Discussion Post: Week 12

The presidential election reached its conclusion late Tuesday night, with incumbent Barack Obama earning a second term in the Oval Office over challenger Mitt Romney. The result thrilled Obama’s supporters, who waited well past midnight to hear their candidate proclaim victory under the night sky in Chicago, reviving the inspirational rhetoric that drove voters in 2008. And it was a night of anguish for the Romney camp, with the team searching for an explanation — after all, if Romney had merely received as many votes as John McCain did in 2008, he would have won the election — and with Republicans astonishingly losing ground in the Senate when they hoped to instead overtake the left-wing majority.

In a rare election year where prominent leaders in both parties acknowledged that the incumbent was vulnerable, more of the post-election soul-searching has come from Republicans than Democrats. (Which makes sense — why should Democrats question themselves after winning?) Naturally, many commentators have pointed to Romney himself as the reason for the right-wing failure, noting that the stagnant economy, the Benghazi terrorist attack, and the impending fiscal cliff were among numerous opportunities on which Romney failed to showcase how his leadership would be an improvement. Others have instead pointed to Karl Rove, who handled the Republicans’ $1 billion campaign to unseat Obama, as the scapegoat amid inaccurate polling, a weak ground game, and a misguided push to swipe Pennsylvania from Obama’s electoral map in the eleventh hour. Numerous campaign staffers have turned instead to the new ORCA election-day monitoring system, which was designed to give the team unprecedented mobile tools to track voter turnout. ORCA had not been properly tested and was still loaded with bugs, which ultimately resulted in a series of election-day crashes that left the team blind to what was happening around them.

The Republican party as a whole is now struggling with its identity, particularly after losing decisively among Latino and female voters. Immigration reform is one of many topics that Republicans have been forced to reconsider as speculation mounts about whether the party must change to survive. Others argue that the Tea Party’s influence, which has pushed Republicans further to the right of the political spectrum, cost them the 2012 contest and will continue hurting their chances in the future. And some have even speculated that the outcome had little to do with the people involved, but that Hurricane Sandy shifted the tide toward the incumbent by presenting him with one last opportunity to showcase his presidential style.

Whatever the reason for the result, it’s as clear as ever that no one likes a loser. That’s especially true on Facebook, where Romney continues to lose an average of 847 “friends” an hour in the aftermath of his defeat. (In the three days after his concession speech, more than 50,000 people unliked his page.) That’s not to say that Obama has gotten off scot-free: consider the Cold Stone Creamery employee who was fired after posting a racist slur and her wish for an Obama assassination on Facebook.

The election day voting procedures have also faced substantial scrutiny, as the process was marred by technical glitches and many voters had to wait in line for hours just to cast a ballot — in Florida, for instance, where the polls officially closed at 7:00 p.m., some voters were still waiting until 1:00 a.m., well after networks across the political spectrum had already called the election for Obama. (After days of counting ballots, Florida finally declared Obama its winner yesterday, several days after I formally called it in my projections.) Others have mocked the various pundits who wrongly predicted a Romney victory while congratulating those whose assessments were more accurate. Among those with more accurate projections were prediction markets like Intrade and Betfair, whose projections never shifted to give Romney the advantage at any point during the campaign.

But no projection could have anticipated the results of three much smaller elections. In Walton City, Kentucky, the race between Robert McDonald and Olivia Ballou for a seat on the city council ended in a tie, 669-669, which likely means that the race will be decided by a coin toss. The biggest insult to McDonald, though, is that he could have won — if his wife had voted. McDonald’s wife works as a night care assistant at a local hospital and sleeps during the day. As the candidate told reporters, “She woke up about 10 minutes before the polls closed and asked if she should run up, but I told her I didn’t think one vote would matter.” Oops.

And in Bibb County, Alabama. Charles Beasley, a Republican, was working to unseat Democratic incumbent Walter Sansing as the County Commissioner when he died on October 12 due to a suspected aneurism. Despite the 77-year-old’s death, however, his name remained on the ballot, and he won 52% of the vote on election day. Given that the election’s winner is clearly unable to serve, Alabama’s governor will have to appoint someone as the new Bibb County Commissioner. Much the same happened in Orlando, Florida, where Democrat Earl K. Wood won a 12th consecutive term as Orange County tax collector after dying at the age of 96.

In any case, with the election now in the past, we can now direct more of our focus to other affairs, like Hurricane Sandy. Power restoration in the northeast is inching closer to completion, yet the region is hardly out of trouble, as gas shortages in New York have forced fuel rationing reminiscent of that in response to the Arab embargo in the 1970s. Even some donations have only made matters worse, as relief agencies have been requesting cash or very specific items, but are being inundated with unwanted donations that have only slowed their efforts.

The gas shortage continues.

Still, there’s at least one bright side to the calamity: participants in last year’s infamous Occupy Wall Street movement have found a new calling as aid workers, exploiting the social media foundations that they originally developed for their protests to benefit the current relief effort. With the Sandy relief effort turning to #Sandy, former protesters are using social media sites like Twitter to coordinate their efforts, systematically moving across the region to deliver meals, blankets, and other aid to survivors of the tragic cyclone.

Let’s turn our attention back to sports. Well, actually, there’s not a lot to report, aside from 14th-ranked Texas A&M’s upset win over Alabama yesterday, at least — the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s 29-24 defeat seriously damages their hopes to defend their national football championship this year.

Otherwise, the biggest story continues to be the NHL’s failure to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with its players. The league and the players’ union have intermittently attempted negotiation and broken away from talks, with the mood worsening by the day. Now that talks have once again reached a stalemate, some commentators have turned their blame toward Donald Fehr, head of the NHLPA, for refusing to compromise and withholding vital information from the players he represents. Others continue to scrutinize NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for negotiation tactics that have ranged from unorthodox to highly reckless. And still others are keeping one eye on the reality of a lockout and another eye trained on the fictional season which continues to be simulated by EA Sports. Vancouver, Chicago, and San Jose currently lead the Western Conference, while Montreal, New York, and Carolina now stand atop the East.

And the St. Louis Blues have dropped to 5-6-2. As my father would say, “This game sucks.”

Let’s jump to entertainment news for a moment. No, I’m not talking about the apparently all-important breakup between Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, which has entertainment sites going mad. Nor am I talking about the new James Bond film, Skyfall, which raked in a whopping $30 million on Friday and is projected to gross a total of $80 million by the weekend’s close. That would be the biggest debut of any James Bond film in history.

No, I’m much more interested in talking about Star Wars. Specifically, Star Wars Episode VII.

Say what?

Yes, it’s true. After the Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion last month, some speculated that the media giant might try to continue long-established franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Now it appears that this was Disney’s plan all along, as mere days after the sale, the company announced that Episode VII will be released in 2015. The sale caught many in the industry by surprise, including actor Mark Hamill, who played the iconic hero Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and who only learned of the plan a few months prior to the deal being sealed. Still, it’s possible that Hamill and co-stars Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia, if you weren’t aware) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) might have cameos in the new films.

Oh, wait, did I say “films”? Plural? Dear me. Look no further than Wikipedia and Wookiepedia, which already have extensive articles on the so-called sequel trilogy spanning Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Reports indicate that Episode VIII is expected two or three years after the 2015 release of Episode VII, with Episode IX following after roughly the same gap. The first of the three films is expected to take place an as-yet unspecified number of years after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

...Episode VII? Let's hope not.

Now, I’ve already talked with a number of fellow fans about the new movies, expressing my concerns about the continuation of the classic franchise. I’ve reminded them about the letdown that Episodes I-III represented to fans of the original franchise, as well as other disappointments like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

My peers have responded merely by saying that my lack of faith disturbs them. (Ha ha?) They claim that the travesty of Episodes I-III (their words, not mine) were George Lucas’ fault, and now that he’s out of the picture, Star Wars can continue unabated. One of my readers further suggested that a best-case scenario would involve Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame taking a major role in coordinating the new films. J. J. Abrams, a longtime fan of the series, quickly cast aside notions that he might be an ideal director. Zach Snyder, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Spielberg have also declined to take the helm. On the other hand, Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer behind Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, has already been confirmed as the screenwriter for Episode VII. Others in the industry are itching to get on board, including Russell Brand from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Twilight star Robert Pattinson.

Is the Force with him?

It’s been far too long since we’ve talked about gaming, but the Wii U has garnered its share of headlines over the past few days. Nintendo’s upcoming game console, set to be released next Sunday, impressed some reporters during Nintendo’s press event last week, from surprise exclusive titles like Bayonetta 2 to sharp graphics on games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which some analysts described as impressive even on the game pad controller.

Even I have to admit, that's pretty sharp.

But in many respects, these happy surprises were overshadowed by major concerns, not the least of which is the console’s meager eight gigabyte hard drive. That’s if you get the basic version, at least. The deluxe Wii U package carries a 32 GB hard drive. If you want to download Tekken Tag Tournament 2, you’ll expend more than half of that deluxe disk space. There are also serious concerns about the system’s online capabilities, especially given Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata’s description of the Wii U’s internet service as an “empathy network.” As one commentator eloquently asked, “What the heck is that?

Then there’s the much-anticipated second screen, which left some who have tried the system unsure of where their eyes should be — on the television, or on the mini-screen in their hands? It may be something to which gamers eventually grow accustomed, much like we all had to get used to flicking a remote to play the Wii or swiping a stylus across one of two screens on the DS. But either way, hardcore gamers will certainly find a learning curve on the Wii U. These technical concerns and other more economic issues leave some wondering if we’re witnessing the slow death of console gaming, particularly given that industry sales in October fell 25% compared with October 2011.

Speaking of death, a Montana man narrowly avoided his own gruesome demise while napping in a cornfield on Wednesday. The unidentified 57-year-old was travelling the country on a bus when he decided to take a rest. So he wandered three rows deep into the corn, presumably to get some shade, and fell asleep there. Cue the local farmer driving his combine through the field. He felt the harvesting machine hit something, and turned off the unit to the sound of screaming. Apparently our poor victim’s clothes were caught in the combine blades, and he received a number of large cuts that required stitches. He may also need skin grafts in the future to repair the damage. Still, if you’ve ever seen a combine, you know that the sap is lucky just to be alive.

Ow.

Many of our readers are aspiring pilots, so maybe you should add this to your resume: “Doesn’t stink.” At least, that’s a requirement for a job on Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth largest airline. The company decided that it would no longer hire any pilot with “bad body odor,” so during a recent screening of job applicants, recruiters put their noses right next to candidates’ bare armpits and took a whiff. As one recruiter explained, “our staff works very closely with the public, and no passenger wants to smell a pilot’s armpits. And if they can keep their cool in this test, they aren’t going to sweat in the cockpit.”

What.

The unusual test has already spelled doom for one applicant, who passed all the other requirements (including English proficiency, 20/20 vision, and a maximum height of 6’2″) with flying colors, but who admitted that his armpits “are always a bit whiffy.”

On a very different topic, I’m sure we all know that the couch is not a safe place for our savings. One Ukrainian couple, however, did not. It was their nine-year-old son who taught them a lesson when he stole their $4,000 in savings from under the family’s sofa, coerced a mentally disabled adult into having it converted to the local Ukrainian currency, then blew the entire supply at a candy store.

You can’t make up this stuff, folks.

But he’s not the only kid on the loose. Many new parents complain that because they have to constantly look after their babies as they crawl around the house, they don’t have enough time for other things, including housework. That was the motivation behind the hot new parenting purchase, the Baby Mop. This rather unusual set of clothes comes with mop attachments affixed to the arms and legs so that newborns can help around the house while they crawl. One customer noted that the mops don’t clean up everything on their own, since they aren’t wet, but that “You can experiment with spraying the kids with water when they crawl to see if that helps.”

Cute or creepy?

Incidentally, if you find the concept somewhat familiar, that’s because the product was inspired by this Japanese ad spoof from the late 1990s:

In local news, a dead Indiana middle school student showed up to class on Monday. Riverside Junior High in Fishers, Indiana received a series of texts from the boy’s phone on Sunday night, with his father alerting school officials that 14-year-old Michael Sinkfield had died in a car accident. Many of his friends received the same texts, and word quickly spread through the small town. School officials planned a meeting on Monday to address how to console the students and help them cope with the tragedy. A number of people posted messages on his Facebook wall and to his Twitter account. Here’s a sampling:

R.I.P. Michael Sinkfield… 1998-2012. He was one of the nicest people I ever knew. He is going to be in my prayers.

R.I.P. Michael Sinkfield. My brother and him were good friends and its so sad to see him so upset. Michael and his family will be in my prayers.

So when Sinkfield boarded the school bus the next morning, he was met with an assortment of astonished smiles and heartwrenching tears from his grieving classmates, much to his bewilderment.

Apparently the texts were nothing more than a cruel hoax devised by a few students who stole Sinkfield’s phone and thought it would be funny to trick the community into believing he was dead. Sinkfield’s parents were alerted to the hoax as well when they started receiving condolence calls from fellow parents later that day. Even the principal called to console his mother, then later had to call her again and apologize for the mistake. That’s one heck of a way to panic a parent.

On the other side of the globe, we have Bunty Verma, a 32-year-old television repairman from Sendhwa, India. As one columnist quipped, “Bunty Verma used to have a sharp tongue.” You see, Verma had an anger problem, and he was prone to verbally abusing his wife, Hema. It eventually got so bad that she left him, taking their daughter with her.

Verma wanted to reconcile with his wife, but he knew that his verbal abuse would get in the way. So to lick the habit once and for all, he did the only reasonable thing: cut off his tongue.

He then left a note to his wife, explaining that since his tongue was the culprit in his speech, slicing it off would enable them to reconcile. There’s no word on whether she bought into his self-mutilation, but Verma was admitted to a government hospital for treatment, and a hospital worker informed police officials about his self-inflicted dismemberment.

There’s plenty more where that came from, like the carjacker who stole a Chinese restaurant’s delivery van and then proceeded to make its deliveries, or the other Chinese restaurant where an armed robbery was foiled by, of all things, the language barrier. Then there’s the woman who drove on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus that was picking up children and has now been sentenced to two days standing at that intersection wearing a sign which proclaims her an “idiot.” We could even address the woman who was conned into paying $200 for a phony iPad that turned out to be a mirror instead.

Hey, it's the iPad Mini Mega Micro Max!

But instead of getting into those stories, I’ll just leave you with this gem. You may remember Patrice Wilson, or “Fat Usher,” who is best known as the rapper who wrote and appeared in Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” (If you haven’t heard of “Friday,” let’s just say that I envy you.) Wilson eventually quit ARK Music Factory, the company that produced “Friday,” in order to form his own music studio, PMWLive. And he’s been working hard, enlisting the help of tween pop hopeful Nicole Westbrook as the lead singer for his latest project.

Well, now you can rejoice because… “It’s Thanksgiving.”

Other articles of interest:
Barrage of rocket attacks slam southern Israel
One month until they regulate the Internet
Is Adopt A Lab of Indiana a rescue shelter or an online pet store?
On Twitter, pope to get different type of followers
Kenyan mother names twins Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Walmart Fires Employees Who Smashed iPads on Video
Walmart announces Black Friday sales will begin Thanksgiving night
Sources: Phil Jackson in lead for job

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40 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 12”

  1. Rachel Moore says :

    I give up on the NHL to come to a compromise. I’m not sure there really looking for one. It seems everyone is trying to get what they want. That leaves the fans with nothing.
    I not sure about what to feel about Disney redoing Star Wars. I really like the series, and an interested to see what they do. Especially with Indiana Jones, some of my favorite movies. I can understand why some people refused to direct it. If they get it wrong, people are going attack them. Not to mention, they are all classics. Disney seems to own several major movie companies now. Hope that doesn’t turn into a monopoly.

  2. tbeach21 says :

    Politics today is such a sham. Once every four years, everybody suddenly cares about what’s going on. Myself? I maintain a steady level just above “not caring” all the time. I think the reaction to the election was ridiculous. I made the mistake of being on facebook soon after the results were predicted. Maybe it’s just my friend base, but people were way overreacting. Sure, maybe I didn’t want Obama to win, but he’s the president now so complaining about it isn’t going to help anything. If we want to get anything done in this country, the political parties need to start working together pronto. After all, we’re supposed to be the UNITED States of America.

  3. mmccune91 says :

    I think it is interesting that Lucas sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney. I am not one of the die hard fans that is really upset about this. I don’t know if this will be good or bad for the franchise, so I guess we will just have to see. Honestly it really doesn’t matter who is making it, because both parties would have the opportunity to make it really good, or it could be really bad. To tell the truth Lucas has not really been on a hot streak when it comes to recent movies he has made. Did any of you see Red Tails? That was a movie that had a TON of potential, but it came up WAY short. So I guess what I am saying is, all we can do is wait and see how these movies turn out.

  4. tbanas says :

    As to why a guy would want to sleep in a cornfield, I’ll never know. What do you think will happen if its November and there’s corn standing in the field. I don’t get how the guy survived.
    In other news, I think the era of wii is coming to a close. Nintendo is trying too hard to ride the wave of success instead of creating something new. The two screen thing is interesting, but I people are confused on how to use it, there’s no point to make one.

  5. Garret Howard says :

    I dont really think that it is a bad thing that Lucas sold the rights to the Star Wars franchise to Disney, after all Disney does usually make some pretty good and well written movies. Also with that being said it looks like the sale has sparked the interest of some really good and well known actors that would like to take part in the movies. On another note it is kind of upsetting that Alabama lost because they probably are the best team in college football this year, they just had an off day in my opinion.

  6. liv4creativity says :

    So many things to comment on!
    1. Star Wars is Star Wars. I just hope Disney does not give the original Star Wars movies a bad rap when they decide to make so many new Star Wars movies. Granted that there are a vast number of Star Wars books in circulation (one of my friends has collected two book cases full). It seems like Disney is trying to become a monopoly.
    2. Combines are dangerous. Farm equipment in general can be very dangerous. I am glad the farmer stopped the combine when he did. I remember hearing my dad talk about how he would sometimes find snakes bound in hay bales because they were hiding and got sucked up in the baler.
    3. Does anyone else have a bad feeling about Patrice Wilson and his horrible raps starring young teenage girls?
    That is all.

  7. Daniel Spivey says :

    I am happy that the election is finally over. Its really strange to see how people can become so opinionated on a subject that they really are not experts in and do not know too much about. Maybe it is because I am older that I have realized how many people get so riled up about stuff like this. Or maybe its just me not realizing how important these things are yet. Either way I am happy the Obama got re-elected and I am eager to see what the next 4 years has in store for this country.

  8. Ashlynn Johnson says :

    I heard about the new trilogy the night of the deal, but it still hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m nervous it’s going to be awful, but I can’t miss out on the new movies. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the trailers are out before I can make a judgement.

    I really didn’t like the song “Friday”, so what’s this “Thanksgiving”? Am I going to have to plug my ears for the new week? I don’t know if I can handle another little girl singing about stupid things….

    The Wii U looks fun, but it’s not new technology and is not impressive at all. They didn’t try to advance their motion capture technology, they just added a screen and revamped the controller. The Oculus Rift (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game) is way cooler than that.

  9. annadell57 says :

    I will never nap in a corn field thanks to that man from Montana! That is so frightening! I don’t know how he didn’t wake up from the noise, but I am glad he survived! China’s airline, Hainan Airlines, seems ridiculous for smelling people’s body odor during an interview. First, that is not a very reliable test and second, that is embarrassing! The poor recruiter…

  10. Garrett Rood says :

    Every time I read about some of these stories I tell myself that I won’t be surprised next time, I still am. Every time I read about these idiots I simply go, “How idiotic.” I just don’t get the level of stupidity of some people. How do you just leave $4000 under your couch and hope for the best, its dumb. Why would you sleep in a corn field and not in the bus you are traveling in, its dumb. Seriously slicing off your tongue, that’s really going to work, its dumb. Most of all, please please please, do not let “It’s Thanksgiving” work its way into mainstream music where people say its awful but make it popular. I just can’t get over the stupidity of many people in the world today.

  11. Alex Johnson says :

    I for one am an extremely strong proponent of the baby mop. For too many years infants have been mooching off of their parents without so much as a single household chore under their belt. Even the most poorly tempered of middle schoolers can be coerced into washing the dishes once in a while. With this new technology, young infants learn a sense of responsibility and work ethic, while their parents enjoy sparkling clean floors.

  12. Tyler Durham says :

    One thing forsure I am happy about with the election being over is that we do not have to hear those annoying ads every other commercial on TV. It seemed that all they did was just try and bash one another as much as they could, rather then trying to promote themselve in a positive way. After this election though, I am happy that Obama got his second term in office. I think he will do big things for this country in the next 4 years and bring the economy back to where it should be. As far as all of the voting problems go, how is it that some states are so terrible at counting votes and organizing it all. Some people in states were waiting a redicoulius amount of time just to cast their vote. Also, with all of the technoloy that we have these days, it makes so sense that it took Florida until the end of the week to know that Obama one their state. This seems to happen eveytime in Florida, you would think by now they could figure out how to count votes the correct and effictent way. But, it is definitely a good thing election day is past us. Now it is time for Obama to do great things for this country.

  13. colinbyram says :

    I am definitely relieved that the election is over and I will spend no more time voicing my opinion because I have no choice but to adapt for the next 4 years. The stories this week seem to be a little more bizarre than usual, whether its the man cutting off his tongue or the Asian airline smelling their pilots pits. I know that if an airline required me to have my pits tested I would probably look elsewhere for work, because that kind of shows maybe their priorities aren’t where they need to be. I haven’t seen all the Star Wars movies, or any for that fact (i know…weird), but the new series will be with Disney characters? If I am understanding that correct that is just as bizarre to me as the airline story. Lastly, the baby mop……I think its a creative idea but I can only imagine it will soon be facing a lot of criticism on claims of child cruelty. I mean it is being resourceful if the babies are going to be crawling around it only makes sense to put something that might help around the house. However, it would be a concern the dust and dirt that would normally be on the floor is not stuck to your mop baby? Probably not the best idea for safety of the child.

  14. Garey Bogo says :

    I’m on the fence in terms of the new Star Wars movies. It really depends on how is goes in terms of who is directing, how the story goes, how much insight George Lucas has in it, and if the original cast-members are involved. On one hand, Disney can make it a great additional to the other movies. Disney, I thought did a good job with The Avengers. It really depends on altogether the story. Disney has most likely seen the comments on them making three more movies, and criticism for other things such as Jar-Jar Binks character. Hopefully they can deliver another three good movies.

  15. Craig Jones says :

    It’s been a great relief being able to watch TV without having to endure attack ads during the commercials. Even on sports channels every commercial break was a political ad that said nothing about what the person running for office was going to do to change things, but just took 30 seconds to attack the other candidate. Just think of what could have been done with all of the money spent on these ridiculous ads. It also frustrated me how upset people got over this election. Friends of mine who know nothing about politics were just outraged over the results and when I would ask them why they would just say “Obama is terrible.” Pretty good answer. My opinion is that it does not matter who the President is when Congress cannot reach across the aisle and try to agree on their differences. A President can’t get anything done without Congress so I feel sorry for whoever has to take on the challenge of being our President.

  16. Brock Wolfe says :

    Thank God the election is over. I think like everyone, I was tired of the crap on tv all the time and ads in various places. Time will tell if the right choice was made although I have my doubts.
    As for the Internet regulation, I have my doubts on this also as it benefiting the average person which is how they will try and sell it to the commoners. The most interesting part of it is the Internet basically started within the U.S. (and a small part in Europe) and some U.N. agency is trying to control it. Maybe it’s time to take our ball and go home so to speak.

  17. Tim Gleeson says :

    I think everyone can agree we’re happy the election is over. Some people are too happy, some people are too mad however. I was intrigued by the article about pilots being smell tested during interviews in China. While hygiene is important and professional, sniffing applicants armpits is ridiculous. Pilots are barricaded behind the cockpit doors anyway, you only get a chance to smell them for about the second you walk by them boarding or exiting a plane. The Thanksgiving video is bad, but still can’t be as bad as “Friday.” Who am I kidding, it was awful but kind of catchy.

  18. Blake Neata says :

    I watched the presidential speech given by Obama. I didn’t vote but if I did it would have been for Romney, due to reasons too long to explain now. I enjoyed Obama’s speech. Even though he wasn’t my choice for president, he sounded reassuring in his speech. There is no point to complain that one candidate won over another, but it is time to try and unite as a country. I like Obama’s plan to help out the middle class and try and give equal rights to everyone but I just don’t see it working. I see the president giving out more handouts than before and the people receiving this added help are going to continue to sit back and be lazy. There are so many Americans that need to just get out and at least look for a job instead of thinking that Obama is going to pay for your laziness, just like the last four years.

  19. kcorcimi says :

    Nicole Westbrook– new teen sensation. That video seriously made me laugh out loud. It is absurd! I don’t understand what is going through these young teens minds when they come up with ridiculous songs (in my opinion) like “Thanksgiving.” I mean, seriously? There was never suppose to be a “theme song” for Thanksgiving, so I’m not sure what she was going for with this one. I mean you never know, she may have a decent voice. You can’t really tell though because it’s so auto-tuned, not to mention you can listen to it for more than 10 seconds without being annoyed. And then there is that random black guy in there that halfway looks like Usher; what’s he doing in there? I just don’t understand. Teen sensations should really just wait until they’re older and actually have something to talk/sing about.

  20. Edward Dang says :

    Video games and console evolution is very odd, there’s a pull for innovation in hardware in an age where a video game console is not longer just a video game console (well except for Nintendo’s products) but can realistically double as movie-player. The Wii U has great potential but it is a mysterious thing and hard to predict just where a screen for a controller will go if anywhere. That being said, Nintendo’s track record for what looks doubtful but can turn out to make them a ridiculous pile of money is similar to Disney. Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars rights and their plans to make more movies is actually very smart. There’s a franchise that is very very big, and now we’ve got a new age of CGi and industry norms. Nerdy stuff is cool now because a few geniuses figured out how to mainstream The Avengers, which Disney was involved with. All it takes is the right writer and the right director. A good movie is just a good movie, but a good movie that people know about will make the money that counts.

  21. lukeshall says :

    So this guy almost getting run over my a combine, reminds me of a great video that I watched recently… the turbo Tractor. We should probably just get all tractor to this level. Just think of how awesome and quick harvesting would be!
    … enjoy
    http://www.wimp.com/turbotractor/

  22. Cameron says :

    Star Wars Episode 7! How can one not be excited for that? I am so excited, but also terrified. Star Wars holds a very dear place in many hearts; I don’t want to see it destroyed by Disney. I know they have handled other great movies before like the Avengers for example. But was it really Disney who made that awesome movie? Or was it the incredible company of Marvel, who just happens to be owned by Disney? But what really scares me is that absolutely retarded picture posted above of Disney characters in Star Wars gear. Even the look on George Lucas’s face says, “Oh God. What have I done?” They must handle this new found Force with extreme caution and perfection. They absolutely can’t harm the greatest movie franchise ever made! And their first step would be to tell Robert Pattinson and Russell Brand to f*** off.
    Lastly, the Wii U. Seriously Nintendo? Yes, innovation is cool, and they did surprisingly well with the Wii, but now it’s just like, “Really? Why?” First off, why is it still called a Wii and why does it still look so similar? Most people who aren’t really gamers may not even realize it’s a whole new console. The tablet controller is interesting to say the least, but you can only have two per system anyways, why not four? I remember when this was announced; they bragged that the Wii U had comparable or better graphics than the PS3. Sweet! An entire generation late! And the thing was released now because they know they can’t compete in the next console war vs Microsoft and Sony. Don’t even mention the laughable 32GB hard drive, and that’s the deluxe version! Even the cheaper current versions of Playstations and Xboxs come with 120GB+! Sorry for my rambling, I have just given up on Nintendo.

  23. nlosande says :

    With the election over, I think there is one thing we can all rejoice in together… NO MORE POLITICAL ADS!!! I for one am sick and tired of them . Even the ones for my political party of choice were getting quite annoying. Now, luckily, we have a year and half break until the midterm elections. Already looking forward to it…

  24. Zach Gerbner says :

    Part of me is happy and part of me is sad that the election is over. While I enjoyed all the coverage on the news, and the stories that came out about the races on a daily basis, I will not miss all the advertisements. Even though I am a political science minor, and took a class where we spent weeks looking over and examining political ads. I just get sick of the ads, especially when the ads become repetitive. I watched election coverage the whole night, through Mitt Romney’s concession speech. fell asleep before President Obama’s speech, but I watched it the next day and I thought it was pretty good. I am already looking forward to the midterm elections, and eager to see what the Republican Party does to revamp itself and I expect another very close election in 2 years.

  25. Brandon Poindexter says :

    Im glad the elections are over, i don’t have to listen 24/7 to any more of how Mr.Bad is spending $xyz on plan Z. Sure its an important thing to keep in mind but in reality those advertisements don’t have to tell the truth.
    Though I have to say that city council tie because of one of the candidate’s wife’s not voting is quite funny. I appreciate her work enough to not criticize her TOO much though.

    Aaah Star Wars. When I was a kind in the early 2000’s, I watched the prequel star wars and thought they were “so awesome”. With all those cool explosions and eye-candy effects and pod racing etc etc. Now, re-watching them after a few years I have to say. What was Lucas thinking? Sure there are cool effects to go look at, but people nowadays aren’t wowed by that anymore. And each prequel was lacking in the most basics of basics. It was difficult to tell who the main character is in Episode I if you cant relate to them AT ALL. NONE of the characters in the prequels were memorable. The acting was sooo bad, and the script was just garbage. For anyone who wants to see a review of Star Wars Episode 1, 2, and 3 I recommend the “Plinkett Reviews” by Red Letter Media. The reviews are about an hour long so grab some popcorn. 😉 But the review explains why the Prequel movies are so bad in a very clear way. I urge people, especially people who LOVE Star Wars just be cause its Star Wars to watch these reviews with an open mind. It certainly matured me as a movie-goer.

    And finally, it’s a bit ridiculous for Nintendo to only supply 32 GB on their Wii U. That might be good for your android SD card slot, but wholly inadequate if you want to store a console video game on.

  26. kearstenolson says :

    The McDonald example is why your vote matters. While in the grand scheme of the presidential race, most people believe your vote doesn’t matter because the Electoral College will side with the majority vote in state. However, most of the things that affect us directly come from the legislation passed by our state and local governments where no Electoral College is present, therefore every vote counts.

    I will say though, I am very glad that the election is finally over and we can finally stop being pestered by political ads.

  27. bwulf24 says :

    I am glad the election is over. Maybe its just me because its the first election i really paid a lot of attention too but it seemed really really cut throat and didn’t really make either candidate look good. It was so hard to make an informed decision because both candidates and their supporters just constantly slammed the other whether they told the truth or not. But hey, its over now and whats done is done. Lets hope in 4 years it isnt quite so bad although I’m not too optimistic of that because the country seems so divided right now.

  28. Daniel Hudspeth says :

    I think that Disney will come to ruin the Star Wars movies if they even consider hiring actors like Russell Brand or Robert Pattinson. While I admire Russell Brand for his comedy, I do not think that either of these actors can fill any roles in these movies. They don’t seem to fit the genre. Also, I really hope that Disney plans to stick to the original story line for 7, 8, and 9. Many Star Wars fans will be very disappointed if the script goes a different way. I would hope that they would consult Lucas and other Star Wars experts on how the original story line goes. We’ll see whether or not these movies are successful or complete failures.

  29. Craig (@ctlocker) says :

    I am glad you put the video of President Obama’s acceptance speech on this week’s blog. As a class that is primarily about technical communicating I was blown away by his 20 minute speech, not because of content, but pure mechanics, Romney as well. These were some of the most well delivered speeches I have heard in quite some time. I even watched President Obama’s twice and there was zero vocal fillers in his speech, amazing! With Romney’s he had great dramatic pauses that drew an already reeling crowd to an energy that was hard to match. I have so much more respect for speeches now because of this class. I also appreciate this class more and more for the fact that I now constantly look at public speaking as a real art and feel I can really see great presentations and ones that are in need of revision. I know I am far from the best presenters, but I do feel that in this class we have all grown to become more suited to communicate regardless of our information.

  30. Brandon Vath says :

    I am very happy that the election is over and we do not have to further endure the battery of political advertisements and news coverage. I am sure that this entire process will start up again in about two years. But for now, I will sure appreciate the “peace and quite”.

    I do find the “B.O. Tests” Hainan Airlines is conducting to be a bit strange. I understand where they are coming from and the point they are trying to make, but I believe there are better ways to accomplish this. A passenger is never going to be as close to you as seen in the picture. Personally, I feel that as long as you can have a conversation with someone and you are unable to “detect an oder” emitting from them at that distance, there should be no further concern.

  31. APhelps says :

    I just want to take a moment to reflect upon the fact that so many people are excited the election is over. Now I know there is a ton of hype for the elections and that some are going to be estatic about the results, whether good or bad, were as other will simply be apathetic. That is fine, for politics is not for everybody (including myself) but we must not be naive enough to realize that the election is the end. Many different policies will be put in place with the current administration that would have been different than if Mr Romney would have won the house. All these policies will in some way effect each and every one of us and I would encourage us all not turn turn a blind eye to it all and simply become involved again 4 years down the road. Voting really matters, but more so than that, voicing your opinion does. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and trust me, just voicing it to your local representative can mean more than you might believe. There is always an opinion, just whether you chose to care enough to voice it. Dont always take the easy way out, let others know your viewpoints. Who knows, as we have seen some elections do come down to a coin toss.

  32. Rachel Dockter says :

    Wow, quite a bit of amusing news this time around. Particular the whole airline thing and the car crash hoax…Though the latter probably shouldn’t be as funny to me as it is.

    I’m keeping an open mind in regards to the new Star Wars installments. Don’t knock ’till you see it, basically. Who knows, they could turn out just fine. Though considering that one of the things I’ve been enjoying most about the whole “Disney buying Lucasfilm” development is the sheer amount of jokes going around Tumblr about Leia being inducted into the Disney Princess collection, I’m pretty sure that even if the films turn out terrible they’ll at least be something to laugh at. Like the prequels, in that respect.

  33. Jae Hyeon Joo says :

    I think the baby mop is not a good idea. Even though baby rolls all around the house, this is a kind of child abuse. There is a vacuum machine that can run all around the house which means it cleans house automatically.

  34. jetblueberry says :

    The Republican party struggling with it’s identity? BAHAHAHAHAHA. As if people couldn’t see this one coming, I mean really. A party that is extremely polarizing with very unpopular views and quite a few faces that claim that ‘Rape is natural, accepted by God, and mean’t to happen.’ Yeah no. I don’t feel any pity in their loss and honestly, was excited to see some of their candidates go down in what some might say were definite flames. It is amazing how some of their policies regarding women and the middle class seem to set the country back at least 50, if not more years. It seems like the only thing they really CAN do to win such an important office anymore, is to go in as centrist or liberal leaning and then flip flop back to their old ways because no one wants someone so full of hate.

  35. Shalini Kannan says :

    As for the man who cut off his tongue because of his sharp speaking habits, I think that is way to radical and he should have tried counseling or such. Cutting off his tongue just shows he is impulsive and that he cannot even control his own mouth. As for the conning into buying an iPad, it was definitely a very interesting punishment to stand on a sidewalk wearing a sign that says “Idiot.” As for the airlines new policy of smelling pilots armpits, I am not sure that should have much impact on whether they will be hired or not. I am also extremely happy this election is over, and hopefully Obama will fullfill all of what he promised in the next 4 years.

  36. meyer44 says :

    First of all, I am just happy for the elections to get over with. It’s time to stop complaining or bragging about which candidates got elected. All we can do now is hope that any of the candidates elected do their best in office.

    As a pilot myself, I can’ say that I am completely surprised by the no body-odor rule. We have to maintain a high level of professionalism. Even here in America, you wouldn’t go to an interview smelling terrible. All that airline did was make it a black and white requirement to be hired.

    I listened to the “Thanksgiving” song. Well, let’s just say it was a few minutes of my life that I will never get back.

  37. Junter says :

    Thank god the election is over and we can all get back to normal, the cut throat ferocity of some of the politicians at the end of their campaigns are just down right brutal.

    Not sure how i feel about the Lucas Film acquisition by Disney. They have a lot of pressure on them to produce something good after their latest flop in John Carter.

    Very interesting to hear about the pilot body odor requirement. Obviously no one wants anyone who smells bad representing their company but maybe a written warning and i stick of old spice would be a better action than firing i highly qualified professional.

    And last but not least, please no more 14 year old auto tuned signers, please. Friday was funny because it was the first of its kind but this new one is worst because it’s actually better than friday. Rebecca Black just had a hilariously bad voice that people found funny, Westbrook just tries to hard.

  38. Paul Laurinaitis says :

    I would like to comment regarding the purchase of the star wars franchise. I think this is still a good thing as long as the right people take the helm. It would be a shame if bad movies were made and ruined a great franchise. As long as the directors don’t change it up drastically and the actors don’t go over the top, i think it would work really well. It would be interesting to see how they could use today’s technologies to make the movie experience that much better.

  39. mbruhn says :

    In response to the man almost being sucked up by the combine, I instantly thought of the book and movie called Darwin awards. It’s lucky how this man didn’t get injured more severely or even killed! I think next time he should find a nice big shady tree to take a nap under. In regards to the mop that you can have your child wear, at first thought it seems like quite a good idea, but after thinking more about it, it just seems extremely unsanitary. Children love putting anything and everything in their mouths, so what makes you think they won’t put this dusty mop in their mop after he or she freshly cleans the living room floor with it.

  40. zack Palazzo says :

    Im curious to see how the disney star wars will turn out. I have a feeling that they will not be as good as the original or the prequel movies. Hopefully I will be wrong, and the movies will be entertaining