State of the Union Address Live Blog

10:16 p.m.

Obama: It remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.

The SOTU is over. I’m interested to see how the official Republican response by Senator Marco Rubio will go.

10:11 p.m.

Obama: These proposals deserve a vote.

Chants, cheers, and a standing ovation dominates the chamber as disgruntled Republicans remain seated.

10:08 p.m.

Gun control- here we go. Obama is definitely appealing to pathos through anecdotes and emotional statements.

Obama: Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

10:05 p.m.

Is it just me or is there so much hope in this speech?

Obama calls for equal treatment of service members- gay or straight.

10:03 p.m.

Obama is touching on some foreign policy topics such as North Korean disarmament and connecting with the global community such as working with the European Union.

9:57 p.m.

Obama: And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.

9:55 p.m.

Did anyone catch that slow clap started by VP Biden?

9:51 p.m.

Obama thinks federal minimum wage should be $9.00 an hour. Right now, it is $7.25. Obama believes in a realistic minimum wage.

9:49 p.m.

Transition into women’s rights, thanking the Senate for passing the Violence Against Women Act. (No thanks to the 22 Senators who voted against it.)

POTUS asks for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

9:48 p.m.

Education talk transitioning into immigration reform.

9:46 p.m.

This is major!! POTUS is currently addressing the skyrocketing costs of higher education and asks colleges to keep their costs low. Hofstra are you listening?!

Obama: Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.

9:44 p.m.

Obama is proposing major changes in the education system starting with preschools all the way to the high school level.

Obama: Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.

9:42 p.m.

I love when people randomly exclaim things from the audience. “That’s right!” and “Woo’s” definitely would encourage me.

9:33 p.m. 

Cheers coming from the audience when the topic of energy came up. Wow- when was the last time climate change was brought up?

9:31 p.m. 

POTUS promises proposals to stimulate the nation as a whole.

Apple will begin manufacturing back in the US? Woah!

Obama: It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.

9:28 p.m. 

Take a shot every time there is a close up of a Republican with a sour face on.

9:26 p.m. 

Obama received a standing ovation.

Obama: Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep, but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.

9:18 p.m. 

Obama: The state of our union is stronger.

9:16 p.m. 

President Obama’s speech clearly begins with a foreshadowing of the need for both parties to work together.

Obama quoting Kennedy: The Constitution Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.

9:10 p.m. 

President Obama enters and is greeted by warm cheering and booming applause.

9:06 p.m. 

POTUS has yet to come out, but I would like to applaud the 40 or so Senators wearing an orange pin, vowing for progress despite bipartisanship.

Vatican Confirms Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation

  1. Pope Benedict XVI will resign from his position on February 28, 2013. The official statement can be read here. The pope cited his illness and weakness to not continue his 8 year tenure beginning on April 24, 2005.
  2. There is speculation as to who the next pope will be. Any unmarried man is eligible to be appointed, however, a cardinal has always been chosen for more than 1,000 years. The international community voiced their opinions through social media.
  3. What precedent will Pope Benedict’s resignation create? Retirement at 75-80? Younger Pope’s elected?
  4. Our prayers are with Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to resign from the papacy, and we celebrate his eight fruitful years as the leader of the Church! “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
  5. As a Catholic, I’m not buying this. Popes don’t just quit because they’re tired. What’s going on here??
  6. The Queen’s a year older than The Pope. Can’t see her ever resigning because she’s tired. #indefatigability1infallibility0
  7. What’s a Twitter account for if you can’t drop bombshell news on it? @Pontifex is silent on Pope’s resignation.
  8. Who will be the next Pope? Pope Benedict XVI have already signed his resignation letter and by the end of this month will be his last day of being a Pope of the Roman Catholics. For almost 8years of being Pope, Joseph Ratzinger decided to end his term due to his health issues. After him, who will be the new Pope of the Century?
  9. RT @ckanal: #Pope‘s final tweet before resignation: “We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us” huff.to/Y7fkIc
  10. RT @BBCWorld: #Pope Benedict XVI “reached an age that only very few of his predecessors had reached”, his brother Georg Ratzinger tells #BBCNewsday
  11. Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t seem to have taken his lifetime appointment from God very seriously. bit.ly/XsaxD1
  12. In 1415, Gregory XII was the last pope to resign. This was during the Great Schism, where three popes reigned at the same time. Pope Benedict XVI will be the fifth pope in history to resign.

Lights Out at the Super Bowl

Last October, during Hurricane Sandy, I was charging all my electronics, patiently waiting in my home as I anticipated the power going off.  Then, it was lights out, not only for my house, but also for most of Long Island.  At least that blackout was anticipated.

During Sunday Night’s Super Bowl, between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s power went out, which was a surprise.

“All of a sudden all of the commentary stopped, the picture showed a half lit stadium, and all of the infamous Super Bowl commercials resumed,” said Cassandra Wang, student at Drexel University.  “All you saw on TV were the players practicing and bewildered employees of the NFL.”

The coaches on both sides had to keep the players calm and composed, advising them to stretch and run drills.

“It came up to a point where I thought whoever is in charge was going to have to postpone the game,” said Agnes Michalik, dermatologist assistant.  “I wasn’t even there and I was getting nervous.”

It was as if the halftime show was extended.

“I definitely wouldn’t have minded if Beyoncé came back out and continued to perform,” said Wang.

Many questions were raised during the blackout such as how long the power would be out for and if this would have an effect the players, but most importantly, did Beyoncé win the Super Bowl?

“I was waiting for Beyoncé to come out onto the field holding Blue Ivy and say her first words, ‘let there be light,’” said Robert Todaro, a student at George Washington University.

Commentators had to fill in the awkward time gap between when the lights turned off and the resumption of gameplay. NBC’s SNL even mocked the reporters during their opening skit. Hey, if I was in their position, I would be as equally tongue-tied.

“You’ve got to admit, it was pretty funny,” said Michalik. “How many times could you really reiterate the same things over and over again but just using different words?”

Approximately half an hour later, the power was back.

After the delay, the game resumed with slight changes.  It appeared as though the 49ers started to play better, most likely due to a longer resting period.  However, the Ravens remained in the lead. The final score was Ravens 34, 49ers 31.

Luckily, the Super Bowl blackout was only 34 minutes.  Mine lasted about 20 days.