It’s our last roundup of the year. Who’s glad to shut the door on 2012? (Me! Me!) This year was too weird for me. Some big high notes (re-electing President Obama for one), and some major lows. I for one am glad to move on.
Without further ado, some links to check out:
• The Top 5 Greatest Smackdowns of 2012, courtesy of Upworthy.
• This story of a man who tracked down his third-grade teacher to thank her for the support she gave after his mother died really warmed my heart.
• Good Samaritans save a 9-year-old Brooklyn girl trapped beneath a car.
• Carbon taxes pay off economically and environmentally in Ireland: the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped more than 15% since 2008, and the tax has raised $1.3 billion.
• Life expectancy for those born in New York City reaches a record high of 80.9 years; the national average is 78.7 years.
• Ron Paul makes some sense, blasting the NRA’s idea for putting armed guards in schools as ridiculous and fostering an “Orwellian surveillance state.”
• The New York Times declares the Tea Party is over. Some of us think the Times was wrong to ever view the Teanuts as a force in the first place, but whatever.
• Chicken farms turn to a natural antibiotic, oregano. I had a friend who swore by oregano oil to ward off colds and flu. I tried it once and it tasted so nasty I decided I’d rather have the cold or flu. To each his own.
• In the wake of the Newtown shootings, Los Angeles moved up its annual gun buy back event, and people waited in line for up to two hours to exchange their guns for grocery gift cards. The program brought in 1,962 guns and two rocket launchers. Wait, what? Rocket launchers? WTF.
• On a related note, in Edison N.J. the city council voted to oppose allowing the city police department to resell its used guns.
• Philadelphia high schools are installing free condom dispensers. I kind of remember this being a big issue back in the pre-AIDs era and all the Bible bangers getting up in arms about it.
• Actress Kate Winslet is now Kate RocknRoll. This is neither good news nor bad news, just very odd. And a good reminder for the next time some RWNJ starts getting hysterical about someone named Mickey Mouse registering to vote. There are apparently 58 people in the U.S. and Canada named Mickey Mouse.
• Video game maker EA has been forced to remove links to gun shops from its Medal Of Honor video game website. Yes, that’s right: after all of this nonsense about video games being the cause of gun violence, it turns out it’s the gun shops which have been advertising on video game sites. Imagine that!
• Slowly but surely, working conditions improve at Chinese electronics factories, thanks to efforts of consumers and activists.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Tennessee’s aging transit vehicles will be replaced, thanks to a $10 million federal grant.
• Hands On Nashville donated more than 300 bicycles to needy kids through its ReCycle For Kids program.
• Speaking of bicycles, Nashville is tackling its bike safety issue by adding more bike lanes. Let me add, this is a really serious problem in Nashville. Drivers here a) can’t drive for shit, b) can’t see for shit, and c) are assholes. I’ve been run off the road on my bike so many times that I simply don’t ride it anymore, not on the public streets. At least one person did it on purpose, thought it would be oh so funny and cute to run the bicyclist into a ditch, to which I say: fuck you. I know some people who have been seriously injured riding their bikes here. It’s insane. We really need dedicated bike lanes, like they have in places like Copenhagen. But that will probably never happen.
Here’s a video of a dancing chihuahua. The video below it is one of my dog Riley dancing. Tell me which one you think is cuter (and yes, there’s a wrong answer!):