Since we’re all counting last week’s MLK Day into 2 snow days as an extension of syllabus week, the catch-up is coming just in time for school to actually start. A lot has happened, but we’re going to take everything in stride. In no particular order, here are just a few noteworthy news pieces:

  1. Not sure if you remember this tragic news story from all the way back in the fall of 2013, but Jonathan Ferrell was seeking help after he was in a car accident and went to the nearest home he could find. When the resident called the police because a stranger was at his door, officer Randall Kerrick fatally shot Ferrell and is now being indicted with manslaughter. This particular case of a white officer shooting a black man is fueling discussion about the overt implications of race in the situation.
  2. In only 14 school days of 2014, 7 school shootings have happened from elementary schools to universities. In addition to that, a shooting in a Maryland mall happened this past Saturday leaving 2 victims fatally shot before the gunman turned his weapon on himself.
  3. As mentioned by another PTB post, the Sochi Olympics are coming up, and the hostility of certain groups in Russia has had a negative effect on American athletes and their families, some of whom have opted to stay home. Russia’s notoriously oppressive stance on LGBT rights (or lack thereof) expressed throughout the preparation for the Olympics this year has led to unease for many people about the host country. Sports Illustrated summed up an interview with Russian President Putin saying, “Last week, Putin said that gay visitors should feel “at ease” during the Olympics. But, oddly, he included in his statement a plea to “leave the children in peace” and appeared to conflate homosexuality and pedophilia.” Hmm.
  4. Richard Sherman from the Seattle Seahawks got fined $7975 for his on-field celebration against the 49ers, but you would think it would’ve been for his controversial Crabtree comments post-game. Anyone making prop bets for Sassy Sherman 2.0 during the Super Bowl?
  5. Did you watch the Grammys? Yeah, I don’t have cable either, but I heard girls on girls “died” or “couldn’t deal” because of Beyonce, something I have probably said to myself a few times as well… Real news from Grammy-land though, Lorde and Daft Punk cleaned up along with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who had 33 gay and straight couples get married during their set.
  6. Obama’s State of the Union speech is tonight so be sure to tune in and get your full ketchup from the primary source (and invite me over…because again I don’t have cable).