Posts by Alex Miller

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Harry Potter Turns 20

By which, I mean the movie franchise, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the release of its first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, on 16 November.  Harry Potter the book series began publication four years earlier, and Harry Potter the character has been given a birthdate of 28 July 1980 by his creator, J.K. Rowling.  Rowling herself was born on that date, fifteen years before, giving her a strong identification with the character that made her famous, beloved, and incredibly rich.

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The Waukesha Christmas Parade Massacre

On Sunday, 21 November 2021, a man broke through barriers and drove his red SUV wildly through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring more than sixty others.  The suspect, Darrell Brooks, 39, was well-known to local police, a repeat offender who had just been released from jail two days prior on a thousand-dollar bail after arrest on a domestic abuse charge.  Brooks had been accused of trying to run down his girlfriend with the same SUV.  Witnesses said that Brooks swerved through the parade route in a zig-zag pattern, apparently attempting to hit as many people as possible.  Police recovered Brooks and the damaged SUV several hours later; he was arraigned on multiple counts and bail set at a more reasonable $5 million.

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Garden Glimpses: November Color

Better late than never, as they say.  Autumn came in dribs and drabs this year, with the accent on the drab – tan, brown, and sepia tones dominated early fall, with bright, brilliant colors a rarity, but now that the ghosties and ghoulies have been (mostly) packed away, a few shots of bitter cold have turned what’s left of summer’s foliage into a stunning panoply of red, yellow and orange.

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Joe Biden’s 2021 Solar Return

Joe Biden’s solar year began at 11:31 AM EST on 19 November 2021, in Washington DC, just hours after a Lunar Eclipse with the longest duration in 580 years, which fell exactly opposed his natal Sun.  This is not a positive augur for the coming twelvemonth, and delving deeper into the details, we’re not seeing much to alleviate that.

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The Aaron Rodgers Vaccination Controversy

On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, sparking a controversy over his previously unrevealed unvaccinated status.  Rodgers had earlier described himself as “immunized” for the coronavirus, parsing his words carefully so as not to expose his actual vaccination refusal.  The NFL superstar experienced COVID symptoms Tuesday, and tested positive the following day, triggering a mandatory 10-day suspension from play.

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The Virginia Governor’s Race: Bellwether or Outlier?

All politico eyes were turned to the “Old Dominion State” on Election Day 2021, where former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe sought to regain his old job and beat back a challenge from Republican Glenn Youngkin, a businessman with no prior political experience.  Virginia’s increasingly blue tint, and a 10-point Biden victory margin just last year, not to mention McAuliffe’s earlier tenure of the office, all argued for a stately procession to victory, but in practice, the outcome was far from assured.  Polls tightened in the weeks leading up to the election, with Youngkin showing significant leads in some, but a statistical dead heat in most.

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