Maybe you didn’t bother following the pre fiscal cliff pandemonium in Washington. Maybe you preferred to sip champagne, dance with sparklers, and wait until there was something concrete hammered out. Now that a deal has been passed let Trapit help you get up to speed on the implications, critiques, and nitty gritty of this contentious resolution with the Fiscal Cliff Trap.
It’s nearing the end of 2012 (and the Mayan Calendar) and it’s been a great year at Trapit. How could it not have been? We launched an iPad app! And while that was certainly a highlight, Trapit’s given us more than that. For your reading pleasure, please enjoy Trapit staff’s top picks of 2012—the discoveries, Traps, and stories that distracted us from the toil of QA presented in no particular order.
NASA’s Perpetual Ocean animations visualize the flow of the ocean.
Feminism: This was the Trap I was most inclined to lose hours to (thank stars for our iPad app). The feminist blogosphere is full of witty, thoughtful, and feisty ladies and gents. And with politicians providing plenty of grist for the mill this year—there was rarely a dull moment.
Garlic Scapes: They’re curly, they’re tasty, they popped up in the grocery aisle this spring (and many a garden). Allegiances aside, Trapit’s my go-to source for finding recipes for new/strange/routine ingredients. My Garlic Scapes Trap did not disappoint.
It’s election day and if you aren’t feeling like this girl it may well be a late and tense night, no matter your politics.
Our White House Race Trap has all the election news and speculation you can handle. Or, if you’re interested in local elections—use Trapit to create your own custom election coverage traps. My Oregon Elections trap (keywords “Oregon Elections”) has been pulling in all the latest all morning. And with Trapit’s latest iPad release also out today, I can check it all out in portrait mode.
Oh, and if you haven’t yet, get out and vote!
If you’ve been anywhere near a computer you know that yesterday President Obama went on record as personally in support of gay marriage.
While I can report that my own social networks more or less exploded with celebration—this jubilation was not shared by either log cabin republicans or folks like RNC chair, Reince Priebus. While the former have a point, the announcement did take away a little of the sting of North Carolina voters passing a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.
Among my social network, at least one current resident of North Carolina pointed out that the student heavy triangle counties were among those that did not pass the amendment, further evidence that equality may only be a matter of time (although I’ll assert that it cannot come fast enough), and that pockets of tolerance exist everywhere.
Cheers to that. Follow the celebration and backlash and further state developments with the Same-Sex Marriage Trap.
Students of Portland Occupying. Image via.
Tuesday was May Day, that pagan ritual turned secular labor holiday (or International Workers Day) celebrated officially in many countries, but not in the US, its birthplace.
But that didn’t stop many Americans from taking the holiday anyway. The day was to stand as the beginning of spring for the Occupy movement with strikers, students, the un[der]employed, and homeless taking to the streets in cities small and large across the nation. The most violent of the marches were found in “black bloc” strongholds, Seattle and Oakland (which should surprise no one except poor, caught-in-the-crossfire Canadian tourists).
Call me cynical, but I find it completely unsurprising that many media outlets are announcing after Tuesday’s mayday protests that the Occupy movement has fizzled. And call my optimistic, but I don’t buy that the movement’s lack of centralized organization or concrete policy demands will inevitably lead to failure.
Fizzled or just a prequel, only time (and Traps) will tell.
In Portland, things didn’t seem fizzled as area high schoolers rallied, speaking with the mayor, and briefly bringing Lincoln high school into lockdown as they tried to get fellow students to also walk out. Other Portlanders liberated/broke into a foreclosed house and moved its previous occupant back in.
Oh and New York’s hipster cop is back!
A couple of takeaways from perusing the Secret Service Inquiry trap. First, if you are going to hire prostitutes on a work trip to Colombia where you are charged with protecting the US President and you don’t want to get caught, pay the ladies what they ask. Second, the secret service does have lady service members and these women are reportedly very useful when Michelle Obama needs to pee (fair enough). Third, call me cynical, but I have a very hard time believing anyone finds these allegations hard to believe.
So as charges grow to include drugs, folks get fired, and Romney tells us all what he’d do about it, remember that studies suggest that power may increase promiscuity and the list of federal political sex scandals in the US is not a short one. So while I won’t make excuses, I’m not going to act shocked at the behavior of the Secret Service. At least they’re keeping a close eye on Ted Nugent.
While studies are suggesting that Tornado Alley ain’t what it used to be—and may warrant being redrawn, bigger—the tornados that hit the Dallas and Ft. Worth areas early this week hit during the month when this is statistically most likely to happen. So those who spent time huddling in airport bathrooms as reports warned a tornado was on path to hit DFW should stop feeling so lucky. April is the high peak of tornado season and if a tornado is going to hit a city, Dallas is on a shortish list of cities likely to be hit (Oklahoma city being considered most likely, with St. Louis taking the most actual direct hits).
So while maybe not startling unexpected, it does seem impressive that with two tornados hitting a highly populated area, thus far no one has been reported killed. This is especially impressive when you look at the terrifying footage of trucks being tossed high into the air like they were nothing.
While I’ve never experienced a tornado, my first visit to Tarrant county (which has been declared a disaster zone) was followed by a stormy drive down I-35 during which my longtime-Texas-resident companion suddenly turned down the music to check for tornado warnings. As I freaked out he listened. Luckily there were none.
If there had been, and they’d been as graphic as these new ones are, well, let’s just say there are some things about Texas I do not miss.
Lebron James leads the Heat in a hoodie protest. Image via.
Since I first heard about the death of Trayvon Martin I’ve been following this story with mouth agape. A man shoots and kills an unarmed teenager who was walking back from a store carrying candy and iced tea and is not arrested.
The shooter, George Zimmerman, called 911 before the shooting to report a, “suspicious person” (purported suspiciousness behavior includes looking around a lot and walking slowly). In the call Zimmerman tells the operator he is following Martin (and is told not to) and uses what seems to be a racial slur to refer to the teen. A short while later Martin is shot in the chest in what Zimmerman is calling self-defense. The police decline to take him into custody.
Umm…how can it be self-defense if the whole things seems to have started because Zimmerman was following the kid with a gun?
I’m not the only one outraged and calling for justice. Illinois Representative Bobby Rush was recently ejected from the house chamber for wearing a hoodie in Martin’s honor (video here). Hoodie wearing (what Martin was wearing when he was killed) has become a symbol of protest embraced by celebrities and the public due mostly to Geraldo Rivera suggesting the piece of clothing led to his demise (sigh). Public rallies have sprung up all over the country calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.
Martin’s school record was leaked in what his father is calling a smear campaign intended to blame the victim. Now as a person who ditched high school a couple of times (sorry mom) I, unlike Bill O’Reilly, find Martin’s school record to be a big, “so what” and typical of both over and under achieving kids I know.
Martin’s parents have vowed not to give up until charges are brought against Zimmerman and justice is served.
Steve Jobs, the most famous alum of my alma mater, Reed College, passed away yesterday at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. Technically Mr. Jobs attended Reed for only a semester before dropping out, but rumor has it that his design aesthetic was highly influenced by a calligraphy class he took there and, well, he was a rock star. There is something to be said for forging your own path.
There isn’t much I can say that the many obituaries, tributes, and timelines in this trap don’t probably say better. So peruse and reflect. If a good life has anything to do with leaving a legacy, affecting change, or revolutionizing anything, well done Mr. Jobs.
Money talks, Berkeley grads walk (and it’s about time).
After two years in prison American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal are free to come home. The two along with fellow hiker Sarah Shourd were arrested by Iranian authorities and accussed of being US spies after inadvertantly crossing the border between Iraq and Iran while on a hiking trip.
Sarah Shourd was released last year after $500,000 in bail was paid to Iranian authorities. She left behind her fiance Shane (the two got engaged while in Iranian prison) and Josh who remained in Iranian prison for another year.
The pair were released yesterday after another one million dollars was paid in bail and pressure was exerted on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a group of prominent muslim and christian leaders. The one million aparently wipes out an eight year prison sentence the two had recieved and leaves them free to come home.
I wonder how soon until they’ll go hiking again.