Baby, it’s cold outside
Good morning! It is a brisk 21° this morning in Indianapolis. Many of us woke up to a dusting or a little more of snow covering the roads. Today’s forecast calls for a little more snow converting to ice and eventually rain before the day is over. The ice is what you’ll want to watch. While no significant accumulation is expected, we all know that any ice at all can make surfaces dangerous, so be especially careful before noon today.
Being the weekend, the world is a little quieter, which is a nice thing. We did manage to find five things we think you should know today, so let’s take a look at those now.
1. Tragedy in Nigeria
Worshipers at a church in Lagos, Nigeria were trapped this morning when the steel girders holding up the recently constructed structure suddenly fell. At this point, Associated Press is reporting at least 160 are dead, but that number is likely to rise.1
Rushed construction is getting the early blame for the accident. Apparently, workers were rushing to finish the job in time for a special service there yesterday installing the church’s founder, Akan Weeks, as bishop. A crane being used to lift the steel girders out of the rubble is said to be hiding more bodies. Journalists in the area say that church leaders are attempting to prevent anyone from getting an accurate count of the dead or taking any pictures.
The Nigerian government has said there will be a full investigation. However, you should know that building collapse is common across Nigeria due to corruption with contractors and shoddy building practices. A similar collapse occurred at a church in 2014 killing 116 people. While two engineers and church leaders have been accused of wrongdoing in that collapse, the state government has not been able to bring anyone to trial.
1. Associated Press: HOSPITAL DIRECTOR: 160 DEAD IN COLLAPSED NIGERIAN CHURCH
2. From the You’ve-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me Department
You’re probably not going to want to believe this, but the Ku Klux Klan has told the Associated Press that they’re not White Supremacists1. I know, crazy, right?
First off, let me just be very clear that the young woman in our picture is not a White Supremacist and does not support them in any way. We don’t have any pictures of sheet-clad idiots, though, and her posture in this image reflects the weariness we feel from having to put up with the constant babbling from the Klan and other white supremacy groups since the November election.
Of course, like most everything else the Klan and other hate groups say and do, this statement is utter nonsense. Even the Klan rulebook, published in 1915 and still used by many groups, declares them to be white supremacists dedicated to those ideals.
So, to all members of the KKK and any other neo-Nazi, white supremacists hate group, we have two words for you: fuck off. As long as you spew your hate, as long as you fail to recognize that all people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as long as you paint swastikas and burn crosses, as long as you hide your identities under robes that represent hate, as long as your actions lean toward violence, as long as you claim that white people are the only ones fit to govern, as long as you attempt to deny people of color and equal place and standing, as long as you divide people by religion and country of origin, we are going to call you what you are: white supremacists.
We’re going to call you something else as well: Haters. That’s what you are and no matter how hard you try to deny it, an ass doesn’t become a thoroughbred just because you put a saddle on it. We’re tired of this nonsense littering our public discourse. Sit down and shut up.
1. Associated Press: “KKK, OTHER RACIST GROUPS DISAVOW THE WHITE SUPREMACIST LABEL”
3. Our longevity just slipped a bit
Children born in 2015 are not likely to live quite as long as those born the year before. Now, before you go getting upset, the difference is only about a month. A child in the United States has a life expectancy of about 78 years and 9½ months, on average. This is according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control this past Thursday.1 When compared to a 1950’s life expectancy of around 68 years, we’re not doing too bad.
However, this is the first single-year slip we’ve seen since 1993 when the US was in the middle of the AIDS epidemic. What is worth noting about this decline is that there is no outstanding disease or war factor that can claim responsibility. There were increases in deaths due to several of the nation’s top killers, from heart disease to chronic lower lung disease, accidental injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease and suicide.2
Who do we have to blame for this downturn? Ourselves, for the most part. While medical care among the poor and indigent remains a factor, the fact is we’re not taking care of ourselves, eating right, and exercising. I know I’m just as much to blame as anyone else. We all need to improve.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Mortality in the United States, 2015 By Jiaquan Xu, M.D., Sherry L. Murphy, B.S., Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A., and Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D.
2. Associated Press: “US LIFE EXPECTANCY FALLS, AS MANY KINDS OF DEATH INCREASE” BY
4. The Power of Pizza
Remember last weekend when some gun-toting conspiracy theorist walked into a Washington, D.C. pizza joint and opened fire? Well, as you might imagine, that wasn’t all too good for business. The pizza place, which has the rather strange name of Comet Ping Pong, has been struggling a bit this week since that happened. So have all the other businesses in that immediate vicinity. Even once the police finished their investigation and the tv cameras moved out, people were still a bit hesitant to satisfy their pizza craving in that part of town.
So, over 2,000 people showed up this weekend, starting on Friday, to show their support for Comet Ping Pong and other restaurants targeted by fake news stories. At one point, according to the Associated Press1, patrons had to wait an hour and a half just to get a table and 45 minutes for take out. The restaurant has also been getting help through a GoFundMe that so far has raised over $28,000.
1. Associated Press: “PATRONS USE DOUGH TO BACK PIZZA PLACE TARGETED BY FAKE NEWS” By BY
5. And Finally …
If Kermit the Frog thought it wasn’t easy being green back in 1979, he’s really going to have problems with 2017. Pantone, those wonderful keepers of color definition, has decided that the color for 2017 is one called Greenery. According to AdWeek1, the color was chosen to help us out with the year ahead. Given some of the other prognostications I’ve seen for next year, they could be right about this one. Green is widely known to be a color that has a calming influence. Given the political and economic landscape going into 2017, I would say we need all the calming influences we can get.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement: “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”
I’m not sure painting everything green is going to help that much if we see the economy turn South or find ourselves in yet another war. Still, it’s not a bad color to look at. Be thankful they didn’t choose Puce.
That will have to do it for today. Thank you for sharing your time with us. We look forward to seeing you back here again tomorrow.