Welcome to the Week in Review for June 18th to June 24th: “There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.” —John Connor
Saturday, June 18th This week of woefully ineffective Koalas, wardrobe-malfunction rescue efforts, and custody-evading Russian robots got off to a somber, yet morally necessary start today, when Canadian legislators legalized physician-assisted death. As The Star reports, while the measure doesn’t go as far as some supporters desired, it’s nevertheless a step forward for Canadians who understandably wish to escape the protracted pain or dignity-robbing final stages of incurable illnesses. We congratulate our neighbors to the north for passing the landmark legislation, and remain shocked by the idea that in some countries, “public servants” manage to compromise on common-sense issues.
Sunday, June 19th Many talented entertainers, including Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse have been taken from us at the too-young age of 27, and unfortunately, today brings word that the grimly named “27 Club” has a new member. Details come via CNN, which reports that actor Anton Yelchin, best known for his role as Chekov in the recent Star Trek reboots, was crushed to death early this morning after his 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backward and pinned him against a fence outside his Studio City home. Investigators have speculated that the vehicle’s problematic shifter—which has been the subject of a recall—led Yelchin to believe the car was in park when it was actually in neutral.
Monday, June 20th You might be cute and cuddly, but if you’re truly terrible at your job, it’s only a matter of time before you get canned. That fact was made crystal clear today, when Today Online revealed that Koala bear Oobi-Ooobi has been relieved of his responsibilities to predict the victors of football matches in the ongoing Euro 2016 Championship. The Leipzig zoo resident’s dismissal comes in the wake of a dismal string of incorrect calls, which left many enthusiasts pining for the Nostradamus-like abilities of fellow German Paul the Octopus, whose foresight during the 2010 World Cup captivated the globe. To paraphrase an iconic line from Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to prognosticate.”
Tuesday, June 21st The saccharine songs of Barney have long installed fear in parents, many of whom rightly equate his tenacious ear worms with the harrowing larva sequence from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But the ostensibly lovable purple dinosaur struck fear in another demo today, when an Alabama teenager managed to get a costume Barney mask stuck on her head. Details come from NBC News, which reports that 15-year-old Darby Risner began to panic when she couldn’t remove the large, bulky headpiece, and bravely fought the urge to vomit while friends transported her to a nearby fire station, where rescuers admirably managed to stop laughing long enough to free her.
Wednesday, June 22nd Exactly how close humanity stands to a reality resembling the scorched-earth, dystopian future of the Terminator series was made frighteningly clear today, when a Russian robot equipped with artificial intelligence managed to escape a research laboratory for the second time. According to Australia’s Nine News, Promobot IR77 was recovered 40 minutes after breaching the facility, though it’s unclear how much longer the experimental machine could have evaded capture had its battery not run out. In the wake of the incidents, the robot’s creators decided to dismantle Promobot IR77, but work on AI will continue, and we resolve to enjoy every day before the eventual uprising.
Thursday, June 23rd The accuracy of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quote, “You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners,” was validated dramatically today, when U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to cease providing sick prisoners with poisonous water. For details, we turn to the Houston Chronicle, which reported that during the proceedings, the disgusted jurist said ignoring dangerous levels of arsenic in convict’s drinking water “violates contemporary standards of decency,” a statement which serves as both a specific indictment, and a general description of life within the borders of the fetid national embarrassment that is the Lone Star State.
Friday, June 24th In what’s either a globe-rattling victory for misinformation, blind nationalism and xenophobia, or a spectacular tie-in for disaster auteur Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence, today citizens across the United Kingdom awoke to news that the country had voted to leave the European Union. As the Wall Street Journal reported, markets reacted violently to the Brexit, with the pound hitting a 31-year low, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging over 600 points. In another distressing development, a headline on the non-satirical Washington Post blared that “The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it.” We shall keep calm and carry on.