The end of an era, the beginning of an error


Blues Buzz

TrumpWorld. Counterinaugural protest master list. Three women going to the Women's March on Washington on why they're marching. Chelsea Manning will finally be free and in her own words, here is what she suffered. Hottest year on record -- third year in a row. Dylann Roof is an American problem. The exploitation of MLK Jr.'s legacy by white supremacy. Buffy, but way less problematic. Trump and facts. The lawmakers boycotting Trump's inauguration. Self-careLin Manuel Miranda and The West Wing. People across 22 countries think their nations are in decline and that the world is getting worse. RIP Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to step foot on the moon. On female friendships in the outdoors. John Lewis' book sales are doing very well on Amazon. Non-fiction by non-men. "I think genre is as much of a lie as gender is."  The queer Muslim couples marrying before Trump's inauguration. The gentrification of city-based sitcoms. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; piece by Kim Gordon. © E.A. Crunden

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; piece by Kim Gordon. © E.A. Crunden

News Around the Globe

Africa: A Nigerian jet accidentally bombed a refugee camp for survivors of Boko Haram attacks; at least 70 people have died. Did fake news and Facebook push South Sudan to genocide? Western African states are preparing to intervene in Gambia -- and Senegal has sent troops in. The country's president declared a state of emergency in an effort to keep his opponent (sworn in over the border) from taking power, and thousands of Gambians are racing across the border to Senegal, which is bracing itself for even more refugees. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide attack outside the University of Maiduguri. Nigeria's president will be taking medical leave in the UK. 

Americas: A crisis within Brazil is brewing following breakouts and uproar in the country's prison system; 1000 soldiers are being sent to deal with the problems. Another Mexican environmental activist has been killed. Five people were shot and killed at a Mexican music festival. A 15 year-old shot four people at a private school in northern Mexico. 'El Chapo' is being extradited to the U.S. The Greatest Show on Earth ends. Parts of the U.S. are warming faster than the entire globe. Noor Salman, wife of the Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was arrested for obstructing justice.

Asia: Giving up on MH370. A new report says the war in Yemen has killed 10,000 people. A Turkish cargo jet crashed outside of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing around 40 people. China's president, Xi Jinping, gave a speech embracing globalization and free trade. The long-feuding Hamas and Fatah parties representing Palestinians are set to form a unity government. The prime minister of Malaysia is calling on Muslim countries to help the Rohingya, Burma's persecuted Muslim minority. A high-rise collapsed in Tehran due to a fire, killing at least 20 people.

Europe: Angela Merkel's uphill battle to being re-elected in Germany. Hard Brexit. Scotland not into hard Brexit. The man suspected of killing 39 people at a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Eve was arrested. Even more powers have been approved for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Edward Snowden's residency permit in Russia has been extended; he can remain until 2020. The center-right European People's Party has won the presidency of the EU. Sweden's very cool efforts to eliminate waste extend to the stickers found on fruits and vegetables. An avalanche in Italy buried a hotel with numerous casualties and as many as 30 people still missing. 



To do: Go hiking! I deeply hesitate to endorse any corporations in any capacity (and this should not be considered an endorsement of ANY OTHER COMPONENT OF THIS COMPANY) but in the U.S., REI is one company that hosts hikes and outdoor gatherings in various major metro areas, and I'm getting set to check it out. Similar organizations host comparable excursions, but if company-free hiking is your style there are numerous options, depending on location, time, money, and individual level of tolerance for socializing. Finding the balance that works for you can be a challenge, but I 100% recommend getting outdoors (regardless of where on this large and beautiful planet you live) and surrounding yourself with nature. While you're at it, read up on climate change -- and work to do something to protect our environment

To make: Comfort food is a crucial component of my life, both as an anxious person and as a person born and raised in the South, where we value these things. Preferences range (my favorite person swears by daal, made properly and in large quantities; I know other people who are cheese-by-the-block enthusiasts) but I look to home for consolation. Homesick Texan is an amazing blog, and I stand by the combo of flour tortillas (or corn), beans made the best way (albeit veg-friendly and kosher),  rice, guac, Greek yogurt over sour cream (which can be hard on finicky stomachs like mine), pico de gallo, and an assortment of other delicious additions. When you need comfort, you need comfort -- eat something that makes you feel safe and cared for.

To remember: This is a really hard time for a lot of people. Self-care, look out for the people around you (especially those who are more at-risk than you might be), and remember that it is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender.


Quote of the Week

"I find it hard to believe that [Donald Trump] rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world." -- Vladimir Putin on whether or not Trump met prostitutes

Fun Fact

A big focus of the incoming American presidential administration is the repeal of "Obamacare" (more officially known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.) Repeal would be a complicated process, but one that's certainly doable. One of the bigger question marks currently circulating is whether Republicans in Congress would follow a "repeal and delay" or a "repeal and replace" process -- the former meaning the ACA would go away with no replacement in place, the latter meaning a replacement would be immediately implemented. Business Insider can lead you down the road of questions, if you are so interested. For now, everything is up in the air, but there are a number of terrible things that could easily happen regardless of which path is taken. These include: millions of Americans without health insurance, many deaths, health workers out of a job, and a crushing economic impact. Fun!