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
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The safest seats are at the back of the plane — and 5 other surprising facts about airline crashes
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
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