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The Quick 10: 10 Interesting Political Debates

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So, who will be watching the debate tonight? We're watching it with some friends, at least until one of us gets mad and hurls the T.V. to the floor. And then we'll switch to Army of Darkness. So hopefully the damage to the T.V. isn't too severe.

Here's a look at some notable debates, mostly from the last 30 years or so, with one very notable exception.

ferraro

1. The Year: 1984.

The Debate: Vice Presidential, Geraldine Ferraro vs. George H.W. Bush.

The Issues: Experience (sound familiar?), the Catholic Ferraro's pro-choice view of abortion, the Voting Rights Act.

Stitch? Barbara Bush said she thought Ferraro was something that rhymed with the word "rich", but said she couldn't say the word on television.

2. The Year: 1988.

The Debate: Vice Presidential, Lloyd Bentsen vs. Dan Quayle.

The Issues: Experience (ahem), Social Security, family, Nicaragua, the environment.

What People Remember: When Quayle compared himself to JFK and Bentsen responded with, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy: I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Quayle: "That was really uncalled for, Senator."

What I find funny is that Ronald Reagan later made fun of himself and this quote when he said about Bill Clinton, "This fellow they've nominated claims he's the new Thomas Jefferson. Well, let me tell you something. I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a friend of mine. And governor, you're no Thomas Jefferson."

3. The Year: 1858.

The Debate: Presidential, Abraham Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas.

The Issues: Slavery, slavery, slavery.
Oh, Snap: Lincoln used his speech prowess to bash on Douglas and speak out against slavery: "I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man."

Watch Out, Dan Rather: He said that the Freeport Doctrine was "As thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death," that Douglas evading a question was like a sepia cloud from a cuttlefish, and that one of Douglas' arguments was like making a horse chestnut into a chestnut horse. I bet Lincoln would have made a great sportscaster.

jfk

4. The Year: 1960

The Debate: Presidential, JFK vs. Richard Nixon.

The Issues: Cuba, experience, foreign policy, the economy.

TKO: It's generally agreed that JFK nailed the first debate because it was televised. His relaxed demeanor, tan appearance, dark suite and proper debate etiquette (he looked at Nixon when Nixon spoke, for instance) was a stark contrast from Tricky Dick's first televised debate. Nixon was not feeling well because of knee injury, he refused to wear makeup and appeared to have an unhealthy pallor compared to Kennedy's glow, he wore a grey suit that blended in with the stage background and seemed very tense.

But WHY was Kennedy so Relaxed and Confident? Uhhh. Couple of answers, here. The official reason is that Kennedy and his family had taken a week to vacation in Florida prior to the debates. It's long been rumored, though, that JFK, famous for his womanizing, had enjoyed an, erm, "audience" with a young lady just prior to the debates.

5. The Year: 1976

The Debate: Presidential, Gerald Ford vs. Jimmy Carter

The Issues: Domestic and international policy, mainly.

The Faux Pas: Then-President Ford said, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe." Panelist Max Frankel from the New York Times was so stunned by this comment, he said, "I'm sorry ... did I understand you to say, sir, that the Soviets are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence in occupying most of the countries there?"

The Candidates Were Stiffs: There was a 27-minute delay when the sound went dead. Remembering how badly Nixon fared on T.V., Carter and Ford just froze for the 27 minutes, fearful that they would be caught in some pose that would make them look bad.

vps

6. The Year: 1992

The Debate: Vice Presidential, Dan Quayle vs. Al Gore vs. Admiral Stockdale

The Issues: Taxes, the economy, the environment.

Notable quotes:
Admiral James Stockdale: "Who Am I? Why Am I Here?"

QUAYLE: But the question is -- the question is -- and which you have failed to address, and that is, why is Bill Clinton qualified to be president of the US. You've talked about --
GORE: Oh, I'll be happy to answer that question --
QUAYLE: You've talked about Jim Baker. You've talked about trickle down economics. You've talked about the worst economy-
BRUNO: Now, wait a minute. The question was about --
QUAYLE: -- in 50 years.
GORE: I'll be happy to answer those. May I answer --
QUAYLE: Why is he qualified to be president of the US?
GORE: I'll be happy to --
QUAYLE: I want to go back and make a point --
GORE: Well, you've asked me the question. If you won't answer my question I will answer yours.
QUAYLE: I have not asked you a question. I've made a statement, that you have not told us why Bill Clinton is qualified to be president of the US. I pointed out what he said about the Persian Gulf War. But let me repeat it for you. Here's what he said, Senator. You know full well what he said.
GORE: You want me to answer your question?
QUAYLE: I'm making a statement. Then you can answer it.

Random Fact: Admiral Stockdale's full name was James Bond Stockdale. Seriously.

7. The Year: 1980.

The Debate: Presidential, Then-President Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan.

The Issues: Hostages in Iran, the nuclear arms race

The Deciding Factor? The last debate of this series took place only a week before the election, and is thought by many to have swung the very close race over to Reagan.

Nixon vs. Kennedy, Part Deux. Carter was tense and didn't want to debate in the first place, Reagan was cheerful and humorous. Once, he likened Carter to "The Witch Doctor that gets made when a good doctor comes along with a cure that'll work" and when Carter tried to bring up Reagan's past voting record on issues such as Medicare, Reagan just grinned and said his famous line, "There you go again!"

kerry

8. The Year: 2004

The Debate: Presidential, John Kerry vs. President George W. Bush

The Issues: Largely Iraq, terrorism, homeland security and nukes.

Audiogate/Bulgegate: Ever since Watergate, the press has a habit of tacking on "gate" to any political scandal. Perhaps you've noticed. This particular incident stemmed from the fact that there was some sort of very noticable bulge at the back of President Bush's jacket. Many thought it was an electronic device that allowed him to get answers from someone "“ possibly Karl Rove. Bush later explained that it was the result of a "poorly tailored shirt," and another explanation was that he started wearing a portable defibrillator after choking on a pretzel and passing out while watching a football game in 2002.

"He Forgot Poland." This debate is also remembered for the Poland remark (Polandgate??). Kerry said Bush didn't have international support for invading Iraq, and that his only allies were Australia and the U.K. Bush responded with, "Well, actually, he forgot Poland," and went on to say that now more than 30 nations were in agreement with the U.S. But it's the first sentence of the argument that people seem to remember.

9. The Year: 1984

The Debate: Democratic Primaries, Walter Mondale vs. Gary Hart.

Thank You, Dave Thomas: If you had no idea what year these debates took place, this would put you in the ballpark pretty much immediately "“ Mondale told Hart that whenever he talked about his ideas, he was reminded of the Wendy's ad campaign, "Where's the beef?" Although humorous, a lot of analysts say this remark seriously hurt Hart and his ability to prove that his ideas had some substance.

10. The Year: 1988.

The Debate: Presidential, George H.W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis.

The Issues: Drugs, Taxes

No Shrimp on the Barbie for Bush: Again with the pop culture references. To address the war on drugs, Bush said, "You know, You know, I saw a movie "“ "˜Crocodile Dundee.' And I saw the cocaine scene treated with humor, as though this was a humorous little incident. And it's bad."

Now Appearing at the Apollo: BUSH: "Is this the time to unleash our one-liners? That answer was about as clear as Boston harbor."

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15 Must-Watch Facts About The Ring
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DreamWorks

An urban legend about a videotape that kills its viewers seven days after they see it turns out to be true. To her increasing horror, reporter Rachel Keller (then-newcomer Naomi Watts) discovers this after her niece is one of four teenage victims, and is in a race against the clock to uncover the mystery behind the girl in the video before her and her son’s time is up.

Released 15 years ago, on October 18, 2002, The Ring began a trend of both remaking Japanese horror films in a big way, and giving you nightmares about creepy creatures crawling out of your television. Here are some facts about the film that you can feel free to pass along to anybody, guilt-free.

1. DREAMWORKS BOUGHT THE AMERICAN RIGHTS TO RINGU FOR $1 MILLION.

There were conflicting stories over how executive producer Roy Lee came to see the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, Hideo Nakata's adaptation of the 1991 novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki. Lee said two different friends gave him a copy of Ringu in January 2001, which he loved and immediately gave to DreamWorks executive Mark Sourian, who agreed to purchase the rights. But Lee’s close friend Mike Macari worked at Fine Line Features, which had an American remake of Ringu in development before January 2001. Macari said he showed Lee Ringu much earlier. Macari and Lee were both listed as executive producers for The Ring.

2. THE DIRECTOR FIRST SAW RINGU ON A POOR QUALITY VHS TAPE, WHICH ADDED TO ITS CREEPINESS.

Gore Verbinski had previously directed MouseHunt. He said the first time he "watched the original Ringu was on a VHS tape that was probably seven generations down. It was really poor quality, but actually that added to the mystique, especially when I realized that this was a movie about a videotape." Naomi Watts struggled to find a VHS copy of Ringu while shooting in the south of Wales. When she finally got a hold of one she watched it on a very small TV alone in her hotel room. "I remember being pretty freaked out," Watts said. "I just saw it the once, and that was enough to get me excited about doing it."

3. THE RING AND RINGU ARE ABOUT 50 PERCENT DIFFERENT.

Naomi Watts in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

Verbinski estimated that, for the American version, they "changed up to 50 percent of it. The basic premise is intact, the story is intact, the ghost story, the story of Samara, the child." Storylines involving the characters having ESP, a volcano, “dream logic,” and references to “brine and goblins” were taken out.

4. IT RAINED ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN THEY FILMED IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON.

The weather added to the “atmosphere of dread,” according to the film's production notes. Verbinski said the setting allowed them to create an “overcast mood” of dampness and isolation.

5. THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER WAS INFLUENCED BY ANDREW WYETH.

Artist Andrew Wyeth tended to use muted, somber earth tones in his work. "In Wyeth's work, the trees are always dormant, and the colors are muted earth tones," explained production designer Tom Duffield. "It's greys, it's browns, it's somber colors; it's ripped fabrics in the windows. His work has a haunting flavor that I felt would add to the mystique of this movie, so I latched on to it."

6. THERE WERE RINGS EVERYWHERE.

The carpeting and wallpaper patterns, the circular kitchen knobs, the doctor’s sweater design, Rachel’s apartment number, and more were purposely designed with the film's title in mind.

7. WATTS AND MARTIN HENDERSON HAD A FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL RIVALRY.

Martin Henderson and Naomi Watts star in 'The Ring' (1992)
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

The New Zealand-born Henderson played Noah, Rachel’s ex-husband. Since Watts is from Australia, Henderson said that, "Between takes, we'd joke around with each other's accents and play into the whole New Zealand-Australia rivalry."

8. THE TWO WEREN’T SURE IF THE MOVIE WAS GOING TO BE SCARY ENOUGH.

After shooting some of the scenes, and not having the benefit of seeing what they'd look like once any special effects were added, Henderson and Watts worried that the final result would not be scary enough. "There were moments when Naomi and I would look at each other and say, 'This is embarrassing, people are going to laugh,'" Henderson told the BBC." You just hope that somebody makes it scary or you're going to look like an idiot!"

9. CHRIS COOPER WAS CUT FROM THE MOVIE.

Cooper played a child murderer in two scenes which were initially meant to bookend the film. He unconvincingly claimed to Rachel that he found God in the beginning, and in the end she gave him the cursed tape. Audiences at test screenings were distracted that an actor they recognized disappears for most of the film, so he was cut out entirely.

10. THEY TRIED TO GET RID OF ALL OF THE SHADOWS.

Verbinski and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli used the lack of sunlight in Washington to remove the characters’ shadows. The two wanted to keep the characters feeling as if “they’re floating a little bit, in space.”

11. THE TREE WAS NICKNAMED "LUCILLE."

The red Japanese maple tree in the cursed video was named after the famous redheaded actress Lucille Ball. The tree was fake, built out of steel tubing and plaster. The Washington wind blew it over three different times. The night they put up the tree in Los Angeles, the wind blew at 60 miles per hour and knocked Lucille over yet again. "It was very strange," said Duffield.

12. MOESKO ISLAND IS A FUNCTIONING LIGHTHOUSE.

Moesko Island Lighthouse is Yaquina Head Lighthouse, at the mouth of the Yaquina River, a mile west of Agate Beach, Oregon. The website Rachel checks, MoeskoIslandLighthouse.com, used to actually exist as a one-page website, which gave general information on the fictional place. You can read it here.

13. A WEBSITE WAS CREATED BY DREAMWORKS TO PROMOTE THE MOVIE AND ADD TO ITS MYTHOLOGY.

Before and during the theatrical release, if you logged into AnOpenLetter.com, you could read a message in white lettering against a black background warning about what happens if you watch the cursed video (you can read it here). By November 24, 2002, it was a standard official website made for the movie, set up by DreamWorks.

14. VERBINSKI DIDN’T HAVE FUN DIRECTING THE MOVIE.

“It’s no fun making a horror film," admitted Verbinski. "You get into some darker areas of the brain and after a while everything becomes a bit depressing.”

15. DAVEIGH CHASE SCARED HERSELF.

Daveigh Chase in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

When Daveigh Chase, who played Samara, saw The Ring in theaters, she had to cover her eyes out of fear—of herself. Some people she met after the movie came out were also afraid of her.

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European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa
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Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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