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Senator Barack Obama, having amassed more than the 2,118 delegates needed to secure a majority, was acknowledged as the Democratic presidential nominee and claimed victory before a crowd of almost 20,000 people in St. Paul, Minnesota, knocking knuckles with his wife, Michelle, in a gesture known as “dap.” “It thrilled a lot of black folks,” said author Ta-Nehisi Coates. “He wears his cultural blackness all over the place. Barack is like Black Folks 2.0.”New York TimesWashington PostEarlier that evening, Senator John McCain delivered a speech to a crowd of a few hundred in Kenner, Louisiana, in which he tried to rebuff Obama’s charges that a McCain presidency would be a continuation of Bush policies. “That’s not change we can believe in,” said McCain repeatedly. Pundits were surprised by McCain’s clumsy rhetoric, by his lack of teleprompter skills, and by the fact that he stood in front of an ugly green backdrop. “Content better than delivery,” said Karl Rove. “John McCain,” said Mort Kondracke of “Roll Call,” “sounded old.”New York TimesTalking Points MemoA messenger delivered a handwritten note from McCain to Obama’s Chicago offices inviting the Democratic presidential nominee to a series of Goldwater-Kennedy-style debates. Bill Burton, an aide to Obama, told the messenger, “You know, you could have just emailed this.”PoliticoHillary Clinton announced that she was “suspending” her campaign,New York Timesand Yves Saint Laurent, who popularized pants for women, died at age 71. “My small job as a couturier,” Saint Laurent once said, “is to make clothes that reflect our times. Iâ??m convinced women want to wear pants.”New York Times
Unemployment rose half a percentage point to 5.5 percent, the largest one-month increase since 1986. Oil prices surged by more than $11 a barrel to a new high of $138.54, and the stock market suffered a 3 percent drop. New York TimesOfficials in Tanzania reported that witch doctors were harvesting the hair, bones, and skins of albinos to make wealth potions,New York Timesand scientists who darkened the breast feathers of male barn swallows with magic marker found that the males attracted more females, lost weight, and exuded more testosterone. “It’s like you walk down the street and you’re driving a Rolls Royce and people notice,” said lead researcher Rebecca Safran. “Your physiology accommodates this.”Florida TodayThe United Nations held a three-day emergency food summit; the director of the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization condemned U.S. subsidies for biofuel, saying that they deprived people of food in order to “satisfy a thirst for fuel for vehicles.”GuardianWashington PostFor the third year in a row, the consumption of oranges in Britain declined because people were too busy to peel the rind off the fruit. The Daily Mail
V. S. Naipaul, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in Literature, declared that there are “no more great writers.”The IndependentDerek Walcott, who won the Nobel in 1992, read a new poem, entitled “The Mongoose,” that viciously attacks Naipaul’s personality and his writing. “I have been bitten,” the poem begins, “I must avoid infection/Or else I’ll be as dead as Naipaul’s fiction.”GuardianMore than two dozen vandals who hosted a party inside Robert Frost’s former home were ordered to take a class on his poetry, taught by Frost’s biographer. “This is where Frost is relevant,” Jay Parini said to the class, speaking about Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” “You come to a path in the woods where you can say, ‘Shall I go to this party and get drunk out of my mind?’ Everything in life is choices.”CNNA housing development in South Carolina was offering to any customers who purchased one of its $1 million homes a $400,000 home for free. “We thought,” said developer Dawn Berry, “‘Why does it just have to be on Pop Tarts and restaurants?’”Los Angeles TimesThe family of a former chemist for Procter & Gamble who designed the Pringles potato-chip can buried a portion of his ashes in a Pringles can,Cincinnati Enguirerand Haley, an eight-year-old Indiana girl who had emergency surgery after eating more than 10 magnets and 20 steel balls, said she swallowed the pieces because they “looked like candy.” Her parents said they were confused about how she could have done such thing because “she gets A’s and B’s.”CBS NewsScientists located the part of the brain responsible for understanding sarcasm.New York Times
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands theyâ€™d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for â€śfurtive movementsâ€ť:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature