Odds/Ends: Catching Up With Mary Carmichael & Gary Condit
'Odds/Ends' is our least popular regular feature. I mix in random facts with housekeeping announcements and updates on current and former _flossers. Enjoy!
I know many of you have been clamoring for a "Where Is He Now? Gary Condit" article. Tucked away in the last paragraph of a New York Times story this weekend was the answer:
"After losing the primary election in 2002 to a former aide, Mr. Condit moved to Arizona. In 2005, he set up an ice cream franchise for Baskin-Robbins and sued several journalists over their coverage of the case."
My predecessor and fellow Duke '01 alum Mary Carmichael has gone on to bigger and better things at Newsweek, including writing last week's cover story: "Stress Could Save Your Life (Or At Least It's Better For You Than You Think)." Speaking of bigger and better, she's also very pregnant. Congrats all around, Mary!
For reasons not entirely clear, Mary is not yet listed on the 'Notable Duke University Alumni' Wikipedia page, though our classmates (and mental_floss founders) Will Pearson & Mangesh Hattikudur did make the cut. The only other two representatives from the Class of '01: Kelly Goldsmith (you may remember her from an early season of Survivor) and Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier, who was featured on the cover of last week's New York Times Magazine.
Speaking of magazines, the latest issue of mental_floss is really, really good. Especially Rosemary Ahern's cover story "“Â The 25 Most Influential Books of the Last 25 Years. If you read the article and think we missed something, you can nominate a book by emailing your rationale to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish some of the better emails here (and, perhaps, in a future issue of the mag). This week, we'll be unveiling five of the 25 Most Influential books on the blog.
Former _floss intern Jason Plautz spent half of last summer working at Sports Illustrated, and the other half in South America filming a documentary about the world's first gay professional tango couple. Head over to Current.com and take a look.
Several of you are following several of us on Twitter. Today we've secured the rights to the mental_floss username, which will serve as the official mental_floss Twitter account. (Very official.) If you'd like to follow the _floss on Twitter, here's the link. A big thanks to Jonathan La Rosa for snatching this up and offering to barter with us.
We've partnered with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to offer one lucky reader and a guest a free trip to this year's induction ceremony in Cleveland. It's a sweepstakes, so all you have to do is fill out the online entry form and hope the rock gods smile on you.
Linda Rodriguez has been a contributor to our magazine and blog for a couple years. She recently moved to London and will be reporting on all sorts of fun British things. If you have any suggestions for her or a good name for her new column, we'd love to hear them! (If we choose your column-name suggestion, you'll earn a free t-shirt.)
Am I the only one who spent much of the Oscars trying to figure out where I knew Best Actor nominee Richard Jenkins from? A quick look at IMDb gave me all the answers: he was the dead dad on Six Feet Under, the psychiatrist in There's Something About Mary, and he had roles in Outside Providence, Me, Myself & Irene, And the Band Played On, plus many more movies and TV shows I have not seen. Glad that's cleared up.
Last night the Republicans sent out Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to respond to President Obama's address. According to Senate.gov, here are some of the other politicians who gave the opposing party's response to major speeches to Congress, in case you were wondering (OK, I know you weren't wondering):
In 1966, Senator Everett Dirksen (R-IL) and Rep. Gerald Ford (R-MI) offered a reaction to President Johnson's State of the Union Message, the first organized and televised response to the annual message. Many years, a prerecorded television program created by the opposing party would appear after the President's speech.
Those who followed President Reagan included Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill (D-MA, written statement in 1984) and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV, 1987 & 1988).
The response to President Clinton included speeches by New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman (R, 1995), Senator Bob Dole (R-KS, 1994 & 1996), Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK, 1997) and Senator Trent Lott (R-MS, 1998). Former Seattle Seahawk & member of Congress Steve Largent (R-OK, pictured) gave a joint response with Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) in 1999.
Responding to Bush were a number of Democrats, including Rep. Dick Gebhardt (D-MO, 2002), Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D, 2006), Senator Jim Webb (D-VA, 2007) and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D, 2008). Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did the honors in 2004, while Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) joined Pelosi in 2005.
I'll end with a random video. Via TVTattle, Phil Hartman's 1986 audition for Saturday Night Live:
This concludes the afternoon announcements. Thanks and have a great day!