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June 19, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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It pays to major in English

Studying the humanities is not a waste of money, notes Blaine Greteman in New Republic.

“Defying all conventional wisdom and their parents’ warnings, most English majors … secure jobs, and not just at Starbucks,” the University of Iowa professor says.   Continue Reading →

June 18, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Social media make sure soldier gets his dog back

RobertAndBaxterWhen Fort Carson, Colo., soldier was posted in Afghanistan in March, his ex said she’d take care of his “baby,” a 3-year-old Shiba Inu he had raised from a pup.

But the next thing Robert Gabbert knew, his dog Baxter was gone — sold on Craigslist by his ex-girlfriend. Continue Reading →

June 14, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Fathers know best: A look back at favorite dads

freddieOriginally published Sept. 17, 2013: The latest unconventional obituary to go viral celebrates a dad from Georgia who ”attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy’s.”

“Our dad was a unique and special guy,” Mark McCullough, the oldest of William “Freddie” McCullough’s six kids, tells the Savannah Morning News. “I wanted to do things differently to honor him with an obit that fit him.”

Mark, a filmmaker, is developing a TV show based on his father.

From the obit, it sounds like Dad already wrote the series for him:

(Freddie) hated vegetables and hypocrites. Not necessarily in that order.

(He) was great at growing fruit trees, grilling chicken and ribs, popping wheelies on his Harley at 50 mph, making everyone feel appreciated and hitting Coke bottles at thirty yards with his 45.

Freddie loved to tell stories. And you could be sure 50% of every story was true. You just never knew which 50%.

(He) adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. There isn’t enough space in the … phone book.

You can read the rest of Freddie’s adventures here.

 

Another dad who became famous online is a self-proclaimed “old-fashioned, redneck” whose daughter did not adhere to his “modesty guidelines.” You can read about how he gave her an inventive lesson on skimpy clothing here.

ScottMackintosh

 

1986 
And a dad from Canada struck a nerve when he got fed up with his kids not playing outside. He decided to flip back the calendar to 1986. You can read about his experiment with no cellphones, no computers and no Internet here.

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Even dads who aren’t around can make a lasting impression. A boy who never got the chance to know his father, an Army sergeant killed in Iraq, is keeping alive the selfless spirit of his dad. Read about the 8-year-old’s generosity here.

MylesHugsHisDad

And, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the man who wrote “people say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day” worked for the government. The (real) father of Christopher Robin and whimsical progenitor to Winnie-the-Pooh was a spy — or more precisely a propaganda writer for a secret military unit during World War I. Bother.

milne

A.A. Milne started writing Winne-the-Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. The first book was published in 1926.

June 13, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Charts: The best and worst democracies

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index has rated nations according to how democracy works.

The researchers take into consideration such things as the electoral process, civil liberties, political participation (e.g., voter turnout), the number of women in power, how the country allows its people to participate in lawful protests, if its government functions effectively and its political culture, i.e., whether losing candidates and their supporters accept defeat gracefully.

Many of the countries that come out on top are the homogeneous societies of Scandinavia.

The U.S. comes in 19th, below Malta and Uruguay. (Cough.)

DemocracyIndexRankingTheEconomist

Don’t feel bad. France, you’ll note, isn’t even in the top 25. In 27th place, it’s ranked as a flawed democracy.

But there are far worse. The nations at the bottom of the list according to the Democracy Index … Continue Reading →

June 12, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Photos: Moose ‘vacations’ in Colorado hotel

moosePhotoCourtesyOfKatieNelson

The moose makes itself at home in the lobby of the aptly named Antlers Hotel. Photos courtesy of Katie Nelson, the hotel’s conference services manager.

We all need a little getaway. And what better place for a moose to choose than the Antlers Hotel, which after all is proud to be pet friendly. Continue Reading →

June 12, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Not so fail-safe: Declassified documents confirm H-bomb close call

Whew. That was a close one.

Declassified documents this week provide new details on the H-bombs that accidentally fell on Goldsboro, N.C., in January 1961, an incident that This Just In explored last year.

It was a scare that prompted Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to note that “by the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted,” the National Security Archive reports. Continue Reading →

June 10, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Video: Who’s the guy who just beat Cantor? A real, charming Brat

In this YouTube video, the Tea Party candidate who unexpectedly brought down the House majority leader introduces himself to voters in March. Dave Brat’s affable personality belies his surname. He says he is a Catholic from Michigan who attended Princeton Theological Seminary and now teaches economics.

Here, Brat “delves into … the many ways in which Eric Cantor has violated the Republican Creed.”

You can read the story about Cantor’s stunning and historic primary loss here.

Politico has a few more details on Brat here.

June 10, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Chart: The most trusted name in news?

new Brookings and Public Religion Research Institute survey on What Americans Want From Immigration Reform contains some interesting data on what TV news channels are considered most trusted by party affiliation. If you’re an MSNBC fan, better avert your eyes … Continue Reading →

June 7, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Bergdahl’s dad voted for Reagan

“I grew up in a conservative family in Los Angeles,” Bob Bergdahl, the father of the then-American POW, told an Idaho Republican Party fundraiser in 2010. “My father was for Goldwater. He wore a Nixon button in our liberal Jewish neighborhood. I was the lone UC Santa Barbara surfer who voted for Ronald Reagan.”

Michael Ames, a reporter who at the time was covering the event for AOL, writes in the Daily Beast that Bergdahl was the “local UPS man” in the small town of Hailey. After his son disappeared from his unit in a remote region of Afghanistan, “we all pretended things were normal” when Bergdahl would deliver packages to shops and homes that had “Bring Bowe Home” signs in their windows.

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