Thanksgiving!!!!

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Every year, on the 4th Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated in our wonderful country.  Each year, many families get together and celebrate Thanksgiving by sharing wonderful meals, playing games, watching football, and many other forms of entertainment.  For me and my family it is a time to reflect on past memories and dream about new memories.  Through the years I have always wondered how many turkeys have been eaten and what other families serve in addition to turkey.  Also, Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping have become a newer tradition in some families.

How did Thanksgiving get its origins?  The Pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest in 1621 by feasting for three days! How many turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving?   Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.  You can find many other great and fun statistics in the infographic listed above.  Here is one that is no surprise: Pumpkin Pie dominates the desert line, 57% of all pies served are pumpkin.  Do you find that interesting? I enjoy pumpkin pie, but I do not eat it any other time of the year, so why does it dominate Thanksgiving?

Here is an article from CNN that shares plenty of other statistics and oddities about Thanksgiving.  79%of people enjoy eating the leftovers more than the original meal!  I am not in that majority at all.  Here is an interesting statistic, 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving.  237.5 million turkeys are raised each year, so 20% of the turkeys are consumed in one day.  I can not imagine another number being so high.  Have you ever wondered how many calories you consume on Thanksgiving?  A whopping 4,500 is the average!  Sounds like the belt will be a little tight for the rest of the weekend!

What do families do for entertainment?  I would imagine many play games, many have great discussions, and many watch football all day long.  The NFL now has three games on Thanksgiving and they start at 12:30pm and do not end until 11:30pm.  I would imagine even if you are not watching the games you have the game on in the background.  Another form of entertainment is the “art of napping”.  How many people take a nap on Thanksgiving?  There is a real reason for it, turkey has a chemical that makes people sleepy.

Another new tradition for families would be shopping.  Black Friday has been popular, and now it has spilled into Thanksgiving evening.  I do not really like that for a few reasons.  It is taking people out of the home on Thanksgiving, but it is not really my business what other people do.  However, that also means that many workers are no longer home with their family because of some urge to shop.  When did the 3 day weekend become not enough to support the shopping needs of people?  Shop online and stay home with your family!

No matter what your traditions are, Thanksgiving is a time for many people to get together and be thankful.  I know it sounds cliche to talk about, but we really do have many things to be thankful for.  I sincerely hope everyone enjoys their day and weekend.  Just eat plenty of food and take plenty of naps!

–Victor Mandalawi

Trump Protests

I think it is safe to say that everyone knows that the next President of the United States will be Donald Trump.  I could spend this article and many more on the election results. They were pretty shocking considering many of the pundits thought Clinton was a lock.  This professor correctly predicted Trump would win as he has for the past 8 elections.  He also has a new prediction that Trump will get impeached.  Only time will be able to answer that prediction.  What we are seeing now are protests and they come in all forms.

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One form of protest is from certain NBA teams boycotting his hotels.  The reasons being given are pretty vague, but I would assume it is because the team owners were not supportive of the President Elect.  I would imagine they were Clinton supporters and this is their form of protest.

This is an interesting move by some teachers at a Private School in New York.  Allowing students to skip class to protest. I can see this going both ways.  It is empowering their students to have an opinion and as long as it is expressed legally, they should be allowed to do this.  Afterall, our Nation has been shaped and formed by protest.  On the other hand, you could argue that the teachers are setting a standard that shows students it is not an issue to skip class.

Here is another form of protest.  Bernie Sanders is questioning the voting process.  It does seem like an antiquated process.  The person with the most votes does not necessarily win an election.  It would take some time to explain it if you don’t already know about what the Electoral College is but you can win an Election and not be the popular vote winner.  It has happened before and it will happen again.  I think questioning the process after a loss is going to happen.  Bernie Sanders even mentions the “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” being pretty natural after a loss.

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Another pretty typical form of protesting would be gathering in a public forum and chanting, marching, etc to show your anger.  You are more than welcome to express your right to free speech, but it does not mean you can do anything other than peacefully protest.  These types of protests have been going on for many years and hopefully they continue.  As mentioned, our country was built on some of this premise of free speech.

There is no doubt the election was a hot-button issue and it became even more volatile once Trump won.  I do not think we have seen all of the protesting that will take place.  There will be more, especially nearing the inauguration day.  What do you think will happen during one of Trump’s first critical decision?  What if it fails?  Trump will be in a very difficult decision for a long time to come. Good luck to him for the sake of the Untied States of America!

–Victor Mandalawi

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

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I would most people have heard that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last night.  It was a fantastic game that resembled a roller-coaster.  There were ups and downs for both teams and fan-bases.  The series in general was quite entertaining and of course it had plenty of story lines.  Just the idea of going to a game 7 is entertainment enough.  However, you add in that it is the Cubs and they were down 3-1 in the series makes the drama that much more thick.  Who was the MVP, how did the fans react, was the game a highly rated television viewing?  By the way it had been 108 years since the Cubs last won a World Series!

The game itself was not necessarily played well, but it was still a fantastic game to watch.  It seemed as if the Cubs were going to run away with the game, but the Indians stabilized and clawed back.  The Cubs best relief pitcher was on the mound with a 6-3 lead. I am not sure you could ask for anything else, yet Cleveland fought and tied it up at 6-6.  The 9th inning came up empty for both teams, and then there was a rain delay that was very short. The Cubs came out of the delay and took control by plating two runs in the 10th inning.  Cleveland did manage to score another run in the bottom of the tenth inning but the Cubs were able to seal the deal and end the game!

Of course it takes a lot contributions to win a World Series and the Cubs received plenty from pitchers and hitters.  The MVP was given to Ben Zobrist, not only did he knock in the go ahead run in extra innings but he was the most consistent performer throughout the series for the Cubs.  Zobrist and his teammates really helped Joe Maddon.  He is a great manager that seems to have an answer for all of his moves, but a few in the last couple of games were quite inexplicable to say the least.

Despite Maddon’s moves and Chapman blowing the lead, they won and the celebration was on.  You have your typical champagne spraying, hugging, screaming, etc. The Cubs have quite a large fan base and there are plenty of celebrities that love the Cubs.  Somehow they managed to gain access to the locker room and you saw Eddie Vedder and Bill Murray.  I am not necessarily a fan of Murray and his act, but he has been with the Cubs for a long time.  I can remember him sitting with Harry Carray during the first night game at Wrigley Field.  The players and ownership must love him to allow him access and that is all that matters.

The party will rage on for days, weeks, months for Cubs fans.  It starts tomorrow with the celebratory parade.  What do you think that scene will be like? How productive will the workforce in Chicago be for the next few days?  I do not think it matters if you are a Cubs fan, if you are a baseball fan you have to happy for the Cubs.  It is clear that the game was highly viewed.  The most wacthed baseball game in 15 years!  If you believe in curses, this one is put to bed.  Hopefully it does not take another 108 years to win another!

–Victor Mandalawi