November 10th, 2008


silly factoids

President-Elect Obama will be the first president whose previous job description was "Senator" since JFK. All the ones between them had either "Vice President" or "Governor" as their previous honorific to "President."

He was the first non-Southern Democrat to be elected since JFK.

He'll be the third straight president to have no sons--both Presidents Bush the Younger and Clinton also only have female children.

He'll be the first president whose last name will begin with the letter O, and only the second whose full first name begins with a B (the other being Benjamin Harrison).

This is the second straight election where the loser was named John.

Edited to add some stuff from the comments: President-Elect Obama is only the third sitting senator to be elected -- besides JFK, the other was Warren G. Harding. Rather frighteningly, both the others died before their first term ended. (Harding also had the distinction of a worse middle name than Obama: Gamaliel, which sounds like a Tolkien character....)

He's also only the third president whose last name ends in a vowel sound, and only the second to end in a vowel that isn't a silent E. (The others are JFK again, and James Monroe.) He's the first to have his last name end with the letter A.

In addition to the losers in each of the last two elections being named John, they're also both senators who served in the Vietnam War who have rich wives.

Obama is the fourth consecutive left-handed president.

He is the first Hawai'ian-born president.
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NYY, melky

baseball quote of the day

Journal News columnist Peter Abraham, who covers the Yankees, on his most excellent Yankees blog, in response to being asked a question that starts with "if you're Brian Cashman":

If I’m Brian Cashman, I quit back in October and now I’m making huge bank giving corporate speeches and waiting for a job to open up with a team whose owner had no children.
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ten years and counting....

It was ten years ago that I decided to try growing a beard. After Comic-Con in San Diego, where I was one of the people running the Byron Preiss booth and therefore wanted to remain well groomed, I stopped shaving. The beard grew over the course of the late summer and fall, and by the time November rolled around, it was an actual beard.

My cheeks and chin and upper lip haven't seen the light of day since............
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sucks, penguin5

Miriam Makeba, RIP

South African singer Miriam Makeba died after collapsing onstage during a performance in Italy. She was 76.

"Mama Africa" was a truly magnificent talent, who was banned from her homeland for 30 years under apartheid. I had the privilege of seeing her when she joined Paul Simon on his Graceland tour (along with Hugh Masakela and Ladysmith Black Mambazo), a tour that was immortalized on the magnificent Graceland in Concert video (available on DVD -- I can't recommend it highly enough). She was able to return home at the behest of the newly freed Nelson Mandela in 1990.

I can't think of a more fitting way for her to go than while onstage performing. She herself is reported to have said: "I will sing until the last day of my life." And so it was.

Rest in peace, great lady.
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politics, Kerry Edwards

yes yes and again I say, YES

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