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How Much Do You Really Know About the Presidential Candidates?

How Much Do You Really Know
About The Presidential Candidates?
By Abby Shepherd

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Foreign policy experience, health care plans and national security aside, what do you really know about the politicians running for office? By now, many of us can recite our favorite candidates' stump speeches and have memorized the delegate count for each state. But it is easy to forget that these superhuman, 24/7 political machines are actually people too.

Barack Obama

boThe Grammy-winning candidate is already known for his two bestselling books, Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts of Reclaiming the American Dream. But, there is more to the Senator from Illinois. Barack met his wife, Michelle while both were working in the Chicago law firm scene. On their first date, they saw the movie Do the Right Thing. The rest, as they say, is history.

Obama is also publicly known for his ethnicity; his mother was from Kansas and his father from Kenya. But Obama also lived in Indonesia as a child because his mother remarried after a divorce. He has a half sister who is Canadian and Indonesian. When Obama appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he openly talked about his diverse family. His wife often refers to the family's Thanksgiving and Christmas as a gathering of the United Nations.

John McCain

john-mccain3.jpgAfter acquiring the appropriate number of delegates to secure the Republican nomination for president, McCain now must turn his attention to the real thing-becoming President of the United States.

McCain comes from a long military lineage. His father was a four-star admiral who served in Vietnam as commander of all US forces in the Pacific. His grandfather saw the Japanese surrender September 6, 1945 when he was stationed onboard the USS Missouri. McCain himself served as a naval aviator and was held as a Prisoner of War for five-and-a-half years in Vietnam.

According to his own book, Faith of My Fathers, McCain admits to holding his breath as a child if he didn't get what he wanted. This standoff would often last until McCain blacked out.

Hillary Clinton

hcShe has been in the national spotlight ever since her husband was in the White House. Clinton was the first First Lady to then run for public office. She became the Senator of New York in 2000. Clinton and Obama are now in a nail-biting race for the Democratic nomination for President.

As a child, Clinton once wrote to NASA asking for advice on how to become an astronaut. NASA wrote back to Clinton telling her that women can't become astronauts. Apparently, they can become Senators and run for President.

Clinton received her law degree from Yale Law School and has twice been named one of the 100 most influential attorneys at law in the United States. She also was a staff member for the House Judiciary Committee impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon.

Mike Huckabee

mhAlthough Huckabee isn't technically in the race to the White House anymore, the former Arkansas governor has too many interesting tidbits to not include him in our list. According to The Thomas Report, a conservative online blog site, Huckabee has about 29 interesting facts to be exact.

Huckabee has appeared numerous times on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report and admits to actually liking the show, which pokes fun at many conservative politicians and platforms. Also, Huckabee is known for undergoing gastric bypass surgery and one of his favorite "diet" foods is Yarnell's guilt free ice cream. He also likes movie theater style popcorn and received a popcorn machine for Christmas from his wife, Janet.

Ron Paul

rpPaul is currently running as a Republican candidate, however, his more Libertarian views has earned him a cult following online and among young voters. On December 16, 2007, Paul raised over $6 million dollars in 24 hours which is the largest one-day Internet fundraiser in American political history.

Paul was a track star at Dormont High School high school near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his junior year, Paul was state champion for the 220-yard dash and placed second in the 440-yard run.

Paul attended Duke University School of Medicine and graduated with a degree in obstetrics and gynecology. He later became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and served outside the Vietnam War Zone.

During Ron Paul's 1988 presidential campaign, when he ran as a Libertarian, John McCain told his campaign chair, "You're working for the most honest man in Congress."

Let's try to keep it civil, but do you have any interesting facts about the candidates?

Check out the rest of our College Weekend festivities.

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8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3
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[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.

1. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER TIME JUMP.

The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”

2. THE IDEA IS TO BE SMALLER IN SCALE.

If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”

3. THE MIND FLAYER WILL BE BACK.

The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).

4. PLENTY OF LEFTOVER SEASON TWO STORYLINES WILL BE IN SEASON THREE.

The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.

5. THERE WILL BE MORE ERICA.

Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”

6. EXPECT KALI TO RETURN.

The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.

7. OTHER "NUMBERS" MIGHT SHOW UP.

We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.

8. THERE MIGHT NOT BE MANY SEASONS LEFT.

Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

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Big Questions
Why Do Fruitcakes Last So Long?
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Fruitcake is a shelf-stable food unlike any other. One Ohio family has kept the same fruitcake uneaten (except for periodic taste tests) since it was baked in 1878. In Antarctica, a century-old fruitcake discovered in artifacts left by explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910 expedition remains “almost edible,” according to the researchers who found it. So what is it that makes fruitcake so freakishly hardy?

It comes down to the ingredients. Fruitcake is notoriously dense. Unlike almost any other cake, it’s packed chock-full of already-preserved foods, like dried and candied nuts and fruit. All those dry ingredients don’t give microorganisms enough moisture to reproduce, as Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, explained in 2014. That keeps bacteria from developing on the cake.

Oh, and the booze helps. A good fruitcake involves plenty of alcohol to help it stay shelf-stable for years on end. Immediately after a fruitcake cools, most bakers will wrap it in a cheesecloth soaked in liquor and store it in an airtight container. This keeps mold and yeast from developing on the surface. It also keeps the cake deliciously moist.

In fact, fruitcakes aren’t just capable of surviving unspoiled for months on end; some people contend they’re better that way. Fruitcake fans swear by the aging process, letting their cakes sit for months or even years at a stretch. Like what happens to a wine with age, this allows the tannins in the fruit to mellow, according to the Wisconsin bakery Swiss Colony, which has been selling fruitcakes since the 1960s. As it ages, it becomes even more flavorful, bringing out complex notes that a young fruitcake (or wine) lacks.

If you want your fruitcake to age gracefully, you’ll have to give it a little more hooch every once in a while. If you’re keeping it on the counter in advance of a holiday feast a few weeks away, the King Arthur Flour Company recommends unwrapping it and brushing it with whatever alcohol you’ve chosen (brandy and rum are popular choices) every few days. This is called “feeding” the cake, and should happen every week or so.

The aging process is built into our traditions around fruitcakes. In Great Britain, one wedding tradition calls for the bride and groom to save the top tier of a three-tier fruitcake to eat until the christening of the couple’s first child—presumably at least a year later, if not more.

Though true fruitcake aficionados argue over exactly how long you should be marinating your fruitcake in the fridge, The Spruce says that “it's generally recommended that soaked fruitcake should be consumed within two years.” Which isn't to say that the cake couldn’t last longer, as our century-old Antarctic fruitcake proves. Honestly, it would probably taste OK if you let it sit in brandy for a few days.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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