Dinner Table

Table Talk: January 2015

Ok, here’s the deal…

Reading the news isn’t your thing? I get it. You’re too busy, too overwhelmed. Life is full of stuff to do and sometimes—ok, most of the time—keeping up with the news just doesn’t make the cut. Here’s what happened in the month of January, while you were out being a full-time, overworked college student.

EQUALITY. The Economist chose its first female editor-in-chief in the history of the magazine, 171 years. Zanny Minton Beddoes will take the helm of this institution, armed with 20 years of experience at the magazine. One small step for the media industry, one giant leap for women in the workforce.
Why you should care: At the end of the day, it’s just a magazine, but it does prove that change is possible, even after 171 years.

POLITICS. President Obama took a stand against ISIL, a terrorist group threatening the good people of Iraq and Syria. The scary part? Obama claims that we’re next if the ISIL isn’t stopped. Good news: Obama says we will “degrade, and ultimate destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.” Translation: Don’t worry, we’ll crush ‘em.
Why you should care: While the ISIL doesn’t pose a direct threat to the US at this time, they could in the near future. Plus, “ISIL” is fun to say, am I right?

SPORTS. The New England Patriots are currently under fire from the NFL – 11 of the 12 balls used during their win against the Colts earlier this month were underinflated. Underinflated balls? No good, says the NFL, no good. For now, the Patriots will have to wait in earnest anticipation as the NFL investigates whether the ball under inflation was intentional or not.
Why you should care: Patriot fans, if the NFL determines that the under inflation was intentional, your team may find themselves faced with fines, suspensions and more. Oops. Maybe you’ll find that your Sunday’s are suddenly more open…to tackle tomorrow’s homework, of course!

FUNNY BUSINESS. U.S Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz became an overnight sensation (hello, internet meme) thanks to the funny expression on his face throughout POTUS’ SOTU earlier this month. For those of you who don’t speak acronym and/or have completely hidden under the rock for the past month, the President addressed the United States in the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20th.
Why you should care: Laugh all you want, but Moniz’s smirk propelled him to instant White House fame. Geeky guy wins over the dream girl (or the country), you get the picture.

COLLEGE LIFE. Sorority houses at George Washington think they’ve found a cure for on-campus sexual assault – hosting sorority parties, with alcohol included. The women argue that drinking “on their own turf” gives them control over what happens and what doesn’t. Whether or not this is a plausible solution for a hot-button issue plaguing campuses all across the globe, this is still a giant step for national sororities who have, until now, strictly banned alcohol.
Why you should care: Yes, UP doesn’t have sororities, but we do encounter incidents of sexual assault like any other university. These sororities are fueling a conversation that needs to be had on a topic that is often stepped around or pushed aside by administrations throughout the country.

LOCAL COLOR. Chicken fans, unite! Chick-fil-A is coming to Oregon—Hillsboro, to be exact. The Oregonian reported that this would be the first (and only) of the Atlanta-based chicken sandwich joints in the state. Reviews are mixed: East-coast transplants are fueling the excitement, while die-hard Burgerville fans are taking bets on how long “fil-A” can compete with their hometown favorite.
Why you should care: In the end, it’s just another fast-food stop, sure, but the comments section of the Oregonian’s article is worth a glance. Where else can you find angry Portlanders arguing if this addition is a win for the economy or just a waistline expander?

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