Bottom line: Romney’s word cloud looks presidential. Obama’s, not so much.
September 6, 2012
Pres. Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president was consistent with the campaign objective of making 2012 a choice rather than a referendum, using the words “choice” and “choose” a combined 20 times, more than any other term in the speech. But he mentioned his opponent's name far fewer times than he did in 2008. For more analysis of Democratic nominees' acceptance speechs, click on the PowerPoint at right.
Mitt Romney’s speech accepting the Republican nomination for president was highly focused on biography with minimal discussion of policy issues other than business and jobs. In regard to that theme, it was most similar in tone to Sen. Bob Dole’s speech from 1996. For more analysis of Republican nominees' acceptance speechs, click on the PowerPoint at right.
May 1, 2010: "When you ask to be ridiculed, it usually happens. And it will happen
here, nationally. This is classical art, for goodness’ sake." -- Larry Sabato, Univ. of Virginia, regarding Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's action to cover the breast of the Roman goddess Virtus on the official state seal (The Virginian-Pilot, May 1, 2010).
November 13, 2009: "We got more than just a whiff. We practically tasted it with the impact." -- Peter H. Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown University and co-investigator on NASA's successful mission to find water on the Moon (The New York Times, November 13, 2009).
July 31, 2009: "It's like they're the Cambridge police, Obama's in his house -- the White House -- and they need to see some ID." -- Bill Maher in regard to the "brithers," those people who don't believe Pres. Barack Obama was born in the United States (Los Angeles Times op-ed, July 31, 2009). A poll released today found that roughly 9 out of 10 voters in the Northeast, Midwest and West believe Obama was born in the U.S., while only 47% of Southern respondents believe he was born in the U.S. (US News & World Report, July 31, 2009).
July 24, 2009: "The President was more folkie at the town hall meeting, literally; the word "folks" was used 11 times over the course of the hour." -- Janet Harris, USA Today, July 24, 2009
July 22, 2009: "Something’s going right if there’s a banjo in the White House."
-- Bluegrass singer and fiddler Alison Krauss, regarding last night's performance in the East Room, part of The White House Summer Music series, The New York Times, July 22, 2009.
July 21, 2009: "If anything like that had hit the Earth it would have been curtains for us, so we can feel very happy that Jupiter is doing its vacuum-cleaner job and hoovering up all these large pieces before they come for us." -- Anthony Wesley, an amateur astronomer who discovered a hole the size of the Earth in Jupiter's atmosphere made by the impact of a block of ice or a comet, The New York Times, July 21, 2009.
July 17, 2009: "And that's the way it is."
-- Click here to watch three classic Cronkite broadcasts.
July 14, 2009: "Public records show that [New York City] signed a $432,900 contract for typewriter maintenance with Afax Business Machines in 2008, as well as a $99,570 contract with that company in 2009. Typewriter company Swintec received a $982,269 contract from the city in 2007."
-- CNN report about the use of typewriters by the New York City police department, June 14, 2009.
July 13, 2009: "It seems that [politicians'] definition of an activist judge is one who votes differently than they would like." -- Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) at Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, July 13, 2009
July 8, 2009: In case you missed it, a historic event happened twice today: 12:34:56 (a.m. and p.m.) on 7/8/09. 123456789! This won't happen again until 3009.
July 6, 2009: "Watching Sarah Palin is sort of like watching a moose on roller skates. It's never particularly graceful, but it's always riveting." -- Mark McKinnon (MSNBC, July 6, 2009)
July 4, 2009: "People, what is going on with governors in this country? Are we doomed to see them go bonkers one by one, state by state?" -- Gail Collins, op-ed columnist, regarding Sarah Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska (The New York Times, July 4, 2009)
January 22, 2009: "Girls all over the world, of all colors, will be looking for these dolls. They want to identify with these two girls.” -- Denise Gary Robinson, president of DollsLikeMe.com, regarding Beanie Baby maker Ty Inc.'s new "Sweet Sasha" and "Marvelous Malia" dolls. (Associated Press, January 22, 2009)
January 20, 2009: Today's Quote-of-the-Day is a tag cloud of last today's historic Inaugural Address by President Barack H. Obama.
January 8, 2009: "While some have difficulty with the cuteness versus deliciousness ratio — that adorable little face, those itty-bitty claws — many feel that eating squirrel is a way to do something good for the environment while enjoying a unique gastronomical experience.” -- Words rarely combined in one sentence, written in regard to a British campaign to save the nation's iconic red squirrel by culling the gray squirrel population. The campaign motto is "Save a red, eat a gray!" (The New York Times, Jan. 7, 2009)
December 18, 2008: "If, despite the department’s efforts, compliance is not achieved, H.H.S. officials will consider all legal options, including termination of funding and the return of funds paid out in violation of the non-discrimination provisions.” -- Michael O. Leavitt, outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services, issuing a threat about the agency's intent to vigorously enforce a rule issued today by the Bush administration requiring that any entity receiving government funds must permit health care providers to refuse to provide abortions, birth control or other medical procedures, drugs or advice that they opposed based on religious or moral grounds. (The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2008)
December 8, 2008: "It is a serious time in American life and it is affecting decisions about naming children." -- Linda Murray, editor-in-chief of babycenter.com, regarding the trend for people to choose more serious, old fashioned, classic baby names during tougher times. In an online survey, parents said they wanted their baby's name to convey strength and compassion compared to last year's desire for names that conveyed individuality. (Reuters, Dec. 4, 2008)
November 17, 2008: "Meh." -- New word selected for addition to the Collins English Dictionary. The word, an expression of indifference or boredom, beat out other contenders such as "jargonaut," "frenemy" and "huggles." (Associated Press, November 17, 2008)
October 16, 2008: Today's
Quote-of-the-Day is a tag cloud analysis of the final presidential debate held last night between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. For the most part, both candidates' tag clouds show more substance than style.
A few statistical observations:
Consistency of message:
54% of the words in Sen. Obama's tag cloud from last night also appeared in his tag cloud from the Oct. 7 debate.
46% of the words in Sen. McCain's tag cloud from last night also appeared in his tag cloud from the Oct. 7 debate.
Sen. Obama mentioned Sen. McCain by name 43 times.
Sen. McCain mentioned Sen. Obama by name 55 times.
Joe the Plumber:
Sen. Obama mentioned "Joe" five times (not including the four times that "Joe" was in reference to Sen. Joe Biden. He mentioned "plumber" three times, which was too few for the word to appear in his tag cloud.
Sen. McCain mentioned "Joe" 21 times (not including two references to Sen. Joe Biden). He mentioned "plumber" nine times.
October 8, 2008: Today's
is a tag cloud analysis of last night's presidential debate between
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. Some observations:
McCain's cloud is full of nationalist/patriotic terms such as
America(n), country, people and United States. Issue emphasis is on
taxes, health(care), security, economy and jobs. Thematically, the
cloud includes words such as record (as in track record), voted (again,
a reference to track record), tough and understand (as in, "I do"; "he
Obama's cloud seems mild by comparison, reflecting its mild-mannered
speaker. Nationalist/patriotic terms are present but less visible than
in McCain's cloud. Issue emphasis was on health(care), energy/oil,
taxes, spending, insurance and Pakistan. Thematic terms include change,
important, understand, years (as in, "the past eight...").
September 30, 2008: "Very, very deep." -- Gov. Sarah Palin expressing appreciation for her favorite author, C. S. Lewis, in an interview with Charlie Rose last year, according to Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus. Marcus mentions this in context of Gov. Palin's claim to Katie Couric that she has made up for her lack of world travel through books. (Washington Post, September 30, 2008)
September 4, 2008: Today's
Quote-of-the-Day is a tag cloud analysis of Sen. John McCain's
speech delivered at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
September 2, 2008: "We are going to flush the toilet." -- Tucker Eskew, McCain campaign senior advisor hired to prepare Gov. Sarah Palin for her role on the campaign. He was referring to the campaign's strategy to announce all known potential vulnerabilities about Palin on a holiday weekend in the midst of a natural disaster as a means of taking them off the table. (The New York Times, September 2, 2008)
August 27, 2008: "If I'd beaten the old man, you'd never have heard of the kid and we wouldn't be in this mess. So it's all my fault, and I feel that very, very strongly." -- Michael Dukakis, regarding the 1988 election. (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2008)
August 26, 2008: Today's Quote-of-the-Day is a tag cloud analysis of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech delivered at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
August 14, 2008: "[I]gnor," "occured," "thier," "truely," "speach" and "twelth". -- Common misspelling that Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Bucks New University (U.K.), suggests university professors should consider as acceptable variants, rather than trying to "correct the same mistakes (by students) year after year." (Reuters, August 14, 2008) July 31, 2008: "We have water." -- William Boynton, NASA, regarding the finding of water on Mars. (Reuters, July 31, 2008)
July 29, 2008: Today's quote of the day is a bit of good news: 10 things you don't have to worry about, courtesy of The New York Times' John Tierney. 1. Killer hot dogs 2. Your car's planet-destroying A/C 3. Forbidden fruits from afar 4. Carcinogenic cellphones 5. Evil plastic bags 6. Toxic plastic bottles 7. Deadly sharks 8. The Arctic's missing ice 9. The universe's missing mass 10. Unmarked wormholes So enjoy these carefree days of summer! -- The New York Times, July 29, 2008
July 24, 2008: "I grabbed him by the neck and bit. It's no big deal." -- Gabriel Almeida, age 11, describing how he fended off a pit bull attack. (Reuters, July 24, 2008)
July 22, 2008: "Don’t ask about income or expenses, don’t ask about age, don’t ask about love life or marriage, don’t ask about health, don’t ask about someone’s home or address, don’t ask about personal experience, don’t ask about religious beliefs or political views, don’t ask what someone does." -- Posters in Beijing advising locals of the eight questions not to ask foreigners. (McClatchy Newspapers, July 22, 2008) July 10, 2008: "I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group work so hard to do nothing. It was a show about nothing, doing nothing taken to an art." -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, expressing frustration with the the state legislature's failure to act during its special session. (WSLS.com, July 10, 2008)
July 7, 2008: "It doesn’t help when the announcer guy says — did anyone else hear that? — ‘If she makes it, she’s on the team. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t go.’ I was like, ‘Oh thanks.’" -- National pole vaulting champion Jenn Stuczynski, who sat out on jumps at lower heights and then missed her first of three qualifying attempts at the Olympic Track & Field Trials held in Eugene, Ore. She made the team on the next jump and then went on to break the American record and take two attempts at the world record. (The New York Times, July 7, 2008) Having just returned from Upstream Analysis's Track Town USA office, I can attest that even though the pole vaulting team competition was over, the last race had been run, hardly anyone was left on the field and the Trials were officially over, nearly all 21,000 people in attendance held their seats until Stuczynski's last jump was completed and she brought her world record quest to a close. It was an impressive display by the fans of their appreciation for athleticism.
June 25, 2008: "It's mind over matter. It's just a little pain. The pain is temporary. Tonight is forever." -- Fresno State Bulldog's baseball player Steve Detwiler, who reminded us about why we love college sports by turning in an outstanding performance in today's game to help his team win the College World Series despite having an injured thumb. (Associated Press, June 25, 2008)
June 16, 2008: "I’m going to keep that chair forever. That’s my chair now.” -- Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert, regarding the chair his father occupied for 16 years on "Meet the Press." (MSNBC, June 16, 2008)
Photo credit: Alex Wong, Getty Images
June 6, 2008: "No, they got along very well." -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), responding to a reporter's question of whether she heard any shouting during an hour-long private meeting between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which took place at Feinstein's home last night. (The New York Times Politics Blog, June 6, 2008)
June 5, 2008: "Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in 'Star Trek,' will be the best man and Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, will be the matron of honor. Castmate Leonard Nimoy will be among the 200 guests, but probably not William Shatner. Takei has said Shatner didn't treat him and most of the cast very well." -- News report about the wedding plans for George Takei ("Sulu") and his long-time partner, Brad Altman. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail. (Associated Press, June 5, 2008)
June 3, 2008: "I'm open to it." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, regarding the possibility of becoming Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate. Obama is expected to clinch the presidential nomination tonight based on exit polls from the last two Democratic primaries, held today in Montana and South Dakota. (Associated Press, June 3, 2008)
April 14, 2008: "The debates have gotten more focused and more fiercely contested since the first one. The words the candidates use most frequently have changed, too, according to a study by a firm called Upstream Analysis. In the first debate, Obama's message was diffuse, and war-related words dominated. Clinton's initial message focused sharply on her readiness to be president. More recently, words relating to domestic and economic issues became more frequent." -- USA Today, April 14, 2008 (Click here and here to read the story from the print edition. Click here to see the analysis online.)
April 1, 2008: "I'm not going to be a gangster." -- Eight-year-old Michael LaCoste, who two weeks ago told his grandmother he wanted to be a gangster, but changed his mind after his grandmother told him about role models like Barack Obama and after he asked Obama at a campaign stop today how to become a candidate for president. (Associated Press, April 1, 2008)
March 31, 2008: "None of those are real." -- Graziella Sanchez, Jamie Lynn Spears' manager, regarding fake "Babies R Us" registries set up to exploit the star's pregnancy. So for all of you out there eager to send a baby gift, consider yourself forewarned! (ABCNews.com, March 31, 2008)
March 27, 2008: "[I]n the morning in front of the shepherd hut he saw this enormous metal casing, as smooth as an egg. It nearly crushed the outhouse." -- Marina Urmatov, sister of shepherd Boris Urmatov, who is suing Russia's space agency over falling space junk. Residents of a nearby village say "rocket pieces regularly rain down on their area." (Reuters, March 27, 2008)
March 25, 2008: "You'd think with all that singing talent in the family she'd be able to carry a tune." -- Philippe Reines, senior advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton, commenting on the New England Historic Genealogical Society's finding that Clinton is distantly related to Celine Dion, Madonna and Alanis Morissette. The society also found that she is related to Angelina Jolie, and that Sen. Barack Obama is distantly related to Jolie's boyfriend, Brad Pitt. (Associated Press, March 25, 2008)
March 18, 2008: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." -- The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, which challenges the District's 1976 ban on handguns. It is the first time the Court has examined the Second Amendment since 1939. (Washington Post, March 18, 2008)
March 17, 2008: "Thousands of people responded. We spent the weekend reviewing your messages, and while your reasons vary widely, the consensus is clear: Florida doesn't want to vote again. So we won't." -- Florida Democratic Party chair Karen Thurman, in a letter explaining that there won't be a re-vote of the Democratic primary in Florida. (MSNBC, March 17, 2008)
March 13, 2008: "Take it from me — that won’t be the ticket." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) quashing the notion of an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama Democratic presidential ticket. (The Hill, March 13, 2008)
March 10, 2008: "It's fascinating what's going on in the knitting world. Graffiti street art is going to a whole different realm. It's gone beyond just painting on sides of buildings." -- Corrine Bayraktaroglu, an artist who helped start the "knitknot tree" project in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in which residents and visitors wrap tree trunks in knitted cozies. In other parts of the country, knitters are covering doorknobs, park benches, car antennas, telephone poles and beer bottles. (Associated Press, March 10, 2008)
February 25, 2008: "One is a supporter of Barack Obama, the other is a supporter of Hillary Clinton, and an argument of words turned bloody when one brother-in-law tried to choke the other and the victim then responded with a knife and stabbed his brother-in-law in the stomach." -- Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Risa Furman, describing why some families shouldn't talk politics. Incidentally, the knife-wielder was the Clinton supporter and a Republican. (FoxNews.com, February 25, 2008)
February 12, 2008: "They occasionally have bad days like the rest of us." -- Rick Sinnott, wildlife biologist, regarding a moose who seemingly dropped out of the sky onto a highway after falling off a 150-foot cliff above the road. (Associated Press, February 12, 2008)
February 11, 2008: "Super Tuesday and the contests afterward demonstrate how a seemingly small competitor can pose a significant threat. Checking Mike Huckabee’s regional media signal might have shown the Romney and McCain campaigns where to focus their resources for the greatest impact." -- Tony Priore, chief marketing officer for Biz360, Inc., regarding a political media report conducted for Biz360 by Upstream Analysis showing that Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee won or ran a strong second (beating Mitt Romney) in states where his proportionate share of voice in local media exceeded his relative share of voice in the national media. (eMediaWire, February 11, 2008)
February 4, 2008: Today's Quote-of-the-Day is a list of the top 10 most frequently aired sound bites shown on national network and cable sportscasts in the week leading up to last night's Super Bowl XLII: 1. "very tough words to back up" -- Randy Moss, regarding Plaxico Burress' guarantee of victory 2. "as long as I've got the ring at the end of the day" -- Randy Moss 3. "swallowed a healthy dose of the Bill Belichick Kool-Aid" -- ESPNews, regarding Randy Moss 4. "the pressure intensifies and the expectations heighten" -- ESPN SportsCenter, regarding Eli Manning 5. "I'm still loving what I do" -- Randy Moss 6. "I've never seen nobody criticized more as a professional athlete than him" -- Antonio Pierce, regarding Eli Manning 7. "nothing has gotten in my way from going out there and making it happen" -- Randy Moss 8. "Randy and I are a package deal" -- Sal Paolantonio of ESPN, quoting Tom Brady 9. "he doesn't care about numbers come Sunday" -- ESPNews, regarding Randy Moss 10. "he will make a huge impact" -- Steve Young, regarding Randy Moss
For more about the sound bites, catch phrases and clichés of Super Bowl XLII, see the full report posted at right.
January 28, 2008: Today's quote-of-the-day is another tag cloud! Here is President Bush's State of the Union speech given earlier this evening. Despite all the domestic/economic policy content in the early part of the speech, it seems clear that the emphasis of the speech overall was still on foreign policy. Key words included fight, forces, free/freedom, Iraq(i), security, terrorists, and troops.
Text of the State of the Union speech provided by the White House. Analysis excludes common English words such as “and, of, the”.
January 24, 2008: "Mrs. Clinton has more than cleared that bar, using her years in the Senate well to immerse herself in national security issues, and has won the respect of world leaders and many in the American military. She would be a strong commander in chief."
"Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field." -- The New York Times' editorial board, endorsing Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain in tomorrow's edition in advance of New York's primary election on Super Tuesday. (January 25, 2008)
January 23, 2008: "It's terrible they can't keep track of ten F-16s better than that. I can tell you where my dog is at the moment." -- Steven Allen, pilot, disputing military claims that a widely-reported UFO in Stephenville, Tex., was actually ten F-16 fighter jets, even though two weeks ago the military denied it was doing any exercises, and Stephenville is outside of the military's flight training area. (CBS 11 News, Dallas/Fort Worth, Tex., January 23, 2008)
January 21, 2008: "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think." "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 16, 2008: "We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable." -- Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer in research at the University of Sheffield, regarding a key finding from a study on how to improve the decor of children's wards at hospitals. (Reuters, Jan. 16, 2007)
January 14, 2008: "So far, things look pretty good. The spacecraft was on the course we wanted it to be on." -- Michael Paul, a NASA mission engineer, regarding the agency's Messenger probe, which flew within 126 miles of the surface of Mercury on Monday. (Reuters, Jan. 14, 2008)
"It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts." -- Steve Allen, one of several dozen residents in Stephenville, Tex., who report seeing a UFO in recent weeks. (Associated Press, Jan. 14, 2008)
January 11, 2008: "Hillary, marry me, baby." -- Request by an audience member during the "question and answer" period following a speech by Sen. Hillary Clinton. Earlier this week, she was heckled during a speech by two men who yelled, "Iron my shirt." (Associated Press, Jan. 11, 2008)
January 9, 2008: "Whatever went wrong, it was NOT an overestimate of Obama's support. The standard trend estimate for Obama was 36.7%, the sensitive estimate was 39.0% and the last five poll average was 38.4%, all reasonably close to his actual 36.4%. It is the Clinton vote that was massively underestimated." -- Charles H. Franklin, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin and an expert in statistical analysis of polls, public opinion and election results, regarding the discrepancy between pre-primary polling and last night's upset victory by Sen. Hillary Clinton over Sen. Barack Obama. (Pollster.com, Jan. 9, 2008)
January 8, 2008: "[T]here's a difference between being detained involuntarily for psychological treatment and being forced to endure Dr. Phil involuntarily." -- Dr. Jeffrey Sugar, psychiatrist, regarding Dr. Phil's visit to Britney Spears' hospital bedside at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday. (Associated Press, Jan. 8, 2008)
January 4, 2008: "For our folks in Wyoming, this is the first time in choosing our delegates early and it has been a real learning curve for us. We have a lot of folks not paying attention. They need to understand that they're in the forefront of this and people are going to be watching." -- Jan Larimer, Wyoming's national-level state committeewoman, regarding that state's Republican primary, which will be held on Jan. 5. Wyoming moved its primary ahead of New Hampshire's in violation of Republican party rules; the state will lose half its convention delegates as a result. (TIME, Jan. 4, 2007)
January 2, 2008: "Huckabee is a scab." -- A Screen Writers Guild picket sign outside Leno's Burbank, Calif., studio regarding Mike Huckabee's appearance tonight on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The show resumes new episodes this evening, but without writers who are still on strike. Sen. Hillary Clinton is also on the late-night circuit tonight, but she is appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, which has reached an agreement ending the strike with its writers. (Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2007)
Postscript to Monday's Quote-of-the-Day: The winner of the Upstream contest to use the most banished words in a single sentence is Robert H. of Los Angeles, Calif., who submitted the following entry: "Our webinar was a perfect storm of random but organic wordsmithing that helped us decimate, that is surge to give back under the bus what we knew it is what it is: 'sweet' is the new 'whatsup'." Robert wins a pocket thesaurus.
December 31, 2007: Today's quote-of-the-day is a partial list of terms from Lake Superior State University's 33rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. How many can you use in a single sentence? Send me your best banned-word sentence by COB Wednesday, Jan. 2, and you could win a fabulous prize from Upstream Analysis!
_____ is the new _____
Sweet (as an exclamation)
It is what it is
Under the bus
Best wishes to everyone for a joyous new year!
December 14, 2007: "We're in uncharted territory. We've never faced the need or possibility of having to poll during this period." -- Mark Schulman, Time Magazine pollster, regarding how the accelerated political primary calendar is forcing pollsters to try to reach respondents during the holidays. Polls are generally suspended during the holidays because people are often out of town, attending parties, shopping or otherwise unavailable, making it difficult to get a representative sample. As a result, predictions of who will win Iowa and New Hampshire are expected to be fuzzier than usual. (Associated Press, December 14, 2007)
December 11, 2007: “We thought it was a bit obvious to honor Bush as he comes up with them every day." -- Plain English Campaign spokesman Ben Beer, on why Pres. George W. Bush did not win this year's "Foot in Mouth" award. He came in second. (Reuters, December 11, 2007)
December 6, 2007: “I can't help but want to support my own gender, and she's as experienced as any of the others — except maybe Joe Biden." -- Gennifer Flowers, former mistress of Bill Clinton, regarding the presidential candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, who Flowers described as "smart, sexy and experienced." (Associated Press, December 6, 2007)
December 4, 2007: “Bone Growth in Zebra Fish Fins Occurs via Multiple Pulses of Cell Proliferation" by Isha Jain. "FtsZ Inhibitors as Novel Chemotherapeutic Agents for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis" by Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Harinoff. -- Titles and authors of the winning projects in this year's Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for high school students, which for the first time was won by girls. Jain's project, which took three years to complete, was considered the first to discover that bone grows in mini-spurts. Schlossberger and Harinoff's project synthesized new compounds to kill drug-resistant tuberculosis, potentially leading to a cure for the disease. (BusinessWeek, December 4, 2007)
November 30, 2007: “If you don't know about pain and trouble, you're in sad shape. They make you appreciate life." -- Evel Knievel (1938-2007), in a past interview with Esquire magazine. 2nd runner-up quote, from a January interview with USA Today: "God never made a tougher son of a bitch than me." (Reuters, November 30, 2007)
November 28, 2007: “Peace is an accident, war is natural. Old men start it, young men fight it, everybody in the middle dies, and nobody tells the truth." -- Sylvester Stallone on the latest sequel to Rambo, in which his character, a Vietnam veteran, helps refugees in Myanmar. (USA Today, November 14, 2007) Many thanks to Sean Foley of Critical Mention for providing the quote.
November 26, 2007: “Of course, we talked about global warming — the whole time." -- Former Vice President Al Gore, answering reporters' questions about what he and President Bush discussed at today's private meeting following the President's photo opportunity with this year's Nobel Prize winners. The meeting lasted 30 minutes. (The New York Times, November 26, 2007)
November 21, 2007: Today's Today's Quote-of-the-Day is a little trivia quiz, courtesy of The Washington Post and the 2008 edition of The Almanac of American Politics. Enjoy!
Which member of Congress . . .
1. Is the only one who refuses to disclose his or her date of birth?
2. Is baseball great Hank Aaron;s brother-in-law?
3. Delivered his 2002 opponent's baby?
4. Worked for Jerry Springer's '82 Ohio gubernatorial campaign?
5. Carried the "nuclear football" for Presidents Carter and Reagan?
6. Is the only member to list the addresses of all his district's bowling alleys on his congressional Web site?
1. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) 2. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) 3. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) 4. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) 5. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) 6. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
November 16, 2007: Today's Quote-of-the-Day is a tag cloud analysis of last night's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Here are a few of my observations as I gaze at these tea leaves:
Sen. Biden's tag cloud seems confident, as though he is commenting on everything with authority, but it lacks focus or a theme. It's as though he can expertly handle any question, but hasn't yet figured out how to weave his answers together to project a cohesive message.
Compare that with Sen. Clinton's tag cloud: She spoke 700 words more than Biden during the debate, and both of their tag clouds display 50 words, yet hers is very focused: President, America(n), people, universal health care, Bush, running, security, fighting, woman. It is right on message.
Sen. Dodd seems to talk in abstractions, emphasizing process words like debate, important issue, constitution, elections, careful, balance, administration. But he warms up the tag cloud with words like people, country and children.
Edwards' tag cloud shows the same confidence and focus as Clinton's, with strong and emotion-laden words like America(n), democratic, people, United States. There is also a slight edge to his words -- I particularly like the "corporate/corrupted" pairing -- which keeps his cloud from being all warm-fuzzy.
If fans of Rep. Kucinich felt like they didn't get to see enough of their man in action last night, they're right. He spoke just 1,080 words and, without Sen. Gravel on the dais, seemed more marginalized than ever. He was a spitfire on camera, but that passion did not translate into his tag cloud. One word does stand out as unique from the others' tag clouds: responsibility. (It is in Clinton's tag cloud, but with less emphasis.)
Sen. Obama has an intriguing combination of issue-related words (health care, Iraq, undocumented, workers, troops, Nevada/nuclear, licenses, etc.) with emotional touchstone words (American, lead, people, president, security, understand, United States). But check out that word count -- 3,316! With 700 more words than Clinton, did he make 700 more words-worth of an impression last night? Probably not.
Speaking of word counts, I would not have guessed that Gov. Richardson spoke more of them than Biden, Dodd, Edwards or Kucinich. But from his tag cloud, clearly he was right there in the thick of it on Iraq, Pakistan (Musharraf), the military, health (including mental health), energy, nuclear, immigration and border control, education, etc. But his tag cloud is a little more Biden-esque than his advisers might prefer.
November 15, 2007: "The vast collection is intended as a hedge against disaster so that food production can be restarted anywhere on the planet should it be threatened by a regional or global catastrophe." -- Press release announcing that Norway has initiated refrigeration of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, described by the Associated Press as "a doomsday vault [...] to protect the world's seeds in case of a global catastrophe." As many as 4.5 million plant seeds will be stored deep inside a 400-foot cave in a permafrost-frozen mountain on an island 300 miles north of mainland Norway in the Svalbard Archipelago. (Associated Press, Nov. 15, 2007)
November 13, 2007: "Congress' responsibility is clear. It should not go home for the Christmas holidays without giving our troops on the front line the funds they need to succeed." -- Pres. George W. Bush, calling on Democrats to pass funding for the Iraq war on the same day a Congressional report estimated the potential cost for Iraq and Afghanistan at $3.5 trillion. Bush made the statement in front of a backdrop printed with the words, "Holding the line on taxes," on the same day he vetoed a health education bill. (Transcript courtesy of Critical Mention; AP photo, November 13, 2007)
November 9, 2007: "The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas." -- Flavors in Jones Soda Co.'s holiday theme packs. The company's traditional turkey and gravy flavor has been retired this year. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity. (Associated Press, Nov. 9 2007)
November 6, 2007: "The (tobacco) industry is going completely berserk in Oregon to stop this tax. The stakes are higher, because the tobacco industry will use (defeat of the referendum) as part of their argument against SCHIP." -- Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California at San Francisco, regarding a ballot referendum being voted on today by Oregonians that closely mirrors the hotly-contested SCHIP measure in Congress that would raise the cigarette tax to pay for an expansion of children's health care. (Associated Press, Nov. 6, 2007)
November 2, 2007: Today's quote of the day is a sincere "thank you" from me to all of you who have helped make this first year for Upstream Analysis such a success. Thank you for your support and for subscribing to the Upstream Analysis Quote-of-the-Day!
November 1, 2007: "Our staff are going to make sure they inspect big suitcases more carefully in the future." -- Dennis Weilmann, spokesman for Lower Saxony, Germany, regarding the escape of a prisoner who hid in a suitcase carried by another inmate who was being released. (Reuters, Nov. 1, 2007)
October 30, 2007: "If this is not the silliest case I've ever seen in this courtroom, it certainly is in the Top 10." -- Berrien Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield, regarding a case in which the defendant was accused of throwing two pickles at the victim. (Associated Press, Oct. 30, 2007)
October 23, 2007: "We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment." -- FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted a news briefing on the agency's response to the California wildfires that was not attended by any actual reporters and at which FEMA employees posed as reporters and asked softball questions. (Reuters, Oct. 26, 2007)
October 22, 2007: "One of them can be right, or the other one is right, but they can’t all be right.” -- Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Turner Broadcasting System, regarding the lack of consensus on how to accurately measure the number of visitors to Web sites. Internal server counts can differ from ratings agencies such as ComScore and Nielsen//NetRatings by hundreds of thousands of visitors, making accurate measurement of online media coverage extremely challenging for those of us whose job it is to measure such things. (The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2007)
October 18, 2007: "Dressed in a red robe and with a stars-and-stripes hat on his head, the comedian told attending journalists that Osama bin Laden hated Björk." -- Report about a press conference held in Iceland by Jason Jones of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" urging the country to reconsider its decision to withdraw "Icelandic troops" from Iraq. The "troops" consist of Major Herdís Sigurgrímsdóttir, whose name ironically means "a war diva." (Iceland Review, Oct. 18, 2007) Iceland has long been counted by President Bush as one of the original 36 member countries of the "Coalition of the Willing."
October 16, 2007: "[It's] an amazing American story that one ancestor ... could be responsible down the family line for lives that have taken such different and varied paths." -- Lynn Cheney, on her discovery through genealogical research that her husband, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Sen. Barack Obama share the same great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, making them ninth cousins once removed. (Reuters, Oct. 16, 2007) The Chicago Sun-Times also reports that Obama is related to Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. (Sept. 9, 2007)
October 12, 2007: "Frequent use of household cleaning sprays may be an important risk factor for adult asthma." -- Jan-Paul Zock, an epidemiologist at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, and the author of a study that justifies all the dust mice in my house. (Reuters, Oct. 12, 2007)
October 11, 2007: "Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake." -- Letter, described as unprecedented, from 138 Muslim scholars to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders calling for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity. (Reuters, Oct. 11, 2007)
October 9, 2007: "The standards have been drastically lowered. They've doubled the number of GEDs, they've lowered the height and weight requirements, you can be 45 now, and most importantly, they've doubled the number of felonies allowable to join the Army." -- Veteran Sgt. Patrick Campbell, regarding steps the Army is taking to fill its ranks. Both the Army and Marines recently participated in a job fair at a jail in Alexandria, Va. (NBC4.com, Sept. 9, 2007)
October 8, 2007: "My faith's been torn asunder, tell me, is that rolling thunder or just the sinkin' sound of somethin' righteous goin' under?" -- Bruce Springsteen lyrics from the song "Livin' in the Future" on his new album, "Magic." Some predict that the album will be criticized as unpatriotic for speaking out against the Iraq war and Pres. Bush. (Associated Press, Oct. 8, 2007)
October 3, 2007: "Yeah, I know it’s weird." -- Unnamed lobbyist, acknowledging that his claim that a squirrel stopped and said "hello" to him as he sat on a bench near the Capitol is hard to believe. He regrets not saying "hello" in return. (The Hill, Oct. 3, 2007)
October 3, 2007: "[Turtles] are slow-moving and have a very difficult time getting out of the way." -- Robert Shreeve, environmental director for Maryland's proposed intercounty connector highway, explaining why turtle-seeking dogs and their handlers are tagging eastern box turtles with radio transmitters. They will track down the turtles and relocate them if and when construction begins on the controversial intercounty connector, which could replace the turtle's habitat with a six-lane toll highway. (The Washington Post, Oct. 3, 2007)
September 28, 2007: "How many amendments does the Constitution have? 27, 29 or 33?" "What is the economic system in the United States? Socialist economy, Centrally managed economy, or Capitalist or market economy?" "What year was the Constitution written? 1776, 1787 or 1945?" "What did Susan B. Anthony do? Designed the first U.S. dollar coin, Fought to abolish slavery, or Fought for women's rights?" -- A few of the questions on the new U.S. citizenship test, redesigned to ask fewer fact-based questions and instead examine applicants' knowledge of U.S. government and democracy. (MSNBC, Sept. 28, 2007) Click HERE to test your knowledge by answering selected questions on the new test.
September 26, 2007: "The defendant here is asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so." -- U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken, in a ruling striking down two provisions of the Patriot Act as violations of the U.S. Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizure. On a personal note, Aiken is a sister alumnae of mine from the University of Oregon's political science program. (Reuters, Sept. 26, 2007)
September 25, 2007: "One small step for man, one giant step for goatkind." -- Richard Conlin, Seattle city councilman, after the council unanimously passed a measure to reclassify pygmy goats as pets rather than farm animals. (Associated Press, September 25, 2007)
September 21, 2007: "Fig leaf. Ice cream. Test tube. Bumblebee. Crybaby. Lowlife. Pigeonhole." -- A few of the formerly-hyphenated 16,000-odd words that have gone hyphen-less in the much-ballyhooed recently-released edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. (Reuters, Sept. 21, 2007)
September 20, 2007: "This one miraculously appeared on the counter. It just all of a sudden was here — poof!" -- John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha, regarding a court filing by "God" submitted in response to a lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty for making terroristic threats, inspiring fear and causing "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants." The mysterious, anonymous filing argued that the defendant is immune from some earthly laws and the court lacks jurisdiction. (Associated Press, Sept. 20, 2007)
September 18, 2007: "When we lose a language, we lose centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, edible flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, the unknown and the everyday." -- K. David Harrison, an assistant professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, regarding a briefing by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and the National Geographic Society, which claim that one of the world's estimated 7,000 languages dies out every two weeks. Regions with the most endangered languages include northern Australia, eastern Siberia, South America, British Columbia, the U.S. Southwest and the states of Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. (Associated Press, Sept. 18 2007)
September 17, 2007: "A lot has changed since the time we launched TimesSelect." -- Vivian Schiller, the manager of NYTimes.com, regarding the announcement that The New York Times will be terminating its TimesSelect program, which charged readers $49.95 per year or $7.95 per month for online access to selected news and opinion columnists and all of its op-ed columnists. The program was unpopular not just with readers but also with columnists who suddenly lost much of their audience after the Times "gated" their columns behind paid subscriptions. To the delight of this author, access to most TimesSelect content will be free as of midnight Tuesday, along with article archives going back 20 years. (Associated Press, Sept. 17, 2007)
September 13, 2007: Today's quote of the day is another Tag Cloud analysis, this time of President Bush's national address this evening about Iraq. Some interesting findings: * Anbar was mentioned almost twice as often as Baghdad * Al Qaeda, "extremists" and "terrorists" appeared frequently; bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were absent * He spoke of a "free" Iraq much more than "democracy" * Security and the troops were major themes
-- Transcript obtained via Critical Mention. Tag cloud visualization created via Tag Crowd.
September 12, 2007: "It's the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and bin Laden is still out there, probably in Pakistan giving us the finger. At this point, [the Bush Administration has] got to say he doesn't matter because otherwise it raises important questions." -- Steve Simon, a counterterrorism official in the Clinton administration, regarding the Bush Administration's emphasis on Iraq on the anniversary of 9/11, instead of bin Laden. (The Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2007)
September 10, 2007: "You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you." -- Last words of Alex, age 31, an African Grey parrot renown for having a vocabulary of more than 100 words and an understanding of shapes and colors. His last words, spoken at the end of the day on Thursday, were addressed to Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist at Brandeis University and Harvard who studied and worked with the parrot for most of its life. Alex was found dead on Friday, apparently of natural causes. (The New York Times, Sept. 10, 2007)
September 6, 2007: "One hundred dollars makes me feel a little better -- not $200 better, just $100 better." -- Mike Guirguis, iPhone customer, commenting on the $100 store credit Apple is offering to those who bought the iPhone for $599 before yesterday's price drop to $399 just two months after it launched. (Bloomberg, Sept. 6, 2007)
September 5, 2007: "As a token of the intense surveillance by German police, prosecutors said that during the investigation they were able to replace the dangerous peroxide in the containers with a harmless solution without the knowledge of the suspects." -- Darn good anti-terrorism work. (Associated Press, Sept. 5, 2007)
September 4, 2007: "Thanks for the question, you little jerk … you’re drafted." -- Quip by Sen. John McCain during a Q & A exchange with a high school student who raised concerns about McCain's age if elected president. (CNN.com, Sept. 4, 2007)
August 29, 2007: "[W]e are approaching a level of ridiculousness. You can’t make this stuff up." -- Scott Reed, Republican strategist, lamenting the series of scandals plaguing members of the GOP. (The New York Times, August 29, 2007)
August 28, 2007: "At the end, we were so hungry we ate coal and thought it tasted delicious." -- Meng Xianchen, describing the ordeal he and his brother went through as they crawled their way out of a collapsed mine in China over the course of six days. (Associated Press, August 28, 2007).
August 24, 2007: "The whale remained stranded until someone suggested a less conventional approach." -- NBC News story about a beached whale in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada, that was saved after local natives began chanting to it. Click HERE to watch video of the rescue, or click on the article link and then click on "Watch Video." (First Coast News, August 24, 2007)
August 22, 2007: "You have a real short memory and you let it go." -- Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley, describing how he plans to put tonight's 30-3 loss to last-place Texas Rangers behind him. (Associated Press, August 22, 2007)
August 20, 2007: "I apologize for the trouble we have caused our passengers." -- Understatement by China Airlines president Zhao Guo-shi after one of its 737-800 jetliners "exploded in a fireball" on the tarmac in Okinawa. All 165 passengers and crew survived. (Associated Press, August 20, 2007)
August 17, 2007: "After that, police stopped answering the door." -- Outcome of a police raid on a meth dealer's apartment in Eugene, Ore., according to Sgt. Jerry Webber, after a visitor at the door asked a vice officer (who was wearing a badge) for meth, another man came to the apartment carrying seven baggies of meth, and a third man carrying a concealed illegal weapon came by to warn the dealer not to sell drugs to his girlfriend. All were arrested. (Eugene Register-Guard, August 17, 2007)
August 16, 2007: "He's a deployable asset just like any other soldier in that unit." -- Lt. Col. Len Gratteri, spokesman for the Delaware National Guard, regarding the deployment to Iraq of Capt. Beau Biden, Sen. Joe Biden'sson. (Associated Press, August16, 2007)
August 14, 2007: "The recovery team failed to make use of the best available science and, in fact, appears to have selectively cited from the available science to justify a reduction in habitat protection." -- Peer review report of the Bush administration's plans to protect the spotted owl. The review committee gave a failing grade, finding that the plans "would not only fail to bring back owl populations but would result in downgrading its status from threatened to endangered." The Associated Press describes the plans as part of the effort to bring back clearcut logging in old-growth forests in Western Oregon. (Associated Press, August 14, 2007)
August 10, 2007: "I think he'll be happy here. He's got a luxury suite, it's absolutely gorgeous." -- Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, regarding the accommodations at the Los Angeles Zoo for Reggie, the alligator that eluded capture for two years in a local urban lake. (Associated Press, August 10, 2007)
August 9, 2007: "A massive hot dog clogged Chicago's main artery Thursday morning." -- One of the best opening lines for a news story that I've read in years, and the first of many bad puns throughout the story. (Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2007)
August 8, 2007: "It was a surprise to everyone on the expedition that we didn't have any sightings at all, that the extinction just happened so quickly." -- Barbara Taylor, marine biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service, regarding the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphin due to human activity, the first global extinction of megafauna (animal larger than 200 lbs) in 50 years. (LiveScience.com, August 8, 2008)
August 7, 2007: "As I ran past him, I heard him say 'Hey governor, you . . . ' I better not say the next word, but it rhymes with luck." -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, recalling getting heckled while out for a jog. (Chicago Sun-Times, August 7, 2007)
August 6, 2007: "Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor." -- Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, regarding the penalty for police officers who break rules such as littering, parking illegally, arriving late and other minor infractions: wearing hot pink armbands featuring Hello Kitty sittingon two hearts. (Associated Press, August 6, 2007)
July 24, 2007: "I fear no cheese." -- Unnamed Homeland Security Administration official, downplaying an intelligence bulletin warning airports that blocks of cheese wrapped with cell phone batteries and wires found at four airports across the country may be signs that terrorists are conducting pre-attack security probes. (NBC News 4, July 24, 2007, see attachment for text of broadcast, captured by Critical Mention's real-time TV monitoring search engine.)
July 23, 2007: "I realize what a big responsibility this is." -- Drew Carey on tonight's "Late Show with David Letterman," confirming that he will replace Bob Barker as host of "The Price is Right." (Associated Press, July 23, 2007)
July 19, 2007: "Thank you for your recent letter and chapters from your book 'First Impressions'. It seems like a really original and interesting read." -- Letter from Penguin publishing house, rejecting a manuscript that was actually a near-verbatim chapter of the Jane Austen novel "Pride and Prejudice". (AFP, July 19, 2007)
July 17, 2007: "People need stories, not just data, to make sense of their lives." -- Eric H. Cline, Ph.D., author of "From Eden to Exile: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Bible." (USA Today, July 17, 2007)
July 11, 2007: "He said when Lady Bird drove by, the tulips bowed to her." -- Former Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, regarding her husband's kind words about Lady Bird Johnson (Dec. 22, 1912 - Jul. 11, 2007) for her dedication to environmental preservation and highway beautification. (USA Today, July 11, 2007)
July 9, 2007: "The heart of darkness is the president. Nobody knows what he thinks, even the people who work for him." -- Anonymous top administration official "fresh from a White House meeting," regarding Pres. Bush's strategy for Iraq if benchmarks set for September are not met. (The Washington Post, July 8, 2007)
July 6, 2007: Today's quote-of-the-day is a musical selection by one of the greatest jazz violinists of our time, Johnny Frigo, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90 in his hometown of Chicago. Johnny played bass with Jimmy Dorsey's big band, appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, and performed with such diverse artists as Barbra Streisand, Dinah Washington and Mahalia Jackson. He was a brilliant jazz artist, a charmer and a true character. Click here to read more about his colorful career.
July 3, 2007: "He is sitting with his colleagues from the BBC office in Gaza. He is talking to them and he looks fine and well." -- A Palestinian source close to negotiations in the kidnapping case of Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist held hostage in Gaza more than 100 days, who reportedly has been handed over by his Islamist captors to ruling Hamas officials. (CNN.com, July 3, 2007)
July 2, 2007: "The president will take some heat for it. So what? He takes heat for everything." -- Former Ambassador Richard Carlson, a member of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense fund, urging President Bush to commute Libby's prison sentence. He did so this afternoon, shortly after a federal appeals panel unanimously ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term. (ABCNews.com, July 2, 2007)
June 27, 2007: "It was something you really looked forward to seeing. Now, to be honest, bald eagles are pretty common." -- George Wallace, vice president and chief conservation officer for the American Bird Conservancy, regarding the recovery of the bald eagle, which is expected to be removed from the Endangered Species list on Thursday. Under a separate existing law, it will still be illegal to kill one. (Associated Press, June 27, 2007) June 26, 2007: "But perhaps the most perplexing translation would be for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's name, which could be read as 'Sun Moon Rainbow Farmer' or 'Imbecile,' or 'Barbarian Mud No Mind of His Own.'" -- Article regarding the possibility that candidates' names would be translated into Chinese characters for use in precincts with prominent Chinese-speaking populations. Other possible unfortunate translations include "Sticky Rice" or "Uncooked Rice" (Mitt Romney), "Virtue Soup" (Fred Thompson) and "Oh Bus Horse" (BarackObama). (Associated Press, June26, 2007) June 22, 2007: "After correcting for factors known to affect scores, including parents’ education level, birth weight and family size, the researchers found that eldest children scored an average of 103.2, about 3 percent higher than second children and 4 percent higher than the third-born children." -- Summary of study testing disparities in IQ among siblings. (The New York Times, June 21, 2007) Article also notes that "younger siblings often live more adventurous lives," "are more likely to participate in dangerous sports," are "more likely to travel to exotic places," and "tend to be less conventional in general than first-borns." June 21, 2007: "I'd rather be shot in the head." -- Wanda Sykes's response when asked whether she would like to take Rosie O'Donnell's place on The View. (AccessHollywood.com, June 21, 2007) June 19, 2007: "Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city." -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announcing that he is changing party affiliation from Republican to Independent, fueling speculation that he is preparing to run as a third-party candidate for president in 2008. (Associated Press, June 19, 2007) June 18, 2007: Test your Secret Service savvy! Match the following Secret Service code names with their actual owners: 1. Deacon a. George H. W. Bush 2. Evergreen b. George W. Bush 3. Minuteman c. Jimmy Carter 4. Rawhide d. Hillary Clinton 5. Renegade e. Al Gore 6. Sundance aka Sawhorse f. John Kerry 7. Timberwolf g. Barack Obama 8. Tumbler h. Ronald Reagan Click here to find the answers. June 15, 2007: "Pluto and Eris are essentially twins -- except that Eris is slightly the pudgier of the two." -- Michael E. Brown, planetary astronomy professor at the California Institute of Technology, regarding his finding that further demotes Pluto from its position as the largest "dwarf planet." Eris is named for the Greek goddess of, among other things, rivalry. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 15, 2007) June 13, 2007: "The Aqua Virgo aqueduct was one of two Roman water channels built underground. It was one of the few to escape being destroyed by the barbarians and to survive intact. Unfortunately, it has been destroyed by their descendants." -- Giorgio Signore, spokesperson for Italian water company Aero, regarding damage to the aqueduct by construction on an underground garage. The aqueduct supplied water to the Trevi fountain. (BBC.com, June 13, 2007) June 12, 2007: "It's unusual to find old things like that in whales, and I knew immediately that it was quite old by its shape" -- Craig George, a wildlife biologist for the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, regarding an arrow-shaped weapon from 1890 lodged deep in the blubber of a 50-ton bowhead whale caught last month, making the whale's age between 115 and 130 years old. (Associated Press, June 12, 2007) June 8, 2007: "It’s the kind of day where we’ll always have Paris." -- Stephen Frazier, CNN anchor, regarding today's saturation-level news coverage about Paris Hilton's return to jail. (The New York Times, June 8, 2007) June 6, 2007: "Now I realize normal is just a cycle on a washing machine. We're no longer living in a normal world. We're living in a warmer world." -- Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (CNN.com, June 6, 2007) June 4, 2007: "He was so amazed to see the colorful streets, the goods. He says the world is prettier now." -- Gertruda Grzebska, regarding her husband, Janek, describing his amazement at a post-communist Poland after emerging last week from a 19-year coma. (Associated Press, June 3, 2007) June 1, 2007: "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water." -- Gordon Holmes, a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who captured video of the "thing" at Loch Ness last week. Click here to see the video. (Associated Press, June 1, 2007) May 30, 2007: "If we learned anything about these two, it is that they will do what they do when they want to do it." -- Bernadette Fees, deputy director of the California Department of Fish and Game, regarding the wayward whales "Delta" and "Dawn" that are now believed to have made their way back to the Pacific Ocean. They have not been seen since Tuesday evening. (Associated Press, May 30, 2007)
May 29, 2007: "This is my resignation letter as the 'face' of the American anti-war movement." -- Cindy Sheehan, in an excoriating open letter posted on the Daily Kos Web site aimed at both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for supporting war funding. (Associated Press, May 29, 2007)
May 25, 2007: "Something seemingly simple — gathering a daily report of today’s news clips — turns out to be confounding." -- Janet Harris, president of Upstream Analysis, advising PR practitioners on how to evaluate their media monitoring needs. (PR Tactics and The Strategist, Public Relations Society of America, May 25, 2007)
May 24, 2007: "Dying to Win,'' "Blowback," the 9/11 Commission Report and "Imperial Hubris." -- Books on Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's list of recommended reading for fellow candidate Rudolph Giuliani. The books back up Paul's contention that attacks by Islamic militants are fueled by the U.S. presence in the Middle East. (Reuters, May 24, 2007)
May 23, 2007: "The vice president took me aside and gave me the good news. He and his wife, Lynne, are very happy for Mary. [...] I think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And I'm happy for her." -- Pres. George Bush, regarding the birth of Samuel David Chaney, the son of Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe. (ABCNews.com, May 23, 2007)
May 22, 2007: "The turkey was pronounced dead at the scene." -- A wild turkey that flew into the windshield of a school bus in Connecticut gave the Associated Press the opportunity to write a sentence that it probably doesn't get to write very often. (Associated Press, May 22, 2007)
May 21, 2007: "The obsession with getting the next allocation and appropriation was so intense that anything that might upset the Congress or the White House was being looked at very carefully." -- Robert Sullivan, former director at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, who alleges that an exhibit on climate change was altered to make the science appear more ambiguous to avoid angering officials. (CBS.com, May 21, 2007)
May 18, 2007: Today's email is another analysis-of-the-day, rather than a quote of the day. The line graph below shows the volume of news articles that mention Pres. Bush, Alberto Gonzales and Paul Wolfowitz during the past four weeks. After trading headlines for a couple weeks, controversies about each appointee coalesced this week. (Note: May 19 shows partial data collection from international media.)
May 17, 2007: "The family is getting along well and seems to enjoy each other." -- Chen Yucai, manager of Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in China, regarding tiger cubs and a dog that is nursing them after the mother tiger rejected the cubs shortly after birth. (Associated Press, May 17, 2007)
May 16, 2007: "I was just flabbergasted by that. How it was across the board, all encompassing and I just thought to myself, this is not where I want to work." -- Maria Shriver, regarding how the tabloid-style media frenzy following the death of Anna Nicole Smith made her reconsider her decision to return to television news. (Reuters, May 16, 2007)
May 15, 2007: "I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man..." -- Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, testifying to Congress about his late-night confrontation with then-White House chief of staff Andrew Card and then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales at the hospital sick bed of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Comey testified that Card and Gonzales sought to get Ashcroft's approval of the National Security Administration's warrantless wiretapping program while Ashcroft was weak from gall-bladder surgery, despite knowing that the power of Attorney General had been temporarily transferred to Comey and that both Comey and Ashcroft opposed the program. (CNN.com, May 15, 2007)
May 11, 2007: ''This is not going to be a name like Adolf that's going to disappear and be unusable ever again." -- Cleveland Evans, a psychology professor and names expert at Bellevue University in Nebraska, regarding the decline -- but not the demise -- of "Katrina" as a popular baby name in the United States. (Associated Press, May 11, 2007)
Postscript to Tuesday and Wednesday's quote-of-the-day: "Farfour," the Mickey Mouse look-alike on Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV, is still on the air and the station manager says it will not be cancelled. In Friday's episode, Farfour complained that "the Jews destroyed my house." (Associated Press, May 11, 2007)
May 9, 2007: "It's durable. It comes from natural design forms. It doesn't have an expression of fashion. It has very clear lines and characters, it looks like a very serious typeface." -- Frank Wildenberg, managing director of Linotype, owner of the Helvetica font, which turns 50 this year.
"They want to be a member of modernism. They want to be a member of no personality. It also says bland, unadventurous, unambitious." -- Neville Brody, graphic designer and typographer, regarding those who use the Helvetica font. (BBC.com, May 9, 2007)
Postscript to yesterday's quote-of-the-day: "Farfour," the Mickey Mouse look-alike that exhorts children to "fight Israel and work for global Islamic domination" has been pulled off the air, according to the Palestinian information minister. (Associated Press, May 9, 2007)
May 8, 2007: "We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers." -- Mickey Mouse look-alike called "Farfour," who talks in a high-pitched voice and appears in a children's show on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV. (Associated Press, May 8, 2007.)
May 4, 2007: In the interest of partisan fairness, today's email is an analysis-of-the-day based on Thursday evening's 2008 Republican presidential debate. Attached is a pictorial representation of each candidate's answers, similar to the analysis I did for the Democratic presidential candidates. Please keep in mind that the analysis is going to be influenced by the questions each candidate was asked. Here are a few quick thoughts about the results: * Sen. Brownback -- Sounds like he might be running for Sec. of State instead. * Fmr. Gov. Gilmore -- His cloud is more of a cirrus than a cumulus. * Fmr. Mayor Giuliani -- The "new" in "New York" was filtered out by the program as one of the commonly used words, but from the prominence of "York" you can see that is his emphasis. Other candidates mentioned their home state/city as well, but not to the same degree. He also invoked the memory of Ronald Reagan the most. But other than that, it's all a little mushy. * Fmr. Gov. Huckabee -- Very strong set of words, here. Faith is very prominent, as is jobs, tax(es), government, states, nation and decision. * Rep. Hunter -- Okay, you built a fence. We get it. * Sen. McCain -- President stands out more than in any of the other candidates' clouds. As does Iraq, not surprisingly, along with Iran, war, weapons, security. I sense a theme, here... * Rep. Paul -- Lots of negative words: bad, critical, fight, interfere, ought, poor, rid, secrecy, war. A big contrast with Romney. * Fmr. Gov. Romney -- Reminds me of Edwards' cloud with the man-of-the-people language: America(n), values, nation, church, faith. Abortion was most prominent for Romney and Giuliani (as well as "pro-choice" for Romney), but I suspect that is because they were grilled on that issue more than the other candidates. Still, with limited debate time, I'm sure neither wanted to have those words end up in their tag cloud whatsoever. * Gov. Tancredo -- His cloud doesn't give many clues to what he stands for. * Fmr. Gov. Thompson -- Was he there? He spoke the least of any candidate and, apparently, did not make great use of his meager time.
May 2, 2007: "This is the biggest general threat to our food supply." -- Kevin Hackett, national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program, regarding the national collapse of the honeybee population. (Associated Press, May 2, 2007)
May 1, 2007: "[W]e're going to shove it down his throat." -- Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), speaking with a South Carolina voter last Friday about the Iraq war funding bill. The comment was picked up by a C-SPAN microphone. (Associated Press, May 1, 2007.) Pres. Bush vetoed the bill this afternoon. The Democratic Congressional leadership responded by vowing not to give the president "a blank check" for the war.
April 30, 2007: "Rechov Sumsum." -- The name of "Sesame Street" in Israel, which will begin airing new episodes after years off the air due to lack of funding. The show's cast of characters includes "a Muppet of Arab origin." (Associated Press, April 30, 2007)
April 26, 2007: Instead of a quote-of-the-day, today's email is an analysis-of-the-day, based on Thursday evening's 2008 Democratic presidential debate. Attached is a pictorial representation of each candidate's answers. Granted, this analysis is going to be influenced by the questions each candidate was asked, but nevertheless, there are some striking findings: * Despite having the only zinger of the night with his one-word answer, and despite the constraints of the debate format, Sen. Biden still managed to be verbose. * Biggest word in Sen. Clinton's analysis: President. * Sen. Dodd will have a hard time not looking like the ultimate Washington insider if he doesn't stop using all the wonky language. * Sen. Edwards' populism comes through loud and clear. * Fmr. Sen. Gravel...um.... * Rep. Kucinich's pictorial analysis is also an also-ran. * Although very emphatic, Sen. Obama's verbal analysis doesn't quite make a cohesive statement. * Gov. Richardson... Honestly, not sure what to make of it. Thoughts, anyone?
April 24, 2007: "Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X." -- Xavier Delfosse, astronomer, Grenoble University in France, regarding the discovery of a potentially habitable planet. (Associated Press, Apr. 24, 2007)
April 20, 2007: "They bray a lot any time day or night. You never know when they're going to cut loose." -- John Cantrell, who took his neighbor to court in Dallas, Tex., over a noisy donkey, Buddy. Buddy defended himself by appearing in court: "He walked to the bench and stared at the jury, the picture of a gentle, well-mannered creature..." (Associated Press, Apr. 20, 2007)
April 17, 2007: "We are Virginia Tech. We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on. We are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech. We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly. We are brave enough to bend to cry, and sad enough to know we must laugh again." -- Nikki Giovanni, poet and English professor at Virginia Tech, speaking at today's convocation. Click here to watch Giovanni's powerful presentation in its entirety. (CNN, April 17, 2007)
April 13, 2007: "An apology is appropriate for an insult. But restitution is necessary for an injury." -- Rev. DeForest Soaries, pastor to Rutgars women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show. (Associated Press, April 13, 2007)
April 12, 2007: ''If you're a legitimate customer, you think, 'This is the friendliest person I've met in my life.' If you're a bad guy, it scares the lights out of you." -- Drew Ness, First Mutual Bank, regarding a super-friendly approach by tellers and bank personnel used to foil robberies. (Associated Press, April 12, 2007)
April 10, 2007: "...any two meats tossed in the general direction of a bun or two pieces of bread." -- Description of the the new Mark Mallory Screwball sandwich served at Izzy's deli in Cincinnati, named for the wayward pitch made by the mayor at the Red's home opener. The Screwball comes with a potato pancake and pickles for $7.75. (Associated Press, April 10, 2007)
April 5, 2007: "It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming." -- Cathy Keesling, describing how her cat meowed and jumped on the bed persistently to wake her after the house filled with carbon monoxide. Her husband and son were already unconscious. (Associated Press, April 5, 2007)
April 4, 2007: "Things are looking pretty bad for the upcoming summer driving season." -- Phil Flynn, vice president and energy analyst at Alaron Trading, indicating that gas prices could reach $4 per gallon. (ABCNews.com, April 4, 2007)
April 2, 2007: "And today our Toilet ISP team is pleased to be leading the way through the sewers, up out of your toilet and -- splat -- right onto your PC." -- Fake quote attributed to Google founder Larry Page as part of the company's April Fools' Day hoax, code-named "Dark Porcelain." (CNN.com, April 2, 2007)
March 29, 2007: "The fact is that we could eliminate the Iraq war tomorrow. We could eliminate every dime of pork-barrel spending. And we wouldn't come close to solving our problem." -- David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the U.S. General Account Office, who is on a cross-country speaking tour about the dangers of the federal deficit. (CNN.com, Mar. 29, 2007) http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/28/federal.debt/index.html
March 28, 2007: "Our mantra was that we dared not fail because if we did, the doors of future aviation would be closed to black people forever.'" -- Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Dryden, 86, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, who will receive the nations highest civilian award, the Congressional Medal of Honor, in a ceremony with Pres. Bush on Thursday. (Reuters, Mar. 28, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-usa-airmen-tuskegee.html
March 27, 2007:"I went to my trailer for about 15 minutes and I thought, 'There's people dying every day. A lot of worse things are happening in the world." -- Daniel Sadek, owner of a Ferrari Enzo worth $1.5 million, taking a big-picture approach after the car was totaled by comedian Eddie Griffin during a test drive. (Associated Press, Mar. 27, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-People-Eddie-Griffin.html
March 23, 2007: "The fact that more than half a million Americans live in the District of Columbia and are denied a single voting representative in Congress is clearly a historic wrong, and justice demands it be addressed." -- Rep. Mike Pense (R-IN), one of two Republicans to support a bill granting the District voting rights in the House of Representatives. Minutes before the House was set to vote on the bill, the Republican minority introduced an amendment that would repeal the District's stringent gun control law, a poison pill that forced Democrats to withdraw the bill. (CQPolitics.com, Mar. 22, 2007). http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/03/from_cq_today_gunrights_gambit_1.html
March 20, 2007: "You know there's a lot of politics in this town." -- Pres. Bush, regarding the potential showdown between the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee over whether advisors Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will meet with committee members for a private conversation "without the need for an oath," or on the record and under oath with a transcript. (Associated Press, Mar. 20, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Fired-Prosecutors.html
March 19, 2007: "And no one was smoking pot in that crowd." -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, uttering words that had likely never been said before in open court by a Supreme Court Justice. The comment was made as the justices considered whether a student's suspension from school for displaying a banner as the Winter Olympic torch relay of 2002 passed by constituted a violation of freedom of speech. The banner read, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." (Reuters, Mar. 19, 2006.) http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-usa-students-rights.html
March 15, 2007: "What has made the issue a political firestorm is the White House's insistence that the idea came from [former White House counsel Harriet] Miers and was swiftly rejected." -- ABC News report regarding e-mails that show the idea of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys came from Karl Rove and was considered by Alberto Gonzales more than a month before previously acknowledged. (ABCNews.com, Mar. 15, 2007) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=2954988&page=1
March 14, 2007: "I was about 3 minutes late. I'm always on my kids about being late, but I guess they understood why I was." -- Nebraska-Kearney basketball coach Carol Russell, who was delayed from coaching her team in the North Central Region basketball tournament because she was giving birth earlier that day. (Associated Press, Mar. 14, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Bouncing-Baby.html
March 9, 2007: "The district's definition of the militia is just too narrow. There are too many instances of 'bear arms' indicating private use to conclude that the drafters intended only a military sense." -- Judge Laurence Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a ruling striking down the District of Columbia's gun control law. (Associated Press, March 9, 2007) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/09/AR2007030901063.html
March 5, 2007: "Cowbirds parasitized 85 percent of the renests, which is strong supporting evidence for both farming and mafia behavior." -- Jeffrey P. Hoover, of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Illinois Natural History Survey, regarding cowbirds that destroy the nests of other bird species in order to make those birds rebuild just as the cowbirds are ready to lay eggs. The other bird species raise the cowbirds as their own, but researcher have found that, if they don't, the cowbirds come back and "trash the place." (Associated Press, March 5, 2006.) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Cowbird-Mafia.html
February 28, 2007: "After further discussion, we are clear on what we need to do . No further clarification needed. Thank you. We apologize.'' -- Note from the jury in the perjury trial of former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The jury, which has been deliberating since last week, asked for clarification of legal language, but resolved the issue themselves before receiving an official answer from the judge. The notes failed to shed light on which way the jury is leaning, keeping the political world on pins and needles. (Associated Press, Feb. 28, 2007.) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-CIA-Leak-Trial.html
February 21, 2007: "How can Senator Obama denounce the politics of slash and burn yesterday while his own campaign is espousing the politics of trash today?" -- Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson, regarding critical comments about Sen. Clinton made by producer David Geffen, a former contributor of Pres. Clinton and current contributor of Sen. Obama.
February 19, 2007: "It's really more about exploration within yourself, when you cross those boundary lines that you might normally set for yourself and I am going to cross way, way beyond them." -- Rosie Stancer, 47, who intends to be the first woman to journey alone to both the North and South Poles. She has already completed the South Pole trek, covering 700 nautical miles on foot in 44 days. (Reuters, Feb. 19, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-explorer-stancer.html)
February 7, 2007: "That would be impossible because I didn't know who that person was until several days later." -- Tim Russert, NBC News Washington bureau chief, directly contradicting I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's claim that Libby learned the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame from Russert. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, is on trial for perjury during an investigation into how Plame's identity was leaked to the media. (The Washington Post, Feb. 7, 2007) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/07/AR2007020701040.html
February 2, 2007: "[W]e liked his choice of weapons." -- Cmdr. Diane Groomes of the 1st Police District, Washington, DC, praising retiree Gary Peterson for stopping a robbery suspect by whacking him on the head with a frying pan. (Associated Press, Feb. 2, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Robber-Frying-Pan.html
February 1, 2007: After building bunkers in the desert for Y2K, we're not even talking about this, and it's happening in less than two months." -- Matthew Kozak, Rutgers University information technology specialist, regarding the potential disruption to air traffic, banking and other heavily computerized industries when daylight savings time begins in March 11, three weeks earlier than usual. Congress passed a bill in 2005 to change the beginning and ending dates of daylight savings time, starting in 2007, in order to conserve energy. (Washington Post, February 1, 2006) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/31/AR2007013102318.html?nav=most_emailed
January 31, 2007: "The 'packages' in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger." -- Turner Broadcasting System statement issued late this afternoon following a day-long security scare in Boston that shut down a train line, snarled traffic and closed the Charles River. The packages, part of an outdoor marketing campaign for a TV show, contained wires emerging from a plastic casing and were described as "fake bombs" by Reuters prior to the release of the Turner statement. (Reuters, January 31, 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-security-boston-turner.html and http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-security-boston.html
January 30, 2007: ''This is where they went to party - you could say it was the first free festival." -- Prof. Mike Parker Pearson, Sheffield University, describing the newly discovered site of an ancient settlement near Stonehenge (BBC News, January 30, 2007). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6311939.stm
January 29, 2007: "You have to live in Alaska to have this kind of outage scenario." -- Gayle Wood, Alaska Electric Light & Power spokeswoman, regarding a power outage in Juneau caused by an eagle unable to clear power transmission lines after trying to fly off with a deer head. (Reuters, January 29, 2006) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Eagle-Power-Outage.html
January 23, 2007: "(Lewis 'Scooter' Libby) was an important staffer, but Karl Rove was the lifeblood of the Republican Party.'' -- Theodore Wells, defense attorney for Libby, saying in his opening statement at trial that Libby was a "scapegoat" to protect Karl Rove in the leak of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame. Reuters, Jan. 23, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-usa-crime-libby.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
January 22, 2007: ''Kwispelbier." -- The name of a non-alcoholic beer for dogs, produced by a small brewery in the Netherlands. "Kwispel" is Dutch for tail-wagging. Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6288107.stm
January 19, 2007: ''No one in a senior position in this administration seems to have even the vaguest notion of modern Middle Eastern history." -- Adam Garfinkle, editor of foreign-policy journal The American Interest and former speechwriter for Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice. The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19, 2007. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116917380100681116.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
January 18, 2007: ''Whether they like it or not, everyone is going to go. The big question we still have to ask is not where we're going, but what were we doing here in the first place?" -- Art Buchwald (1925-2007) in March 2006, as reported by the Associated Press, Jan. 18, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-buchwald.html
January 16, 2007: "They're toast.'' -- Ben Taft, the manager of California Fruit Depot, regarding the prospects for a large grove of new orange tree saplings surviving this week's freezing weather. The Bakersfield Californian, Dec. 16, 2006. http://www.bakersfield.com/619/story/94580.html
January 12, 2007: "For goodness sake, how long in our lifetime have we prayed: If we can only have a vaccine against cancer?" -- Kentucky state Rep. Kathy Stein (D), sponsor of bill to make immunization mandatory for HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer. Opposition to mandatory immunization for pre-teen girls has come from groups who are concerned that it might encourage promiscuity, since the virus is spread through sexual contact. Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011101981.html?nav=most_emailed
January 11, 2007: "That stupid game Minesweeper -- that probably has cost billions of dollars for the whole society.” -- Piers Steel, University of Calgary professor, regarding the societal cost of procrastination. Steel recently published a study on the subject that took 10 years to complete; it was only supposed to take five years. Associated Press, Jan. 11, 2007. http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/01/11/procrastination.nation.ap/index.html
January 10, 2007: "I regard this as a last gasp for the president to try to get a successful resolution of the Iraq quagmire.'' -- Stephen Wayne, Georgetown University professor, regarding tonight's speech by Pres. Bush. Associated Press, Jan. 10. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-US-Iraq-Analysis.html
January 8, 2007: "Plutoed." -- Word of the Year, according to the American Dialect Society, meaning "to demote or devalue something." Plutoed won in a runoff against, among others, "climate canary" (an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe), "macaca moment" (treating an American citizen as an alien) and "flog" (a blog created by a corporation to promotional purposes). CNN.com, Jan. 8, 2006. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/07/word.of.the.year/index.html
December 20, 2006: "We were blown away when we realized what she'd done. But we certainly won't be naming any of the hatchlings Jesus.'' -- Kevin Buley, a reptile expert at the Chester Zoo in northern England, describing amazement at Flora, a Komodo dragon that became pregnant without a mate. The process, known as parthenogenesis, occurs among some reptiles but was not known to occur in Komodo dragons. Associated Press, Dec. 20, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Virgin-Dragon.html
December 19, 2006: "We're not winning, we're not losing." -- Pres. George W. Bush during an interview with The Washington Post in which he expressed the need to expand the U.S. military to fight terrorism, Associated Press, Dec. 19, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-iraq-usa.html
December 15, 2006: "That terrorist is sad. He just got caught. Joe is happy. The normal Iraqi is happy. The Iraqi Policeman is happy. The Sheik is happy." -- Slide 16 of a PowerPoint presentation titled "How to Win in Al Anbar," created by the late Capt. Travis Patriquin, killed in action last Wednesday. Using stick figures and simple language, it outlines a simple solution to stop insurgents in Iraq. The presentation will be featured on ABC's World News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET this evening. Source: ABCNews.com, Dec. 15, 2006. http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/how_to_win_in_anbar_v4.pdf
December 14, 2006: "The kind of stuff in these books -- murder and greed and violence. Why do they have to read them in school?'' -- Laura Mallory, commenting on the Gwinnett County (Ga.) school board's refusal to ban Harry Potter books, which Mallory says are attempting to "indoctrinate children in witchcraft." Associated Press, Dec. 14, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Potter-Protest.html
December 6, 2006: "I’m about 80 percent convinced that this is evidence of water flow happening now and I admit I have been a skeptic." -- Philip Christensen, a professor of geological science at Arizona State University, reacting to NASA photographs showing changes in the Mars landscape during the past couple years that could have been caused by flowing water. The New York Times, Dec. 6, 2006.
December 5, 2006: "£410,000." -- The final hammer price for a black Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, sold at auction by Christie's. It was only expected to fetch £70,000. (BBC, Dec. 5, 2006) http://news.bbc.co.uk
December 4, 2006: "About 1,800 active-duty service members identify themselves as Wiccans, according to 2005 Defense Department statistics, and Wicca is one of the fastest-growing faiths in the country." -- Interesting facts from a Washington Post article about the widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan who succeeded in getting the first-ever government-issued memorial plaque with a Wiccan pentacle. She fought the government for more than a year to have the symbol placed on her husband's memorial. (Dec. 4, 2006) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/03/AR2006120301126.html
December 1, 2006: "I actually expect this one to be quite a hot commodity -- I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it hit the bestseller lists." -- Lev Grossman, Time Magazine book critic, regarding the upcoming release of the Iraq Study Group Report. The report, published by Random House, goes on sale next Wednesday for $10.95. Reuters, Dec. 1, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/arts/entertainment-iraq-usa-group-book.html
November 30, 2006: "The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet." -- Stephen Hawking, in a radio interview with the BBC, explaining that humans will have to colonize planets in other solar systems to survive "disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war." Associated Press, Nov. 30, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Stephen-Hawking.html
November 28, 2006: "We are very excited at the success of our research as it could have far-reaching implications for both defense and homeland security." -- Tim Haarmann, research scientist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in regard to the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project, which has successfully trained bees to detect explosives. Reuters, Nov. 28, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-bombs-bees.html?_r=1&oref=slogin