Weekly News Roundup: Aug. 17-21
By Ryan Hamm
August 21, 2009
This week, Americans got crazier and crazier as they "debated" (i.e. yelled angrily) health insurance reform at various town hall meetings around the country. Meanwhile, across the ocean at the Track & Field World Championships, Usain Bolt (who we're pretty sure has some kind of robotic speed boost implant) broke one of his own world records. Also this week: Mad Men, the best show on television, returned after a lengthy hiatus, James Cameron revealed the trailer to Avatar to try to wash the bad taste of Titanic out of our mouths and another denomination made the news over issues of sexuality.
Health Care Debate Gets Crazier Every Day
Regardless of where you land in the whole health care conversation, you probably agree that some of the "conversation" surrounding the issue has gotten ... well, insane. And that's putting it nicely. The amount of misinformationsurrounding the new health care proposal is astronomical—so far, we've had things like "death panels," socialism, and "asking questions means you hate healthy kids" added to the discussion. It's all very "helpful," of course. Perhaps most shocking of all has been the video of a woman yelling "Heil Hitler"to a Jewish man at a town hall meeting. It's unfortunate that a discussion about an important topic is being daily reduced to such drivel. Maybe Obama should just adopt a plan that provides health care only to people who don't say insane stuff just to get on the news.
Mad Men: Making Smoking Cool Again
We've missed the critically-beloved (but criminally-underwatched) show Mad Mensince it ended so many months ago. And now it's back! We won't spoil it by telling you what happened, but suffice to say: Some time has gone past, meaning some major characters have gone through some serious life changes. Instead, here's a list of reasons to watch the show:
1) The most nuanced character in television, Don Draper
2) Everyone looks so cool3) The commitment to keeping to a realistic timeline is incredible
4) The drama. Oh, the drama
5) It's so much better than Wipeout
Usain Bolt Might Be a Machine Sent From the Future to Protect John Connor
This week in Germany at the International Track & Field World Championships, the Jamaican sprinter destroyed his previous world record timein the 200 meter race by 0.11 seconds. The new record stands at 19.19. This comes only four days after he broke his 100 meter world record time by the same margin. When a runner makes obliterating his competition look as easy as Bolt does, there might not be any shame in everyone else just taking a breather.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church Votes on Ordination for People in Active Same-sex RelationshipsRemember when the Episcopalians did this just a couple of weeks ago? Well, now the Lutherans are getting involved. The Evangelical Luther Church in American (ELCA) is currently meeting in Minneapolis and among the decisions they're expected to vote on is the issue of ordaining people in active same-sex relationships. If the resolution to permit the ordination happens, it would make the 4.7 million member denomination one of the largest yet to allow actively gay ministers. Observers are unsure if a decision to allow gay clergy would result in a church split.
James Cameron Might Make a Good Movie Again
Avatar, the new movie from the director of Terminator and Titanicis supposed to be mind-blowingly awesome. Cameron created a new camera type made up of two HD-cameras that are supposed to replicate human depth perception.The film will be released into 3D IMAX. To give viewers a taste of what they might expect, 20th Century Fox, the studio behindAvatar, gave away tickets to a special, 16-minute trailer of the film to be shown on IMAX screens. The tickets sold out in less than two days and the demand crashed the Avatar website. The official (2D) trailer premiered this week, and it looks pretty cool. That's probably because the number of times Kate Winslet says "Jack, I'm flying" is zero.