Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Blog posts November 2008

Holiday Mode

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Word Play

Can you feel it?  The excitement is building!  In about six weeks or so, the AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY will select the 2008 Word of the Year.  It's accepting nominations right now, and the winner will be announced sometime around January 9, 2009.  As you may or may not recall, last year's WOTY was SUBPRIME.  Very prescient, indeed.

So, what strong contenders might we have this year?  Well, the folks at Merriam-Webster have jumped into the fray with their pick:  BAILOUT.  Not a bad choice.  But, how about one of these:

  • Staycation
  • Change
  • Obamania
  • Meltdown

Just kind of thinking out loud.  What say you?  Let's hear it before it's too late to get a word in edgewise.

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Get Movin'

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Back in the day, when I was in school (by which I mean K-12), my American history education pretty much stopped at WWII.  Korea and Vietnam were only touched on, and we weren't very current on current events.

Back in November 1978, a current event would have been the mass killing at Jonestown.  Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary.  I don't recall remembering much about it.  Maybe a front page picture in the local newspaper of all the bodies.  And, of course, I remember seeing a picture of Jim Jones in his trademark glasses.

With yesterday being the actual anniversary, CNN and MSNBC have been running documentaries about Jonestown.  I've seen them both, and I think they were both very well done. First, I watched CNN's special, "Escape from Jonestown."  HERE is a link.  Soledad O'Brien talked to people who had first-hand accounts of what happened - among them, an aide to a congressman who was killed at Jonestown, and a woman who was only a child when she saw her mother shot to death.  The program had good information and lots of emotion.

MSNBC's special, "Witness to Jonestown," (link is HERE) had, I think, a little less emotion but better information.  It provided a deeper background into the Peoples Temple and a more clear timeline of the events that culminated on November 18, 1978.  But, it did not have as much of a first-person feel as the CNN special because many of the people featured in the MSNBC doc weren't actually at Jonestown when the mass murder/mass suicide happened.

Here's a clip from each:

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I Love These Guys!

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Setting the Table

I have brownies in the oven and laundry in the washer.  So, while I have a few minutes, I will take advantage of the code editor on this thing to practice making an HTML table or two.  I think I'm gonna have to know this for the final.  Here goes.

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

1 2 3
5 6 7

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Here's a Hint ...

... about what I'll be doing this weekend.

On a separate note, the classics never get old, do they?


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Long Winter Ahead

Five long months.  That's how long I have to wait until the start of baseball's regular season.  Normally, I wouldn't be bothered by that long of a wait.  The Eagles and Flyers would fill the gap.  But, this year, I find myself not caring about the Flyers and taking only a passing interest in the Eagles.


(Photo courtesy:  John Minutella, special to The Morning Call)

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Post-Election Celebration

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Bad Barney! Bad!

Seems the first dog, Barney, is not too happy about the prospects of giving up his luxury digs in the White House.  This showed up on the AP news wire:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The lame duck first dog has gone rogue, biting
a White House reporter who'd just reached down to pet him.
      There was no hostile question, Barney apparently was just in no
mood for attention from the press corps at took it out on Jon
Dekker of Reuters.
      The episode was captured on video by another reporter and has
wound up on YouTube. It ends up with a freeze frame of the Scottish
terrier's fangs.
      First lady Laura Bush says it may have been Barney's way of
saying "he was done with the paparazzi."
      The reporter was promptly bandaged by a White House doctor and
says he may be on antibiotics for a few days.

You can watch the video HERE.  Make sure you watch all the way to the end!

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The Campaign in Cartoons

It's finally over.  Nearly two years after it began, the longest race to the White House has ended, not with a whimper, but with a bang.  Barack Obama's landslide victory not only gives him a mandate, but it also gives him a lot of responsibility to do the things he promised to do.  Let's hope he can keep those promises.

You have to wonder if John McCain ever really stood a chance.  No matter who he picked as a running mate, no matter who ran against him, you wonder if the double whammy of the tanking economy and Bush's unpopularity made the task impossible for him (or for any other Republican).  My feeling is that, as the end drew near, McCain knew the race was lost.  That's why Sarah Palin had nothing to lose by "going rogue" and why McCain tried his best to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of having a chance in Pennsylvania.  In the end, wishing just wasn't going to make it so.  

The election made headlines in newspapers around the world.  In the UK, the Independent offers lots of articles and analysis.  For instance, HERE you can see just what other countries hope for and expect from Obama, who gives every indication of being the anti-Bush.

But, it's not all serious.  HERE the paper takes a look back at the battle between Obama and McCain through the eyes of the political cartoonists.  Enjoy. One from John Cole of THE TIMES-TRIBUNE in Scranton even made the cut!

Cole Cartoon

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