashioned,” said Commissioner Bud Selig, “but the time has come for this.”
Bad week for:
Losing gracefully, after a Cuban tae kwon do competitor who was disqualified during an Olympics match responded by kicking the referee in the face. “He could not contain himself,” Fidel Castro later explained, saying that athlete Angel Matos was totally justified in responding to the referee’s unfairness.
Public transportation, after an Amtrak train from Los Angeles to San Diego ran out of fuel, and spent two hours sitting motionless on the tracks.
John Edwards, who reportedly got an icy-cold reception when he called former aides to apologize for having an affair while he was running for president. One aide said the call “was kind of pathetic,” and a longtime confidant told Edwards, “I don’t want you to call me again.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
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